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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I have brake issues. First my front brake lever is hard to pull. But it will move with more effort than usual. The brakes don't lock up or grab. I have new pads on it. Brake fluid is clean. I change fluid regularly. The only thing this time around I may have let some air in front brake master cylinder. But I blead it out. The brake is not spongy. I took apart one of the front calipers and it was clean and brake pistons were fine. Besides like I said the brakes don't grab or lock up. Now with that said the rear brake is acting weird. When I first hit brake lever it slightly hard. Then it works normal. DOT 4 is what I have been using. I have been replacing pads on this bike for years and never had these issues. The rear caliper was replaced a couple years back. I guess my next question could the abs module be acting up? The abs do work. Do I need to take it to Harley and have them bleed them with that tool?. Aren't the front and rear separate in the abs module? I thought they were. Because, the rear brake is starting to have same issue. Brake levers are firm. Just feels like I am forcing fluid through a orfice.
Rob
 

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Hey everyone,
I have brake issues. First my front brake lever is hard to pull. But it will move with more effort than usual. The brakes don't lock up or grab. I have new pads on it. Brake fluid is clean. I change fluid regularly. The only thing this time around I may have let some air in front brake master cylinder. But I blead it out. The brake is not spongy. I took apart one of the front calipers and it was clean and brake pistons were fine. Besides like I said the brakes don't grab or lock up. Now with that said the rear brake is acting weird. When I first hit brake lever it slightly hard. Then it works normal. DOT 4 is what I have been using. I have been replacing pads on this bike for years and never had these issues. The rear caliper was replaced a couple years back. I guess my next question could the abs module be acting up? The abs do work. Do I need to take it to Harley and have them bleed them with that tool?. Aren't the front and rear separate in the abs module? I thought they were. Because, the rear brake is starting to have same issue. Brake levers are firm. Just feels like I am forcing fluid through a orfice.
Rob
Rob: Sounds like a HCU issue . Yes front and rear are separate circuits. In all these years, have you cycled the ABS via the tool when you did fluid flushes. Old fluid will remain in the HCU if this is not done. What you describe is like you say , forcing fluid through a restriction but both front and rear, that's weird. That restriction could be right in the HCU. Normally it does a complete hard lock and the lever or peddle won't move at all. While I use TwinScan for cycling, a less expensive tool can be had here. Gut feeling is your unit might fail the test.
Ron
 

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  • Ok Ron I will check the links u sent. I feel it's the module also. No I have never used the tool to flush system. Everywhere I can see fluid is clear and clean.
Unfortunately without the tool even with 2 year flushes, old corrosive fluid will remain in the HCU attacking the pintles and causing deposits of crap in there. It will look clear and clean elsewhere in the system.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I spoke with him. He thinks the hcu is the problem and his tool may not help issue. But I will try it anyway. I may buy a new one if needed. :rolleyes: Don't think I want to bypass it. I have read of people attempting this.
 

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Experienced the same story a few years back with my Street Glide -10. The ABS unit froze. Had to buy a new unit which was fitted via our HD dealer here in the north. Not a cheap affair, like about $1k. Bought an ITM tool from Jason for use afterwards, recommended. People can just disconnect the ABS unit as they like but it is a lifesaver. Oh- get a brake fluid tester too...
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Experienced the same story a few years back with my Street Glide -10. The ABS unit froze. Had to buy a new unit which was fitted via our HD dealer here in the north. Not a cheap affair, like about $1k. Bought an ITM tool from Jason for use afterwards, recommended. People can just disconnect the ABS unit as they like but it is a lifesaver. Oh- get a brake fluid tester too...
I hope I can avoid buying that part. Will If I have to. And if I can get one.
 

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You know I think it's kind of ironic that a powerful motorcycle like the V Rod may have Anti-lock brakes but no traction control - ( yes, many new bikes do ) think about it you can break the rear tire loose in a long list of manners due to slippery road, worn tire, sand & gravel & wet leaves on the road, and my favorite signature move too much power for conditions ( leaned over, handful of quick turn throttle, cold tires ) So we somehow normally handle the rear wheel power and it's ability to put us on our A$$ but we need anti - skid brakes to handle the inevitable act of slowing down ? :rolleyes:
I think it's a manufactures ploy to maybe help newer riders that don't have good braking skills, insurance benefit and yes, it will save your butt under certain conditions like night riding where it may be more difficult to read the road, panic stops etc. but overall experienced riders should be able to stop their bike as well as they control the power & traction end of it.
Having said that I'd fix the OEM traction control if I had it on my V Rod rather than disable it but $ 500 to a $ 1000 bucks and special bleeding ABS activator required ? That's making my wallet squirm but sometimes you just have to hold your nose, pay the man and pretend the cost didn't happen, and ride on - hopefully safely (y):cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You know I think it's kind of ironic that a powerful motorcycle like the V Rod may have Anti-lock brakes but no traction control - ( yes, many new bikes do ) think about it you can break the rear tire loose in a long list of manners due to slippery road, worn tire, sand & gravel & wet leaves on the road, and my favorite signature move too much power for conditions ( leaned over, handful of quick turn throttle, cold tires ) So we somehow normally handle the rear wheel power and it's ability to put us on our A$$ but we need anti - skid brakes to handle the inevitable act of slowing down ? :rolleyes:
I think it's a manufactures ploy to maybe help newer riders that don't have good braking skills, insurance benefit and yes, it will save your butt under certain conditions like night riding where it may be more difficult to read the road, panic stops etc. but overall experienced riders should be able to stop their bike as well as they control the power & traction end of it.
Having said that I'd fix the OEM traction control if I had it on my V Rod rather than disable it but $ 500 to a $ 1000 bucks and special bleeding ABS activator required ? That's making my wallet squirm but sometimes you just have to hold your nose, pay the man and pretend the cost didn't happen, and ride on - hopefully safely (y):cool:
Yeah that's how I feel. To make something that requires that kind of maintenance sucks. Well I got 100k out of it with no issues. It may have went longer if I flushed it the proper way. Who knows. Hell my truck has a hell of a lot more miles and I may flush the brakes whenever. I can tell u it's not every two years. Lol. I am trying to keep it as close as I can to original design.I am kind of anal that way. So I am gonna flush it several times and see what happens when I get that tool. I have never had this kind of issue with brakes. It should not be this complicated.I remember on some older cars u had to hold the proportional valve open to bleed the brakes. No electronic mumbo jumbo. U would think there would be a manual bleed to the module. Whatever 🤓 I gonna fix it one way or another.
 

