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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I just purchased my first RG. A 2002. I haven't got it home to look at, but when I was test riding the front brake lever came very close to the grip. Made it difficult to operate the gas and brake!

Any ideas what could cause this? Pads looked better then 50% and the bike just had a 10k service. I'm assuming the fluid level is good, but I'll check when I get the bike home.

Any other ideas?
 

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If the 10K service was just done, ask the service dept why they didn't service the brakes. Part of the service is to check the fluid level, and function.
 

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Don't assume the level is right, and don't overfill, operate the gas & front brake you doing burn out's Ha, any air in line- pump and feel, there is a right amount fluid line
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea hopefully It's just air in the lines or low fluid. Don't get the bike back until next Saturday. So we'll see.
 

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Heres a good tip when this happens. First off check level of break fluid. Be very careful not to get fluid on any paint. Grab a spray bottle whenever your doing brake service and fill with a 50/50 mix of dish soap ( dawn or similar) and water. Spray all over any area that could possibly get brake fluid on it. This will protect your paint, chrome, etc. If something was to spill by neutralizing the dot 4 fluid. If its dot 5 then do t worry about this, dot 4 will eat paint, dot 5 wont.
After checking level take a zip tie or something you can use to keep the lever pulled back to the grip and then loosen the master cylinder cap. You dont have to take it off, just a little opening will be ok. Let the bike sit like this for at least 8hrs so this is good to do when you are going to bed or the bike is put up for the night. What this does is keeps the master cylinder open, since air travels up, any air in ur lines will eventually make its way out if the lines and into the Master Cylinder Res. After a min. Of 8hrs, let the lever out and tighten the cap back on and check breaks. This little trick will help squishy brake lever feeling most of the time. Just remember the lines are small and air will travel extremely slow so 12hrs is the ideal time to let this happen. If this dont work then it may be time to check clean the brake calipers and pistons.


Sent from Motorcycle.com App
 

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If you squeeze the brake lever three or four times in rapid succession and the brake lever movement decreases significantly that would be a good indication of air in the lines. Before you do anything check fluid as mentioned and raise the wheel if possible to check for brake drag.
 

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I have a 2002 ultra that a friend has asked me to take a look at the front brakes,same problem exsessive lever travel,i have a power bleeder,but will try the zip tie trick,thanks
 

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zip tie, have a lil pair of dikes ready, good if byself, pwr bleed good or just place hose from bleeder under fluid level in can, no air back and can see, just do it, drain n replace to 1/8th
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Heres a good tip when this happens. First off check level of break fluid. Be very careful not to get fluid on any paint. Grab a spray bottle whenever your doing brake service and fill with a 50/50 mix of dish soap ( dawn or similar) and water. Spray all over any area that could possibly get brake fluid on it. This will protect your paint, chrome, etc. If something was to spill by neutralizing the dot 4 fluid. If its dot 5 then do t worry about this, dot 4 will eat paint, dot 5 wont.
After checking level take a zip tie or something you can use to keep the lever pulled back to the grip and then loosen the master cylinder cap. You dont have to take it off, just a little opening will be ok. Let the bike sit like this for at least 8hrs so this is good to do when you are going to bed or the bike is put up for the night. What this does is keeps the master cylinder open, since air travels up, any air in ur lines will eventually make its way out if the lines and into the Master Cylinder Res. After a min. Of 8hrs, let the lever out and tighten the cap back on and check breaks. This little trick will help squishy brake lever feeling most of the time. Just remember the lines are small and air will travel extremely slow so 12hrs is the ideal time to let this happen. If this dont work then it may be time to check clean the brake calipers and pistons.


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Awesome! Thanks for the info! Yea I'm using dot 5, it's an 02. I'll give it a try.
 

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If the 10k mile was done or getting done let them know the scoop. Theyll take care of it for you. Bleeding the brakes would be the first thing i would do. You can do the 8hr procedure if you want or get a buddy, wife or girl friend to help you bleed them. That way youll know if the problem is resolved in about 10mins not 8hrs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yea I've bled a thousand systems over the years. Just felt different to me for some reason. Tonight I'll finally get a chance to flush and bleed. Probably all it is. Thanks all for your input!
 

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Brake bleeding

A little tip for bleeding front brakes. Use a heavy rubber band and wrap around lever and grip(fairly tight). This way you don't need another person squeezing the lever. Wrap it then break bleeder valve, brake lever will compress and stay compressed. Close valve, check fluid level then pull lever out, open valve, close valve etc. etc. till brakes are bled.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well flushing and bleeding didn't do a damn thing! The old fluid was real nasty. I didn't have any change in lever, so I didn't even try the rubber band trick. I knew it was too good to be true...lol

Thanks for the link Eagle. I went though this on my Dyna. I was wearing out pads prematurely, but I had great pedal. Unlike my RG. I tried cleaning as per the link and ended up rebuilding the caliper. Guess it just needed a really good cleaning. It's all better now.

So either I have dragging caliper pistons, or a bad master. The relief port bubble seems to be working as it should.

I do have some dealer takeoff calipers and master from an 06, but I know the MoCo went to dot 3 in 05, so does anyone know if I would need to disassemble and clean them before running dot 5?
 

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If it was me i would clean every drop of dot3 before running dot5 through it. I dont believe the two are compatible
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All good now! It was just the pistons hanging up. Cleaned, bled, and did the rubber band trick overnight.....mucho better!!!
 
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