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Discussion Starter #1
What kind of life expectancy are y'all getting from your brakes before bleeding and/or replacing pads and such?

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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What kind of life expectancy are y'all getting from your brakes before bleeding and/or replacing pads and such?

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
I've only had my bike about 1 month... but I am mostly a sport rider so I am 95% front brakes... I usually don't use the rear... but I have a feeling that the front pads on mine will be worn out way before other people's. I have about 2500 miles on the bike and they still look new however.
 

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23,000+ on my Classic LT and I will be replacing front pads (probably 15% left) within the next 1000 miles or so. The rears are about 60% left. I have quite a few highway miles and only ride stop and go about 10% of the miles. I also favor the front brake. Brake fluid should be changed every year or two....I changed my brake fluid on my 07 for the first time at about 19,000 miles and 6 1/2 years and it was black garbage coming out even though the brake reservoir looked fairly clean. I will change it every year from now on. Only costs $7 dollars and can be done in 1/2 an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, here's why I'm asking... I'm getting kind of a grinding/rubbing sensation through the bike. I replaced the front pulley with a baron's overdrive pulley, tightened everything to spec, and all was well. Few days ago, after trying to track this sensation down (and today it's started a noise) I noticed the belt was tracking to the outside of the rear pulley. I fine tuned the rear wheel alignment and it's straight now.

But the sensation/noise is still there.

It comes on as I'm coasting under no or low power. Clutch engaged or disengaged, and seems more prevalent/noticeable immediately after having used the front brake.

I've checked the front closely. At one point, after noticing the noise, I stopped immediately on the shoulder using just the rear brake and inspected it closely.

I CAN'T FIND WHERE IT'S COMING FROM!

Oh, bike has about 6,700 miles, '09 900 custom.

There's only a total of 5 stoplights between home and work, and as I travel the main thoroughfare through town, I usually only actually get stopped by two of them. Very little time riding the brakes for me.

Any thoughts?

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Are there bearings that may need servicing? It really feels like grinding brakes, which is why that was the first place I looked.

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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Any chance your caliper is sticking a little bit? Easiest way to find out for sure is to get the bike off its wheels and spin them... You'll be able to tell if the brakes are hanging then no problem...

Brake pads can sometimes drag a bit... But nothing you should be able to hear or feel going down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How do I get it to stop sticking if that's what it's doing?

I may have to wait for my buddy, Big Bubba (yes, that's really what we call him) to lift the front end for me so I can check.

Everyone needs a Big Bubba.

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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Brake life/maintenance

I do about 12,000km (7,500 ml) commuting every year, a mix of heavy traffic/ good runs.
My brake pads last that long, I use front and rear.
Every 25,000km (15,500 ml) , I do a fluid change and clean/brush the callipers/pistons with soapy water and use "Brakeclean" stuff on those moving parts, an easy job.
I believe my brakes work fine, as I use them heavily every day, they do well what is expected of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well... Three levels..

1.) Spray the crap out of it...
2.) Take it apart and clean it...
Or
3.) Rebuild it.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
Oh durn.

Anyone know how much gap should be between the pads and rotors?



Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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It might be a good time to overhaul your front brake caliper.
Over time your brake fluid will absorb moisture and cause sludge,Crusty stuff and rust to form in calipers.
It might be time to strip the caliper and clean it right out without using any form of oil or petrol or diesel at all. I prefer to use brakeclean in the can, But I get it for free too. Then use a small screwdriver to scrape out all the crap in the caliper and maybe light wet and dry. Rince with water and let dry in the sun,or air blower till all water is gone.
Fit a new seal kit and refit the piston. Lube the caliper slide pins with a non mineral grease and refit.
Then flush out all that crappy old brake fluid that is in the system. It is sometimes easier to use a differnt colour brake fluid so you can see the colour change when it is flushed with new fluid.
:::** If you get brake fluid on your paint,Rinse it off with water straight away.Don't wipe it off with a rag and dont delay **:::

