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Ever since I got my ninja 650 I've gotten into a bad habit of only using my front break. I never had this problem with my old Hawk GT and the main reason I think is because I've locked up the rear tire a couple times with the ninja can I adjust the back brake lever so that it's not so touchy? Or will I just have to get better at using the back brake on this bike?


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I thought the rear brake on my 400r (exact same bike as a 650 just has a sleeved engine) was touchy at first too. just keep using it, eventually you will learn how much pressure to apply. after a couple of weeks using it, it will just become second nature and you wont have to think about it.
 

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I'm surprised others haven't chimed in, but most will tell you that's a good habit haha. The front brake is the majority of your stopping power and like you said you have more feel in your fingers than a boot. I started getting good with the back brake but then I started doing track days and the instructors will actually tell you not to use the rear brake, and to try and avoid it as a drill for an entire session. Long story short, I never use my rear brake anymore lol. Unless you want to get into riding wheelies, then you should know where and how to use the rear.
 

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Practice. You gotta push pretty hard to lock up the rear. I use both brakes on the street, but for track riding it's front only. Since the majority of people don't ride track, we'll skip that discussion. The rear brake is most beneficial in slow speed maneuvers. My cruiser has only one caliper, so for that bike it helps suppliment the front. I apply both brakes 99% of the time. With practice you'll get plenty of feel for it.
 

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The rear brake is most useful at low speeds, as Larry just said. However, even if you're stopping from 100+, the last bit is low speed. A longish article about proper use of front and rear brakes: Motorcycle Safety Site

I've had rear lockups myself, and even a minor crash from one. From experience: Use of rear brake generally good. Overuse of rear brake-not so much.
 

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If its anything like my 6R I know why you're locking it up. I still do it from time to time on my bike. There is just 2 things you need to remember.

The most common is that the massive braking power of the front brakes on a sporty bike combined with just they way the bike is set up causes you to loose weight on the rear tire when the front is used. This really doesnt happen on a cruiser much.

The harder you apply the front brake the more gentile you have to be with the rear. If you are getting into the front brake hard you need to let off the back brake a little. Forgetting to do that will get you every time. Even once you're good at it, you will still get it wrong every once in awhile.

Thats why most of the track guys or people that ride faster then they should on the street like to say they only use the front brake. They are slowing down hard right before a turn and once your breaking that hard with the front, the rear is almost useless. That why someone mentioned WHEN to use the rear. but thats not really street use anymore. Those people just arnt into the habbit of dragging the rear brake before mashing the front.

The 2nd thing is that the rear brake feel is complete shit. That single disc rear brake is doing a much better job at slowing you down that it feels like and with the pedal being so soft, you will tend to want to push on it harder then you need to. A braided rear line might help a bit but I'm not sure by how much.
 

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I have the same problem/experience with the thread stater, but I find it more comfortable to use the front brakes. I can control bike better. But some times I really the front brake fading w/c really concerns me.
 
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