Front Brake Travel

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Quadcab666, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. Quadcab666

    Quadcab666 Member

    Hi, I'm new to this forum. I just bought a 2003 Ultra Classic, only 8200 miles on her. It just seems to have alot of travel in the front brakes before they grab. The dealer said they replaced and bled the brakes and that is normal travel for that bike. I'm use to my sportster that had really tight front brakes. Is it me or could something be adjusted.
  2. KingHeritage

    KingHeritage Junior Member

    While there is no adjusting disc brakes your master cylinder could be low on fluid.Pull the cap and check.BTW welcome to the forum from South Jersey!
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    No adjustment on disc brakes. You are comparing a single caliper system to a dual caliper system that use different bore size master cylinder.
  4. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

    Is it possible that the rotor or pads are worn down to their minimum thickness, therefore increasing brake lever travel before they grab. I had the same situation on my 95 and could not believe the differance a new set of rotors made in lever travel.
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Thickness has little to do with the travel as the brake fluid pushes the pucks out more as they wear.
  6. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    you might have to pull the caliper and clean around the pistons making sure that they retract fully after a pull on the lever. Check out the self help section
  7. jimharvey1

    jimharvey1 Junior Member

    The only thing that I know of that can cause excessive pedal/handle movement on a hydraulic brake system is a leak or AIR! Re-bleed the system and check it again. It doesn't take a lot of air to cause a spongy brake. Next, I'd check out the master cylinder. There's a valve in there that opens when you release the handle to allow fluid to refill the system from the reservoir. If it's stuck or gummed up, it could cause you problems. Maybe a thorough system flush and re-fill may help things out.
  8. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Welcome to the Forum.

    As mentioned above, double check that the master cylinder on the bars is not low. As a note, this bike is supposed to run DOT 5 brake fluid (silicone). If the master is OK, then try this (thank you Hobbit!), over night, tie the lever fully compressed with an elastic cord. In the morning, tap lightly on the calipers and then release the shock cord. You may see a difference in the way your brake lever feels.

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  9. ironmark

    ironmark Junior Member

    The chance of the rotor being worn down with 8200 miles would be very unlikely . I sounds like you may still have a bit of air in the system or the wrong type of brake fluid was used , try using a brake bleeder vacum pump & replace the brake fluid making sure that you use DOT 4 brake fluid & as you draw out the old fluid you can see if there is any air in the line . I use that system to bleed or replace the brake fluid in my bike , car & truck , it is easy to use & you can do all the work by yourself . Your brake fluid should not be worn out @ 8200 mi & replaceing the brake fluid may or may not correct your problem but it will draw any air out & you know the correct fluid is in the system . Most people never think that the brake fluid wears out , but it needs to be changed just like any other fluids , I change the brake fluid on my other bikes around 20,000 mi & my autos around 50,000 mi .:newsmile106:
    I dont know what fluid the 03 calls for but the 08 HD touring service manual calls for DOT4 .
  10. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    I believe the 03 was DOT 5