Pump the brakes or...

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by DDogg, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. DDogg

    DDogg Junior Member

    I'm interested in what others do when braking. When driving a cage, I have always been a firm believer that your brakes will last longer if you pump them when stopping instead of riding the brakes until you stop. Makes sense, if the pads aren't in contact, no wear. Now, on my bike it's a little different story. I fine if difficult to pump the brakes and at the same time downshift. What to you guys and gals do? Do you hold the front brake in while your downshifting. Or do you pump break, downshift, pump brake downshift. I have 5000 miles on her and had her in for the 5k check up. Was told I have 65% life left on my back brakes and 85% on the front. This means I will probably have to replace the brakes at 10000 miles or so. Is this normal or should I be pumping???
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    IMO pumping the brakes has little effect on life span. It depends more on when you apply them and how hard you stop that will determine the mileage you get from them.
  3. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    I am old fashioned, I like to look way up the road and let the bike slow itself down, depending on traffic to my rear. I notice that a lot of young drivers drive full bore until 50 feet before they have to stop and then the brakes come on near full lock. Not safe in my opinion.
  4. ol55forever

    ol55forever Member

    I will haved to agree with Kemo. Use the engine to slow your ride and the brakes will last longer. If you have ABS you shouldn't pump anyway. That is my thought any way. Just be safe.:)
  5. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    Interesting... I don't pump the brakes on either my car or bikes. Brakes are not that expensive. They are a wear item.

    Bikes and cars are two different animals and are, by definition, driven differently. Two wheels vs. four, they require different techniques. Motorcycle brakes tend to work better with some heat in 'em. So pumping would not help them work better or last longer. It could cause hot spots, depending on how you are appling them. The hot spots could cause your rotors to warp.
  6. scrinch

    scrinch Active Member

    I pump the brakes on the bike and cage as I figure it might help to wake up drivers behind. Also, do try to anticipate what is happening ahead and slow naturally and with downshifting but still pump the brakes to alert people behind that I am slowing.
  7. poohbear

    poohbear Active Member

    I agree here with Kemo, in both my bike and car I look way up ahead, both to change lanes or stopping. In fact I tell everyone I'll get killed by something close to me because I look ahead:lolrolling. Like on a freeway when I see something getting from the onramp I'll move over early instead of waiting to meet them and then try to get out of each others way. Like they said brakes are replaceable and cheap until you start having replace rotors.
  8. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    Are you pumping the brakes or just activating the stop light? If you are touching the brake pedal or pulling the level just enough to activate the tail lights, that's great. But pumping the brakes implies using them to slow.

    I have a brake light modulator and do not "pump" to show a brake light.
  9. paulmack

    paulmack Active Member

    I agree with Kemo and Glider. I am not sure that pumping the brakes will add any to the life of the pads and pads are fairly inexpensive. I always allow the engine to slow the bike down and only use the brakes to stop. As a side question do you use both front and rear or front only?
  10. gmurdock

    gmurdock Active Member

    I also try to look way ahead of me. Slow down with the motor & downshifting. If I have to stop quickly I use the brakes & engine. On road mostly with front brake, in parking lots no front brakes only rear.