Give the Indian a brake.

Discussion in 'Other Service and Maintenance' started by bus driver, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. bus driver

    bus driver Member

    My buddy has a beautiful (05 I think) Indian Spirit with S&S motor. It pulls like a frieght train and rides like a dream. His problem is with his front brake. When you engage the front brake lever, the brake lever will travel almost all the way to the handlebar before the brake will start to be applied. Once applied the brake is fine. Not spongey at all. I have never seen this before so I thought I'd ask around. I thought maybe a master cyclinder rebuild, but I don't know. (He calls it his manual antilock brake system)

    GARVIN Active Member

    not sure how the caliper set up is with indians but I would be checking the caliper pin and/or sliders to see if they are hanging up sticking ,seized . also check and make sure pads are free to move , should be able to slide with fingers in carriers,
    A master cylinder would fade with apply . how old is brake fluid in system? If not sure flush system. could be contaminated fluid.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Good advice from the simplist "no cost" thing which is a through inspection of all the braking system components, starting with checking the areas that will cause sticking calipers and the quality/condition of the brake fluid. Checking these areas should determine age/condition of the current hardware and give you an idea of the last service. Having an Indian makes finding replacment parts more difficult. Here is where you will need to search Indian enthusiast websites to find swap meets and vintage iron suppliers. :s
  4. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member Contributor

    Brake sliders hanging up on the rubber seals, because of beeing gooped up with grime. This causes the brakes to retract too far (pulled back by rubber seals), and hinders their auto-audjustment. Take the calipers off, pump them closed on a spackle trowel, clean the sliders. Repeat a couple of times, and bleed the bubble out of the top of the caliper. That should do it.

    I had the same problem. Master cylinder rebuild did not touch it significantly.

    Rich P
  5. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    There is some really good advice here and when calipers off if pads are less than half replace the pads. On some bikes low front pads could cause complaint.
  6. War Horse

    War Horse Member

    You might also want to check the piston seal, these will at times pull the piston back to far.

    Easy check on the bike, pump the lever untill its firm, then release and watch how far the piston retracts, if its more than .001 to .003 the square cut seal is sticking and pulling the piston back to far.

    The other advice givin is absolutely correct, also. Do a complete inspection.
  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

  8. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    With the condition you describe the first place I would look at is how much material is left on the brake pad.
  9. Crocker

    Crocker Active Member

    The Indian spirt in witch you speak of is a Gilroy Indian , it would most likly be a 2001-2003, the oem Indian stock brakes in witch you speak of is a DOT 5 only (100% synthetic brake system). It could be someone put DOT 3 or 4 in the brake system and the system seals got expanded and turned to mush so to a caliper rebuild and system flush would be required if this is the case,

    Also the both front and rear braking systems were manufactured by a company called Thunderheart and rebuild Kits can be had from them also JP cycles bought a lot of the Indian leftover stock when gilroy shutdown so you can check with them also
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2011