Rear Brake Drag

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by scts, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. scts

    scts Member

    I've got an '08 Fatboy, pretty much stock from the dealer (done some of the cosmetic things like sissy bar, fork bag, etc...) - always notices the when I'm in neutral in the garage (I'm sure it's not location, that's just where it noticable) and I'm pushing the bike - there's some resistance.

    Never really thought about it much until we just bought my wife a "starter bike" ('98 Vulcan 800 - couldn't pass on the price)... when I bump her bike into neutral, it really is free-rolling... making me realize there really is a lot of drag on the Fatboy.

    Put the Fatboy up on the lift last night and started spinning the rear wheel to confirm, and it's the rear brake that's dragging... doesn't seem like it fully releases (I can spin the wheel by hand, but if I give it a good spin it probably won't make much more than 1 revolution before it stops)... Any advice on adjustments to the rear brake pads?

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2008
  2. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator


    On my bikes, there isn't any adjustment on the rear brakes similar to an adjustment star on cage drum brakes. However, there is a port in the rear brake master cylinder piston assy that is supposed to allow the pressure to bleed back off the caliper pistons once you have released the pedal. It is important that this be working correctly. Since your bike is new, I suspect it is under warranty. I suggest taking it back to the HD Dealership and having them check this since it can be a safety concern if the pressure DOES NOT bleed off like it should at some point.

    Having said all that, the pads on your brakes will stay in light contact with your rotors. So a bit of drag is expected. But if the rear is "hard to turn" this should be investigated. On the rear tho' you are turning the belt and drive pulley when you turn the rear wheel. If the belt is a bit tight, this will increase the resistance.

    One other possible drag point is the belt cover if you have one. I had a bike that I could almost NOT push backwards because of the belt guard.

    You can do all this yourself since it is easy to check, but I would get the brake issue documented just in case. Make sure the exact reason for bringing it in to the shop is on record, and what they did or did not do. If they say "that's just normal", get them to put it in black and white!!

  3. scts

    scts Member

    Thanks TQ - Looked at the belt guard and belt just to be sure, they looked good - I can hear the friction on the rear rotor when turning, again not bad but more drag than the Vulcan has. Also doesn't seem to be enough drag to heat the rotor when out riding (had to fix a stuck caliper on the car - that was enough to really heat the rotor), might be normal.

    Sounds like a good excuse to ride over to the dealership this afternoon and see what they say (for a 'stealership', they're pretty good folk to work with).
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

  5. Fresh Meat

    Fresh Meat New Member

    I have a 2000 Sportster 1200 custom and a Dyna street bob that does the same thing, but i have adjusted the rear wheel on the Sportster but i have a little issue with the front tire doing the samething.