Regards Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It might be a good time to overhaul your front brake caliper.
Over time your brake fluid will absorb moisture and cause sludge,Crusty stuff and rust to form in calipers.
It might be time to strip the caliper and clean it right out without using any form of oil or petrol or diesel at all. I prefer to use brakeclean in the can, But I get it for free too. Then use a small screwdriver to scrape out all the crap in the caliper and maybe light wet and dry. Rince with water and let dry in the sun,or air blower till all water is gone.
Fit a new seal kit and refit the piston. Lube the caliper slide pins with a non mineral grease and refit.
Then flush out all that crappy old brake fluid that is in the system. It is sometimes easier to use a differnt colour brake fluid so you can see the colour change when it is flushed with new fluid.
:::** If you get brake fluid on your paint,Rinse it off with water straight away.Don't wipe it off with a rag and dont delay **:::

Regards Jason
If all that's the case, I'd have to say this has got to be one of those "low mileage problems" you get with bikes that aren't ridden much. It's a 2009 and I've put almost half the miles on it since I got it in February, at a total of 6,700 on the odo. Ugh. Oh well. I do have some experience with changing pads and fluids, never rebuilt a caliper though. First time for everything I reckon.

I learned the hard way that paint and brake fluid don't mix. Rebuilding the clutch in my old Ford Ranger, got a single drop on my front quarter panel that I never saw happen. Oh yeah. And it was a fresh paint job too.

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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It can't hurt to freshen up the caliper,But there is a chance that it isn't sticking too.
You should check it isn't holding on and see if the pad wear is close to even too.
If you do overhaul the caliper and it is your very first time. It might pay to have someone with experience in repairing calipers with you just incase.
The pistons can be hard to remove without compressed air and tricky to put back in for the first time. After the first time,You will be an expert though.

My trade is a Brake Mechanic for cars and trucks etc. Not much experience on bikes.
Every new apprentice I hot got the lecture about brake fluid on paint. Never be scared to tell me you spilled brake fluid on a car. Just put the lid on the reservoir and rinse the area. Or just rinse the area anyway after bleeding brakes.
Regards Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Did a redneck trouble shoot. Big Bubba lifted the bike by the forks, I spun the tire, it was spinning free with no noticeable drag. Then he mounted the bike, backwards and lifted the rear by the frame right behind the passenger foot pegs so we could do it again with the back wheel. Same result.

It's a low frequency thrumming that I've felt through the handlebars. But now it's in the foot pegs and alternates left to right at random. I notice it more when I hit bumps.

Any ideas? I'm thinking it's one of those things I'll find when it breaks.

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Series of events: changed pulley at around 4500 miles, got new front tire at around 5500 miles, this crap started around around 6500 miles.

Think it could be the pulley? Why would it take nearly 2000 miles for it to start? I've checked and double checked, can't find anything wrong with it.

Coming live, from West, by God, Funroe Louisiana.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got a new rear tire put on last week, buzzing seems to have gone away!

Gotta give a shout out to bikebandit.com if that's allowable here. No one in my area stocks a tire for my bike. I ordered one at 10 AM last Wednesday, the 23rd. It shipped by 2 PM same day, arrived via UPS by 3 PM on the 24th. A Pirelli Night Dragon for $120.

I wore a flat spot along the center of my old tire, due to the nature of these straight roads or because I messed up the alignment when I installed the front overdrive pulley, I don't know. Old tire was the original Dunlop with right at 8K miles. I could have ridden it a bit longer, but it was also 5-6 years old and had some dry rot cracking. AND, what I've been thinking was a slight loss in rear braking power and acceleration, turned out to instead be a large loss in traction. I was also losing a lot of traction in curves, with the rear doing some hopping and sliding, and completely losing traction on wet pavement.

I put some thought into going darkside. Here's why I didn't. The flat stripe down the center of the tread. I've seen darksiders say, "Oh, you get used to riding on a flat tire." Okay, no. I'm not taking that. My tire was GRADUALLY worn over time, and was no where near as severe in shape as a car tire, yet I could feel the ridges on either side of the flat spot every time I leaned into a curve. I could feel the bike trying to wobble, and my ass cheeks clench up. If it were so easy to get used to a flat treaded tire, then I shouldn't have ever noticed my tire getting a flat tread over an extended period of time. So, I'm sticking with an MC tire. I'm not by any means knocking anyone else's decision to throw car rubber under their bike, but I'm not going to do it.
 
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