Join Date: Jun 2019
Year/Make/Model: 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
Rear brake caliper not grabbing when lever is presseed
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?