In my early days of riding I had no concept of proper braking techniques. I used to sit down most of the time, often resulting in my crown jewels receiving a royal beating over the petrol tank. Not fun. Then I started watching the good riders and how they positioned themselves when leading into corners. Ah-ha! With a few words of wisdom from a couple of fellow riders, and some practice of course, I found myself slowing down a whole lot smoother and faster.
Line selection is important. You want to choose the smoothest and hardest piece of ground – though this is not always possible or realistic.
- Stand on your bike, in the central standing position – but have your weight towards the rear.
- Grip your bike firmly with your knees. This prevents you from bouncing off the foot pegs over rough terrain and/or moving to the front of your bike.
- Use the front and rear brakes smoothly together. Your front brake will be doing most of the work because of your forward momentum. Try not to lock up the wheels, esp. the front as this can cause the front wheel to wash out and kick you off. If you do lock up the front wheel, ease off the front brake to get the wheel turning again. Otherwise you may end up with your face in the dirt.
- Change down the gears to assist you in slowing down. This is more relevant with four strokes – if you’re not sure why, ride one… you’ll soon find out. This also sets you up to be in the right gear to accelerate out of a corner.