So... Is it me, or is it the bike? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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So... Is it me, or is it the bike?

Is this bike light in the a$$ or is the the way I'm riding? 3 times in the last 2 days I've locked up the back brake. The first time we went into a full screeching lockup. Fortunately I stayed in line and rode it out without incident. The second and third times I could hear it starting to howl early and let off the brake early enough to keep from locking up full. Now maybe it's because this bike has a disk on the rear and my old bike had a drum brake on the back or maybe it's because this bike is about 180 lbs heaver. I don't know but I'd like to know if I'm alone here or have you all experienced also?

Thx,
RG

Last edited by Ron_G; 10-16-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 05:13 PM
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No it's a little light. I've seen my rear tire out of the corner of my eye a few times . Just ease off and she'll straighten out. Just don't lock up that front brake

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 09:20 PM
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That's part of it. Mostly though I think it IS that there is a very effective rear brake on the bike. I've been on bikes that you have to really mash down the pedal for the brake to even start working. Not this bike.

Whenever you change bikes, you need to practice emergency stopping with them. They all act a little different and it could save your life or keep you from dropping a bike.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrClean View Post
I've been on bikes that you have to really mash down the pedal for the brake to even start working. Not this bike.
That's probably the problem in a nutshell, although I've found the rear brake on the VN to be a bit on the spongy side. My other bike has Brembos- -and they're pretty effective! All depends on what you're used to. I usually just use the front brake (a bad habit, I know...) unless I'm in a bind - no pun intended. The Vulcan isn't really "light" ANYWHERE, although the "C" model is reportedly easy to lock up in the front with that skinny tire, not my observation - something I've been told. I have a "D" model. I've leaned into the brakes pretty hard several times in my brief career as a Vulcaneer, and I've found this bike to be pretty forgiving in simulated panic stops. I know....adrenalin will probably change that!

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Originally Posted by MrClean View Post
Whenever you change bikes, you need to practice emergency stopping with them. They all act a little different and it could save your life or keep you from dropping a bike.
VERY good advise!! After I got finished with my MSF course, I took my (first) bike back to the venue and re-practiced all the stuff I learned - except the tight turn-in-a-box stuff (V-Rods turn like a toad!) This has saved my bacon TWICE so far with panic stops!

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not."

Last edited by ETC(SS); 10-16-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 05:52 AM
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The front brake IS the brake of choice when above 10-15 MPH. Whenever your speed is such that you are NOT turning the handlebars to steer then use the front brake with a trailing rear brake. In a parking lot situation drag on the rear brake only (no front brake) while turning, or you'll dump the bike.

Last edited by Sojourner; 10-17-2010 at 05:55 AM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 07:52 AM
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actually the fron is pretty composes when mashing the front lever. ive had the front squeezed all the way and no lock-up (and thats with the stock dunlops) .. yes its a custom .. i mean sure if you just yank it itll lock up but slow steady pressur and shell do fine. gotten my bike to stop from 60mph if 46 yards

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 08:40 AM
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I had a VN750 before with drum brakes for the rear. Once i got the VN900 the braking was a different experience. Very sharp and gives me much more confidence.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 10:34 AM
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I hardly use the back brake. The front has much more stopping power than the rear. The only time I don't touch the front is in gravels.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINI NSX View Post
I hardly use the back brake. The front has much more stopping power than the rear. The only time I don't touch the front is in gravel.

Man I'll tell you what I always use both brakes front and rear. In doing this you are using 100% of your braking. Maybe you are not pushing the pedal or squeezing the lever to achieve 100% braking but you have the potential to. The maximum you can achieve in the front is 70-75%. I have only locked up the rear brakes twice on mine so maybe I am not mashing it as hard but having come from bikes that had rear drums both my rear disk brake bikes stop so much faster and safer.

Bottom line is you will not stop as quick or as safe as you would if you are using both front and rear brakes. Even before taking my safety course I never considered using only one brake.

Agreed, in loose gravel I am light on the front brake especially at parking lot speeds. I do try to avoid loose gravel and dirt at all costs.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 11:41 PM
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[QUOTE=cruiser331;86488]
Bottom line is you will not stop as quick or as safe as you would if you are using both front and rear brakes. Even before taking my safety course I never considered using only one brake.

QUOTE]

I agree, after a 20 year break riding, i went back and did the riding course, i use to be a front brake user 99% of the time, after a few runs using both brakes, i reduced my braking distances by about 1/3rd. I have only locked the rear up once, during an emergency stop, pulling a 125lb trailer with 150lbs of gear in it, cut off by a car, i stopped in time but ended up with a "pucker" factor of 9.25.

As i flipped into 5th, i couldnt remember a damn thing she said
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