Join Date: Aug 2011
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero ABS SE
Color: Orange SE
I'll do the fluid. Pads are fine. They looked fine to me, and on top of that last week I had the safety inspection done for the year and the dealer told me they had about 60% left.
I played with it a bit and looked closer and I think the grabbing is a lube issue for the handle. There's a faint squeaking in the handle. I'll bleed the brakes, both front and rear. Easy enough right? Loosen the bleed screw, pump the brakes while replacing the fluid in the master cylinder? Continue until fresh fluid is consistently coming out of the bleed screw?
Is there anything I need to do to the master cylinder when I bleed the brakes? Any seals that I should replace, or anything like that? I've done a brake bleed on a car before, but never a bike.
Just while I'm at it... what would indicate I need a caliper rebuild? It's an '06 with only 15k miles (9k when I bought it in September). I don't know how it's been ridden before, but as long as I've been riding it it's been mostly highway (especially 55mph state highways with limited stopping). I live in a rural area, I don't use my brakes much. In fact, most of the time I can just downshift and coast and brake at the very end, so in other words, they aren't being used severely.
The odd thing is, even though it's been giving me trouble at a stop, when I had to make an emergency stop a while back (commercial truck pulled out into my lane head on) I was able to stop VERY quickly. I grabbed the front hard and hit the rear, locked up both but immediately let off the front enough to keep it from being locked up (I think I left the rear locked up, don't remember... it happened pretty fast LOL). So in other words, it had the braking power to handle that emergency stop (plus all of the low speed emergency stop practice I did). It just seems oddly weak at a dead stop. Pretzels suggestion about fluid break down makes the most sense, so that's what I'll do!
Any recommendations on fluid? Any particular fluid that might improve performance, or last longer? I've just always used whatever was on the shelf (or I had sitting around anyway) in my cars... but since these brakes aren't the best I'd like to use some good stuff. Plus, it seems like there is a lot less fluid in my bike than my car.... so it would seem that the fluid would break down quicker, so longer lasting fluid seems like a plus.
Hey thanks folks!
"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer
2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)
Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack
Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT