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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What the hell is the clunk you hear when you hit the front brake for the first time you ride each day and randomly during the day? My bike does it and a couple of the guys I ride with have the same problem and of course Harley has no idea either..
 

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Maybe caliper bushings? A clunk indicates a moving part that shouldn't move. My bike doesn't do this. It would drive me bonkers till I figured it out.

I'd put the bike on a center lift to be able to spin the front by hand and try wiggling everything.
 

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I never did check the neck bolt torque since this question first popped up in 2013. I did look over everything to ensure the nut was tight, it was, and now I just live with it. :(
 

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ALL brake systems "Float" they have to to take up differences between the stationary caliper and the rotating rotor. Rotors heat up and cool down and also expand, so something's got to give, and it is the caliper/pad combo that does this. More accurately, it's the pads inside the caliper.
The pads have small spring clips on them to take up some of the noise, but if you haven't applied the brakes for a bit ( doesn't take much ) the pads will unseat from the rotor as they're supposed to. Then when you hit the brakes, the stationary pads sitting in their springs will make contact with the rotor and when that grab is more than the spring....BAM....! You'd hear the same thing if your car's wheel was in the open and just a few feet from you, in fact, if you listen closely in a quiet setting and you apply your brakes, you can hear the car's brakes doing the same thing.

It is perfectly normal and just because you hear it and the next guy may not is perfectly normal as well.....
Ride it.
 

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ALL brake systems "Float" they have to to take up differences between the stationary caliper and the rotating rotor. Rotors heat up and cool down and also expand, so something's got to give, and it is the caliper/pad combo that does this. More accurately, it's the pads inside the caliper.
The pads have small spring clips on them to take up some of the noise, but if you haven't applied the brakes for a bit ( doesn't take much ) the pads will unseat from the rotor as they're supposed to. Then when you hit the brakes, the stationary pads sitting in their springs will make contact with the rotor and when that grab is more than the spring....BAM....! You'd hear the same thing if your car's wheel was in the open and just a few feet from you, in fact, if you listen closely in a quiet setting and you apply your brakes, you can hear the car's brakes doing the same thing.

It is perfectly normal and just because you hear it and the next guy may not is perfectly normal as well.....
Ride it.
Thanks for the detailed info! I too was hearing this sound, and I moved off a Gold Wing. Just thought if it was a Harley it was supposed to make noise & mark it's territory! Lol:D
 

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Well.... from your last major project you might loose a screw which would actrually make in 972 pieces....:D LOL!!!! (sorry.....couldn't resist!! LOL!)
Har Har Hardy Har!

(It's true though lol.)

I'll know these bikes inside and out shortly! With that dangerous knowledge, you just wait and see what I will build once I get finances in order! :D
 

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The first time my bike did this it scared the S*&t outa me,its more pronounced after backing up,sounded like the kick stand fell off,checked every thing then while rotating the front wheel i noticed the brake pads floating back and forth.Do i like it ,no,the reason some bikes do it and others dont could be the machining tolerance in the calipers,those that dont may have a opening that is on the low side of the tolerance while those like mine may be on the high side of the tolerance.
 

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Y'all are welcome......I'm an Aircraft Mechanic for a livin'.....I throw spare parts away all the time......figger it makes 'em lighter......???:eek:;)
 

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Har Har Hardy Har!

(It's true though lol.)

I'll know these bikes inside and out shortly! With that dangerous knowledge, you just wait and see what I will build once I get finances in order! :D
I hear ya......sorry about the ribbing..... just struck me funny....('cause it happens to me all the time too!) but- I was able to turn a Honda Shadow Sabre into this.....sorry about highjacking the thread.........

To the original question, mine did it.... I adjusted the neck bearing & still heard it.....mine was the brake......
 

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That thing is cool! I hope I never have a desire to learn to PC like you.... If so the gay and lesbian advocates would love me cause I'd have my bike all rainbowed out if I could change colors as I pleased haha.




- Has anyone with this brake issue bought a used caliper? That's An idea. No guarantee it'll be any better though.
 

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Well.... from your last major project you might loose a screw which would actrually make in 972 pieces....:D LOL!!!! (sorry.....couldn't resist!! LOL!)
I used to tell my kids when we worked on our cars that "if we didn't have a part left over, we didn't do the job right." :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ALL brake systems "Float" they have to to take up differences between the stationary caliper and the rotating rotor. Rotors heat up and cool down and also expand, so something's got to give, and it is the caliper/pad combo that does this. More accurately, it's the pads inside the caliper.
The pads have small spring clips on them to take up some of the noise, but if you haven't applied the brakes for a bit ( doesn't take much ) the pads will unseat from the rotor as they're supposed to. Then when you hit the brakes, the stationary pads sitting in their springs will make contact with the rotor and when that grab is more than the spring....BAM....! You'd hear the same thing if your car's wheel was in the open and just a few feet from you, in fact, if you listen closely in a quiet setting and you apply your brakes, you can hear the car's brakes doing the same thing.

It is perfectly normal and just because you hear it and the next guy may not is perfectly normal as well.....
Ride it.
Thanks for the info, this sounds like a very good explanation for the sound. I knew it had something to do with the brakes but it is much easier to live with when you know what it is.

Thanks!
 

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It is probably the anti rattle pad spring in the caliper assembly. They can break and fall out or somebody failed to put it back in when brakes were serviced. Maybe it wasn't installed properly when new pads were installed. Easy to replace. Get a new one from dealer. Less than $5.00 each.
 
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