Engine braking better than your friction brakes? Pros and Cons
"Imagine you are riding your bike on an average of 60 km/hr. You see a little puppy 5 meters ahead of you. What do you do?"
Imagine you are riding your bike on an average of 60 km/hr. You see a little puppy 5 meters ahead of you. What do you do? Friction braking? Yes, but is it going to stop you right where you are? The tires are going to skid anyways. In such a case, you need engine braking.
What is engine braking?
Engine braking is when the retarding forces within an engine are used to slow a vehicle down, as opposed to using additional external braking mechanisms such as friction brakes. It can be as simple as just rolling off the throttle. Often times, when switching from a higher gear to a lower gear a rider can obtain a slowing effect more so than just rolling off the throttle.
Engine Braking Pros
Speed Control: By rolling the throttle down and releasing the clutch as we slow from a higher gear to a lower gear, we can place ourselves in the appropriate gear for the speed control. Also, it is easy to accelerate away. If we were to remain in a higher gear, the bike might lug, and we may not be able to accelerate as quickly.
Connection: When performed properly, engine braking can be an effective way to slow your motorcycle. Some riders find engine braking a better way to slow their vehicle because they feel more connected to the motorcycle and how the power is being delivered to the rear wheel.
Engine Braking Cons
May harm you or your bike when not applied properly: When going from a higher gear to a lower gear under high engine RPMs, we can lock up the rear tire creating a skid, cause damage to the gearbox, and possibly wear out the clutch and transmission prematurely.
No Brake Lights: Braking light is a sign to the other vehicles on the road that you are stopping or slowing down. In case of engine braking, the brake lights don’t glow because it is not connected to the braking lights. Therefore, it may be an inconvenience to the other vehicles behind you.
Engine Braking VS Friction Braking Conclusion
Engine braking and friction braking are different forms of braking. The engine braking helps you to slow down and control your bike whereas the friction braking lets you stop the bike. We recommend you to apply both the brakes in a balanced way. Ride Safe!
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