Braking in a Curve

Feb 2017

Reginald Lane, NC-E Chapter Educator


Ok... So when it comes to stopping or braking in a curve what were you always told? Most of us were told “Don’t do it”. Well that is half-right. If you are coming around a curve off a highway exit and the traffic is backed up, what are you going to do? You are going to brake....hopefully. It’s really the way you use the brakes that matters. Braking in a curve was not taught in the basic rider course (BRC) until around 2014 when the new curriculum came out.

So how many different ways are there to stop or brake in a curve? According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), there are actually two ways to stop in a curve. The two ways to stop in a curve are:

  1. Gradual stop: Apply more brake pressure as motorcycle straightens up. Making sure not to over brake while motorcycle is in leaned angle. You want to make sure handlebars are straight or squared when you come to a complete stop to prevent tipping over. This is basically the same thing you would do if coming around a curve with a known stop sign ahead or traffic light.
  2. Quick stop: Straighten completely before braking. This type of braking represents you coming around a curve and there is a hazard in front of you and the need to stop is imperative. Make sure you separate the two moves or actions. “Straighten first, and then brake.” Braking too soon or too hard before straightening may cause the motorcycle to go down in the direction of the lean.

So there you have it, the two ways to stop in a curve. Just make sure you use the appropriate technique for your situation.


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Dave Winkler & Kay Kaufman
Chapter Directors