Trailing Brake - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Air Cooled Cruisers - America, Speedmaster Cruiser chat for air-cooled bikes, America and Speedmasters

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Main Motorcycle: Triumph America. 2013
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Trailing Brake

Hi Guys, I have 2013 Triumph America and I was out there practicing figure of 8 turns and slalom turns in an empty parking lot today for about 20 minutes. I was using trail braking the entire time and all of a sudden my rear brake went dead. I stepped on the foot brake on the right and had no response. I stopped my motorcycle, checked on the foot brake pedal and it was dead. But after a minute or two, it came back. Have any of you experienced something like this?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 01:21 AM
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Brake fade. Probably boiled the fluid from heat.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 06:00 PM
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I agree it would be heat related from overuse. @SpringLight have you checked the rear brake fluid level since? Hopefully it is still near the typical level. How many miles on the odometer? If you have a scheduled service coming up in the not so distant future you may want to make sure the brake fluid is renewed.
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2009 America with some modifications, a lot of fun that I can ride all day. (sold and miss my 2008 Bonneville, a great daily driver)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:22 PM
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As far as I know trail braking on a motor cycle means using a slight pressure on the front brake through the first half of a turn, which I often practice. Using the rear brake in a turn is probably not a good idea IMO.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 06:44 PM
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I have always felt trail braking is more about dragging the rear brake. This then settles the front down for the upcoming maneuver.
Was guessing the OP was working on riding skills and just over did it.

2009 America with some modifications, a lot of fun that I can ride all day. (sold and miss my 2008 Bonneville, a great daily driver)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rweb View Post
As far as I know trail braking on a motor cycle means using a slight pressure on the front brake through the first half of a turn, which I often practice. Using the rear brake in a turn is probably not a good idea IMO.
Technically you are right regarding using the front brake on high speed turns. Using the rear to trail brake when cornering at high speeds can be fraught with danger. Unless your on the dirt.

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Originally Posted by MattyMo View Post
I have always felt trail braking is more about dragging the rear brake. This then settles the front down for the upcoming maneuver.
Was guessing the OP was working on riding skills and just over did it.
I always trail the rear brake for low speed maneuvers, settles the bike down nicely.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 04:56 PM
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When I hear the expression "trail braking" I take it to mean anytime you apply braking (front or rear) after you have already committed yourself in a turn. It can be to adjust speed a little. It can be to shift the weight of the bike more to the front wheel. If you are good enough, it can even be used to rotate the bike (front brake) a bit in the turn (usually along with a bit of countersteer). That has always been my understanding of "trail braking".
... J.D.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 09:50 PM
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I've been practicing trail braking for the last several weeks and it is great. More control for curves. The way I was taught is you use your front brakes AND possible your throttle. I was taught to put your left 2 fingers on your front break and the two right fingers and thumb on the throttle. Lay off the throttle going into the curve and "gently" use the front break into the curve and then throttle up as you go past the apex of the curve. Have both control of the front break and throttle at the same time is really easy and comfortable once you get the hang of it. I have SOOOO much less stress going into curves especially curves I am not familiar with.

Try it, you'll like it.... Dave
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 05:58 AM
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Yup ! That is one of those things that feels so good when you get it right. Along with some counter steer or standing the bike up a bit if you need to move your line over a bit in mid-corner are techniques that give you confidence out there. Skills you learn over time. ...J.D.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 290GTP View Post
Brake fade. Probably boiled the fluid from heat.
I understand that this condition is common and can be caused by excessive use of rear disc brake. Even some of the motorcycles at the MSF course were getting slushy rear brakes after a day of fiction zoning the parking lot. I also remember driving a small car down a steep long mountainous highway and having almost no brakes by the time I reached at the bottom of the mountain. This all in the lowest gear too. So it happens on motorcycles disc brakes as well.

I guess the key is to use both brakes with different degrees of pressure, depending on the situation. After watching the cayonchaser.net video on Trail-braking, I learned that trail-braking is lightly using the front brake coming into a corner and then slowly trailing off the front brake just before reaching the apex of the corner and then slowly increase throttle as the bike is now pointing in the right direction , completing the corner. If done properly it can be a lifesaver as you now have more control in a corner and can even come to a controlled stop in the middle of a blind corner if needed. But like anything, it takes practice. Just my opinion. Ride safe
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