Author Topic: Rear Brake Inspection, Cleaning, and Bleeding  (Read 3772 times)

Offline VirginiaJim

  • Administrator
  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10727
  • Country: england
  • I've forgotten more than I'll ever know...
    • Kawasaki 1400GTR
Rear Brake Inspection, Cleaning, and Bleeding
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:33:58 pm »
I did this for entertainment purposes only using the 2008 Concours 1400 manual and Youtube videos.   Bike is 2008 Concours 1400 ABS.  After all the discussions on ABS and braking here lately I decided to check mine out.  I'm glad I did.  I'm thinking doing this once a year is fine unless you ride in dirty salty conditions.

Tools I used
...  Micrometer True Power 6 inch digital caliper #446, 3/8 ratchet with metric sockets and metric 3/8 Allens, 3/8 extension, 10mm box end, Torque wrench,  clear tubing 3/16 id 5/16 od, shop and regular towel, Kwackers brake fluid (2)..  Motion Pro brake bleeder valve, plastic brake bleeding jar, plastic tub and brushes, 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper, Green Scotchbrite pads, high temp pad paste, brake cleaner spray, spray bottle of hot water.


You can remove the muffler for better access.  I didn't.

Remove the seat for access to the rear master cylinder
Remove the right side case.
Mic the rotor for thickness.  Mine was 5.57.  Kwackers says 5.3 to 5.7mm on the thickness.  Service limit is 5.5.  Decided to buy an EBC rear rotor from Murph along with the pads.
To remove the caliper -  Remove the ABS sensor and hang out of the way.  Has two 8mm bolts.  Loosen the pin (5mm Allen) holding the pads while it's still on the bike.  Remove the caliper bolts (6mm Allen)



Pull the caliper away from the rotor and remove the pin and spring holding in the pads.  The pin was crudded up and resisted being pulled out.  I marked the inboard pad.  I also noticed the pistons weren't even out of the bores..  It wasn't drastically different but different enough.  The pic shows the pistons after I pushed the brake pedal.  Inboard piston moved.  Outboard didn't.  It didn't move even when pushing against the inboard piston and depressing the brake pedal.  Hmmm.


Pads measured 4.77 on the inboard and 4.33 on the outboard.  Not noticeable via eye sight.  Thickness is 5mm new, Service limit is 1mm (Kwackers pads).  I just put these pads on last year around this time so they're in very good shape.

Cleaned up the pin with the scotchbrite and 800 grit wet/dry.  Lubed with brake paste.



Washed the caliper assembly with hot soapy water and the brushes.  It wasn't that dirty but it did clean up.  I used a spray bottle of hot water to rinse it.  Cleaned up crud around pads and then sanded them with the sandpaper to smooth them out.  Dried the caliper and worked the outboard piston so that it eventually started moving.  Cleaned up the spring.  Lubed the back plates of the pads.  Reinstalled everything.


Installed caliper assembly and torqued pin (13ft/lbs) and caliper bolts (27ft/lbs).  Install ABS sensor (snug).  Pump the rear brake to set the pads on the rotors.  Removed cap on master cylinder and saw something black in the bottom.  Got a q-tip and removed it.  Attached bleeder to the inboard bleeder.  Bled it (note:  10mm wrench needs to come through the wheel from the other side). Attached bleeder to the outboard bleeder, bled it.  Keep an eye on the fluid.  I left the cap off for better visibility.  Probably went through 8 or 9 refills of the master.

Warning!  DO NOT FORCEFULLY PRESS DOWN THE BRAKE PEDAL WITH THE COVER OFF OF THE MASTER CYLINDER.  YOU MAY WIND UP WITH A GEYSER OF BRAKE FLUID GOING EVERYWHERE.  THIS ALSO APPLIES TO THE FRONT AND CLUTCH MASTER CYLINDERS!  DO THIS GENTLY.


Found two potential issues, rotor and caliper piston.  Ordered rotor from Murph's kits.  Also ordered pads.  EBC won't warranty their rotors unless you use their pads.  Piston was working fine when I put it all back together.  I'm thinking because I don't use the rear brake that much it mildly 'seized' up.  Need to use the rear brake more.  

