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Thread: I need school’n on brakes.

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    Default I need school’n on brakes.

    2003 GL1800, Champion Trike kit, 60,000 Mi.

    The rear brakes are weak even though the peddle is firm. By weak I mean, really standing on the brake peddle will defiantly slow me down but there is no danger of actually shifting weight forward. I see that this is a common condition on Champion's. I have replaced the calipers, turned the drums and I’m now on my third set of pads (EBC YellowStuff) to try to get something to actually grip the rotors. The brake parts are from a 1972ish Volkswagen of various models.

    So, why are they still weak? Is the hydraulic system on the Honda just not up to the task? I have four lug wheels so is there a different make of brake rotors/calipers that would work better?

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    9500+ Posts Jack Klarich's Avatar
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    Do you know the bore of your master cylinder?

    A smaller bore = more applied pressure
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Klarich View Post
    Do you know the bore of your master cylinder?

    A smaller bore = more applied pressure
    Stock Goldwing master I assume.

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    Make sure you have some pedal play so the bypass port opens when you release the brakes. Also make sure the pedal isn't running out of travel due to mechanical interference. As in bottoming out in the master. You say you had the drums cut then you say brake pads. If it has drums they"ll need to be adjusted properly.

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    Your post has me a little confused.. Does the trike portion have drum brakes or disc? If you have drum rear brakes keep reading.

    If you have drum brakes on the rear & have a firm pedal but poor braking you most likely have high spots on the brake shoes. High spots on drum brake shoes is very common now days, down side is a trike doesn't weigh enough to wear them down even in 20,000 miles.

    Apply brake pressure & ride the bike to get some wear on the shoes. Once things cool off, remove the rear drum & inspect the shoes. High spots on the shoe will show as a shiny area, typically @ the end of the shoes or in the middle. The rest of the show will still have that slightly rough appearance.

    You'll have to sand down the high spots (wear a mask!) a little at a time & readjust the brakes accordingly. Once you've got the high spots down you should notice a significant improvement in the braking (with proper adjustment of course).

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    9500+ Posts Jack Klarich's Avatar
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    What are your rear brakes? Drum or disc?
    Nuff Said," Were Burnin Daylight, Lets Ride"(Sober 32years)
    Current ride : 17 FREEWHEELER M8, Power Vision tuner, DK Customs Outlaw air cleaner, modified by me head breather vent with drain, Gutted stock mufflers, (RJS Originals) rear wheel discs , (RJS Originals) custom windshield lower panel, Mighty Mites Love Jugs fans by Papa Zook

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    Default ROTORS

    My bad. I had the ROTORS turned, as in disc brakes. The shop did the fluid change and the peddle is firm, no air. I've raised the peddle one notch to give me more leverage on the down pressure so I know there is nothing to bottom out on. The addition of the EBC Yellow Stuff pads made a nice difference but it still seems to me that there should be more grab, that maybe I should be able to lock up the rear wheels if I wanted. Perhaps I expect too much as this is my first trike.

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    9500+ Posts Jack Klarich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by controlu View Post
    My bad. I had the ROTORS turned, as in disc brakes. The shop did the fluid change and the peddle is firm, no air. I've raised the peddle one notch to give me more leverage on the down pressure so I know there is nothing to bottom out on. The addition of the EBC Yellow Stuff pads made a nice difference but it still seems to me that there should be more grab, that maybe I should be able to lock up the rear wheels if I wanted. Perhaps I expect too much as this is my first trike.
    Mark, the mechanical force of the trike moving is slowed down and stopped by friction/ heat from the brakes

    Locking the brakes is semi counter productive in it creates more heat than the brakes can turn into stopping power ( brake fade)

    Finding out what diameter your master cylinder is will be a plus for you in that you may find a smaller bore master that will give you more hydraulic pressure to your calipers
    Nuff Said," Were Burnin Daylight, Lets Ride"(Sober 32years)
    Current ride : 17 FREEWHEELER M8, Power Vision tuner, DK Customs Outlaw air cleaner, modified by me head breather vent with drain, Gutted stock mufflers, (RJS Originals) rear wheel discs , (RJS Originals) custom windshield lower panel, Mighty Mites Love Jugs fans by Papa Zook

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    No way I want to lock up the rear brakes on a hard surface road on my trike. Talk about high sides.

    Disk brakes … often have small friction surfaces … and disc do not self energize (tendency to tighten up using rotation of the wheel) like drum brakes … so any braking clamp force exerted on the rotor has to be put into it by you. If you have good braking using both hand lever and foot pedal, that's the goal.

    If you increase MC piston bore, you give up clamping force at the rotor. If you decrease MC bore size, you get more clamping force at the rotor but suffer longer travel. It's a matter of ratios between pedal / linkage / MC piston diameter / caliper piston diameter that all combine to take your effort and create clamping force.

    If you aren't using the hand lever, you aren't using it all.

    Good luck.
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