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Discussion Starter #1
The front brakes on my Africa Twin are not functioning properly.

I can get it to stop without a problem, but have to pull the levers almost al the way for serious stopping power. Fellow bikers noticed the same on my bike.

It has steel braded lines, brake fluid can be seen through the 'window' in the reservoir.
The discs are not yet on the minimum (3.5mm) thickness, but about 3.65mm and probably around 72000km old. The brakepads are not worn yet, at least half left.

I've asked around, and everybody seems to have a different opinion. Some say (without knowing the state of my brake system) it's the discs. Some say it cant be if their not worn out.
What can be a logical explaination? Before I go invest in new discs, sintered pads etc.
 

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Has someone spayed the discs with lube,is there a greasy film on them.
Does the lever feel spongy,could there be a air bubble in there somewhere,if so just bleed the brakes to make it nice and firm(OOH)
 

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Africa Twin brakes will never be the same as superbike brakes, so always feel a bit weak for the weight of the bike, however you don't need or want powerful brakes for a bike that could be taken off-road.

If you have braided lines, it's unlikely to be them, so I would suggest the following.

Air in the system. Even if you have bled them, it may be that you have trapped air. Try this though. Stand the bike upright on the centre stand, then pull the brake lever in all the way to the bars and hold it there with a cable tie, velcro, or tape. Leave it overnight as a minimum, maybe 24 hours if you can. Afterwards, release the cable tie, gently let the lever out, and then pump it a few times. Re-check the system a see if that feels any better.

Another problem could be that one or more of the brake pistons could be seized, and the remaining working pistons are trying to do all the work. Only a proper strip of the calipers will confirm this, and if you're going to do that, you may as well strip them properly and clean the calipers, pistons, and seals anyway. What causes them to seize is corrosion BEHIND the brake seals (so between the rubber seal and the caliper) and this distorts the rubber seal causing them to grip the piston.

Also worth checking that the caliper is actually sliding on the mount correctly, and that the slider pins are moving properly. Use RED GREASE on these, as it is compatible with the rubber boots the pins slide in.



Good Luck



Bob :thumbup:
 

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In addition to Bob's reply also factor in that some pads do not work well with the standard Honda discs. I had EBC discs on with Honda pads and this combination did not work either

I swapped to Honda and Honda and it was like night and day,the difference

I don't use the brakes if I can help it but when I do it would be nice to know they'll work
 

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I would most likely consider as a first that the pistons have seized. Then I would look at the pads - discs may get thin but they don't "stop working like that, I am sure. The pads may have glazed over. Are they "old" as in years old? Air in the system is a possibility but how did it get there?

When considering if the piston has seized it is most likely the dust seal rather than the hydraulic seal that has got water behind and corroded the caliper, forcing the seal out and therefore causing the problem. You will have to clean this out and fit a new seal or simply pack it with grease, fit a new hydraulic seal and with the piston fitted, pack round the piston with more grease. The only problem with this method is the need to clean (depending on your mileage) twice a year. But at least it all gets pulled apart and bled regularly.
 
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