Rear Brake Adjustment--?? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Brake Adjustment--??

Ok-My Kawasaki service manual states on the pedal to have 20-30mm pedal play... I set mine the other day when I did the spline lube to 30mm, yesterday we rode 120+mi. and my gas guage says the same as empty which usually I get at least 150 mi before empty reading, just thought I wasn't getting the gas milage I am used to for some reason...
Today I have the bike out of the shed and deside to check the air in the tires (low air could cause bad gas milage), the front was good, I go to the rear and the wheel is a bit stiff to turn so I loosen the brake up to a good 40mm or +/-1.6" or more, and low and behold she spins like a top, no brake drag to speak of whatever... I'm thinking there is my bad gas milage...!!!
So how much free pedal do you set, what the manual calls for or a bit more...???
Does your rear wheel have a dragging brake when set to the 20-30mm or +/-0.8"-1.2" or do you set more free pedal...???
Just wondering what others do on the rear brake adjustmant, and how it might be effecting your gas milage...
One more thing, when I put the wheel back on after the spline lube I had the wife hold the brake to center it up when I tightened the rear axle, so I believe that was done right...
Thanks and have a good one...Old Dog...

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 04:29 PM
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I never go by "free play" on the brake pedal. What I do is put the bike on the centerstand , and then slowly tighten up the adjustment nut on the brake rod (at the wheel) until I hear or feel the brake pads begin to touch the drum. I will spin the wheel a few times and back it off then re-do it to make sure I just don't have a high spot on the drum.

When the brake shoe is definately touching the drum from me turning the adjustment nut in, I then back it out 1/2 turn ( it is cut to fit over the pivot bushing so only 1/2 turn adjustments can be made at a time anyway)

I then spin the wheel to make sure noting is rubbing and that is the extent of the adjustment. When the rear wheel is on the ground, it actualy causes the brake rod to pivot back abit..which makes the adjustment a tad looser, so no worries about overheating the brakes due to wheel movement up and down.

You can of course adjust the pedal position before doing all of this, but I never measure the free play , I just adjust the brake so it engages with the least amount of pedal movement.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 05:28 PM
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I agree with Km's method. Free play is just a guideline. I personnaly set mine so I have to apply more brake pressure just to keep from having drag. Dragging brakes not only cause loss of milage but can verheat the pads and cause poor braking or complete failure.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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KM & Rckmtn, Yep, I believe y'all got a good handle on it... Makes more sense than Kaw's instructions, and that is what I thought also and how I am now adjusted, and will do it from now on...
Also, I just filled up and got the worst gas milage I have ever got and had some pretty good gas milage miles (open roads) on it too... 141mi/2.80 Gal. for 50.36 mpg...
Thanks Folks, and have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
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