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Old 06-26-2006, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Front Brake Lever Soft

04 FXSTI Brake still seems to have plenty of stopping power, but doesn't start to apply any braking until lever is about 1 1/2 inches from the handle grip. I've run half a bottle of fluid through it trying to bleed out any air. I've never done anything to the brakes except change out the stock lever for a chrome one. Have about 5000 miles on it. Purchased the bike about 2000 miles ago. My old sporty had almost immediate braking. Is this normal or is there another way to bleed the air out. I have no leaks at all. Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you can back bleed them by using a screwdriver or scraper to push the pucks in, usually works good just loosen the cap a little bit, try that if you have no luck with that make sure you still have plenty of pad left...
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Old 06-27-2006, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re bleed. You can also replace the pads which will minimize the lever travel.
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Old 06-27-2006, 02:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My RK does the same thing and I had only done the same thing (replaced the levers with aftermarkets) The dealer (whom I do trust btw) told me it was because of the new levers. I still trust them but I gotta raise the BS flag on that one. The pads are good so??????
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I hear ya RKJ. I have plenty of pad left also. Only thing I can think of is the lever is cast a little different. They are Harley levers though. Dr. Deuce, if you had this problem, how much fluid did you have to run through it before you got all the air out? I can't even really get a good pump up with it. Lever gets hard but doesn't gain any depth. I suppose I could put the original lever back on and see if it makes a difference. Just a pain though. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just replaced the stock levers for a pair of chrome Paul Yaffe levers, and experienced the same. The levers appear to be different, in the way that the lever is much closer to the grip when fully breaking.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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the lever isnt going to make any difference in braking. if you have braided lines, it takes longer to bleed fully. must be due to the inner material of these lines. uou can also tap on the caliper and tap on the lines to bring the air to the top. just continue to bleed the system, do it each nite for 3 nites. hold hard on the lever, then slowly open the bleeder and see if you get any air out. DO NOT let the lever come back while the bleeder is open. when you get all the air out, the lever will feel very solid when it is applied tight. you want to eliminate the spongy feel, which is the air in the line being compressed...... you cannot compress brake fluid. thats why it'll feel solid when the air is purged. and don't let the fliud in the master cylinder get too low during this porcedure.
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Lever travel, spongy feeling

The guys in the Indy shop noticed spongy and extended lever travel several times after replacing the pads and fluids in particular in dual disk set ups. Complete disassembly of calipers, master cylinders, all new rubber and overnight bleeding etc. etc. did not solve the problem. The master had no visible issues, the bottom valve appeared to work. Replacing the master cylinder solved the problem every time however. This happened at least 10 times over the last 2 years and only on bike that were 3-5 years old.
Don't know what it is, but they know now what to do..........
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Brakes work fine (not spongy)?

The only difference is "where the lever is, in relation to the bars, when the bike stops?"

Put the old lever on top of the new lever right now. Just hold it on top.

Is the new lever at the same angle as the old lever?

If not - stopping will occur at a different lever location.

If it is - look at the corner of the levers closest to your body as you sit on the bike.

Is the corner of the lever, on the bike now, more rounded than the old lever?

If so this is a physics problem - rounded fulcrum syndrome.

If they are similar - see Dr. Deuce above. I also have a website that talks you through bleeding different brake lines.

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Had a similar problem on my 2001 Electra. Solution is to clean the brake caliper pistons with break cleaner. Search forum for detailed how to.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here is a trick I learned over 30 years ago...Take some electrical tape and pull the brake lever in and release it several times (basically flicking it)...then pull the lever all the way in and run 4 or 5 layer of tape around the lever and the throttle grip together. Make sure the lever is all the way in as far as it will pull in...tape tightly.
Let it set over night. Release the tape the next day and see how much more lever you've gained...you'll be suprised. Repeat if neccesary.
Just my 2 cents...from No Cents.

Last edited by No Cents; 03-28-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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