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Yeah that's how I feel. To make something that requires that kind of maintenance sucks. Well I got 100k out of it with no issues. It may have went longer if I flushed it the proper way. Who knows. Hell my truck has a hell of a lot more miles and I may flush the brakes whenever. I can tell u it's not every two years. Lol. I am trying to keep it as close as I can to original design.I am kind of anal that way. So I am gonna flush it several times and see what happens when I get that tool. I have never had this kind of issue with brakes. It should not be this complicated.I remember on some older cars u had to hold the proportional valve open to bleed the brakes. No electronic mumbo jumbo. U would think there would be a manual bleed to the module. Whatever 🤓 I gonna fix it one way or another.
A few auto companies had similar ABS issues as well. Most are of better HCU design as in plated pintles or whatever. At one time I found a company over the pond that actually did rebuilding of some ABS units. The HD unit was not on their list however. All we can do is do the 2 year flush with cycling and hope for the best. The history on that crap is somebody convinced someone at the NHTSA that the original problem was the factory fill fluid from Dow Corning not offering enough corrosion protection, and as you see, they avoided a full blown recall for HCU replacements, partly because that 2 year service interval is clearly stated in the manual, with that cycling deal to be done at the dealer. With the free fluid flush recall HD came out with their new brand of Platinum brake fluid to reduce issues. I'm not a chemist , so don't know it it's any better then any other Dot4 out there. It seems to be enough to get the NHTSA off their back though.
Ron
 

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I'm not a chemist , so don't know it it's any better then any other Dot4 out there.
I've got some Bel Ray " Super DOT 4 " Fluid here, it's probably what H-D is using in their " Platinum " Fluid - it says it exceeds FMVSS 116 DOT 4, SAE J1703, and ISO 4925 specifications, and says it contains Polyglycols and Glycolethers which sounds more like anti - freeze than alcohol based brake fluid to me. I'm no Chemist either but I'm thinking this super DOT 4 has less of a tendency to be hydroscopic ( absorbs moisture ) so less of a tendency to corrode internal brake system parts, especially close tolerance parts like anti-skid control valves and pistons that have to stay moving. Makes sense, definitely use the very best fluid available now for the best results. I'm sure H-D used good ole water absorbing DOT 4 fluid for factory fill from the 55 gallon drums they bought at bulk prices in the past, but there's much better fluids available now - I hope they're using it in production bikes, costs them what $ 2.50 more on a $ 25,000 bike ? :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A few auto companies had similar ABS issues as well. Most are of better HCU design as in plated pintles or whatever. At one time I found a company over the pond that actually did rebuilding of some ABS units. The HD unit was not on their list however. All we can do is do the 2 year flush with cycling and hope for the best. The history on that crap is somebody convinced someone at the NHTSA that the original problem was the factory fill fluid from Dow Corning not offering enough corrosion protection, and as you see, they avoided a full blown recall for HCU replacements, partly because that 2 year service interval is clearly stated in the manual, with that cycling deal to be done at the dealer. With the free fluid flush recall HD came out with their new brand of Platinum brake fluid to reduce issues. I'm not a chemist , so don't know it it's any better then any other Dot4 out there. It seems to be enough to get the NHTSA off their back though.
Ron
So do u use the Harley Fluid? Can't see why that would even fly. When they say use DOT 4.Sounds like the stealer is at it again. Lol
 

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I think the big thing is in about 2 years moisture increases and corrosion inhibitors crap out. Fresh fluid an cycle should keep it all functioning. Speaking of factory fills. My 13 I bought new in November. In December I gave the bike a good go over. While the brake master seemed clean, the clutch side was disgusting. Dark grey with chunks of shit in there, I have no idea what it was, like hard aluminum slag. Must have been sucking from the bottom of the barrel at that point. So, just because a bike is new, it doesn't mean the fluids are in the best shape. Yes, I bought a bottle of the Platinum last year for a flush. Normal brands prior. I was there and thought, what the hell, just in case.🐟
Ron
 
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