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Front brake drag following tire change

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Hi there. Just joined; this is my first post. First of all, I just want to say thanks to all you forum contributors over the years. You have helped me understand my 2014 Victory Cross Country, and attempt to address a problem I’m having right now. Please bear with me while I tell you my tale of woe. It’s a bit of a long read, but I want to explain that I have covered all the obvious things. Shortly after getting my front tire replaced by a local ‘specialist’, I noticed a rubbing noise coming from the front wheel, as I was backing it out of my garage. To investigate, I went for a short ride, and stopping without using the front brakes, got off the bike and touched both rotors (at the same time). The right rotor was hot, the left was cool. Back home, I removed the right caliper and scrubbed the pistons with a toothbrush, soap and hot water, then with brake cleaner. Using a caliper spreader and shims, I isolated each of the 4 pistons and using the brake lever, made sure each piston was not stuck. I was also able to push back each piston with my fingers. I also cleaned the rotor, and spun and cleaned the rotor bobbins. When replacing the caliper, I spun the wheel and pulled on the brake lever to set the pads, before torquing up the bolts. The rubbing is now a bit quieter, and the rotor no longer gets hot. However, the dragging noise is still there, but disappears when the wheel is spun with the caliper removed. However, I’m inclined not to believe that the improvement was due to the caliper and rotor being cleaned, as the problem, statistically speaking, must be something to do with the recent tire replacement job. I think the improvement is related to the caliper being taken off and put back on again (an alignment thing). My next step was to remove the front wheel. The wheel, tire and spacers were the right way round, I re-torqued up the axle, and bounced on the suspension 5 times (front brake lever held), before locking the pinch bolts (as per 12.9 in the Service Manual). I also measured the runout of the rotor with a dial indicator; 0.007in; well within tolerance. I also replaced the pads and bled the front brakes, ensuring that the master cylinder was not overfilled. No change. I’m well into trial and error country now, and could easily spend hundreds of dollars with no improvement. I accept that there is always some drag, but there is hardly any noise from the left side. I can hear the right caliper noise out on the road with my earplugs in. With the wheel on correctly, and assuming the caliper, pads, brake fluid, and rotor OK, the only thing I can think of is fork alignment, especially as the problem caliper is on the ‘floating’ side of the axle. As I mentioned, I bounced on the suspension after refitting the wheel. I sat on the bike with my feet on the ground. However, I was not able to compress the forks to full travel, as I think I would need to have all my body on the bike to do this. Even with the bike lashed down, I don’t fancy doing it. How do you guys manage? Anyway, I’m fresh out of ideas on this one, and would appreciate your help. Regards, Dave.
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
If the original pads are still serviceable try putting them back in and see if that solves your problem.
There is a small chance that not replacing the left side pads could be the issue.
Never replaced just one set of pads on a dual disc front end.
Let us know when you find the cause.
Thanks Norm. As you suggested, I reverted back to oem pads and then replaced them, so that new EBC HH are in both sides. There is no discernable change to the dragging sound between the old and new pads, but there appears to be a slight difference when spinning the wheel by hand. I say 'appears' as this is all muscle memory. With a moderate amount of pressure spinning the wheeI, I get about two and a half turns with the oem pads fitted, before it stops, and about a quarter turn less with the EBC pads fitted. So EBC pads are not helping, but are not the root cause. Going back to the beginning of the story, with the oem pads fitted, and the right caliper removed, there is no dragging noise and I get two and three quarter turns before the wheel stops. However, you were quite right to encourage me to make sure that there were new pads in both sides. Another detail I should have mentioned was that when I originally removed the Pad Retaining Pin on the right caliper, the O-ring crumbled. I have the (Kawasaki) part number from an earlier post, and will replace it. In the meantime, I don't see this being the source of the brake dragging. Regards.
 

