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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I just did a tire change on my front and rear wheels, but since putting on the new ones and reattaching everything I feel like my front brakes have less bite to them. I am not quite sure what would cause this and am looking for any tips or thoughts anyone may have.

What I did to put the wheel back in was this:
If viewing from the front of the bike
1. Slide axel through
2. Torque axel pinch bolts on the left side
3. Torque axel nut to specs
4. Torque axel pinch bolts on the right side
5. Put both brake calipers over the rotors
6. Move the wheel, squeeze the brakes several times
7. While squeezing the brakes, torqued the calipers into place

There is great brake pressure in the lever and it can stop the bike, but it just feels like it doesn't bite as hard as it used to. I feel like I need to squeeze harder on normal cruising stops at a red light. This is my first time changing the front myself. Is this normal for the calipers to seem this way in the beginning after a change? Does it just need some time to get used to its ever so slightly new position on the rotor? Thanks.
 

· "The Dude abides .. "
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it could be nothing.. but i do things in a different order.
Put the axle through the wheel.
Put the calipers on BEFORE you tighten any axle bolts or the large nut.
Now snug up the axle nut to pull the axle all the way through.
Spin the wheel and jam the front brake a few times. This centers the left fork tube.
Now tighten left/right fork tube pinch bolts. Don't go crazy ! but do each a couple times. 16ft lb
finish by tightening the large axle nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks melk-man. I just tried your procedure, but it doesn't seem to be of any difference.

I did just notice that my brake reservoir is beyond the upper limit with brake fluid though. This seems a bit odd to me. Prior to this the level was between upper and lower. I didn't open the brake lines or anything at all. The only thing I did was push the brake pads in to make it easier to put the calipers on the rotor. Hmm. Not sure what would have caused this. I tried bleeding the brakes just a little bit now and it seems like there are no air bubbles.
 

· "The Dude abides .. "
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Thanks melk-man. I just tried your procedure, but it doesn't seem to be of any difference.

I did just notice that my brake reservoir is beyond the upper limit with brake fluid though. This seems a bit odd to me. Prior to this the level was between upper and lower. I didn't open the brake lines or anything at all. The only thing I did was push the brake pads in to make it easier to put the calipers on the rotor. Hmm. Not sure what would have caused this. I tried bleeding the brakes just a little bit now and it seems like there are no air bubbles.
take the calipers off. Make sure the wheel is turning really free with them offf.
Then get a can of brake clean and an old toothbrush.

pull the pads out of one caliper by yanking the 2 "R" clips out. If you have that spring thin in there that holds the pads.. you can leave that out, not really needed.

while you have the pads out, lay some sand paper down and do "figure 8" patterns to scuff the pads up a bit.

now pump the lever 1 time watching the pistons of that first caliper. Do they move together, or does one move way more than others? If needed, hold the one that is going out faster, and pump a couple times to get all the pads pushed out a little (don't over do it and knock em out). Use the tooth brush and brakeclean to clean the pistons a bunch.

Push the pads in with your fingers. pump the lever and repeat a few times till all the pistons can get pushed in with your fingers pretty easy.

Slide the pads in place, push in the 2 "R" clips, spread the pads a bit and install that caliper.

Now repeat with the other caliper.

you need to have the fluid level BELOW the "high" mark. If it's been more than a couple years since the fluid was changed (if ever) this would be a good time to do it. Lots of vids on how to do this, all ya need is a foot of small hose and an 8mm wrench and new dot4 fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I will try this tomorrow. I ended up getting myself into the messy process of changing brake fluids to see if that would help. Apparently I actually had very little brake fluid in there. The rubber stopper cap was sucked into the reservoir giving a false impression that I had more fluid than in reality. Not sure about how the brakes feel yet as I didn't get a chance to play with them since the sun went down.
 

· "The Dude abides .. "
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mechanic friend of mine works for race teams, just told me they use simple green and water (and little brushes) to clean the pistons after ever race/practice day. literally every day the bike is on track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. So I think I got the brakes sorted out, but now I am not sure if this is expected or not. When the bike is parked and I just very gently push the bar end, the front can wiggle a bit with very little effort. Is this expected? My CBR250's front end requires a harder push on the bar ends to get the front wheel to wiggle when parked.
 

· "The Dude abides .. "
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gonna need to explain a little bit better exactly what you are talking about doing.. and what the issue is you think you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I have the bike parked on the kick stand. The front wheel is angled to the left side. I just take the handle bar on the left side and wiggle it a little bit. It feels very easy to move the wheel a bit before any real friction kicks in to stop me from moving the handle bar. If I tap the handle bar a little the wheel wiggles maybe a bit less than half an inch before settling down in its rest position again. It seems to bounce once before settling down. Not sure if that is normal.

Here is a top down exaggerated drawing: http://i.imgur.com/EMrRA9v.png
The wiggle goes from step 1 --> 2 --> 3 --> 4
 
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