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  • Front Brakes

    Lately, I have noticed that, while applying my front brakes, the lever seems to catch on notches, so to speak. Upon first application pressure, I get moderate braking. If I desire greater braking, it feels like I am having to overcome a step or something to get full braking pressure.The only brake work ever done (at least by me) has been fluid changing and pad replacement. Are my symptoms indicative of needing to overhaul the front master cylinder? I assume that, if so, forum mages will recommend replacing the hoses as well.

  • #2
    You have worn a divot in the lever mechanism, file it smooth and oil it.

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    • #3
      Another pic.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Would jeweler's files be enough, or should I use a Dremel?

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        • roadiemort
          roadiemort commented
          Editing a comment
          Don't know how bad yours is, it really don't matter as long as you can control the tools lol. I have never had to do this and the pics are from someone that has.

      • #5
        I have the exact same issue, heard about this cure awhile ago just too damn lazy to fix it.

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        • #6
          Well, I removed the front brake lever, and did not find anything that showed any wear, except the end of the plunger for the master cylinder showed a noticeable divot. After cleaning everything up, I reinstalled the lever ( getting that screw started was a real bear-among other things, the throttle cables somewhat obscured my view of the interior, i.e. where the spring is supposed to fit, and trying to hold the lever in place against said spring pressure. It really took much more time than it should have. Squeezing the front brake lever afterwards didn't exhibit the aforementioned problem, but that was just sitting in the driveway. I'll have to take the bike for a spin tomorrow to see if the problem is still there.

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          • roadiemort
            roadiemort commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes that's the divot in my second pic. I think you will be fine for a few thousand miles now.

        • #7
          Thanks roadiemort, I'm wondering if the spring in there somehow got kinked. It didn't show any deformation, but ?

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          • roadiemort
            roadiemort commented
            Editing a comment
            I think it just keeps rotating kinda like a slow drill.Probably a drop of solder on the end of the spring might slow it down some also.

        • #8
          Well I'll be....
          Had the same issue for a while.
          Removed the handle, filed the divot with an old points file, lubed.
          Hellufa lot smoother pull!
          ​​​​
          Thank you Roadiemort!
          and boomerA for asking!

          Comment


          • roadiemort
            roadiemort commented
            Editing a comment
            I save pics from other folks problems to share at these times, problem is sometimes I forget what the pic is about lol. Your welcome.

        • #9
          I ordered a master cylinder rebuild kit that just shipped today thinking I needed to rebuild it. I am camping but I can't wait to get home to check this out.
          With enough beer you can do anything...D.Pate

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          • #10
            I recently bled the front brake lines thinking that would help....kinda did...
            but didnt consider checking the plunger face ...

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            • #11
              It's one the simplest, most neglected areas on bikes. I try to remember to put a dab of grease there at least once a month. I always put a dab there after washing the bike or after being caught in the rain.

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              • #12
                I just went through this too... basically went a little further and did a master cylinder rebuild which is about the same amount of work. But it was exactly the same as you describe--I would pull the lever, and then it would bind, then release with the result that I would then apply the brakes too hard. I habitually trail break, so the binding was wreaking havoc on my riding.

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                • #13
                  WOW so much better! I can't wait to check it out on the road. I might become a front brake guy. I have always been a closet rear brake only dude. That master cylinder rebuild kit is put into stock for later possible use...
                  With enough beer you can do anything...D.Pate

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by DEEPHATE View Post
                    WOW so much better! I can't wait to check it out on the road. I might become a front brake guy. I have always been a closet rear brake only dude. That master cylinder rebuild kit is put into stock for later possible use...
                    I know what you mean about being a rear-brake guy. I think it becomes a bad habit - maybe we just get used to not having the front end dive on us... I had a epiphany after reading too many articles about how your front brakes are more effective. Basically - they tell you to anticipate and pull the brake in a bit before you need it - so when you do pull all the way down on it you don't get much of a dive. After doing it a million times - it's second nature now.

                    Anyway, I replaced the pads: the rears were right on the wear indicator and they were worn a bit cantered to one side. Had the clean up that caliper real good. Next time I do brakes - I'm gonna rebuild the calipers with new seals and all that. The fronts had some wear left - but fuzz it - I replaced those too.

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                    • #15
                      The master cylinder rebuild kit is not very expensive. $30? Simple to do other than the bleeding. I did mine and it is now silky smooth and far better than before.
                      2000 Roadstar 1600 - BAK, Pumpless, Curt's manifold, Mikuni HSR42 Freedom Combat Pipes Jumbo Strong bags, PPG 'HellFire' Paint.

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                      • #16
                        Awhile back, I needed to replace the rear tire on my 2015 XVS1300. For various reasons, I didn't want to pull the wheel myself, so I took it to a shop that was able to get the new tire the next day (1300/950 rear tires are odd ducks-very limited selection).After they pulled the rear wheel, the shop informed me that the inner pad on my rear brake had worn to the metal and then some. They replaced the pads and advised me to keep a close eye on them because of the metal that had bound itself to the inner face of the rotor- warning me that the inner pad would wear more quickly. After I got the bike home, I had a brainstorm...a means to remove as much of the foreign (pad backing material) from the rotor, and to save my rear brake pads.
                        What I did was to raise the bike on my cycle lift to get the rear tire well off the ground. I then started the bike up and put it into first gear. Then, taking a bastard file ( a coarse , flat file) I held it to the inner face of the rear rotor,(in a relatively safe manner) , and let it catch as much of the 'bad metal' as possible. When I could no longer feel the little tugs on the file (indicating that it was catching the softer metal from the pad backing) I then took a 10" long whetstone, oiled it up w/WD40, and again held it to the inner surface of the turning rear rotor. I would periodically check the whetstone to see how much metal it was catching, and apply more WD40 as needed. When no more metal appeared on the whetstone, I shut down the bike (after shifting it back into neutral) and sprayed down the rotor and pad area with brake cleaner.. It has now been a couple thousand miles since that operation, and I have checked the brakes a few times since then, and it appears that my efforts to 'save my rear brakes' has paid off! One reason I think this process worked is that the rotor metal is a lot harder than the pad backing metal, so the file and whetstone, applied with only hand pressure, removed the lesser metal. While this worked for the rear brake, I don't know how difficult the same process would be for the front (and I hope I never have to find out!)

                        Comment


                        • Shores
                          Shores commented
                          Editing a comment
                          A reputable shop would never have let you take that bike out with such a damaged disc. Sounds like you fixed it yourself though.

                      • #17
                        I flush my brake fluid in all my bikes every 2 years... PRESTONE Dot 4 synthetic... Use vacuum bleeder and works great.
                        LET'S RIDE

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