So I did my brakes yesterday - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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  • 1 Post By westcoastkevin
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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So I did my brakes yesterday

I am finally getting to doing a bit of servicing on the bike I bought in November. I want to go through it myself before riding it for the summer.

Yesterday I went through the brakes.

1. I stripped and rebuilt both calipers with new rubber parts.
2. New brake fluid.

Both brakes feel good, with no air in the system. I have some peace of mind now to have this done.
Next is the engine service, then tires.
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Last edited by westcoastkevin; 03-06-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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And the rest.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 12:08 PM
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Nice work. I was considering rebuilding the master cylinder and caliper on my 800, but I think I will put it off for a little while as there is nothing actually wrong with the parts. I did however change the line over to a stainless steel braided line. For a light cruiser it's probably overkill, but my owners manual says the brake lines should be replaced every 4 years anyway, and it's 12 years old. The line was probably fine, but I could definitely feel it expand when I pressed the brake lever.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Beans,
I started just intending to change the fluid and pull the calipers for inspection. I wanted to check for uneven pad wear and be sure the slide pins were moving freely and lubricated.
Next thing you know, I decided to go all the way. It is not a difficult job and now I know what I am dealing with. For what it is worth, I was not fixing any problem, just going through it as a new owner, and being reasonably thorough.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 10:50 AM
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Keeping the brake fluid changed every year or two is an oft-skipped maintenance item that can make a huge difference!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 07:16 AM
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WCK

Are there any tips or comments you can share from your experience? How long did it take? Approx. what was the cost for parts?

Great pics thanks

WB
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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WB,
The one tip is to just do actually do the job and get familiar with the brakes, their condition, and how they work.
It is just my opinion, but I think it adds confidence and caution in equal measure when I know how it works beneath me.

The parts are not expensive in the big picture, even if a $7 O-Ring is priced too high.
I have never had a shop do the brakes on a bike (or any vehicle) for me so I do not really know how much I saved.

It probably took me about two hours or a little more. I was not in a rush, and I was halfway watching a soup on the stove at the same time.

The outer rubber ring (Kawasaki call it the dust cover) is the cheap insurance for the long term life of the pistons and calipers. It is not really a dust COVER. It is recessed into the bore a little bit and leaves a gap where the debris (that hard debris that forms from brake dust and road grime) can collect. That was the real reason I stripped them down all the way. I could not inspect the dust cover O-Ring in situ. Given that I had not owned the bike, I wanted to inspect that with my own two eyes and make sure I was not getting grit or moisture into the bores. (Not something I will worry about again for a long time)

The one piece of preventative maintenance (without stripping them) would be to remove the pads and anti-rattle clip from the caliper every year and clean off the grit/debris well with a toothbrush or scotch brite from the area where the pistons poke out of the caliper. It would be a fifteen minute exercise for each wheel once a year. With a little bit of PM, I can not see a reason to ever need to replace calipers.


The saga continues here with the rest of the service work:
https://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/4...-my-plugs.html

Last edited by westcoastkevin; 05-19-2017 at 10:48 AM.
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