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The 70-30 braking rule for motorcycles: How does it work?

Your ability to control a motorcycle depends a lot on your riding experience. Motorcycle riders who have spent more time on the road have encountered more situations and learned how to navigate them. You can also build your motorcycle control abilities by taking riding lessons where they teach important safety tips about braking, maneuvering and navigating your way through traffic. That brings us to the 70/30 braking rule, which motorcycle courses commonly teach.

How does the 70/30 braking rule work?

Your bike probably has a separate front and rear brake. The hand lever on the right side usually controls the front wheel brake and the right foot pedal usually controls the rear brake. Most riding experts agree that you should apply 30 percent of your braking energy to the rear brake and 70 percent of your braking energy to the front.

The reason for the 70/30 rule is because braking causes extra weight to transfer to the front tire. As such, it can handle more braking pressure without slipping. Some sport bikes may be able to handle even more than 70 percent of the braking on the front. Meanwhile, cruiser and chopper bikes may do better with more rear brake pressure because they carry more weight in to the rear.

The best thing for a motorcyclist to do is practice braking in a parking lot. Set cones out where you want to start to brake and mark where you stop. Experiment with different braking pressure distributions and see if you can stop faster and faster.

Were you involved in a motorcycle crash?

Practicing with your brakes is a great way to get better at avoiding motorcycle crashes, but sometimes, there’s nothing we can do to prevent a serious collision and injuries — especially when they’re caused by someone else. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash due to no fault of your own, our law office can evaluate your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.