The Effect of Motorcycle Type on Braking Distance

The type of motorcycle you ride influences how quickly you can stop. Sport bikes, cruisers, touring bikes and dual-sport motorcycles each have characteristics that affect how quickly they stop.

Sport bikes are lighter, have a short wheelbase and strong front brakes. This increases the percentage of stopping power that comes from the front brake. In a full, hard stop, the rear tire unloads quickly – frequently leaving the ground – and is easily locked up.

Cruisers can stop almost as quickly as sport bikes, despite having more weight and brakes that are not as powerful. Their long wheelbase and low center of gravity maintains rear wheel traction during stopping, giving the rear brake more time with full traction. Because the rear brake remains effective longer, cruisers can stop nearly as quick as a sport bike.

Dual-sport motorcycles are meant to be ridden on or off-road and favor rear brake power. These motorcycles frequently have skinny front tires (relative to their rear tire) and a high center of gravity, which lengthen stopping distance. Knobby tires can also reduce their pavement stopping power due to reduced tire surface.

Motorcycle Consumer News tests stopping distance as part of their monthly motorcycle reviews. The chart below was gathered from reviews found here.



Stopping, 60 to 0

2012 Aprilia 1200 Dorsoduro


111.1 ft

2012 Harley Davidson Dyna Switchback


114.0 ft

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S without ABS

Adventure bike

114.3 ft

2011 Honda CB1000R

Naked Sport Standard

114.5 ft

2009 Triumph Street Triple R

Naked Sport Standard

114.6 ft

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650


115.6 ft

2011 Ducati Monster 796

Naked Sport Standard

117.4 ft

2012 Harley Sportster 72


120.7 ft

2004 Honda GL1800A Gold Wing

Touring Bike

121.1 ft

2012 Triumph Tiger without ABS

Adventure bike

121.3 ft

2005 BMW K1200 LT

Touring Bike

121.6 ft

2013 Victory Judge


123.6 ft

2012 Triumph Tiger with ABS

Adventure bike

127.6 ft

2010 Suzuki DR-Z400S

Dual Sport

129.7 ft

2012 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom

Dual-Sport, Adventure

132.4 ft

2011 Husqvarna TE449

Dual sport


2013 Triumph Truxton


136.5 ft

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S

With ABS

Adventure bike

158.0 ft

2012 Ural Gear-Up


191.5 ft


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