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Well, now I'm truly mystified.
Down to making wild ass semi educated guesses.
Wheel bearings?
Caliper cocking slightly?
Spacer in the wheel damaged from over torquing?
You've already made sure that a piston isn't slightly cocked or hanging up in the bore.
You've checked the runout on the discs.
The two and 3/4 turns has really stumped me. Logic says it should do it right away on the first revolution.
With it doing it after more than one revolution indicates that orientation of some part is changing with the wheel turning.
Does it continue to drag after it starts dragging after the two and 3/4 revs or does it kind of reset?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks Norm. There's only one thing left I can think of, and that would concur with the recent tire replacement activity. Fork/wheel alignment. As I mentioned in the original post, the Service Manual requires that when the wheel is replaced and the axle torqued, the suspension has to be fully compressed 4 or 5 times before tightening and torquing the pinch bolts. The tire fitter may not have done this. The right side of the wheel is against the 'floating' leg and could be out of true. But, there is no obvious way the average DIY guy can compress the front suspension fully. Maybe if the bike was lashed to a raised bench and I stood in front of the bike and hauled down on the handlebars. Or, lashed it down on a trailer and jumped up and down on it. There are videos on YouTube about fork alignment, but these are little bikes in paddock stands, with the guy's whole body on top of the bike. I'm looking for a safer solution. Apologies for not being clear about the number of revs the wheel makes before it stops. I was just trying to explain how much resistance each caliper is putting on the wheel's ability to turn. The main thing is, regardless of pad type, when the right caliper is removed, the dragging noise disappears when the wheel is spun. If it's not alignment, then, as proposed by lou8700 earlier in this thread, it could be a damaged brake hose, or something else in the hydraulics keeping pressure on the right caliper after the brake lever is released. Regards.
 

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Thanks Norm. There's only one thing left I can think of, and that would concur with the recent tire replacement activity. Fork/wheel alignment. As I mentioned in the original post, the Service Manual requires that when the wheel is replaced and the axle torqued, the suspension has to be fully compressed 4 or 5 times before tightening and torquing the pinch bolts. The tire fitter may not have done this. The right side of the wheel is against the 'floating' leg and could be out of true. But, there is no obvious way the average DIY guy can compress the front suspension fully. Maybe if the bike was lashed to a raised bench and I stood in front of the bike and hauled down on the handlebars. Or, lashed it down on a trailer and jumped up and down on it. There are videos on YouTube about fork alignment, but these are little bikes in paddock stands, with the guy's whole body on top of the bike. I'm looking for a safer solution. Apologies for not being clear about the number of revs the wheel makes before it stops. I was just trying to explain how much resistance each caliper is putting on the wheel's ability to turn. The main thing is, regardless of pad type, when the right caliper is removed, the dragging noise disappears when the wheel is spun. If it's not alignment, then, as proposed by lou8700 earlier in this thread, it could be a damaged brake hose, or something else in the hydraulics keeping pressure on the right caliper after the brake lever is released. Regards.
Like I said,"Down to wild ass semi educated guesses".
Never had to do the fully compressed thing ever on any motorcycle I've owned or worked on.
Pre retirement I worked for several H-D dealerships and a number of independent shops and never had to do that to any bike. Continued working on them as a as a sideline for spending money up until a year ago when the body got to where I just can't do the constant getting up and down or standing for hours. Have to save myself now so I can keep up with MY stuff.
Really curious about what the answer is going to be.
 

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Have both front calipers been properly bled?

As has been mentioned, remove the EBC pads and throw them away. They tend to eat your rotors and therefore do very expensive damage. Lyndall Gold from Witchdoctors are the best option, oem are the 2nd best option IMHO.
 

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You don't fully compress the forks.
Grab front brake and bounce on the front end by pushing on handlebars while seated. Can rock the bike quite a bit doing this.

If forks are truly out of alignment you would need to loosen pinch bolts higher up and bounce on front end. This however would have made inserting the axle difficult so it would have been obvious.

You mention issue with the slide pin, you did lube these correct? I've had issues with pads sticking if the pin gets mucked up with road gunk. It caused me a low speed wobble as one side was still grabbing rotor while other was free spinning.

Good luck with it. Hopefully you can figure it out and let us know what you found.
 
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Greetings,
Wondering if (based on a previous comment) the mating surface between the caliper and fork leg are clean? I.E. getting a good face-to-face connection between caliper and rock leg. Might be worth a quick removal, brass wire brushing, reassembling? As Norm said: "Down to wild ass semi educated guesses".

