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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
rear brake adjustment

The other day I needed to adjust the resting position of my foot brake pedal in order not to make contact with my newly-installed floorboard. (This eventually involved completely removing the brake pedal itself and adjusting the twin bolts, then putting it all back together.) I thought that I had everything squared away until I found myself heaving to back my bike out of the garage today. I loosened the play in the foot brake by adjusting the bolt by the rear wheel, and then the bike rolled out free and easy as usual.

Question: Is there anything I need to check to make sure that rear wheel is rolling completely free? (I was on the interstate today, and the bike was going 70 mph at the usual rpm's -- i.e. the engine wasn't straining to move the bike.)
 

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Super Moderator
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It's all my fault so I'll help you out here..

Adjust the pedal to your liking...you did that.

Put the bike on the centerstand , in neutral. The rear tire will be off the ground. Slowly turn the nut at the back of the brake arm on the wheel in while spinning the tire with your other hand. I used a 14mm deepwall socket for this and wore a glove..

The adjustment nut has a rounded face that "locks" into the barrel pivot on the arm...and sets into it at 180 degree intervals..
Keep turning the nut until you feel..or hear..the wheel make contact with the brake shoe. Back it off a few turns and do this again more slowly, noting the positon of the nut on the barrel..making sure it is seated.

When you get to the point where the nut is seated and is just causing some noise or resistance on the wheel, back it out 1/2 turn and your good to go.

Because of the way the wheel is designed, the brakes done this adjustment will NOT get tighter when the suspension is compressed, as opposed to some bikes, so you can rest assured the brakes will not be rubbing ...unless you are applying pressure to the pedal.

It is important to know that if you hear the brake shoe making contact, it does not matter if you can feel it in the wheel..go by the sound.

You should redo this proceedure every 1000 -1500 miles if you are smart enough to use your rear brakes all the time.

KM
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Eric, definitely NOT your fault!!!

I didn't know if I needed to do something around the brake pedal itself, or back at the rear wheel. Thanks for the clear and helpful troubleshooting directions. Will come in handy in the future too!

By the way, the floorboards are great!!!
 

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Well, I meant that if you didn't get the floorboards, you might not have messed with the brake pedal..(which sounded like is was out of adjustment in the first place....so I guess I actualy did you a favor....lol)

The manual calls the little bolt and nut adjuster by the pedal a cable adjustment point..but to me it is only for fine tuning the position of the pedal..the real adjustment is at the wheel for slack in the cable.

I was always amazed at how screwed up folks rear brakes were adjusted when I worked in the bike shop.
Some were already rubbing, and some you had to literally stand on them for the brake to do anything.

Although the front brake does the majority of the braking on a bike, you can look at braking distances and see that at 65 mph you can go an additional 20 feet by not using the rear in conjunction with the front...and that 20 feet may be a very import distance in a bad situation.

The one thing that I do tell folks when they install floorboards, or make any adjustments to the controlls, is to spend time learning the new positions, prefferably not at high speeds..
You will find that because you now have LOTS of room for your feet, that they will tend to settle back some from the controls (shifter, brake) , so you have to retrain yourself to move your foot forward into the right position to apply the brake. Take time practicing this if need be, and for the first month always make a concious effort in doing this. Once so trained it will become reflex in one of those bad situations...........


KM
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the really helpful brake info!

I did the rear brake adjustment as you advised. I only have one concern. You wrote: "It is important to know that if you hear the brake shoe making contact, it does not matter if you can feel it in the wheel..go by the sound." But as I turned the adjustment nut I couldn't hear the wheel make contact with the brake shoe. I could, however, definitely feel the resistance. And it wasn't gradual ~ in one position the wheel seemed to turn freely, and with one twist the brake would definitely catch. Thoughts?
 

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Super Moderator
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Thanks for the really helpful brake info!

I did the rear brake adjustment as you advised. I only have one concern. You wrote: "It is important to know that if you hear the brake shoe making contact, it does not matter if you can feel it in the wheel..go by the sound." But as I turned the adjustment nut I couldn't hear the wheel make contact with the brake shoe. I could, however, definitely feel the resistance. And it wasn't gradual ~ in one position the wheel seemed to turn freely, and with one twist the brake would definitely catch. Thoughts?
Well, sometimes "feel" is more noticable. As long as you are sure that after you do the 1/2 turn back the wheel "feels" free again, you are fine.

The reason I mentioned hearing was many times with shaft drive bikes it is hard to "feel" a diffrence. Alot depends on how worn the shoes are...oddly the brakes on the Vulcan get more "aggressive" with age/miles. As you note you have almost 10k on the bike, this makes it easier to go by feel than sound.

KM
 
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