how good is your 900's break setup - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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how good is your 900's break setup

I don't know whether this is my problem or my bike problem. I have a feeling that the breaking of my vulcan is not good, basically the rear setup but the front is ok. Last day when suddenly this stupid guy jumped infront of me i had a very tuff time on the road and i escaped narrowly which made me to show the bike to the local dealer. And as per them the breaks are fine and that is how this works. I ride a 2006 900LT with 11K miles, it got half used Bridgestone WWs 130 for front 170 for rear. I have seen myself that the brake pads are OK! My rides are only in the city are the roads here are in good condition.

And i used to ride a Suzuki M90 (1500cc) and to me which obviously had a better breaking setup than my Vulcan. How do you guys feel? may be it is just because of my wrong judgement? please help

reg,

cv
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by classicvulcan View Post
I don't know whether this is my problem or my bike problem. I have a feeling that the breaking of my vulcan is not good, basically the rear setup but the front is ok. Last day when suddenly this stupid guy jumped infront of me i had a very tuff time on the road and i escaped narrowly which made me to show the bike to the local dealer. And as per them the breaks are fine and that is how this works. I ride a 2006 900LT with 11K miles, it got half used Bridgestone WWs 130 for front 170 for rear. I have seen myself that the brake pads are OK! My rides are only in the city are the roads here are in good condition.

And i used to ride a Suzuki M90 (1500cc) and to me which obviously had a better breaking setup than my Vulcan. How do you guys feel? may be it is just because of my wrong judgement? please help

reg,

cv
What exactly are you experiencing with the rear brake?
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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I am not trying to stop it with the rear brake, but unfortunately it is not even getting slowed GOOD ENOUGH when only the rear is applied
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 06:53 AM
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I am not trying to stop it with the rear brake, but unfortunately it is not even getting slowed GOOD ENOUGH when only the rear is applied
With enough pressure you should be able to lock the rear up but keep in mind that the majority (~70%) of braking power is with the front brake. The bike is 7 years old now so maybe one of the mechanic types on here will chime in.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 07:19 AM
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If the brake fluid is 2 or more years old, then change it. The fluid absorbs water and can make brakes "Spongy" when it get hot as the water boils into gas... I ride an 800B, with rear drum brakes, and it won't lock no matter what I do. Practice, practice and more practice. Use the front and rear together to get the most effective braking available and always leave yourself a way out. Ride safe my friend.



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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 08:08 AM
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I am not trying to stop it with the rear brake, but unfortunately it is not even getting slowed GOOD ENOUGH when only the rear is applied
As other posters have mentioned, a firm pressure on the brake pedal should just about lock up the rear tire. Hit the brake pedal in a panic stop and the tire WILL lock up. Sounds like the rear braking system needs a good going over. While you're at it, do the front too.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 08:28 AM
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Re: how good is your 900's break setup

Guys use the rear brake pedal like is its a car. Looks like a car brake pedal, works like one, feels like one....wrong! I will agree with you to some extent that the brakes are a lil shoddy. I had a Vulcan 900 and did all services so i know the brakes are perfect and had high end tires on the machine. With that said I only use the front brakes! Always have from sport bikes to my now Vulcan 1600. Trust me you won't fall down. Just squeeze it. Go to a parking lot and practice what it feels like when the front end dives. Also that's why I got rid of the 900 front brake aren't good enough. I found myself using both. Nothing wrong with that but my 1600 stops with just the fronts like a sport bike. Also the 1600 has dual front disc, 900 has a single. Not uncommon for guys to complain about braking on that thing. Also owned a 1500. Dont use any brakes in a corner!

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 09:32 AM
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The Vulcan 900 won't win any stopping awards, but to echo what the others have said. There are two major differences between your Vulcan 900, and a car.

1) The brake system is a very simple, unassisted system with very little fluid in it. That means it should be changed frequently. Personally I do mine every spring but I would never go more than 2 years. Chances are, it hasn't been done. Brake fluid is an often ignored maintenance item, usually folks wait until the brake fluid is so broken down it corrodes brake components, and then they rebuild calipers and re-do the fluid.

2) The brakes work the same as your car, except you are the one who controls which wheel gets the pressure! In your car, when you apply the brake, the brake system automatically (using valves, or even complicated computer setups) applies most of the pressure to the front, and some of the pressure to the rear brakes. When you brake, the weight of the vehicle shifts forward onto the front tire(s), meaning that the front brakes become very efficient, while the rear tires have very little weight on them and will lock up easily.

The Harry Hurt report said that a vast majority of severe motorcycle accidents involved too much rear brake, and little or no front brake.

You should never brake with just the rear. Truthfully, it should be a mix between the two with an emphasis on the front brake. You don't want to get in the habit of using the rear brake, because in a pinch you could mash the rear brake and not touch the front brake; simply out of habit!

If you are using the rear brake alone, the harder you brake the worse it's going to work. Because the quicker you decelerate, the more weight is off of the rear tire. It just doesn't work like that. I know all those cool choppers are rear brake only, but in a pinch they'll be on the pavement. Just all there is to it. The front brake is what stops you, the rear brake simply aids in that, and if used properly, shortens your stopping distance.

I can lockup the rear pretty easily. I would definitely suggest new fluid in both systems, but again; the best brakes in the world won't do you any good if they aren't used properly.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:06 AM
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Break set up seems pretty good to me. i have a 12' vn900 classic and have locked up the rear a few times. I havent made any adjustments to them.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 12:19 PM
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Change the brake fluid every 2 years? Shoot, now I know what I am going to do this weekend.
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