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Front disc "swoosh" sound

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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 04:34 PM     #1
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Question Front disc "swoosh" sound

I just recently purchased my RK and can't help but notice the front pad to rotor noise, or "swoosh", seems excessively loud. The pads are not worn to metal, either. It so annoying when roaming parking lots or cruising the strip at times, I have to slightly depress the brake lever to suppress it.

Is this common on our bikes?

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 06:56 PM     #2
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

I assume it is normal, mine has done it since it was new, I don't even hear it now
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 07:48 PM     #3
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

The lateral runout on the disc (one or both) is excessive. Check it with a dial indicator. Most of the HD rotors can be "bent" back into specs...
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 12:25 AM     #4
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

its normal on most of the bikes, sometimes its dust, sometimes its due to the rotor being warped, sometimes its just very small clearances between disc and pads, if you dont feel a pulsing in the brake lever chances are your rotors are not out of spec
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 12:43 AM     #5
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

Pull the calipers clean the pads and apply some type of disc pad quiet to backing of pads. Then lightly Emory cloth the disc's on inner and outer surfaces. This recommendation is due to applying front brake slightly stops noise for you because you are taken away the possibility of pads moving at all.
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 01:36 AM     #6
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

Light swish sound is due to the fact the calipers are not "double action" in that they are not retracted, but "brushed back" by the runout of the disc. A loud moaning or excessive heavy swosh sound sounds like you have sticking pistons in their bores, or lack of lubrication of the pivot pin. Check the Self Help section for the procedure to clean, inspect and perform routine maintenance on the calipers.

(Brake Caliper Maintenance)http://www.hdtalking.com/brakes_tires_and_wheels/2887-brake_caliper_maintenance.html
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 06:20 PM     #7
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

Good tips guys. I've driven several new Harleys lately and none displayed the loud pad-rotor swoosh. I thought there might be a bit of air in the system, since the previous owner had stainless braided line, and it's not preloading the pads quite right.

I'll get in there and clean and lubricate the system and see if that addresses it. I'll check for runout, too.
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 08:41 PM     #8
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

The first time that I rode a Harley I thought that something was wrong with the brakes but I asked around and was told that was normal for a Harley.
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 08:46 PM     #9
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

Some rotational noise is normal do to the drilled rotors and pads passing over rotors. MigAZ posted to stop the noise he is getting is to slightly apply front brake and noise stops. So I do not believe it is the normal noise most hear with drilled rotors.
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 10:31 PM     #10
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Re: Front disc "swoosh" sound

Quote: Originally Posted by dbmg View Post
Some rotational noise is normal do to the drilled rotors and pads passing over rotors. MigAZ posted to stop the noise he is getting is to slightly apply front brake and noise stops. So I do not believe it is the normal noise most hear with drilled rotors.
Exactly. I would bet dollars to donuts it's louder than what it "should be". I've ridden four '09-'10 models and never picked up on it all. This one, it makes you go "huh?". It's a nuisance at this point and not a safety issue since there's no metal to metal contact.

Ordered a manual yesterday and I will settle this down. Dang, I forgot I still have warranty. Maybe I should just take it in...
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