Motorbike Breaking System & Some Tips For Safety

Saleh Md. HassanMarch 11, 2014

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Riderz, can you imagine the situation if there were no Motorbike Breaking System! Wow what a crash!! Umhmm, it is not possible to be a bike without any breaking system. Breaking system is the essential part of bike like all type of vehicles. Very recently I have faced some extreme miserable situation due to breaking system of my motorbike. So here I am motivated to write something about motorbike braking system with enlightening some basic cautions & techniques. So let’s head into the body of my topic.

Breaking System-01

You know motorbikes are equipped with breaks with both front & rear wheels. Traditionally bikes are equipped with regular drum type breaks. But the modern bikes are fitted with various type of breaking system. So let’s look upon the brief of each type of breaking system.

Breaking System-02

Motorbike Breaking System-Drum Type:

This is the oldest but reliable & effective breaking system till now. Still we can see this type of breaks on heavy vehicles and also in many motorbikes.  This is a simple technology where the break pads or shoes are installed inside the drum of the bike wheel (Rim). When the break pedal pressed the shoes hold tightly on the inner wall of the whirling drum and reduces the rotating speed. Thus it works.

Motorbike Breaking System & Some Tips For Safety

Motorbike Breaking System-Disk Type:

This is the modern braking system of motorbike which has attached first time with motorbike on 1969 by Honda. Then it was used only in racing bikes. But now it is very common in any type of bikes. In this type of break a breaking disk attached with the wheel instead of the traditional drum, where the clipper assembled with break pads (shoes) from two side & disk stays in-between the pads. When wheel rotates the disk also rotates. So when break lever pushed, the lever presses a cylinder full of fluids and that fluid makes a hydraulic pressure on the pads assembled with the clipper and holds tightly the rotating disk.

Due to usage of fluid (Hydraulic) pressure it commonly also called as hydraulic break. But it is a misconception. Drum type break also can be hydraulic when it operated with fluid pressure rather than mechanical pressure. So it will nice to use the term Disk type break & Drum type break.

As the disk break is now most common and popular technology for effective breaking system so it has modernized for more safety with ABS, CBS and combined ABS. So let’s head into the terms.

Breaking System-04

Anti-lock Break System, ABS:

ABS stands for Anti-lock Break System. The modern bike usage much powerful engines. So they are powerful & faster than earlier generation bikes. So they need more effective breaking system and disk type of break is the proper solution for these bikes. But there also risk remains for faster bikes. Disk breaks often get jam when it applied hard in extreme situation and can totally lock up the wheel.

Thus the bike can easily loose tire traction with the road and can slip & skid away very badly. For this reason, some electronic sensors are equipped with the disk break to measure the wheel speed & breaking pressure applied by break. And an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) controls the fluid pressure on the break pad & lets the break stop the wheel within a safe calculative range. Thus it prevents the break & wheel from jamming in extreme speed situation and prevents the tire from slipping or skidding on road. This is the basic term of ABS.

Combine Break System, CBS:

CBS stands for Combine Break System. This is the most advanced breaking system which applied only on higher capacity performer bikes. The basic principal is to distribute the breaking pressure rationally on both wheel of motorbike even any single break (front or rear) has applied. In this technology ECU (Electronic control unit) controls whole breaking system of the motorbike simultaneously.

CBS also known as LBS (Linked Breaking System) or MIB (Motorbike Integral Braking System). CBS has many variations as different brand uses different variations. And Combine ABS is a popular application of CBS.

Which Is Safe Breaking System?

In general sense, that type of break is safe for us which has better stopping power. So disk type break is safer than the drum type break as disk break has effective stopping power than drum break, where it work more precisely rather than the drum break. But due to superior stopping power disk break is also dangerous than the drum break as it can easily get jam & lock the wheel in extreme speedy situation.

Thus the bike & rider can dangerously slip & skid on the road. So we need more effective technology to avoid such drawback. So ABS is the best solution for this issue, which prevents break locking, reduces the speed gradually and stops the bike within a mathematical range. Thus a bike & biker gets relief from slipping & skidding due to break jamming & locking. So disk type break with ABS is the safer breaking technology. And the safest technology is CBS & Combined ABS.

International legislation on Motorbike Breaking System

Motorbike is the most popular vehicle in the world. It’s the sign of freedom. But it is very much dangerous rather than other vehicles. So internationally many researchers, surveyors researched on increasing safety issue for motorbike. And considering effectiveness of ABS EU Commission has passed a law in 2012 to equip ABS with motorbike above 125 cc, which will be mandatory from 1st January, 2016 onward.

