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Motorcycle accident avoidance: Prevent locking your front brake

Although the chances of getting into a fatal or injurious motorcycle crash are relatively slim on any given day, every motorcyclist knows that they are risking their lives when they get on a bike. For this reason, most motorcyclists know that learning new motorcycle safety tricks -- and reviewing old ones -- is vital for staying safe.

One common cause of motorcycle accidents to consider is the infamous locking front brake crash. This perilous issue has caused many bikers to lose their lives prematurely, so you may want to study up on how to prevent it.

How to keep your front motorcycle brake from locking

Your front brake is the most important brake on your bike. When it locks up, you could find yourself lying on the ground -- and hopefully alive -- after your bike does a cartwheel over the top of you. Alternatively, a front brake lock could cause your bike to slide out from under you.

The most important thing you need to do to prevent a crash caused by locking your front brake is simple: practice. Your front brake is the most important component on your bike, but it's difficult to master how to use it. Therefore, motorcyclists need to take the time to practice with their front brake in safe areas like parking lots on a regular basis.

When practicing, get up to at least 30 mph, then practice braking at a specific mark. Keep practicing until you've reduced the amount of braking distance you require to stop. See how short you can make your stopping distance without locking your front wheel. Learn to feel the edge, where your tire wants to lock up but doesn't. You may notice the rear wheel wanting to lift up off the ground as well, so keep on practicing balance issues.

After you've mastered braking at 30 mph, practice at faster and faster speeds. Before you know it, you'll have learned to stop as quickly as possible while staying in control of your bike. Essentially, you'll have mastered the limits of your motorcycle. This is something you'll want to do for every new bike you ride. If your bike is equipped with an automatic braking system (ABS), this process should come faster and easier for you.

Were you hurt in a motorcycle crash?

Many motorcyclists are injured by negligent, distracted or unlawful drivers. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash due to no fault of your own, make sure you learn about your legal rights and options under Kentucky personal injury laws.

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