SORTE D 7stop­pers

Pro-tips to keep­ing your in per­fect nick Of all the parts on your bike, the brakes should de­mand the most at­ten­tion. Here’s how to give them some lov­ing…

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

1Check the pads

Brake pads are easy to in­spect. On calipers with pis­tons ei­ther side of the disc, pins hold the pads in. They’re ei­ther threaded in, or re­tained with R-pins – anti-rat­tle plates usu­ally need re­mov­ing too. Some can be re­moved with calipers in situ, some will need the whole assem­bly re­mov­ing for ac­cess. Re­place if they’re less than 2mm thick, or show any sort of dam­age to the fric­tion ma­te­rial. Some swear by greas­ing the back of pads to pre­vent squeal­ing – but well­main­tained calipers with all anti-rat­tle plates shouldn’t need it. It only serves to con­tam­i­nate, and at­tract dirt.

2Avoid disc dra­mas

Brake discs have a min­i­mum thick­ness stamped on them. It’s an easy mea­sure­ment with a set of vernier gauges. If they’re too thin, re­place. Ex­am­ine the ro­tor sur­faces for cracks. If they’re float­ing, ex­am­ine the float­ing bob­bins. Look for miss­ing clips or wash­ers, and ex­ces­sive play. If you have ex­pe­ri­enced puls­ing at the lever, also look for dis­crep­ancy in bob­bin move­ment. Fail­ing that, raise the front wheel from the floor and spin the wheel. Hold a pen­cil against the fork leg with the tip against the disc sur­face – if the disc pushes the pen­cil back by large amounts, you have a warped disc.

3Caliper clean­ing

Re­move calipers one at a time, and gen­tly pump the lever to ease the pis­tons out slightly. An old tooth­brush and soapy water is enough for nor­mal brake dust. Brake cleaner can dry brake seals – only use as nec­es­sary. Once the caliper and pis­tons are clean, ap­ply sil­i­cone grease very spar­ingly to the pis­tons and push them back.

5Fluid re-fresh

There are many ways to bleed a brake: vac­uum pumps, sy­ringes, one-way valves, or just a sim­ple tube and a jar of brake fluid. Which­ever you choose, en­sure the tube fits the bleed nip­ple se­curely, and only open the nip­ple as much as is re­quired for fluid to flow. Use a new bot­tle of qual­ity brake fluid – not cheap stuff from the lo­cal auto fac­tor.

6Don’t for­get the mas­ter cylin­der

Any leaks or split seals re­quire at­ten­tion, and if you’ve tried ev­ery­thing else, re­plac­ing the pis­ton and seals of­ten cures brake is­sues. It’s sim­ple – you just need cir­clip pli­ers to re­move the pis­ton re­tainer. Clean around the ex­ter­nal parts, and ap­ply a small amount of grease on the pivot and where the lever ac­tu­ates on the pis­ton.

4Slid­ing bracket care

Sin­gle and two-pis­ton slid­ing brakes re­quire the slid­ing el­e­ments to be main­tained. Re­move the slid­ing bracket, and clean off light cor­ro­sion with a brass wire brush. Re­place any split or hard­ened rub­ber seals, and use a rub­ber-friendly grease to lu­bri­cate in­side the sealed por­tions. Badly cor­roded pins should be re­placed.

Re­place your pads when the fric­tion ma­te­rial is down to 2mm

When­ever you work on brakes, check and re-check what you’ve done Proper old-school mo­tor­cy­cling

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