Rear brake pad question? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Rear brake pad question?

I have a 08 custom and I am wanting to up grade the rear pads. I am wanting something that will give me a little better stopping power and less brake dust on the back wheel. It stops ok with just me on it but when the wife is on the bike it feels it take twice as long to stop. An the brake dust is awful. I like to try and keep my bike spotless, but the brake dust is a pain in the a$$.
What would be a good brand and material ( ceramic, organic, kevlar ) or anything else to go with?

Thanks Tim
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:56 PM
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How old are your stock pads? My 900 Classic LT, and my big 'ol butt, the back end seems plenty, in fact I have to be careful not to lock it up. Before you invest in pads, maybe play around with the rear suspension settings a bit and see if you can get more stopping power that way?

Just thought I'd throw that suggestion out there. I tightened my suspension up a little, the previous owner had it a little soft for me, and it made a difference on the rear stopping power. Not a tremendous difference, but a difference nonetheless. But, like I said, I have no problem locking the back up if for some strange reason I really wanted to, so I can't imagine the brakes needing to be any stronger (in other words, I'm curious to see what information gets posted in this thread, maybe I'll learn something!)

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 02:34 PM
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The front brake accounts for 70% of your stopping power. I'd start there rather than the rear.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Im a pretty good size guy so I had to stiffen up the rear shock. It might just be me I don't know. This is my first bike so I realy have nothing to compare it to. I have never ride anything else.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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johnnyplano I was going to replace both when I did it. When riding 2 up it just seems I have to use alot more rear brake. I know with the extra weight I have to use more. It just seems like its alot.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 07:06 PM
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I switched to EBC pads before and although they grabbed well,they wore faster and made more noise than the stock pads,so I went back to stock front and rear. I only ride two up on rare occasions so the stocks are better for me.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnyplano View Post
The front brake accounts for 70% of your stopping power. I'd start there rather than the rear.
I agree with Johnny. You shouldn't need any more stopping power in the rear unless something is broken.

Sintered metal pads will increase stopping power, but you'll wear out the brake rotors a lot faster.

Joe
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 09:41 AM
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You might try Galfer brake pads. I use them on my GL1800 Gold Wing and they seem to provide great stopping power, and they last longer than the EBC's.

When riding 2-up, try this. Given that the front brake provides 70--80% of your braking, try leading with the front brake first, then immediately follow with the rear brake. Here's why: When you brake, a whole lot of the bike's weight is instantly transferred to the bike's front end. It really loads up the front tire, giving it greater grip on the road surface. What follows is the rear tire gets instantly much lighter, so your brake's effectiveness is reduced, and the rear brake mostly serves to help stabilize the bike, especially during a heavy braking situation. So leading with the front brake and following with the rear provides for a more balanced braking event.

When I say to follow the front with the rear brake, I mean that it is a nearly simultaneous application of both front and rear brakes, but that momentary (usually less than a second) lag with the rear brake lets the front system load up and do the bulk of the work. Give this a try. Hope this helps.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 11:17 AM
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Im a pretty good size guy so I had to stiffen up the rear shock. It might just be me I don't know. This is my first bike so I realy have nothing to compare it to. I have never ride anything else.
Please donít be offended, the only thing I know about your ridding ability is.
ďThis is my first bike so I realy have nothing to compare it to. I have never ride anything else.Ē

Iím going to guess that you donít use/put much pressure on the front brake .
If Iím right try this.

Find a long quiet street/parking lot, USING 3 fingers AND NO FOOT slow down, donít stop.
Keep doing this gradually applying more pressure till you get to the point where you can really slow that thing down... then add the foot.

Keep practicing
ab
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 01:21 PM
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Amen and +1 to abjb. Practice, practice, practice. This creates muscle memory which will not only increase your reaction but will also decrease the amount of cognitive (conscious) brain processing needed to react to a situation.

Case in point. I've been riding since 1988 and still take the bike out to a parking lot 3 or 4 times a summer to practice low speed maneuvering, panic braking, dragging the floor boards, and just feeling what the bike likes to do in certain situations. Last summer riding in the rain, coming over a rise in a two lane road, there was a car in my lane trying to pass in a no passing zone. I consciously remember seeing the car and knew I needed to slow down and get as far to the right as possible; this road has maybe one foot of pavement to the right of the white line. I remember that I could feel the lovely grab me around the waist and stiffen up. I also remember indicating to the moron (who continued to pass and did not try to get back behind the car he was trying to pass) that he was number 1. I immediately realized after the car had just passed me that I was on the white line, that my speed was down to 30 mph (from 70) and that I was in third gear; I don't remember downshifting or eying the white line, but there I was, in one piece and dirty side down.

Practice to create correct muscle memory and it can (and probably will) save your life or at least minimize the pain of recovery.

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