Controlled braking (CBT)

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Controlled braking skills for learner motorcyclists - video training resources

Rear brake less effective at higher speeds

The front brake is the more powerful brake and must be used in a gentle and respectful manner. For a smooth and effective action on the brake, learner riders should use all four fingers (on the fingertips), whilst avoiding snatching or grabbing the brake lever. The front brake should only be used when the bike is travelling straight and should not be used in a corner.

The rear brake is less effective at higher speeds. At speed, it is generally used in conjunction with the front brake. However, if needing to slow down in a bend, the rear brake would be used on its own. As a general rule, use the rear brake on its own when riding slowly or turning the handlebars.

Both brakes

  • Used together from high speed to low speed
  • When the bike is in an upright position
  • Travelling in a straight line

Front brake only

  • Sometimes taught as a means of giving a signal to the traffic behind when taking off a small amount of speed.
  • Generally, the front brake is not used on its own as a means of slowing down or stopping

Rear brake only

  • Slow control situations
  • When steering the bike
  • In a bend or corner

Engine braking

  • At the start of every slowing down manoeuvre
  • In a corner
  • Losing a few miles per hour in speed
  • When it won’t affect any road users behind
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