Toyota (and Audi) are not the only ones with unintended acceleration issues while braking. Newer riders are prone to grabbing the brakes in such a way that they roll on the throttle at the same time. This could be a problem that makes panic braking something to really panic over. One scooter shop owner said that this was the number one problem that he saw in novice riders getting on his bikes… They mean to grab the brakes, but grab the lever in such a way that they open the throttle at the same time.
One reason I think this tends to happen (more often) with some bikes is because some non-adjustable brake levers are too far from the handle to accommodate smaller hands. If you have to lift your wrist to get your fingers around the brake lever (with your thumb on the throttle), simply squeezing your hand into a fist will wind up rolling on the throttle… [Yes a diagram would be nice here - but no go] So if this tends to happen to you a lot – but not as often to other people, it’s because your hand is too small for the lever placement. If you can adjust the lever, great, but if not, I think you can actually learn to correct this problem with proper technique.
What’s the proper braking technique? Braking is something you really need to get a “feel” for – but here’s the basic idea, and you can work it out for yourself on your bike…
The key is you need to think of the brakes as an extension of the throttle. With the throttle off, your fingers should be able to rest on the brake lever. As you roll on the throttle, your fingers can no longer reach the brake lever, but that’s okay… The way you slow the bike is by gradually closing the throttle and then gradually braking, as though it’s part of a single device. Does that make sense?
But shouldn’t I “cover” (rest my fingers over) the brakes at all times? When you were first learning to ride, or taking the MSF, you weren’t opening the throttle more than a few degrees, so covering the brakes “at all times” was not a problem – but as you go faster and open the throttle more – there are throttle positions in which you won’t be able to reach the brake lever… This is especially true with more distant brake levers, and smaller hands. That’s actually okay – because when you have the throttle open 75% of the way, there’s no situation in which you should hit the front brake before rolling off the throttle… Being prepared to brake means having a couple of fingers ready to grab the brake lever as it comes in reach while rolling off the throttle.