Curtis M. Beloy, PE Discusses Proper Operation & Handling of Motorcycles


Curt’s Corner: Did you know…

Motorcycles traditionally come equipped with independent front and rear brakes.  The front brake is capable of generating more “stopping power” compared to the rear brake.  The reason for this is that the weight of the motorcycle and rider shifts forward as they decelerate and the additional weight on the front tire allows for increased traction with the roadway.  Some motorcyclist can apply the front brake to the extent where the front tire carries the entire weight of the motorcycle and operator while braking.


“Laying the bike down” to avoid a collision might be used in the context of an evasive tactic by a motorcycle operator.  The problem with “Laying it down” is that once the motorcycle is laid down on the pavement, the operator and the motorcycle will slide along the pavement uncontrollably in a generally straight path.  The sliding motorcycle will require more distance to come to a stop than an upright motorcycle would require under full braking.  The upright motorcycle is able to decelerate more rapidly while maintaining the option of directional control.

Curtis M. Beloy, PE is an collision reconstruction engineer with DJS Associates.  He specializes in motorcycle safety and reconstruction.  He can be reached at

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