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Sportster Motorcycle Tires, Wheels, and Brakes Discuss issues with Sportster motorcycle tires, wheels and brakes.

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  #11  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Use Cobalt bits for SS and Tap Magic or equivalent lubricant. Make sure you go just fast enough to cut not spin and heat the material as mentioned. Make sure the disk is held firmly in place.

How much bigger do they need to go?
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I didn't mean to say that drilling Harley stainless rotors is impossible. First pic below is the rear disc on my '81 ironhead (the challenging one). If you're just enlarging a few existing holes, things should be very different. Second photo is the stainless Yamaha rotor on the front. Drilling those rotors was a breeze. I don't know if this means Yamaha rotors wear faster than Harley rotors - all the rotors I drilled were well used, old, but not overly worn or grooved. McMaster-Carr has a bewildering selection of drill bits for cutting through this stuff.



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  #13  
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I guess I don't see a correlation to the manufacturer when discussing metal since none of them actually make the metal.
It's just stainless in different hardness.
If you've worked with enough stainless, you get a sense of respect for the difficulty involved.
That being said, yes stainless can be drilled.
But there are considerations to each piece as in air holes can be fudged where mounting holes can't, or at least shouldn't be.
You sound like you have the capability so go for it.

edit:
I've drilled and tapped 316 SS by hand but I had all day to do it..... and it about took it.... and I broke the first (carbon) tap.
But drilling thru existing holes is easier. The concern is moving the hole center.
Make sure to use new bits and if it starts to smoke, stop, lube, change bit, go back in.
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  #14  
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[QUOTE=Hippysmack;5787197
It's just stainless in different hardness. [/QUOTE]

And different alloys. Some drill easily, some don't. Same applies to carbon steels.
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True.
So it's kinda hard to say how well it goes until you get into and see.
The metal doesn't come with specs etched into it.
This took all day. You can see my first hole that went bad in the second pic.
I modded this HD light bar to fit my Kawi.


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Hahaha just heat the disk red and let it cool very slowly by covering it. Then drill and reheat and quench. Voilà.
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some stainless grade as mentioned will work harden so heat is an enemy!!!
the issue here is you are going about it all wrong??why???
stop and think about it, look at surface area and how a twist drill bit works.
this can be done on a drill press but the rotor MUST be locked down and medium speed with slight pressure to avoid chatter.
use a carbine mill machine boring bit.
it cuts only on the tip and surface area is extremely small for metal to metal contact. they do make all sizes.
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Most brake disk are made with 17-4 PH. Precipitation Harden SS. Most machinist shop know how to work this material; heat red let it cool slowly work it then precipitate it, meaning heat and quench it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
IF drilling is an issue, would EDM work?
EDM would definitely work, but if it's so hard that you actually need EDM, I'd be looking to just find a correct rotor, personally. Same with waterjets and diamond grinding.

Yes, you could anneal the thing, but then you'd need to temper it to a usable hardness. Also not worth the hassle if you ask me.

Honestly, if it was too much to cut with just a HSS bit and a bunch of oil, I'd be looking for a correct rotor.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
some stainless grade as mentioned will work harden so heat is an enemy!!!
I guess this is why i was asking, i recently drilled out Harley SS bars and it was a PITA. I ended up destroying two bits and accidentally welding a piece of one permanently into the bars... oops

I did end up drilling these holes out on the brake discs pretty easily. I used a Cobalt bit and WD40. That bit with firm pressure made light work of it.

Although the backside of the hole had a raised lip after i drilled through... had to hit that with the Dremel to smooth out.

Thanks for the advice!
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