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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondereing why the Vulcans have dual brakes on the front? I see other bikes with only one brake on the front . I can see it for a safety and stopping power but im a ridder that normally uses more back brake pressure than i do on the front. A few bad spills & slips from using to much front brake. Toss your ideas my way !
 

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Old Truck Junkie
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4,133 Posts
Just wondereing why the Vulcans have dual brakes on the front? I see other bikes with only one brake on the front . I can see it for a safety and stopping power but im a ridder that normally uses more back brake pressure than i do on the front. A few bad spills & slips from using to much front brake. Toss your ideas my way !
You answered your own ?.
However I did hear of one member that removed one side of the brake system without noting any difference (in his opinion.)
 

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Daily Rider
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132 Posts
Personally, I like the dual disc brakes. As far as using to much front brake it is just a matter of only using one or two fingers on the brake lever, up high closer to the lever pivot. That way you should be able to control the pressure much better and not end up locking the brakes up.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
As the bike slows down whether from using engine braking, rear wheel or front wheel braking, weight is tranfered from the rear wheel to the front. So in a hard braking situation you can progressively brake harder on the front wheel for maximum stopping power. At the same time you have to ease up on the rear brake as weight is transfered off of it, to prevent locking it up and sliding out into a potential lo-side or high-side crash. You want to gradually release the brake too. This helps keep maximun traction throughout the braking cycle.

To avoid locking the front brake, gradually apply it to maximum over a one second time period. Practice counting ONE THOUSAND AND ONE, as you brake. If the brake is full on before the finish of the count, you are "grabbing" the brake, not using a controlled "squeeze".

Cglennon is pretty close, I think, in his estimate of 70% braking power on the front wheel on a cruiser type motorcycle.

Some sport bikes with gummy tires are capapble of doing "stoppies", or reverse wheelies, which shows that they can get 100% stopping power from the front brake.
 

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Premium Member
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Hoss, you have too much time to read since your surgery. Hope you get out to put all that knowledge to work soon. You are the forums resident expert nowadays!
Bronson
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Hoss, you have too much time to read since your surgery. Hope you get out to put all that knowledge to work soon. You are the forums resident expert nowadays!
Bronson
Well Bronson, I have been back to work driving truck since Sept. 1. I have an early start at 6 am, and usually finish by 2:30 pm. Still pretty tired after work and often retiring by 8 pm for an early rising at 4:45 am.

I really need to put in 30-40 minutes a day on an exercise bike, and with some weights to increase my strength and endurance.

Hope to able to ride next season.:smiley_th
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the great answers guys! Im not a gear down to stop rider, gear down only at close to stopping and getting into 1st gear again at a stop sign or red light. There is alot of weight transfer normally to the front brakes while slowing down,, was just wondering why Maw Ki did it with two brakes in front. Maybe just a selling point!
 

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It is definitely NOT just a selling point. Look at all of the performance bikes. They put a LOT of emphasis on the front brakes. The VN750 uses one piston each on each caliper. There are bikes out there that use 6 pistons on EACH caliper. That shows you how important the front brake is. The reason you have had trouble with the front brake is that it works TOO well, not that it doesn't work right. In slow parking lot speeds the front brake can be too much and it tends to throw the bike off balance if the wheel is not perfectly aligned. That is why at slow speeds more attention needs to be paid to the rear brake. That is also why bikes like ours can get by with the comparatively paltry rear drum brake. This is equally true of cars.
 

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Super Moderator
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Well JW.... It was a selling point to me. Most of , if not all the cruisers I looked at back in 2002 had only one disc up front... The 750s duel discs... Along with the full instruments helped me make my mind up quickly on which bike to buy.

Selling points are GOOD things.....;)

And rather go into the whole world of braking techniques... I'll just say that if you only use your rear brake ... You don't know how to ride a bike and will likely get hurt at some point when good braking is needed.
 

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Just wondereing why the Vulcans have dual brakes on the front? I see other bikes with only one brake on the front . I can see it for a safety and stopping power but im a ridder that normally uses more back brake pressure than i do on the front. A few bad spills & slips from using to much front brake. Toss your ideas my way !
FINALLY someone asks a question about the brakes that makes sense. I don't know why Kawasaki put dual discs on the Vulcan 750, it is not heavy and it is not a sport bike. It may very well have been a selling point. Back in the mid '80s manufacturers were loading their bikes down with everything they could get on them, that was the thing to do at the time. People wanted features, features, and more features. Now they are doing exactly the opposite, and removing everything they can get away with, including some really important things like centerstands and tubeless tires.

