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Buell Forum » Big, Bad & Dirty (Buell XB12X Ulysses Adventure Board) » STICKY FRONT BREAK « Previous Next »

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Hangetsu
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Has anyone experienced sticking in the lever when applying the front brake? This has actually been an issue with my Uly for quite a while, but it's finally getting bad enough to be worth bringing up here.

When I apply the front break, the mechanism, either at the lever or in the caliper, will briefly stick, preventing any braking action. Then, with a little more force, I will push through the stick spot and get a hefty bite of brake. This is mostly an issue while driving in street traffic, since the brake forced required are not that much. This results in some pretty jerky stops. When traveling at highway speeds, the problem is much less obvious due to the heavier squeeze required on the lever.

The pivot in the lever seems in good shape, which makes me think it may be in one of the pistons, master cylinder or perhaps on the caliper.

Any thoughts?
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Hangetsu
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Ummm, Sticky Front BRAKE.
It's just the fingers
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Froggy
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 12:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Stock levers?
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Hangetsu
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 01:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Yep - Box stock
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Houwtama2
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 01:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Have experienced this.... it was caused by dust and dirt in the caliper. Pistons get sticky over time. Whip off the caliper and get it to a brake specialist.
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651lance
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 07:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Whens the last time you flushed your brake systems? They should be done every 2 years no matter how often it's rode. Most people only change the fluids if they are changing a line or rebuilding the caliper or master. Suck out all your brake fluid and look at the bottom of the master cylinder reservoir and see all the crap that has collected over time. Dot 3/4 brake fluid tends to collects moisture and dust then dot 5 collects dust.

When bleeding the brake make sure you use slow and smooth strokes of the levers, when pumping it fast will add air to the fluid making it a long day of bleeding the brakes. Never shake or drop the bottle of brake fluid before using it, the will also add air to the fluid.

Changing the fluid isn't just an HD or Buell requirement. Most manufacturers of motorcycle, atv's, car, trucks tell you to do so in there service manuals.

Try changing the brake fluid on you bikes and see the difference it makes.
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Hughlysses
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 08:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

You can clean the caliper pistons yourself. If you've installed fresh brake pads without cleaning the pistons, that will be part of the problem. Brake dust accumulates on the exposed part of the pistons. As the pads wear, more of the pistons are exposed and accumulate brake dust. When you install fresh pads, you have to press the pistons back into the caliber. If not cleaned first, that dust gets pushed up past the seals and makes the pistons "sticky" so that they don't extend or retract easily.

The fix is to detach the caliper from the fork and remove the pads. Pump the brake lever to push the pistons out of the caliper. This part is tricky, because some of the 6 pistons will move much easier than others and you don't want any of them to pop completely out. You can temporarily place a piece of ~1/4" metal between the pistons to limit how far they can extend. That'll prevent them from popping out and force the sticky pistons to extend as you continue pumping.

Once all the pistons are extended, get a clean rag and polish the exposed pistons until they're shiny. This is laborious as it's difficult to reach all the way around each piston. A clean shoe string wrapped around the back side of each piston is a good tool for cleaning.

When they're all clean, press them back into the caliper, reinstall the pads and reattach the caliper. Now flush/replace the brake fluid.

My bet is that will dramatically improve your front brake.
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Mark_weiss
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Simple Green works very well when cleaning a brake caliper. I usually do the scrubbing with a toothbrush.
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Griffmeister
Posted on Friday, June 30, 2017 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I had a sticky front brake a couple of winters ago. My problem was the contact point between the brake lever and the plunger in the master cylinder. There was just enough corrosion to cause the lever to pull hard at street speeds with little effect then come on suddenly. I just took the external parts apart and polished then waxed everything and put it back together. Worked smooth as silk after that. That was a good opportunity to take the time and flush the fluid, too. Worked so well that I think I'm due for another flush and the lever still works smoothly.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Saturday, July 01, 2017 - 08:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

As always, thanks to all of you for some great advice. I think I'll do a full front brake clean up, calipers and lever, next weekend when I change my front wheel bearings.

Cheers!

A-

Now in to the next topic. If my bike keeps going the ways it has been, I will keep this site alive single-handedly.
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Ourdee
Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 12:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Whatever it takes.
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Smorris
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 10:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

just rec'd my back ordered EBR brake rotor mounting kit
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Hangetsu
Posted on Friday, September 01, 2017 - 02:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Cool. I wonder if the 8 pot calipers are still to be had.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Saturday, September 02, 2017 - 07:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

If you change calipers you also have to change the master cylinder to match.
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Hangetsu
Posted on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 - 09:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Are these units still being made, or is access limited to what's been horded by fire-sale scavengers?
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