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

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883r, front brakes, pads, vibration

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  #1  
Old 24th August 2017
Preseli Preseli is offline
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Default Front brake resonance\squeal after fitting new pads

06 Reg 883R failed MoT on front brake pads at an independent dealer, so with a free re-test offered within a week I bought the non-Harley pads that they had in stock to fit them myself.

Using the official HD manual I removed the old pads and fitted the new. All went well and I was careful to locate the mounting tabs of the pads into the slot, and the pad spring was present. The MoT was duly passed. Big smiles.

Within a few miles I became aware (a feeling through the bars) of a resonant vibration from the front brakes at certain speeds, and intermittent squealing (more like a moan actually) when pushing the bike around the garage. The brakes work perfectly and are improved from before and there is no noise or vibration during brake application.

Having read that a smear of copper grease on the rear of the pads will help, I added a little - not too much as I was afraid of contaminating anything else! I also took the plunge and bled the system and was pleased to see little bubbles of air making their way out of the pipe - very satisfying. The lever is now much firmer and consequently so is brake action.

However the resonance has returned. I don't think there is any drag when it happens (results from a scientific test of pulling in the clutch and freewheeling!). I have read much about an insulator insert and backing plates but none were fitted with the original pads, and they are not mentioned in the manual.

Can I simply add even more copper grease or should I have the insert and backing plates fitted? Different pads?
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  #2  
Old 24th August 2017
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bustert bustert is offline
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several things
most pad grease as you call it is not a grease but more of a heat sinking compound so if it does ooze a tad, pad material isn't unhappy.
the pads have to conform to the rotor and the high spots will cause heat issues and squeal. hd rotor should not be turned down but surface ground.
pad material such as semi-metalic must be compatible with rotor material.
the rotor may have hard spots, look for shinny areas within the sweep, usually short distance and can cause a feeling in the lever.
rotor run out can cause movement in the puck and if severe enough possible steering variations.
then there could be an issue with the pad material not being consistant
many issues for sure
hope you find out!
after thought: uses some phenolic paper or some oven fiber glass tape on the rear.
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Old 24th August 2017
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The insulator plates (white fiberglass looking material) do not fit when you go to EBC pads. Probably won't fit with other pads too.

Brake compound on back of pads and between the sheet metal inserts and pads is good for squeal, but this sounds more like what bustert is looking at.
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  #4  
Old 25th August 2017
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Default

OK, thanks guys.

So not having the insulator is Ok we think, but it would be good if anyone can confirm whether I really need the 'tin' backing plates behind the pads?

Meanwhile, I'll look up some pad grease and start with that.
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Old 25th August 2017
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hummmm, good question?
i do believe i still have them in mine, they are stainless and probably keep the puck and backing plate from wearing and rusting.
my left front started to make a squeak recently, pad issue, semi-metallic, probably will go away with a little wear.
as far as having insulator material i do not think it ever had any.
if you are a meticulous rider for pre-run inspection, the hd brake can be shimmed for longer wear. the hd system just runs out of stroke long before the pads are worn they do this as probably like cagers, do not hear or pay attention to brake wear indicatiors, aka, squealers.
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Old 26th August 2017
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The tin's are actually called squeal suppressors in some manuals.

I always coat the back of the pad, then the back of the tin when I install, and that has cured squeals for me in the past. I generally use anti-seize instead of brake quiet, and it has worked fine.
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