The truth is, the Vulcan 750 does NOT need dual front discs. I have proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Back when my bike had about 20,000 miles on it, I got tired of almost locking the front wheel by just touching the brake lever. It seemed to be an on/off switch, with nothing in between. So I decided to do some experimenting. I removed the right caliper and hose. Suddenly the front brake felt much better, and was much easier to modulate. so I took it out to a deserted road, and did all kinds of testing, including holding the front wheel on the verge of lockup from 100 mph to a dead stop. I did this several times to see if it would fade under extreme use. It didn't. I performed all sorts of evasive maneuvers, and the brakes worked flawlessly. I intentionally locked up the front wheel for a split second several times, to make sure it was possible. I was able to easily beat the stopping distances in the owners manual. Basically the front brake now felt just like a normal motorcycle front brake, easy to modulate, plenty of stopping power, easily able to lock the front wheel, but required a little more pressure on the lever than before. So I had proven it worked, and started riding it that way without incident. I went ahead and removed the right front rotor. I was still concerned about excessive rotor and pad wear, and possible rotor warping from excessive heat, so I kept a close eye on it for some time.

That was 50,000 MILES ago, and I can tell you that nothing wore any faster, nothing warped, no problems developed at all. None. Nada. Zilch. It still has the same rotor on it, and it barely shows any wear at all. At 70,000 miles it is still well within service limits for thickness and runout. I change the pads with EBC organic pads about every 12,000 miles (before they are completely worn out, that rotor costs $270), and I change the fluid once a year, just for the heck of it.


I am NOT going to suggest anyone else do this, because while you do still have plenty of brakes, and I have not found any problems in 50,000 miles of use, including in the rain, it does change the feel at the lever. Made it much better IMO. If you do this, you assume any possible risk. All I can tell you is what my experience was. I wish I had done this to my first Vulcan 750, and to my second and current Vulcan 750 when I first bought it new.


As everyone here knows, the Vulcan 750 is far from perfect, in fact it has a long list of issues, virtually all of which could have been solved with better engineering. So saying that it requires 2 front brakes because the engineers decided to put them there doesn't amount to a hill of beans to me. They made too many other mistakes to claim they were perfect.
 

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Super Moderator
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I don't think anyone said the bike "needed" two discs..... This pretty well evidenced by the glut of other bikes in it's class that only have one.

But given the poor rear brake, I don't think having two discs up front hurt. I had no problems with the feel of the front brakes, but can see how others might find them to be "too much". Many things are personal preference... But I'd say an expert rider could make the Vulcan stop quicker ( and straighter) with the two brake set up rather than just having one.

Again... "Selling points" are usually good things. One of the big "selling points" of the FJR was ABS brakes....to me, this is the best thing to happen to motorcycles since tubeless tires, and in my opinion THE best thing EVER.
 

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To each their own. I would not ride a bike with ABS. I have had problems stopping cars with ABS, and despite the fact that it is mainly intended as a safety device for slippery surfaces, that is where it causes the most problems. Fortunately, on cars anyway, it can be disabled, simply by unplugging it, just like airbags. Oh how I wish I had my '66 Triumph Bonneville back.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Donated enough skin to the highways as a young rider back in the '60's for one lifetime, hope not to donated anymore.
 

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To each their own. I would not ride a bike with ABS. ........
Well, you are just a highly opinionated dinosaur aren't you? Lol......you don't like fuel injection, "complicated" electronics and I would have guessed traction control and ABS would be on your list too.

Have you ever ridden a bike with ABS or are you just poo pooing the idea based on your experience with cars?

I always enjoy how your posts seem to cover what you personally think with out being swayed by popular opinion....;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Jerry,
Those '66 Triumph Bonnevilles were fun machines! Started to get one of those but went with the Big Honda that year.
 

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If only it had 6th gear..
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1,100 Posts
Hmm... I wasn't a fan of early ABS braking systems (the one in my truck is a joke) but I think recent technology is really good in this area, as well as traction control (as long as you have the choice to turn that one off, you know, for burn outs and stuff ;).) Seriously though I think I'd warm up to ABS on an mc pretty quickly. I'm a fan of Triumph mc's too. Wouldn't mind trying this one on for size...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rla9KU0m808&sns=em
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #18
I had kinda thought maybe the reason for two front brakes was a gyro problem since the front wheel spinning is just a huge gyro. Wondered if they put 2 brakes to cancel out some kind of bad effect.....
 

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Crap, I WAS in 5th gear.
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500 Posts
It's not anything to do with gyroscopic forces, since the second rotor applies the same force in the same direction. My theory about the intent/reason for the second rotor/caliper is:
1. Reduced braking force
2. Doubled the maintenance interval
3. Marketing
4. Might be incrementally safer mechanically, but the chances of a fluid leak are higher.
 
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