To a certain extent, the results for the both-brakes stops are as you would expect: The BMW in Sport mode stopped in the same distance as it did using the front brake only (which also actuates the rear brake in the BMW’s integrated system) while the Kawasaki stopped slightly better using both brakes. However, the BMW in Slick mode (which deactivates the rear ABS) posted its shortest stopping distance. Even more surprisingly, the Honda took four feet further to stop from 60 mph as it did using the front brake only. First, the Kawasaki: Again, the ZX-10R ramps up quickly to maximum deceleration and holds that peak value smoothly right through the test, tapering off only as the bike nears a stop. With more stopping power at higher speed, the Kawasaki parlays that into the shortest stopping distance of the entire test.
The BMW in Sport mode takes a bit further to get to maximum braking G, but again holds a fairly consistent value of approximately .9 G until stopped. While the stopping distances in Sport mode were the same using the front brake only or both brakes, Kent reported that the bike was slightly more controllable when he applied both brakes. In Slick mode, the BMW stopped slightly better using both brakes, although Kent stated that the rear brake was practically useless as the rear wheel was in the air during most of the stops. And, even though the S 1000 RR stopped better in Slick mode than in Sport mode, it was getting significantly more out of shape in Sport mode — opposite to what you would expect. With the BMW, using both brakes in Slick mode provided the shortest stopping distance and the most control.
The Honda, compared with the other bikes, simply doesn’t provide enough stopping power early in the test — at higher speed, where it has the most effect — to stop as quickly. Braking G is more consistent over the course of the stop than it was in the front- and rear-only stops, without the jump as the system applies the brake not being used. But at the same time, braking G never goes above the peak value seen during the front-only stop and stopping distance is actually further using both brakes. Notably, the Honda’s two other front-only stops (not shown here) were significantly longer than any of its both-brakes stops, and in general stopping performance is better with both brakes in spite of the anomaly we found here. One theory is that the Honda’s system, lacking feedback and being ultra-smooth at the lever with no pulsing, can lull its rider into not braking as hard as possible in a panic stop.
BMW S 1000 RR
Spring preload—5 lines showing on adjuster; rebound damping—position 9 of 10; compression damping—position 10 of 10; ride height—1 line showing above top triple clamp
Spring preload—7 mm thread showing on shock body; rebound damping—position 7 of 10; high-speed compression damping—position 9 of 10; low-speed compression damping—position 9 of 10; ride height—lower position