Rear brake caliper not grabbing when lever is presseed - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Year/Make/Model: 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
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Rear brake caliper not grabbing when lever is presseed

Hey guys,

I changed the rear tire on my VN900 this week after I ran over a nail somewhere. Everything went as planned and my back wheel went back on normally. While I was doing the tire, I figured I might as well take a look at my brake pads. I took the caliper off, took the pads out, cleaned the caliper, greased the boots, and put it back together, since my pads still have some life in them, though I should probably replace them in the next few months. Then I checked my brake fluid, still clean and full. However, after everything was put back together, I went for a test ride in the parking lot of my apartment complex.

The rear brakes are not grabbing whatsoever when I press down the lever. I thought it might just be that the pistons were compressed when I put the pads back in and needed to extend back out to where the pads could grab the rotor again, but even after pressing the brake lever 100+ times, nothing. The lever itself is connected just fine (I never touched that), but I don't feel that familiar resistance when I press it, it feels like there's no hydraulic pressure building to extend the pistons. With the engine off I can hear something when I crouch next to the bike and press the lever with my hand, it's almost like a squirting sound. I checked if my bleeders or the 12mm bolt that connects the brake line to the caliper are loose or leaking, but they're all tight and dry. Is it possible I introduced air bubbles into my brake line? If so, I read on here somewhere that you can open the bleeders slightly to release it, but that it will leak fluid everywhere if you don't do it right. I could also be completely wrong here. Help?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 08:44 AM
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Bleed the line / caliper. Easy process. Disturbing the system without loosening any lines or bleeders shouldn't introduce air into the system, but start with the basics before replacing anything.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 12:40 PM
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To prevent brake fluid from getting all over the place when bleeding the brake cylinder one needs to attach a drain line tube to the bleeder screw and it should exit into a container of some sort. One can use a piece of tubing which can be bought at a hardware or auto supply store measured by the needed inches or feet necessary. Bleeding a brake cylinder is simple but has to be done properly- one can get online instructions via YouTube, etc. if needed.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:52 AM
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I had a problem with my rear brake on my 08 900 Custom as well. One day the brake started depressing all the way down with no resistance and of course no rear brake. I bled the system and it would work for a day then back to the same. There were no leaks or anything else to indicate there was a problem. I purchased a rear master cylinder rebuild kit for about 20 bucks and have had no problems since. In searching this problem I found that the master can seize and cause problems like you describe and I experienced. Good luck.
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