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Crap rear brakes?

Discussion in 'Naked' started by Bjpitt, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. After having ridden my Spada (only roadbike I've had ever ridden) for a few months now I really am wondering if my rear brakes are working as they should. It passed rego inspection so I assumed the braking force is correct, but who knows if they bothered checking.

    Should I be able to lock the rear without having to stand on it? Or even be able to come to a fairly quick stop using on the rear brake? I am not too fussed as it's not a dirt bike, so I really don't need the rear to step out, but it would still be nice to know if they are working as they should.

    I still use the rear to stop, or light up my brake light when coasting to a stop, but that's all it seems to be, a brake light switch...

  2. I think it's pretty normal for rear brakes to be crap. Are yours drum or disc? I only use mine for hill starts. Pretty sure no bike will come to a fairly quick stop on rear brakes alone. I think your worrying over nothing mate
  3. Rego inspection will check meat on the pads+disc thickness. Won't tell you if your system has been bled properly or if the piston is shot (in the MC or in the caliper).Bleed the line, use a new bottle of brake fluid. If symptoms persist, set VTR on fire and begin life in a new State with a new identity.
  4. They don't check the braking force on bikes because they're not allowed to. If they pulled a force check and dropped the bike they'd be up for all repairs which could cost them thousands.
    Like basejumper said, most bikes' rear brakes aren't where the real stopping power comes from anyway. They'll slow you down, but at best they're only 30% of your overall brakes and even less in a really hard stop.
    Make sure your brake pedal is adjusted where you can use it effectively and be sure you're not dragging them by leaving your boot on the lever, which will glaze the disk/drum and wear everything out much faster.
  5. When I had my spada, the braking was pretty weak, even on the front. Having said that, my rear line burst one day and I had it and the front replaced with braided which improved them a bit. Generally you don't want to have it so powerful the rear is locking but if needed it should be able to slow you down reasonably. You may just need a bleed on the rear.

    My advice is change the pads and fluids. Can be done for around $50-75 if you do it yourself as the spud only has the single disc up front. There are plenty of YouTube vids and threads here on how to do it. From my reading you use organic on the rear as it is a bit more forgiving and has less propensity to lock up. Up to you if you want to go sintered on the front but from reading and my experience they take a slight bit of extra heat to really start to bite.

    If you want a bit extra you can go to a brakes or hose place who can make a braided line for front and rear. Mine was about $90 5 years ago. Keep in mind braided only comes into play really under heavy breaking or in situations where you may get bulging in the line from heated fluid (the track). They are easy to install on the spud, just be careful where you may spill fluids.

    This should help but keep in mind they are not the most powerful brakes to begin with so don't expect them to be mind blowing.
  6. Thanks for the replies guys. The fronts work well enough, I can lock the front at street speeds no problem when practicing e-braking.

    I'll look at the rear sometime next week and change fluids.
  7. Have a careful look at the relative sizes of the front disc and the rear disc.

    Now, what was the question again?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Locking the rear risks a highside. Rear brake is for low speed stuff.
  9. I thought my original post made it pretty clear I understand this.

    The question is.... is it normal to nearly stand on the rear brake to prevent rolling backward for a hill start? The "hill" is just a slight slope...
  10. No. That's not at all normal. Your brakes need attention as described earlier in this thread.
  11. Change the brake fluid & bleed well.
    Check your brake pads, if okay, just give them a lite scrub with steel wire brush.

    Use some Acetone (nail polish remover) on a rag to clean the disc.
    I have found that chain lube can get on your bike disc via poor aim when applying it, or by the 'fling-effect' or even when hosing down the bike can hose some oil onto the disc.
  12. #12 Bjpitt, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014

    After checking over everything and finding no real issues and no real change in breaking power, I headed off to Canberra from Merlbourne via the mountains.

    Not sure what happened, but they have gained power and I can stop using just the rear now (before someone jumps on this, it's not my usual practice!).

    When I had road worthy, the mechanic mentioned the rear brakes where installed incorrectly (previous owner), so fixed them up. Maybe they just needed bedding in.

    Now I have to figure out if my alternator or rectifier has crapped out on me. I have over 13 volts at idle, but only have 5 volts at 3000rpm, so it's draining the battery.
  13. just a major factor not given when asking for advice
    tch tch ..
    forum advice gets crazy as it is with wanabee
    experts , google experts and i fixed my brakes a few times expertd . Brakes are important including rears i think
    you have been way to casual over the issue but
    great outcome.
  14. Including that info would have been handy when you asked the initial question.
  15. I'd actually forgetton about it myself! But even for bedding in, it was extreme, I wouldn't have been able to ride the bike if the front's had bedded in like that.