Changing Brake Discs - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Changing Brake Discs

Hello All, can someone let me know if it is possible to swap the 260mm front discs on my vulcan for 320mm discs? I know this will impact the calipers et al but I would like to know if 320mm discs from another kawasaki match the same bolt pattern as the vulcan's?

Grateful for any advice.

Mike in the Channel Islands, not in California but near France!
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:55 PM
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Not sure about the bolt pattern, my gut says no.

The real question is ...Why? As in why would you want bigger discs? The two front discs on the bike can provide all the stopping power you'd ever need. Installing braided lines and ceramic pads should provide overkill brakes for this bike.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 09:01 PM
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IMO, the stock brakes are overkill for this bike. 40,000 miles ago, I completely removed the right disc, caliper, and hose. The left brake is completely stock. Bike stops just fine, wheel can be locked up at will, much easier to modulate, and surprisingly, even to me, the left brake is not wearing any faster than it did with both discs. I know this because I put 80,000 miles on another Vulcan 750 with dual discs. Wish I had known then what I know now.

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1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
Not sure about the bolt pattern, my gut says no.

The real question is ...Why? As in why would you want bigger discs? The two front discs on the bike can provide all the stopping power you'd ever need. Installing braided lines and ceramic pads should provide overkill brakes for this bike.
I am going to go out on a limb here and guess he is wanting a set of those scalloped around the O.D. rotors like Kaws late model sport bikes,more for looks than stopping power or his may be worn and he has found some this size for cheap,...just guessing though




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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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My reasons for needing 320mm discs

Hi guys,

I realise that the current 260mm twin disc set up provides adequate braking but I am installing USD front forks on the bike as it is a bobber project. Installing bigger discs is not a question of increasing braking power for me it is more about the controllability of applying the brakes.

Kind regards

Mike
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jersey Mike View Post
Hi guys,

I realise that the current 260mm twin disc set up provides adequate braking but I am installing USD front forks on the bike as it is a bobber project. Installing bigger discs is not a question of increasing braking power for me it is more about the controllability of applying the brakes.

Kind regards

Mike
Well, according to Jerry, he got more "control" by removing one of the discs. Apparently having less stopping power is what makes your brakes "more controllable" .......

I always just figured it was skill......

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 02:34 PM
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The way I see it, the Vulcan was simply overbraked. Many much larger heavier bikes have only one front disc, and do just fine. In this case, having less actual braking power DID make the brake easier to control. People don't seem to realize you actually CAN have to much of something. IMO, if you can easily lock the front wheel, then you have plenty of braking power, because there is nowhere else to go. Locking the wheel is overbraking, and if it can be done easily with one disc, then why do you need two? With two discs, the brake was basically on or off. Yes, it could be modulated to some degree, and during normal routine riding was merely annoying. However, in a panic stop, when you want the front wheel right on the verge of lockup, and often have a number of other things to deal with at the same time, putting just the slightest bit of excess pressure on the lever would lock the front wheel, and we all know what happens when you do that. With only one disc, overall braking feel and control is much improved, and there is still more than enough power to lock the front wheel, but you are not nearly as likely to do it accidentally.

Braking IS a matter of skill. At least to me. It no longer requires skill for those who have ABS, just squeeze the lever hard, and let the computer make the decisions. I have ridden bikes that had very little in the way of brakes. I learned how to use what I had, there was no known way to make them stronger. But on the Vulcan 750, Kawasaki made the brakes so touchy that the slightest pressure on the lever would cause the brakes to grab, and could result in an accidental stoppie. Now, if all you had to do while riding was focus on the front brake, they would work fine. But with the hundreds of other things that have to be dealt with, having brakes that require too much attention are dangerous.

I would like to point out that I have never in 35+ years and 400,000+ miles, I have never crashed on a street bike. I would also like to point out that I have 40,000+ miles on this mod, without the slightest problem. The way I see it, I simply fixed one of the Vulcan's shortcomings.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 10:52 PM
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Well. I don't see the Vulcans duel discs as a " "shortcoming"... But agree they are over kill on a 500 lb cruiser. Perhaps my stint as a roadracer has muddled my view on the "beyond needed" front brake system concept.... But in my book there is no such thing as "too much brake." Humans are supposed to be able to adapt and compensate for variances found in mechanical controls. If you find the lever "touchy" you are supposed to learn to compensate.

Spend some time on a bike that actually has more aggressive brakes and you'll find the Vulcans severely lacking.

I'm sorry to say Jerry's view of ABS on current bikes outdated and symplistic. They are pretty much transparent and ONLY keep the wheel from locking up and that is a good thing. In half a dozen close calls the vastly superior brakes on my FJR have done the job without me ever reaching the point of having the ABS kick in.

I have read some real life testimonials praising the ABS system when it did intervene ... Too many tests have shown that even the best expert rider on a non ABS bike will post longer stopping distances than an average rider with ABS on slick roads. On clean dry pristine roads the "expert" tends to win....but where does one find pristine roads?

The idea however of putting even larger brakes on the Vulcan does sound a bit silly. Keep in mind my suggestion to go with braided lines and ceramic pads first is still in my my view the only needed change.

Hhe rear brake on the other hand can really use some help.....

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 11:10 PM
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Did they ever put a rear brake on the 750?
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 11:45 PM
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Do you mean a disc brake on the rear instead of the drum that they all have? No. It's been mentioned here but it's another one of those "not worth it" mods on these bikes. Again, the shaft drive pretty much dictates what you can do to the arse end of these scoots. Since most braking is done (or should be) with the front brake, the really old school rear brake was never a concern for me. Almost never use it. If you romp the pedal however, she'll lock up and give you a fishtail.

I was thinkin about an old mechanic buddy I used to hang with. Excellent wrench and hated anything computerized. So did I then but honestly, I can't ignore the safety and performance improvements that have come along. My Maxima's v6 has so much bawls and top end that it easily rivals a few of the V8's I've tweaked in the past and it's reliable and better on gas, whereas v6's back then were not as powerful, even one I suped with some edelbrock goodies. My point is, although many things are made cheaper and cheaper as the throw away society increases, I've warmed up to some of the advancements that have come along and the newer ABS systems are included among them. Sorry to

Dave

Mods:
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Added stuff:
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Last edited by DavesVulster; 12-10-2011 at 12:28 AM.
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