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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all.

I have good days and bad days and some days my HANDS aren't as strong as normal. What could I do to make the front brakes "stronger" without making them "grabby"?

Most days, if I don't feel well, I just stay off the bike. If I start to get tired riding, I use more rear brake. But others have said they use one or two fingers on their brake lever and I can't do that on a good day. I wondered if I was missing something.
 

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'bout the only thing you could do would be to source some bigger calipers and if possible...so larger rotors. To my knowledge, nobody makes anything that fits currently so anything you source would have to be custom, one off stuff or adapted stuff from other bikes. There will be a lot of folks tell you to go with this pad or that pad, but in my experience....I think the OEM's are about the best out there.

From what you're saying - it might be time to just go through and give your brake system a good servicing. Deglaze the rotors, lube up the slides and pistons, and clean out your MC and refill the whole system with fresh DOT4. It can be done by yourself, but it kind of helps to have a buddy pump the brakes while you open and close the valves. Not sure where you are, but if you want to bring it down to Dallas, GA - I'll give you a hand with it.

On a side note, I've always thought the brakes on the GL1800 were pretty darn good. They sure are a heck of a lot better than the ones on my VTX 1300!
 

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Maybe adjust the brake and clutch handles closer to the grips. Easy to do, just look in the owners manual
 

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Have a GW mechanic or a friend who rides one take a quick test ride on yours to make sure your brakes are normal. It's possible you have air in a line or worn pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah, Rocky, I see the problem: Front brake lever does 3 pistons, while the rear brake pedal does 6 pistons. In a sense, I've got as much front wheel stopping power with my rear pedal as with my front lever. Right?

Well no WONDER the bike stops so much better when I use more rear brake! I thought I was imagining it.
 

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I'm just glad our brakes are as good as they are. They are not teriffic but by some camparisons they aren't bad. I drove a friends Harley (Dyna I think) and it has one front rotor that is not as big as the gl1800 and I was not sure I was going to stop in time. I think that is the HD version of anti-lock brakes....

Jeff...
 

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Rod. I understand your question, But what you're asking can't be done. The 1800 has the most complex linked braking system of any bike out there.

Check out what the front lever & Rear pedal control.
Note the number of Pistons the hand lever uses "3" of the "9" Total on the bike.

I guess I should start using my rear brake now lol, coming from the sport bike world, if you are on the front hard enough, the rear is usless.
 

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One thing no one has mentioned here is simply a fact of life, as we get older we lose muscle. Arthritis plays a big part in this too. There are days when I wake up and have a hard time making a fist much less squeeze a brake lever. I use exercise putty on these days to help loosen my hands and improve my grip. You can find it at Walmart and most fitness stores.

And don't rule out having the brakes checked..
 

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Fresh Brake Fluid and Braided brake lines will give you the best you're gonna get if your pads are good..
 

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Just like a handicap person rides with a lost hand. Put a foot brake control on the front brake. All you do is use a master, run a longer hose, and make a bracket and foot pedal.

Or several places already make custom devices I think Fire.......something Custom is one of them. Firebrand, FireCreek, Fire something.
 

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something wrong

Rocky,

I can't say what, but there has to be something wrong with that diagram, or we don't have a linked braking system. I can see the 3 front pistons that are operated by the hand lever, but there is a rear piston operated by the front lever too.

Richard
 

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Rocky,

I can't say what, but there has to be something wrong with that diagram, or we don't have a linked braking system. I can see the 3 front pistons that are operated by the hand lever, but there is a rear piston operated by the front lever too.

Richard

It's done via the "Secondary Master Cylinder"

Front braking force/friction on the left rotor forces caliper up into "Secondary Master" pushing fluid into the rear caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've been using the back brakes more in the last week or so and it has really helped. The bike stops well. It stays level and feels well controlled. Good suggestion to use the pedal to get more FRONT stopping power. I didn't realize I had as much front stopping power with pedal as the lever.
 

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Ever since I bought my wing I have told myself I am going to undo what Honda did with the braking system.

I want all six pistons for the front on when I pull the lever, and I want no rear unless I push the pedal.

I want only the rear when I push the pedal and no fronts at all.

If someone can come up with a line kit to do this I will gladly buy it.
 

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I've been using the back brakes more in the last week or so and it has really helped. The bike stops well. It stays level and feels well controlled. Good suggestion to use the pedal to get more FRONT stopping power. I didn't realize I had as much front stopping power with pedal as the lever.
Using the hand lever you get 60% braking force on the front and 40% on the rear.

Using the foot peddle you get 60% braking force on the rear and 40% on the front.
 

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not so fast

I'm not sure it would stop you any faster, with all six pistons operating from the front lever. I have never locked up the front, and I hope I never do, but I've had the front tire chirping in protest. I don't consider myself expert, but I assumed that that meant I was at the edge of control. It felt like I could apply more pressure and lock it up. To me, that means that I used all of the clamping force that I safely could. I am willing to learn, so if I've got this wrong, I'd like to know and there are probably some others that would too.

Richard
 

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Something else you might also want to check

On my 2005 I started noticing my brakes were not stopping me as well as I thought they should, and it was worse when I was running in the rain.

I was using aftermarket pads for the first time and suspected they were the issue.

I changed back to factory pads and it just didn't feel better

A short while later I happened to have the bike in the shop and mentioned the brake issue.

They discovered that my brake lever had built up some corrosion and was preventing things from working as planned.

A little cleaning , etc and my brakes were back like new. I had no idea a little corrosion could create such a difference

:cool:
 

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TRAXXION pads stop better. Those wave rotors are suppose to grab better also.
 
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