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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all.

Front brakes work just fine during normal gradual braking. However, if I need to apply them a little bit harder, I can't. The lever will not move any further unless I squeeze really, really hard. Then it lurches past that hard spot and the brakes grab really hard causing a nose dive. And of course, this always seems to occur when coming to a stop. Yes, I know, I'm supposed to stop with only the rear brake, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. I use both brakes and switch to just the front for the last few feet. And of course, the sticking brake lever falls right in the transition between slowing down and fully stopping the bike where I WANT it to stop (not a fun feeling).

(Have you ever driven a car/truck through a deep puddle during the winter (off roading) and the tried using the brakes? Hard peddle and the brakes don't do much 'till they melt the layer of ice that formed. That's what the last couple feet of stopping my bike feels like. They're working some, until I apply more pressure, and the lever feels like trying to squeeze a brick!)

Sitting still and squeezing the lever, it croaks and lurches as you squeeze it. Also, the brakes DO NOT DRAG! When I release the lever, the brakes release, which tells me it's not an issue with the caliper or the master cylinder.

The fluid is pretty dark so I know I need to flush it. But I wonder if that would be the only cause? I don't want to have to pull apart the master cylinder if I don't have to. And of course when I google the issue, all I get is "stiff lever and dragging brake" (and stuff about mf bicycles).

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
NEVERMIND!

My word "croaks" was the key piece of evidence! I pulled the lever and the pivot and contact points were all dry and crusty. I cleaned it all up really good and coated with lithium grease. Now they work like NEW!

Just for good measure, I also just did the clutch lever the same way and I pulled the brake pedal out of the splines and cleaned them and the pivot all up and greased that as well.
 

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Yes, I know, I'm supposed to stop with only the rear brake, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.
You are doing it right. Years ago in my MC safety class, they told us to always use both brakes when stopping. They will last a lot longer, you'll reduce the possibility of a skid and you'll stop in a lot shorter distance. I was skeptical because I too had always heard back brake only, or mostly. But I tried it and it worked and I've been doing it that way for years and years.

Glad you got it sorted. Easy fixes are always the best!
 

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Just flushed my 01 1500 Classic FI front caliper yesterday... with carb clean, marvel mystery oil, and auto tranny fluid. Lotsa Rust!! came out.
Here's what I'm ordering... already done it with the rear...

PACKING,PISTON SEAL
Kawasaki
item: 43049-1092
Old Sku: 43049-1067 AND...

PACKING
Kawasaki
item: 43049-1068

I get them from https://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/
You might find a slightly cheaper price someplace else, but I've found that the shipping costs more than offset savings.
It's a pain to get the caliper off, but once off, cleaning and resealing is easy. Total rebuild cost, including shipping is $39.
 
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