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its not a matter of agreeing with covering front brake
rather its a self evident reality,, closely related to
anything else giveing you an advantage..

even if you dont need to rest fingers on their lever
constantly, the good habit of doing so trains brain
and hand/fingers to that position,, ready position,,
for whenever those microseconds can mean
the difference between avoidance and
being taken out, or worse..

some riders complain of sore hands, including
riding with others who dont experience sore hands..
one reason of factor here is clench gripping bars..
even when not strongly gripping but holding a fist,
those small muscles responsible for moving fingers
will tire more quickly, even cramping, compared to
resting their hand over bars, thumbs resting under,
fingers or first 2 or 3 resting, ready, over their lever..

obviously in some situations [off road riding etc]
control requires secure hold of bars for steering etc,
but for general road riding over typical surfaces
fingers resting over their lever is best..

-everything - we do, repeatedly, becomes habit..
 

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One thing I always wondered is how you can still control the throttle with your fingers over the lever. I can either cover my brakes but have sheety throttle control or can control my throttle but have to reach for the brake lever. The palm alone isn't enough for me for proper throttle control (I have very small hands though).
Maybe I need adjustable levers. :|
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One thing I always wondered is how you can still control the throttle with your fingers over the lever. I can either cover my brakes but have sheety throttle control or can control my throttle but have to reach for the brake lever. The palm alone isn't enough for me for proper throttle control (I have very small hands though).
Maybe I need adjustable levers. :|
I use 2 fingers on the front brake, so I still have plenty of control from the grip of the other fingers.

You do need to make sure that 2 fingers is enough to get full braking. If you have an adjustable lever, you also need to be sure that it's not too close to the bar to get full braking - with 2 fingers or all of them.
 

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In most situations where I feel that covering the brake is advisable, I'm not on the gas anyway.
When anything sketchy arises I roll off the throttle and cover the brake as I'm sizing up the risk ahead.
If you're powering through a potentially dangerous scenario, it's already too late to think about covering the brake.
 

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[long response, just some basics to the question..
otherwise just scroll on bye :)

our brains motor cortex is very sensitive to hands,
and the 30 or so forearm muscles moving fingers
plus muscles in palms moving thumbs and pinkies..
hand habits picked up or developed seem stronger
yet we can take advantage of our human brain
and hands and teach/train them to skills
according to our needs,, including riding..

riding instructors [incl as in jkv's 10 hints above]
often advise riders to position their fingers
1, 2 or more of them out over the levers..
one basic reality for this being that smash events
are measured in microseconds, thus in emergency
braking fingers resting over levers have already
begun the braking response,, rather than needing
to unclench a grip then start extending them
up towards and over the lever before starting
[bang!! too late] their braking response..

also fingers over levers are constantly sending data
back and forth to brains motor cortex - brain training..
especially when one or two fingers are used
for ongoing minor speed variations..
ongoing finger/braking training..

all sorts of riders up to and including motogp
use fingers over levers as a basic riding skill..
ie, its not some unusual or difficult thing..
the hard thing is to ride while continually gripping
the bars,, which is hand abuse, and not the option
for most efficient braking responses..
[point on motogp riders being their ongoing
high stress environment with essential need for
excellence in braking and control skills]

thumb has its own muscle in palm, as does pinkie,
which means they can move independently
including as part of throttle controls..

thumb includes its webbing to index finger
which makes good contact with the throttle
providing necessary friction together with pinkie
for more than enough effect on turning throttle..

hands should be relaxed when riding generally..

start by thinking 'relax hands'.. i like to stretch fingers
and hands just before taking off,, rubbing them together
and as if washing them with each other [that action]
making fists, stretching fingers outward [etc]
then placing hands on bars,, not, gripping..
moving levers in and out with fingers..
[or whatever suits you]

to begin with, from clenching bars, start by resting
index finger on levers [acts as a 'sighter', anyway]
then ride as usual, mindful of relaxed hands..

think of the action of a rolling pin rolling dough..
then add thumb and webbing behind/under
bar, together with pinkie flexed on bar..
proceed as usual, mindful of relaxed position..

when comfortable, also extend middle finger out,
resting on lever.. practice pulling lever a few times..
then ride as usual.. best option being a practice site
as for your usual riding practice sessions..

small hands would be closer to, levers..
suitably adjusted levers are assumed..
you should have a good 4" between inner
thumb and pinkie/ring finger, ie, inner bar
and front surface of levers..
 

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As I said I don't doubt the benefits of covering the levers it's just that my fingers are so short that I have to reach for them. With two fingers on the lever I can't turn the throttle through it's full range of motion, my fingers would just glide of the lever. I think I'll be in the market for adjustable levers once a bit more money comes my way (if that ever happens...).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As I said I don't doubt the benefits of covering the levers it's just that my fingers are so short that I have to reach for them. With two fingers on the lever I can't turn the throttle through it's full range of motion, my fingers would just glide of the lever. I think I'll be in the market for adjustable levers once a bit more money comes my way (if that ever happens...).
Just be sure that when the lever is close enough to the bar that it is easy to reach you still have enough travel to get your full braking.

I had mine adjusted to where it was easy to reach, but found that it didn't provide enough movement to give me the required travel for maximum braking. I now have it almost all the way out, which I feel gives me more control when I am really applying the brakes firmly.

As you roll off the throttle and extend your fingers to apply the brake you naturally get more reach to the lever, so it doesn't need to be quite as close as you would think.
 

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my fingers are not long [2 7/8" index from first crease to tip]
with fingers over lever braking begins from thumb turning
throttle off which moves hand and fingers forward
as part of the finger flexing/braking action..
the reverse for throttle on,, without needing
all fingers returning to grasp front of throttle..
try it and see,, you can ride with index finger out
[sighter] over lever without losing throttle
control.. when a habit, its quite comfortable..

[easy to see, such interactions, versus via text, but]
average braking position/finger movement like eg:
two fingers scratching your head, or similar,,
ie, not necessary to have full fingers from first knuckle
over levers for good control and effective braking..

[this is for anyone, novice, whatever] try starting from
two fingers front crease or joint over top of lever,
then place thumb at back of bar, resting under,
and pinkie resting around bar..
investigate the position from that starting point,
ie, the beginning point for flexing fingers
including in the action of pulling levers in..

fingers flex sequentially from first [outer] joint
to middle joint for main movement here..
[try hanging on a pushup bar, main knuckles on top
of bar, then compare with fingers flexed over bar
but main knuckles not flexed,, which is how
tree dwelling apes, monkeys and men
- think gymnasts - swing on bars/branches..
ie, our hands are designed for this action,
finger flexion/strength to support the entire
moving bodyweight.. or, pull in the levers]

when the opportunity arises, check out
other motorcycles levers/positions..
bike showrooms etc..
or bend stock to suit..
 

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As with jkv357 I use two fingers on the brake and have no trouble using the other two to control the throttle.
I hadn't really thought about it, just assumed everyone did it until I read the above posts.
 

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same assumption,, being self taught other than
watching father as a lad [gone by license age]
it just seemed obvious,, like holding a tool
or weapon rather when on the job or in
a war zone, rather than in the tool box
or the weapons locker..

a mate back then had no right hand
yet rode [bultaco metrala] with a metal
pincer 'hand' and harness..
ie, anythings possible
given the intention..

handlebar furniture is very important
and should be adjusted carefully
for the individual rider..
obviously throttle and clutch
being critical to ergonomics..
 
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