Are your Breaks Stopping you?

Some of you may know last month Harley-Davidson issued a recall on a number of 2021 and 2022 Harley-Davidson sportster models. The recall was based upon Improperly affixed brake master cylinder DOT4 decals. Because of this we thought it'd be a good idea to discuss what to check for in the braking system on your motorcycle.

On most vehicles there are five main components that make up the braking system: brake pads, rotors, calipers, brake fluid and brake lines, and the master cylinder.

So, how does this work to stop the motorcycle?

When you squeeze the brake lever it causes the master cylinder to push fluid into the brake lines that fluid being pushed causes the pistons in the brake calipers to squeeze the brake pads against the rotor thus causing friction and the ability to slow and stop the motorcycle.

Now that you know how the braking system works, how do you know your brakes need servicing?

One of the most common indicators is a squealing sound from your brakes. It means your brake pads have reached their limit and it's a warning that you need to replace your brake pads before you damage the rotor.

If your brakes, feel spongy or soft when you press on them this could be a sign of low brake fluid pressure. Low brake fluid can be caused by not having enough fluid in the brake lines or master cylinder, you may have a leak. Your brake pads could also be worn not and applying enough pressure.

If you experience vibrating when breaking this could symbolize a warped or damaged rotor and the caliper cannot apply pressure evenly. If you experience vibrating when breaking, then there is no way to fix a warp rotor other than replacing it. Now you know what to look for, some common causes, and what you should do.

How often should you do it?

It is recommended to check your brakes before you go on a long ride or if your motorcycle has been sitting for a while. If you ride your motorcycle often, you'll get used to the feeling of the brakes. Over time you'll begin to notice when your brakes begin to feel soft, or something is wrong. So, don’t wait to have them checked out as soon as possible.

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