Breaking System-06

Bangladeshi Aspect:

In Bangladesh we just started to use disk type breaks in our bikes with regular drum break. As there is a ridiculous CC restriction on bike engine capacity in our country, so we cannot use higher capacity performer bikes. For that reason we can only use below 155cc capacity bikes in our country with extreme high cost. And we have no opportunity to get this segment bike equipped with ABS breaks, which might cost us huge money.

Traditionally most of bikes uses drum type mechanical breaks. And little performer bike comes with disk break on front wheel & drum type break at rear wheel. Some bike also equipped disk break with both wheels. And still there are no ABS equipped legal bike in our country. So it is really alarming that we still cannot use ABS, and ABS is out of our affordable range due to government policy.

What Can We Do:

As we are not privileged for the utility of ABS technology, we have to be habituate with what we are getting. Generally our lower capacity bikes are fitted with drum type breaks. So we have to use those bikes with keen caution. And ride with recommended speed limit. And keep us abstaining from extreme use of such bikes.

If possible switch to the bike fitted with disk break. Now most of modern bikes are equipped with disk break in front wheel & drum break in rear wheel. And some bike also uses disk break in rear wheel also.

So here another question arises which is better, disk break on both wheel, either disk break in front & drum break in rear? From the research it found both setup gives near to equal performance.

Front wheel break performs an extreme role for stopping a bike effectively. So front wheel break need to be more efficient rather then the rear break. So you can find front break always more efficient than the rear one, even rear one is equipped with disk break. Here rear disk or drum performs near about same but disk break is better to maintain.

So the bottom line is we should use disk break equipped bike, and if possible & available ABS equipped bike.

Learn From Experience:

After the breaking system the rider also has a vital roll to do more for safe breaking & ensure safety. So let’s mach with your experience.

Basic cautions: 

  • Always check your breaks before a ride.
  • Periodically check break lever, cable, mechanicals, hydraulic setup, fluid, fluid hose, fluid reservoir, clipper-piston, shoes & pads.
  • Periodically wash & clean the break shoes, pads, drum & disk. Ensure that there is no oily sediment on the parts & they are free from dirt & dust.
  • Never hesitate to change any of them if any confusion arise or wear seen on any part of breaking system.
  • Keep the bike tire within recommended pressure.
  • In the rainy season or foggy winter season road get wet easily and increases the possibility of slipping & skidding. In such situation little low pressured tire grippes the road better.
  • Never use the worn tire & replace the tire when the tire groove depth remains for a millimeter. 

Basic Techniques on Motorbike Breaking System:

  • Never break hard. This can slip or skid your bike badly on the road.
  • Apply breaks firmly from a long safe distance.
  • Never habituate yourself for using any single break at a time in any situation (except stunt).
  • Practice & be habituate to use both break every time in any situation.
  • Practice to be habituate for précised breaking like to maintain 60-65% breaking from front break & 35-40% from rear break.
  • Always apply the breaks from possible safest long distance to reduce the speed from a safe distance and finally push for extreme break.
  • If any time it seems to lock, slip or skid the wheel; try to release the breaks for a moment and again apply it firmly. (It need much practice)
  • Never get panic in any worst situation. Try to control yourself in every millisecond as cool head can over come or reduce any worst possibility.
  • It is safe not to apply any break while cornering. If needed use both break firmly only for reducing little speed or use engine breaking power. When you have rode over the corner then apply both break.
  • It is safe not to overtake on zigzag roads. If needed only overtake vehicles one by one.
  • Don’t try to overtake double or triple at a time.
  • Never apply the break while overtaking any one.
  • Never follow any vehicle in rear view mirror while overtaking.
  • Keep the safe distance while ride in group or single from other vehicle.
  • Know your limit and stay within your limit. Don’t cross your limit derived by other.
  • Expand your limit with possible safest way. 

So riderz, that’s not the end. Experience cannot be figured by letters. So gather experience as much as possible. Hope this article will enrich your knowledge about Motorbike Breaking System. Motorbike is the dangerous but most attractive vehicle in the world no doubt. So keep gathering experience for safety. Ride safe, keep safe and stay safe. Wish to see you with bellow massage box. Thanks.

-By Saleh Md. Hassan

Image Courtesy: Honda, BMW & Wikipedia

Not a road maniac rather than a simple bike enthusiast & absolutely a home bound soul… who sometime unleashes the inner ascetic to sit on the saddle and strike hard the stallion toward the wide and unseen trail like an outlaw…\\m//

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