Early preparation is key
Early preparation on approach to junctions and hazards is vital. With regards to braking and gear changes, riders should aim to be in the correct position, at the correct speed and in the correct gear at all times. This takes ongoing practice to perfect and learner riders are advised to compensate for natural novice mistakes by keeping the speed down, whilst allowing more time to think – resulting in safer decisions, greater enjoyment and less rider anxiety.
Keep the motorcycle stable, with maximum control
On approach close the power to take advantage of engine braking. From high speed, apply both brakes to both slow down and to show a brake light to the vehicles behind. During this important phase – change down the gears one at a time to help reduce speed with further engine braking. At about 15 mph, the motorcycle should be in second gear. When around 2-3 car lengths from the junction/hazard – transfer to the rear brake only. This method of approach keeps the motorcycle stable, with maximum control, whilst ensuring the rider is at the optimum speed to make a good decision, to either stop or go.
Key things to remember
- Throttle off when slowing down
- Use engine braking to help reduce speed
- Both brakes from high speed to slow speed
- If vehicles behind, show a brake light when losing speed
- Release front brake and transfer to rear brake only for slow speed control when close to the junction or hazard
- Do not use the front brake in a bend or if steering with the handlebars
- Being prepared = more time to make good, safe decisions
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