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

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  #1  
Old 27th July 2008
Screw Loose Dan's Avatar
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Default Brembo Caliper Install...Lot of pics

Ok, I've been following Whittlebeast's thread about his testing different brake calipers (here) and wanted to give it a try. I collected the following parts:

VRod Brembo caliper - 44732-06a - $144 (Zanotti)
VRod Floating Rotor - 44405-07 - $134 (Zanotti)
VRod Caliper Banjo Bolt - 41752-06a - $14 (Zanotti)
Lyndall Gold pad 7254 - $52 (Phat Performance)
Goodridge Brake Hose Ebony 36" (should have gotten 33") - $24 (Phat Performance)
Goodridge Banjo Fitting 10mm 90* (for the caliper side) - $11 (Phat Performance)
Goodridge Banjo Fitting straight 3/8" 10mm (MC side - for stock single caliper MC) - $9 (Phat Performance)
Goodridge copper crush washers 10mm - $4

If you are going to be using a 1200R Master Cylinder, you will want a 12mm banjo fitting instead of the 10mm.

The actual install was rather easy. Really just a matter of unbolting parts and bolting other parts back on. If you are familiar with doing brakes (either on a bike or car), this will be a breeze. If it's the first wrench you are ever going to turn, I would recommend having someone with a little experience help you out. And if you've never worked on brake lines before...plan on having PLENTY of rags on hand and don't let the brake fluid get on anything you care about (like paint). The install time took maybe 3.5 hours (and that included plenty of smoke breaks and picture posing! ).

WARNING/DISCLAIMER - I rarely look at my service manual...I probably should, but don't. I probably do some things they don't recommend or have a different approach on. Please, refer to your manual and take everything I say as rubbish. This is just what works for me, not necessarily the "proper" way to do things.


The tools I ended up using were all fairly common tools:

9/16", 3/4", 5/16", 10mm, 12mm sockets, T40 Torx socket, 3/16", 5/16" hex drives (could use allen wrenches), ratchets, 3/8", 7/16", 1/2" wrenches, Screwdrivers, loctite, vacuum pump (to bleed the brakes)



I started by putting the bike on a lift:



Then I removed the caliper from the forks with a 10mm socket (in hindsight, I should have started by removing the bango bolt because I remounted it to remove it later on):



Then I removed the axle nut (3/4" socket):



Next was loosening the pinch nut on the other side of the forks (9/16"):



After this the axle just pulls right out (and spacers drop to the floor ):







Next I removed the bango bolt (12mm?) from the stock caliper. I remounted it so I could get some leverage. No biggie.



I shoved the stock brake line into an empty oil container to keep the drips to a minimum:



Fastened it with a bungie to keep it in place while I worked:



Probably didn't need to, but I removed the right hand turn signal so I wouldn't drip brake fluid all over it. It's one bolt to loosen and I tucked it out of the way (can't remember the size of the allen key for the TS):



Using a 12mm socket I removed the bango bolt from the Master Cylinder:



I then removed the brake line from the bike, you just need to undo the two clips that hold it into place. The one is on the back side of the top triple tree (5/16" socket) and the other is on the very bottom of the lower triple tree (3/16 hex/allen).

With everything off the bike, I turn towards the wheel. Just need to back out the 5 torx bolts (Torx T40) holding the brake rotor on. My bike has over 36,000 miles on it. These bolts were a little *snug*, so it was a good time to break out the impact hammer wrench:



After a few whacks...the bolts back out without any issues:



Here's why you need to replace the rotor (notice the new one is *just* a little larger):



Here's the stock laying on top of the new one...look closely and you can see the difference:



Ok, this is where I pretty much stopped taking pictures. Everything pretty much just bolts back together. BUT, I HIGHLY recommend following your Factory Service Manual for instructions (not some guy named Screw Loose). Make sure you use loctite and torque everything properly. This is something your life depends on and you should take your time putting it back together. Even I followed the FSM for reassembly. In all honesty, everything bolts together just like stock. Take care running the new brake cable so it doesn't rub or get caught on the tire.

Here's a before picture (stock):



Just done:



After a bedding session:



Here was the mess of brake line before:



Here's the new line run:



Well, that's pretty much it for the install. Below are my thoughts on this.

