Emergency Braking – Life Saving Tips

Shari Ives Safety Tips

When riding your motorcycle, emergency braking is one of the most important skills to know. If cornering skills require improvement, all you need to do is take a corner with less speed. When you suddenly need to hit the brakes hard, however, your skills need experience. You need to practice this skill regularly to gain and retain the muscle memories. Go out and practice at some remote parking lot and pretend that there is an object you are riding towards that you need to brake hard for. Start slow and build up speed after each attempt.


Here are a few tips for emergency braking:

  1. Don’t grab the handle and pull with all your strength. – This is a normal reaction, but a BIG mistake. Pull hard, but not fully, and then continue pulling harder progressively. If you pull hard all the way, your tires will lock up and you will no longer be in control.
  2. Use both brakes, front and rear. – Use the front brakes at about 80% and the rear at 20%. If you use the front more, the rear will lift and be useless. If you use the rear too much, you will not stop as effectively.
  3. Squealing tires mean you are braking too hard. – You have lost control and need to loosen up a tad.
  4. Weight distribution. – Since the bike will be going to lower in the front, your body will want to get off the bike at the front. To prevent this front ejection, keep your arms straight and locked.
  5. Try to avoid the object. – This is where ABS comes in handy.


Whenever you get a chance to practice emergency braking, do so. Practice, practice, practice until you have it perfect, and then practice some more.