Hi, guys and gals!
I’m continuing with the series of articles on motorcycle maintenance and other helpful tips that relate to all motorcycles in general and not to cossack motorcycles only. In the light of the recent recall of 250,000 Harley bikes due to a faulty braking system (as reported by the CNN), I’ll dedicate this post to analyzing motorcycle brake problems. I’m sure I don’t have to explain the importance of brakes in any vehicle and possible consequences of their failure. So we’ll just get right down to business.
Overheating is a direct cause of brake binding, also called dragging. The latter occurs when liner binds to the brake drum and stays that way even without pressing the lever. Bear in mind that binding may occur not only because of overheating. Both of these problems can be caused by:
The problem called ‘grabbing brakes’ occurs when your brakes are either seized or tend to do that. The causes differ depending on the part rog the braking system where the issue occurs. This might sound stupid, buy one guy I know was so concerned about facing this problem that he called me and said: “Sell my Harley before my brakes will kill me”. Hopefully, a few hours of Internet research and a day at our garage saved the situation and he still rides his Sportster.
The loss of brake fluid is by far the most common and easily solved of motorcycle brake problems. However, it’s also extremely dangerous as an insufficient level of this oil busts the efficiency of your brakes. If you don’t notice the problem in time, you can end up in a horrid situation. So, I suggest checking the levels of brake liquid regularly. Make it your personal everyday ritual.
The leak can occur due to a hole somewhere in the brake system or a poorly connected hose. The main places to check are the caliper and reservoir. If everything seems good there, check every joint in the braking system. If you can’t find the issue, go straight down to your repair and maintenance shop.
If there’s air in your motorcycle braking system, it won’t work. It might function to some extent, but even a small air bubble will reduce its efficiency to a dangerous degree. This motorcycle brake problem is directly connected to the previous one as it occurs when the system develops a leak. While your braking fluid is slowly pouring out, the air is getting in. The result is inefficient brakes and a sky-high possibility of tragic accidents.
I strongly recommend to get a professional check out your bike if you develop any kind of motorcycle brake problems. No matter how minor the issue seems, it’s not worth risking your life over.