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Top 5 Motorcycle Braking Tips

Top 5 Motorcycle Braking Tips

What’s up everyone? I am Chase, here at Rocky
Mountain ATV/MC, coming at you with my top five tips for better braking. So when it comes to brakes on your
motorcycle or your ATV – it’s no secret. We all know they’re absolutely crucial. The
funny part is having really good performing brakes on your motorcycle/ATV
can actually make you a faster rider, and that’s why it’s so crucial. You want to
always be doing good maintenance and upkeep on your brakes to make sure they’re
always in peak performance. Now, some of my tips today are going to be about
maintenance, and some are going to be about certain parts of accessories that
are going to give you the best braking power. So my first tip is going to be
with your brake pads. Now, the reason I say that is because you want to be
checking your brake pads regularly. If your brake pads are too thin, well, what
happens is they can’t absorb and dissipate heat as well as they should be.
And you gotta remember that heat is public enemy number one when it comes to
your brakes, so the hotter they’re getting, the less they’re going to perform. Now,
your owner’s manual is going to give you recommendations it’s going to give you
specs on when you should be replacing your brake pads. So you going to want to have
a set of calipers to measure your brake pads, so check your owner’s manual. And if they’re out of spec, if they’re too thin, you definitely want to get new brake pads on there.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you’re going to be going for, say, a long
ride, or maybe you know wet, sandy or muddy conditions, if your brake pads are
near that limit, I just recommend putting new ones on there, just not taking that
risk whatsoever. Now, at Rocky Mountain, we carry a lot of
different brake pads. We have OEM brake pads. We also have a lot of brake
pads from top manufacturers, but one thing you want to keep in mind too is
that not all brake pads are made from the same material, and if you’re not sure
what material would be best for you and your style of riding, well, watch the
video we have where I talk about all the different materials and the advantages
that they all have over each other. So make sure you watch. That that will steer
you in the right direction. Now, lastly with your brake pads, one thing you want
too is keep in mind too is when you are putting new brake pads on, these are
going to be totally flat. Now, if your rotors a little bit older, rotors are
going to wear too, so you’re not going to have a perfect contact with your brand
new brake pads on the rotor. So just know it may take a little bit for those brake
pads to wear in and they get that nice contact patch that you’re looking for.
And lastly, when I’m taking my calipers off in the front and the rear and I’m
swapping out my pads, I like to take them apart. Just check at the pin; you just
want to make sure that everything is sliding well. And again, that’s going to
keep your brakes working at peak performance. So that’s my first
tip: checking and doing maintenance on your brake pads. So my second tip is going to be
maintenance on your rotors. Now, rotors are made from steel, so they’re very hard;
they’re very durable. But just like with your brake pad they are going to wear
out over time. Now, your owner’s manual is going to give you tolerances, so you want
to take your calipers; measure the thickness of your rotor. And if it’s too
thin, then you want to get those changed out. Now, because rotors have these
cooling holes in the middle which help promote cooling, they’re actually going
to wear unevenly, and typically, what will happen is you’re going to get a disc
shape on each side of your rotor. And when rotors get too thin, well, they heat
up faster and actually start to warp. And if your rotors are warping you’re not going
to have as good braking, so that’s really important to measure those. Swap them out
if they are too thin. Now, another cool tip that we have when it comes to your
rotors is what we call deglazing them. When your brakes are getting really hot,
what can happen is the material from your brake pads can actually transfer
onto the rotor, which reduces friction, and you want as much friction as
possible. That’s going to give you the most stopping power. So what we like to
do is when we take our rotor, we just take a Scotch-Brite pad, and you’re just
going to scrub your rotors. You don’t need to go crazy and press as hard as
you can; you’re just going to scrub your rotors. And then once you’ve done that,
you’re going to take some brake cleaner, you’re going to spray your rotors off,
and then you’re going to wipe them down with a clean rag. Now, you can use a white
rag; that way you can see the residue coming off. But you’re just going to
spray them down. You’re going to wipe them down until all the residue is off,
and that’s just going to give you a nice clean surface on the rotor and also for
your brake pads. And that’s really going to help keep that braking power as
strong as possible. So that’s my second tip — it’s maintenance on your rotors. Now, my third tip is going to be
upgrading to an oversized front rotor. Now, these are very popular. If you look
closely, most pros these days, no matter what discipline they’re riding in,
they’re going to be using an oversized front rotor, and the reason being is it’s going
to give better surface area or more surface area. It’s going to promote
better cooling, better heat dissipation, and just give you more stopping power.
Now, we have these available from a lot of different brands on our website, but
on this YZ250, we’ve got the Tusk Typhoon Oversized Floating Rotor Kit. So this is a
full floating design rotor, and it’s going to be laser-cut from tempered
stainless steel. And these things are awesome. I ran these on my motorcycles —
great stopping power. And the price point on these things is awesome. So
that’s my third tip: upgrading to an oversized front rotor. Now, my fourth tip
is going to be bleeding your brakes. Now, this is something that I feel gets
overlooked way too often. You know, you got to remember, with your front and your
rear brake, your brake fluid is going to break down. In fact, what happens is it
absorbs the moisture from the air. It’s a very small amount, but what this does, it
actually results in your brake fluid heating up faster, which causes brake
fade. Now, brake fade, you want to be really careful of that because as your
brake fluid heats up and that brake fade gets worse and worse, it can actually
leave you feeling like you don’t have any brakes at all. So it’s very important. Now,
your owners manual is going to tell you how often you should be changing out the
brake fluid, but there’s a couple tips and ways that you can know that it might
be time without having to look at your manual. If you’re out riding and your
brake pads and your rotors and your brake lines are in good condition but
you feel like your front and your rear brakes are getting spongy and it just doesn’t
have that stopping power that it did before, well that’s a really good
indicator that it’s time to get some new brake fluid in there. Now, if you’ve never
changed the brake fluid on your bike, if you’ve never bled your brakes, it’s
really not that difficult. We have a how-to video. We show you step-by-step
how to get that done, and there are a couple tools that we offer on our
website that are going to make the job easier, and I’ve actually got a couple
here to show you. So this is our Tusk Brake Bleeder Kit.
It’s really inexpensive, great value. We also have the Motion Pro Mini Bleeder —
that’s another great tool. And one that we’ve used for a long time that we
really like, this is the Mityvac Brake Bleeding Kit. So any of these are
available on our website. Again, watch that how-to video. Pick up some of these
tools. It’s really just going to simplify the job. Now, one last thing I do want to
talk about — or two last things actually — is brake
fluid. You want to make sure that you’re only using the brake fluid that is
recommended by your manufacturer. So you can check your owner’s manual. But also, on
most bikes, your reservoir cap in the front and the rear is actually going to
tell you what brake fluid you are going to need. Now, if you’re not quite sure, you
can call us, you can comment below, you can chat live online. We will get your
questions answered if you do have any doubts about that. Now lastly, one
inexpensive upgrade that you can make that’s really going to help out is a steel
braided brake line. So on this YZ250, this is a Tusk Steel Braided Line. Now, the
reason these are so beneficial is it’s braided steel with this rubber coating
on the outside. The steel braided brake lines, when your brake fluid heats up,
they’re not going to expand as much, so they’re just going to give a more
consistent feel when you’re working hard on your brakes. So that’s my fourth tip, is going to be bleeding your brakes. So my fifth tip is going to be with lever
placement. Now, this might sound silly, but I’ve actually found it makes a big
difference. So lever placement on your motorcycle or
ATV — really, it’s going to come down to the rider. You just want to make sure
you’re comfortable and that you are in control. Now, with the rear brake pedal,
really the common place for that is going to be about level with your foot
peg. But what I want to talk about is going to be with your front brake lever. Now,
you want to, when you’re grabbing your front brake lever, most guys are going to
use either the index finger and their middle finger or both, but what you want
to do is get as much leverage as possible. And the most leverage you’re
going to get is by grabbing at the very end of your brake lever. So what I like
to do is I like to position my brake on the handlebar in a position to where
when I grab it, I’m going to be grabbing towards the very end of my brake lever.
That’s going to give me the most leverage as possible, which is going to
help increase the stopping power when I’m grabbing my brakes. Now, it doesn’t
really apply to your brakes, but the same concept, it can actually be used here on
your clutch side as well because often times, like I said, I see riders with it
all the way against their grips, so they’re grabbing right here on the inside. If you
want, just move it down the handle bar just a little bit, and you’re going to
get more leverage on the outside. It’s as simple as that. And so there it is. Those
are my top five braking tips for your motorcycle or your ATV. Hopefully, some of
these have helped you out and steered you in the right direction. If you have any
questions about what I’ve talked about today, well, comment below, chat live
online or give us a call. We definitely want to get your questions answered. And if
you want to see all the products that I’ve talked about today, head over to our
website at where you can pick those up. Remember orders over $75 are going to ship free. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to us on YouTube.
That’s going to keep you up to date and in the loop on latest gear guides, product
reviews, how-to videos and our top 5 tip videos like this one you saw today. I’m
Chase here at Rocky Mountain, and we’ll see you on the trails.