Will be watching this thread to see what you found when resolved.

Ride safe,
Smokier
 
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I’ve had new pads make a little noise until they were bedded in, put the new pads on both sides, make sure to clean the calipers, rotors, guide pins, clips and make sure the caliper easily floats back and forth without hanging up. Then, go for a nice ride somewhere you can safely break in the new pads
 
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thanks. You might have a point there. Yesterday, I did put the oem pads back in, cleaned everything again, and the original problem still persisted. But, leaving the new pads in, which I intend to do, potentially masks a fix to the problem as they make a bit of noise on their own. As suggested earlier by other members, I'm going to go back over some of the things I had ruled out. If the problem is fixed, I will know because when I remove the right caliper and spin the wheel, the severe dragging noise will all but disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
You have too much brake fluid in it.
Thanks for the tip. One of the first things I checked was to make sure that the fluid was at the top of the reservoir sight glass with the bike up straight. It didn't move much when I changed the brake pads, and I have since bled the brakes. I am going to bleed them again though, and maybe replace the brake line on the right caliper. Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Have both front calipers been properly bled?

As has been mentioned, remove the EBC pads and throw them away. They tend to eat your rotors and therefore do very expensive damage. Lyndall Gold from Witchdoctors are the best option, oem are the 2nd best option IMHO.
Thanks Mark. I thought I did it right; and went by the Service Manual. Turned the bars to the right, bleed left, right, and left again, until the bled fluid looked clear. DOT4 fluid. Brake lever feels firm. I didn't tie-wrap the handle and leave overnight though, as some other riders recommend. I am going to bleed them again though just to make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Greetings,
Wondering if (based on a previous comment) the mating surface between the caliper and fork leg are clean? I.E. getting a good face-to-face connection between caliper and rock leg. Might be worth a quick removal, brass wire brushing, reassembling? As Norm said: "Down to wild ass semi educated guesses".

Will be watching this thread to see what you found when resolved.

Ride safe,
Smokier
Thanks Smokier. One of the first things I did was to try and retrace the steps of the tire fitter. After consulting the SM and watching Paul Pomerleau's excellent video on YT, I removed the wheel and cleaned everthing spotless. Even removed the axle grease and put new stuff on. I'll probably end up taking the wheel off again though, so will pay particular attention to the fork mating surfaces. Regarding Norm's comment, I was sure it was the right caliper. Then I was sure it was something to do with the wheel being removed and replaced. Then I was sure it was the rotor, then I was certain it was brake fluid, and now I'm thinking alignment. But if that's not it, I'm repeating all the things I've ruled-out, because something has to be causing the problem.
 

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New pads aren’t perfectly even, take a ride to bed the pads in and see if that cures the issue. Make sure the caliper floats smoothly side to side on its guide pins before the ride.
 
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New pads aren’t perfectly even, take a ride to bed the pads in and see if that cures the issue. Make sure the caliper floats smoothly side to side on its guide pins before the ride.
Or just throw the EBC in the trash and get Lyndall Golds. Great pads and no break in needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Have both front calipers been properly bled?

As has been mentioned, remove the EBC pads and throw them away. They tend to eat your rotors and therefore do very expensive damage. Lyndall Gold from Witchdoctors are the best option, oem are the 2nd best option IMHO.
I bled them again earlier today and got some improvement; i.e. less resistance when turning the wheel by hand. Unfortunately, before finding this out, I compressed the suspension, as recommended by IndyVictory. So, I believe, that with the help of you guys on this forum I have solved the problem, but I'm not sure why. As IndyVictory says, if the alignment was out that much, the axle would not go back in. Re the repeat brake bleed; did I not do it right first time? Did the second bleed flush out something loosened by the first one? I've just got back from a ride, and while there is still some noise, I believe it is the new pads bedding in. I've hogged enough of your time, so will call this a success. I do have another question for you guys (rotor radial runout), but will leave that for a future post. I'm really pleased with my Victory, especially as it is supported by this forum's wealth of knowledge.
 
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