Brakes are an integral part of any vehicle, be it the humble cycle or the speeding Formula 1 race car. Brakes have to be as effective as the engine of the vehicle. Brakes are supposed to do one thing, stop the moving vehicle in the manner the rider/driver desires to. You don’t want the brakes of your vehicle to jam the wheel when you apply the tiniest amount of pressure or do nothing when you press them aggressively. Brakes need to work in a progressive manner. As the rider pulls the lever or presses the pedal, the vehicle should respond by reducing the speed proportionately. This is the ideal scenario and the brakes are expected to work this way but this not the case always. Over a period time, the components of the braking system are going to wear out and tend to work inefficiently.
This is currently the case with my bike’s front disc brake. When I pull the lever, I expect the to bike shed some speed, a pull a bit more and then the front should dive in a bit with the front shock absorbers compressing some of the energy due to forward motion helping the bike to come to a halt gradually. And all this process shouldn’t surprise me and I should be able to gauge exactly when to apply more pressure to stop quickly and when to let it go to carry on without stopping.
With the current issue with my bike, when I pull the lever, nothing happens, a pull it more and still no change! By this time the lever has been pulled back for more than half of what is required. This makes me quite a bit anxious so I apply more pressure and the bike jerks to a stop. It is similar to what happens when somebody puts a stick into the wheel of a moving cycle, a sudden jolt and the cycle stops when rider either skids sideways or is thrown above the front wheel.
It feels scarier than it sounds and is certainly dangerous on high speeds. Even during bumper to bumper traffic, it is scary because, while I am crawling in the traffic with both of my feet touching the ground (so no chance of using the rear brake), I have to apply more than usual pressure to stop and every time I do that, I get this sudden jolting feeling which I mentioned above. This creates frustration, fatigue and kills the whole joy of riding a motorcycle. On the better side, since it is my bike that has 2 separate levers to control the front and the rear, I cannot imagine the brake of my car not working efficiently. If that was the case, then I would see the mechanic immediately!
I use 75% of the front brake and 25% of the rear on the bike (and this what is recommended when riding a 2-wheeler). I have been delaying a visit to the service center so that I can time it with the next servicing but I don’t think I can live with this anymore.
If you are facing a similar issue or issue where your feel the brakes of your vechile are not working as you think they should, then don’t delay see the mechanic immeditaley.
Ride/ Drive safe. Have a good day !