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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone else feel that the back brake might as well not be there as it is really so ineffective? I’ve come to the conclusion that my 40 year old Suzuki GS850 had better brakes than my Bobber! I’m even considering the Brembo front disc upgrade!
 

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In standard configuration, the back brake has to be used in conjunction with the front in order to bring the bike to a respectable stop.
And squeeze the front HARD ;-)

I’m still using the standard pads on my rear and find them satisfactory. Good for low speed maneuvering, etc. Once they are toast, I’ll try out some other pads.

This topic has been discussed quite a bit. Search will bring up some good threads...
 

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I actually think it's rather efficient, compared to other bikes I've ridden.

On my Speed Triple, I never used the rear brake because it was either unnoticeable or blocking the rear wheel. Very little in between. The Bobber rear brake offers a lot more granularity and punch, and I tend to use it in city traffic (downshifting, rolling to a halt).

Also compared to my Kawasaki, both the Bobber Black's front and rear brakes are fundamentally better. Starting off rather weak, it took a couple of km and a few brake tests (I had to try out the ABS of course :) ) to really break them in, but efficiency went up fundamentally after that. They are really decent now and I have zero complaints.

Tom
 

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Personally feel the back brake actuation is difficult, as I have to move my foot to be able to actually press it down but as it is a back brake I expect nothing of it except soft speed reduction that it does. For the front it has taken some getting used to but am happy with it. The bike is not a sports bike with the need of sport bike brakes.
 

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Personally feel the back brake actuation is difficult, as I have to move my foot to be able to actually press it down but as it is a back brake I expect nothing of it except soft speed reduction that it does. For the front it has taken some getting used to but am happy with it. The bike is not a sports bike with the need of sport bike brakes.

I found the same thing. I pulled the arm and re-positioned, rotated, it one spline up on the spline brake shaft. This brought the pedal up a bit from level as set at the factory. Makes for less down toe effort to apply brake. Still have to move my toe inboard but the down effort is way better.
 

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I feel the opposite. I pretty much only use the back break. I almost never use the front unless I need to stop on a dime.


2017 Triumph Bobber NYC
 

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Because I have been riding BMWs for so long (with linked brakes) I have gotten into a terrible habit. I hardly ever use my back brake. :| The Bobber Black has great front brakes so I rely on them.
 

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I use my back brake primarily as I'm coasting and down shifting to a stop sign or red light with more input from the front brake if I need to slow down more quickly. It definitely took a little time to break in the pads, but I'm happy with them now. I've never ridden a sport bike before though, so I definitely don't know what I'm missing.
 

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Many years ago I did a slow speed and braking day with a local Advanced Motorcyclists group... The "emergency stop" practice was excellent. You had to ride up to a cone at 30mph and then stop in as short a distance as possible. The technique (takes longer to say than do) was steady front brake application to plant the front wheel, then bring in rear gently and front harder feeling the tyre feedback then easing off as you got to near stationary. My distances came down drastically... Without the rear being used the back of the bike can get out of line...
 

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Just some advice:

I would not recommend to let using the rear brake only become a habit. Because of the weight shift, the front brake provides significantly more stopping power while the rear wheel will easily lock because of no load on it. If I remember correctly, the front brake attributes to about 80% of braking power while it is only 20% for the rear wheel.

If using the rear brake only is a habit and you stomp on the rear brake in case of emergency, you'll immediately fly off (without ABS) or end up with ABS activation and less than 20% of potential braking efficiency. You can easily try this on the Bobber in a safe way: pick a clean road, go about 35 mph, apply a normal level of front brakes to offload the rear wheel and stomp the rear brake. ABS will kick in right away. Or if you are more confident, simply slam the rear brake at low speed. You'll see how easy it locks and how long it will take you to come to a halt.

So the better habit is using the front brakes (only). I admit I'm lazy and tend to skip the rear brake often, just using it when I need to reposition my foot anyway since I'm stopping, but not using it running through serpentines. Unless I mess up and need some extra help from the rear brakes ;-)

Personally, for me in order to feel safe on a bike, I practice emergency braking, using both front and rear brakes. I wouldn't want to lock the front wheel without ABS, but in good road conditions, this won't happen without me flying over the handlebar or the rear wheel lifting off. It's impressive to see how much stopping power can be in the brakes if you dare, and it's very reassuring to know how hard you can hit the brakes and how the bike will handle.
This has helped me avoid a couple of accidents in my life, hitting both brakes hard without hesitation. But for this to happen, exactly this situation needs to be practiced.

Tom
 

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I don't do much spirited driving where I am on and off the breaks much, but typically do use both breaks in conjunction with dropping gears as I slow down.

I do use the back break a good deal for slow speed maneuvering and found it to work as intended.
 

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The only issue I find with the back brake is that it is more effective on the second pump. On the first stab of the rear brake, the lever goes down slightly farther to make good pad contact. If I lift the lever and press again, it is firm and making contact almost immediately.
 

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The only issue I find with the back brake is that it is more effective on the second pump. On the first stab of the rear brake, the lever goes down slightly farther to make good pad contact. If I lift the lever and press again, it is firm and making contact almost immediately.
Sounds like your rear needs bleeding....

I had an interesting technical lesson on the Stelvio, which had to have rear brake fluid changed every 2 years (at most) because the reservoir was close to the cat, and the heating and cooling from that made the fluid useless... Good Guzzi dealers recognised this and changed it automatically
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My Suzuki GS850 (1979) was not a sports bike but a long distance tourer. But it’s brakes were significantly better. You could just use the back brake on that bike and it would virtually lock the wheel. I’m just saying that in 40 years it seems that (Triumph’s) brakes have not improved much. But then I’ve never really had a sports bike (unless you count my 1999 Speed Triple)
 

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With HH up front it can just about deal with all braking on a daily basis, the rear when called for (maybe once or twice a commute) helps keep the bike straight when applying a full hard 2 finger stop (Alpine* gloves so it's 4, 2 or 1 finger stopping lol) which maybe happens 2 or 3 times a week.

Have to admit i do, maybe once a week, do a 'up to 70' and slow using just the rear to keep it moving, hope to get to 50k on the rear pads lol
 
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