Went for a short ride to check out the rear ABS.  Worked fine.  Probably not a bad idea to do that at least once a year, so you know what it feels like.  I think I've only felt it come on a couple of times in nearly 10 years.  Saved my butt.

FYI...here's where the ABS diagnostic connector is on an ABS 08/09 bike.  They are the two loose ones shown towards the rear of the bike. 

I used this video as a training aid..   Youtube is my friend but take it with a grain of salt. 



MC bobbin cleaning thoughts - the rear is fixed and doesn't float, my fronts are EBC square drive so they don't rotate.  Not sure if the Kwackers front rotors have moveable bobbins.  I think Delboy rides in the UK.  Their weather is hell on bikes.  I don't usually ride on salty roads.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 09:14:43 am by VirginiaJim »
"LOCTITE®"  The original thread locker...  #11  08-C14 EA FC ABS 46 Monitoring with cutting edge technology (sold).  U.N.I.T is Back!  2016 Indian Roadmaster.

Offline maxtog

  • Elite Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8114
  • Country: us
  • 2011 Silver
Re: Rear Brake Cleaning and Flushing
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 07:58:31 pm »
[...]Decided to buy an EBC rear rotor from Murph.[...]  Need to use the rear brake more.

You wore out your rear rotor by not using it enough?  :)
Shoodaben (was Guhl) Mountain Runner ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, all LED, helmet locks, RAM Xgrip, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, BearingUp Shifter, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,etc

Offline VirginiaJim

  • Administrator
  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10727
  • Country: england
  • I've forgotten more than I'll ever know...
    • Kawasaki 1400GTR
Re: Rear Brake Cleaning and Flushing
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 08:06:08 pm »
Yes, much like in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in order to go north you need to go south.  Actually it's only lately that I've been using the fronts way more than the rear.  Before that I used both at the same time.  That's probably why it's worn down that much.
"LOCTITE®"  The original thread locker...  #11  08-C14 EA FC ABS 46 Monitoring with cutting edge technology (sold).  U.N.I.T is Back!  2016 Indian Roadmaster.

Offline connie_rider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1199
Re: Rear Brake Cleaning and Flushing
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 07:23:22 am »
Good post. I'll refer back to it when I do mine.

Ride safe, Ted

Offline Conrad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5770
  • Country: us
Re: Rear Brake Cleaning and Flushing
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 09:04:06 am »
Yes, much like in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in order to go north you need to go south.  Actually it's only lately that I've been using the fronts way more than the rear.  Before that I used both at the same time.  That's probably why it's worn down that much.

I thought that you always used the rear brake since you paid for it and all?
Northern Illinois   Silverdammit '08 C-14 ABS

"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

Offline VirginiaJim

  • Administrator
  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10727
  • Country: england
  • I've forgotten more than I'll ever know...
    • Kawasaki 1400GTR
Re: Rear Brake Inspection, Cleaning, and Bleeding
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 09:11:20 am »
 :battle:   I hate people who remind of things I said in the past... >:( :rotflmao:
"LOCTITE®"  The original thread locker...  #11  08-C14 EA FC ABS 46 Monitoring with cutting edge technology (sold).  U.N.I.T is Back!  2016 Indian Roadmaster.

Offline Conrad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5770
  • Country: us
Re: Rear Brake Inspection, Cleaning, and Bleeding
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 04:30:36 am »
My wife says the same thing.
Northern Illinois   Silverdammit '08 C-14 ABS

"Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

Offline Rhino

  • Arena
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3963
  • Country: us
Re: Rear Brake Inspection, Cleaning, and Bleeding
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 06:34:40 am »
Nice write up Jim! I also liked the Delboy's video. You definitely need to get the dead snails out of the brake calipers.

Offline VirginiaJim

  • Administrator
  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10727
  • Country: england
  • I've forgotten more than I'll ever know...
    • Kawasaki 1400GTR
Re: Rear Brake Inspection, Cleaning, and Bleeding
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2017, 08:50:27 am »
Getting ready to do the fronts now...
"LOCTITE®"  The original thread locker...  #11  08-C14 EA FC ABS 46 Monitoring with cutting edge technology (sold).  U.N.I.T is Back!  2016 Indian Roadmaster.