While I haven't put many miles on the new caliper yet, I will say that it IS an improvement. The brake lever feel leaves something to be desired...but I knew this since I wasn't replacing the master cylinder. The lever can be pulled nearly to the grip. But, from my road tests when I run out of lever travel it is JUST at the verge of loosing grip with the front tire. Even at 60+ mph the tire starts to howl when grabbing the front brake hard. This never happened with the stock brakes at those speeds.

Another thing I noticed was how quickly the brakes cooled down. During my bedding session I heated the brakes up (to the point of fade), but they came back quite quickly. Looking at the caliper it's pretty obvious these suckers got a really good ventilation system, so it only makes sense. That mesh silver panel on the back side of the caliber is really a functional vent.

I'll report back as I get a chance to go out and hit the twisties and really test these binders on for size. I'll probably eventually replace the Master Cylinder (Whittlebeast recommends a 1/2" for a single VROD setup). But, I might hold off until I get new forks and a second caliper to have a dual caliper setup.
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Last edited by Screw Loose Dan; 30th July 2017 at 14:19.. Reason: spelling and such...I'm sure there's more to be corrected...(7/2017-updated pic URLs)
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  #2  
Old 27th July 2008
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phmann phmann is offline
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awesome write up. If I had the money, stopping power is key.
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  #3  
Old 27th July 2008
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Great write up Dan.
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  #4  
Old 27th July 2008
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Hey really good write up, some rep for you... these are the types of posts I rely on for my technical saavy.

You did a great job. If possible, would you post the differences after you ride for a little bit?

Gonna do the rear? I really wanna beef up my braking. Let us know how these compare to stockers.

Thanks.

I wish there were a way for mods or someone to flag the really good how-to's for easy access.

Nice write up. If I do this mod ever, I'll be printing your thread.

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  #5  
Old 27th July 2008
Screw Loose Dan's Avatar
Screw Loose Dan Screw Loose Dan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phmann View Post
awesome write up. If I had the money, stopping power is key.
Thanks! While I bought all the parts new, I have seen the calipers on eBay for much less.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptEvo View Post
Great write up Dan.
Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulie420 View Post
Hey really good write up, some rep for you... these are the types of posts I rely on for my technical saavy.

You did a great job. If possible, would you post the differences after you ride for a little bit?

Gonna do the rear? I really wanna beef up my braking. Let us know how these compare to stockers.

I wish there were a way for mods or someone to flag the really good how-to's for easy access.
Thanks for the kind words. I will report back once I get out on the twisties and get to truly try these babies out. I've out ridden the stock brakes plenty of times, so I'm anxious to see how these do.

My 07 seems to have plenty of rear brake. I've never out ridden it and it's easy enough to lock-up the way it is (I imagine it'll even be easier now with the added weight transfer).

You can always send a PM to a mod to suggest a thread gets made a sticky for easy reference.

Thanks to all of you for the kind words.
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  #6  
Old 27th July 2008
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Great Mod.

Question, (Although I think I already know the answer)

do you know if this will work on a Solid Mount ?
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  #7  
Old 27th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddTigger View Post
Great Mod.

Question, (Although I think I already know the answer)

do you know if this will work on a Solid Mount ?

2000-2003 have the same bolt pattern on the forks, so the calipers and rotors will work.

I'm not sure if the M/C are interchangable from 2004+ to 2000-2003..........
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  #8  
Old 27th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toe View Post
2000-2003 have the same bolt pattern on the forks, so the calipers and rotors will work.

I'm not sure if the M/C are interchangable from 2004+ to 2000-2003..........
I should Specify. Pre 2000 solid Mount..
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  #9  
Old 27th July 2008
slickdog slickdog is offline
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Default

Good Write up, Better than Haynes or Clymer!!

One Thing I usually do is take the Master cylinder cover off and cover with clingfilm then bolt it back on, while removing calipers, this creates a bit of a vacuum and stops the fluid coming out.
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Old 27th July 2008
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Folkie Folkie is offline
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Great write up. Dan.

What's the alternative for a larger m/c, the one from the dual disk R?
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