33 comments on “Top 5 Motorcycle Braking Tips

  1. You mean flushing the brakes. You only need to bleed them if you mess up the flush and introduce air. 馃檪

  2. I really like you guys videos but one of the main reasons why I don't shop with you is because your site doesn't work the way I wish it would. If I can't search through and filter through products that I'm looking for my for my bike, then it's kind of worthless. I have to manually click on each item to see if it fits my bike, then that's just a waste of time.

  3. I bought one of the attack graphics kit, followed the instructions to the tee, and after 2 washes with the water hose (with garden sprayer tip) made the graphics peel up and trap water behind them. I spray my bike down with water, handwash it then spray it off from a distance. Anything i can do?

  4. higher wet boiling point brake fluid makes a huge difference in brake performance, try the ELF brand fluid seem to be the highest boiling point fluid I have found .

  5. Hey man I鈥檓 thinking about changing out the break fluid on my pitbike and don鈥檛 know what fluid I need. I have a 2000 XR 80R can you help me?

  6. Hello!!i have an xt660z tenere 2008.. I replace the hall front with wr426f… From 2 300mm disks now i have one 250mm but not for long.. I order biker rotor 320mm and i hope to see some change because now is like have no brake at all..if would not the biker rotor make the job corect what is the next step; diferent calimber;

  7. One time I was in a race and at the beginning of it I had all my brakes, by the end I had no rear and my front was barely working. It was scary

  8. The one and only braking tip you need: Take the brakes off of your bike. Brakes slow you down and ain't nobody got time for that. Grip it and rip it. Braaap.

  9. For DOT 4 brake fluid I use the VXSCAN. 10.00 on Amazon. Checks moisture in DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid. They (DOT 3&4) are alcohol base (attracts water). DOT 5, 5.1, and 5.5 are silicone base. 3&4 handle heat better. I just check my fluid every six months. It literally tells the percentage of water in your fluid. So becomes go/no go fluid.

    Edit: Stock brake line is cheaper to replace. I make my own steel lines for the hot street bikes, but for dirt?? Waste of money.

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