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 Cleaning the brake calipers

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Delray
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider
Delray


Number of posts : 315
Age : 68
Location : Delray Beach FL
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Cleaning the brake calipers Empty
PostSubject: Cleaning the brake calipers   Cleaning the brake calipers I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 17, 2019 1:32 pm

I replaced front and rear brake pads a month ago on a '12 Wing with 7,200 miles.

I set out to just check the pads (7 year old bike), not replace, but found a curious triangular chunk missing (2 mm) from the front pad, so I didn't hesitate to install new ones.

Next time I address the pads I figure I should lubricate the calipers. So I am wondering what is involved. Lubricate pistons? Any other parts? I didn't remove the calipers when I replaced the pads, but I will do that next time. Thanks for any tips.

Also ....

Before I changed the pads, I sprayed the heck out of both calipers with Brakleen. I used a paper plate as a backstop and had an oil pan on the ground to catch the runoff (also used airtight goggles for my eyes). After that I cleaned with a mild detergent and rinsed everything thoroughly with a garden hose. That removed quite a bit of grime and the calipers look mighty spiffy as a result. Now I'm thinking I should do this type of cleaning twice a year. Any reason I shouldn't?

I'm fastidious about clean brakes. Can't recall if I read it here or on the Burgman forum, but I remember vividly a story about a rider's front caliper locking up and throwing him over the bike (also can't recall what condition the bike was in).

After three days of rain in South Florida and no riding, I just cleaned the individual holes on both rotors (photo). Removed a surprising bit of grease/dirt. I know that's unusual but I wanted a bike project today, plus riding a clean bike always makes the experience more enjoyable.

Cleaning the brake calipers Img_2712

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Lost it
Maxi-Scooter Rider
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Number of posts : 136
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Cleaning the brake calipers Empty
PostSubject: Re: Cleaning the brake calipers   Cleaning the brake calipers I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 18, 2019 6:32 am

Well, you can go too far, a guy I know used to take his calipers off every couple of weeks, take the pads out, clean them to a spotless condition with brake cleaner, then run them on a piece of emery cloth until they looked flat, then he would take a toothbrush to the calipers, loads more brake cleaner, then he would clean every hole in the discs, clean the disc face with even more brake cleaner.
The result was his brake lever never felt good, was always spongy, his brakes squealed like a stuck pig and I always let him ride in front of me because his brakes were frankly rubbish.

He wouldn't listen, pads need to bed into the disc, they need to get "friendly" before you get a decent feel to them. But depending on the mileage, I'd say twice a year isn't too oiut of the ordinary. I use my bike every day to do a 180 mile commute to work and back so mine are cleaned every two weeks anyway, but I don't remove everything and remove all the working surfaces.

And I only ever use Red Rubber brake grease on my brakes. None of this copper crap because that stuff really shouldn't be anywhere near brakes, ever.
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Loosemarbles
Silver Wing Expert
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Number of posts : 985
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Cleaning the brake calipers Empty
PostSubject: Re: Cleaning the brake calipers   Cleaning the brake calipers I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 20, 2022 2:10 pm

Over the past year I have refurbed my brake calipers, rotors and master cylinders so I like the idea of keeping them clean and rust free.

I'm about to give my SW a thorough clean but I'm never happy with getting water over the brake calipers. I agree with Lost it's comments above but I wonder, is there any harm in just spraying the calipers and pads in situ with brake cleaner, and then leave to dry?





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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning the brake calipers   Cleaning the brake calipers I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 20, 2022 6:36 pm

With near 100,000 miles of SilverWing Riding in all weathers on 2 two SilverWings----water doesn't hurt anything---otherwise how could you ride in the rain? Experience here also with 4 new Helix and 175,000 miles with them----you need to keep the pins/lubed/greased and these brakes work well even in winter salt. once in awhile squirt with water hose washes brake dust away.
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Meldrew
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Cleaning the brake calipers Empty
PostSubject: Re: Cleaning the brake calipers   Cleaning the brake calipers I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 21, 2022 5:37 am

You're making hard work for yourself, what's the lesser of two evils, needlessly spraying brake cleaner around which contains acetone or other solvents, the purpose of which is to remove oil, brake fluid, grease, and grime.

Or doing a hose or bucket job using cold water which apart from it's general use to remove dirt and road crap, neutralises the effect of road salt corrosion at this time of year.

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Loosemarbles
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Loosemarbles


Number of posts : 985
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Cleaning the brake calipers Empty
PostSubject: Re: Cleaning the brake calipers   Cleaning the brake calipers I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 21, 2022 2:15 pm

I must confess Meldrew that I prefer the clean water method but I've had nasty experiences with rusty pistons and caliper housings etc. meaning the cost of  refurbed ready assembled calipers. My poor old SW has suffered from neglect by previous owners, including salt damage.

I would feel happier if I took the time to dry out the whole caliper area after washing. In fact I'm thinking of hair drying the whole bike after every wash. Why not?
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