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I realised yesterday the rear brake on my Scrambler works really well and will stop the bike. Never had one like this before on a Ducati and now need to learn when and why to use it.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
 

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Ideally, you should always use a mix of front and rear brake...at least that was what I was tought years ago in MSF course. In reality, I use mostly front, except when road is wet or I need to stop quickly. I have never owned a bike that had any real braking power in the rear, so I adjusted my riding style over the years to compensate for that.
 

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I had the exact opposite experience. I was driving down a 35 mph two way street probably cruising around 45 and saw the light change ahead. So I started to apply slight pressure to my front brake when it failed completely and pulled all the way in with no brake. I stood on the back brake as hard as I could and had to steer into oncoming lane to avoid hitting the stopped cars in front of me. I was considering whether or not to report it here and decided I should. Fortunately I was able to squeeze close to the center line before the light changed and II was able to get back into my lane before oncoming traffic came at me.
I brought it to Ducati service. They told me it was probably an air bubble in the line but no one else had reported anything similar at their shop nor had they and notices from Ducati regarding the brake.

It is one of the reasons I sold my bike. Actually it was just the straw that broke the camels back. Very scary. Feel Very Lucky
 

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Maybe the brake lines were not properly bled prior to delivery or after service. Either way, not a good situation to experience...lucky you came out without damage or injury. The rear brake on scrambler is better than on my other bikes, but it definitely is not suitable as the main brake at normal riding speeds. It serves well in just loading the rear end for turning or assisting in shorting stopping distance.
 

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Maybe the brake lines were not properly bled prior to delivery or after service. Either way, not a good situation to experience...lucky you came out without damage or injury. The rear brake on scrambler is better than on my other bikes, but it definitely is not suitable as the main brake at normal riding speeds. It serves well in just loading the rear end for turning or assisting in shorting stopping distance.

I absolutely believe it was delivered with that issue. Was not sure if brake fluid was added at factory or dealer but I assume it was the dealer's error. They have been a great dealer for me but they all screw up. Generally I tend use the "rear brake only" when trying to go slowly through a turn and similar moves.
 

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I realised yesterday the rear brake on my Scrambler works really well and will stop the bike. Never had one like this before on a Ducati and now need to learn when and why to use it.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
That question is as much a matter of style (of riding) as it is preference.

Anyone who road races will tell you that the front brake is the workhorse (60-80% of stopping power) and the back brake is only used to fine tune your line or in the case of an emergency where you need more stopping power than what the front brake alone could provide. As a habit for street riding, it's best to use the front brake either exclusively or to lead with the front and feather the back brake as required to come to a full stop. Reason for this is to develop good habits, should you need to stop quickly so that your muscle memory defaults to using the front more than the rear. You also have much greater control of the bike using the front brake with your hand vs the foot brake with your (hopefully booted-up) foot.

A good article about that here:

Motorcycle Braking Tips - webBikeWorld

Off-road, it's a whole different situation so if you take your Scrambler on gravel or other loose surfaces, you will want to use the back brake more than the front (and perhaps turn the ABS off if you know how to "steer with the rear"). On gravel, you can get away with some front braking but as any MX'er will tell you, the front brake can be dangerous off-road if not used correctly.
 

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I learned to ride on dirt bikes with drum brakes and I have owned and ridden vintage vespas for the past 20 years on the streets. So I have a history of using only the rear brake because the front ones don't work or they're warped out of round and cause problems with steering to a stop. But I've also owned bikes with front disk brakes since 2001 and like everyone above has said, I mostly use the front brake to stop myself. I'd say 80-90 percent. On the Scrambler I use both brakes and ride 'spiritedly.' What I try to do in terms of perfect riding is have the bike squat level as I'm braking. Keep the front dive down by applying more rear brake.

This is my first bike with ABS so I'm learning to love the rear brake on gravel because you don't go into a slide like you would with a locked rear brake. The Scrambler is only my second motorcycle of about 35 that I've owned that has a rear brake disc. Everything else I've had to this point save for my Speed Triple has rear drum brakes, so modulation offroad takes a lot of finesse.

My advice is to just do what feels right. If you're a control freak like I am, maybe practice making controlled stops on several different surfaces. To me, controlled just means that the bike is level while braking versus diving or skidding.

My front:rear brake proportioning is different on every bike I own. I have to apply different amounts of brake with every one of them to have them stop in a well controlled manner. The ATE disk brake on my 74 BMW is really crappy by today's standards so I use a lot more rear drum brake to stop that bike. My 2000 Kawasaki is pretty up to task but also has a rear drum brake. I hardly use the rear brake on that bike.
 

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I once took a road racing course with David Aldana. One thing I learned that's been really useful in street riding is that when you find yourself going faster than you'd comfortably like in a turn, say, an unexpectedly decreasing-radius turn, you can apply the rear brake while you're leaned over and it will tighten your turn. Got to be careful not to release it all at once though.
 

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Barry Sheene never used the rear brake... But he was very fussy about the front's set up.
I used to work for Lockheed who supplied calipers and master cylinders for his bikes in the mid and late seventies. I was on the service van at Silverstone at the British GP in '78, and Barry was very particular about adding a small air bubble to the brake line to give a bit more "compliance" than a fully-bled system. He said he was trying to get the feel of a cable/drum set up.
Jonny
 

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it was fascinating actually having a front brake that is useful but I have found that "feathering" the rear brake also takes care of the front end, doesn't dive as much. I am used to using the rear brake more because of the type of bike I have ridden for past 20 yrs! (long forks hardtails etc) So a whole new riding style had to be learnt!
 

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Mix of mostly front and some back for wipe my most of the speed off the bike, then just rear for last little bit for controlled stop. Lovely
 

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I had the exact opposite experience. I was driving down a 35 mph two way street probably cruising around 45 and saw the light change ahead. So I started to apply slight pressure to my front brake when it failed completely and pulled all the way in with no brake. I stood on the back brake as hard as I could and had to steer into oncoming lane to avoid hitting the stopped cars in front of me. I was considering whether or not to report it here and decided I should. Fortunately I was able to squeeze close to the center line before the light changed and II was able to get back into my lane before oncoming traffic came at me.
I brought it to Ducati service. They told me it was probably an air bubble in the line but no one else had reported anything similar at their shop nor had they and notices from Ducati regarding the brake.

It is one of the reasons I sold my bike. Actually it was just the straw that broke the camels back. Very scary. Feel Very Lucky
If you changed out your handle bars, and inadvertently tipped your brake fluid reservoir while doing it - you added air to your system.
 
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