Tuesday 10 January 2012


My motorbike is off the road. The front brake has seized and it's neither off nor on. I have rebuilt a brake calliper before, and assumed that I'd be easily able to fix this one. I ordered a complete kit of seals, I've got brake fluid in stock, and I set aside Friday afternoon and Saturday to work on it. It's a 2-pot floating calliper which means that it has 2 pistons on one side of the disc and the whole calliper should be free to slide across the bike on 2 strong pins.

The calliper came off the bike after only a brief wrestling match, and by destroying the rubber boots and getting a punch and a heavy hammer behind the slide pins I was able to separate the calliper from the backplate. I was already congratulating myself on having fixed the problem. How wrong I was. I was expecting to clean, polish, and lubricate the pins. One of them still had a mirror finish, the other looked like it had been salvaged from the deck of the Titanic. I couldn't manufacture a replacement as I'm neither a skilled turner, nor have a screw cutting lathe. (I used to have a girlfriend who's dad is and does, it's funny what you miss sometimes.) I went back to Honda and yes it's sold separately, it is available, it costs less than a fiver, and no we can't get hold of one until at least this time next week.

Anyway back to the calliper. The piston seals don’t fit. The seals in the kit are 27mm the pistons on the bike are some bizarre archaic size just over 25mm. No matter, the spares company said they'll send the right size next week. Back to the pistons, when I cleaned them up I discovered that I had scored the hard chrome plating when I pulled them out and had effectively ruined them. No matter, the spares company can supply a pair which may or may not be the right size for a mere £50!

I've spent £85 on parts, none of which have arrived, I've wasted a whole afternoon, and I'm absolutely no closer to getting my bike going.

Richard "frustration and the art of motorcycle maintenance" B

1 comment:

  1. In the world of mountain biking all the cool kids only have back brakes... There are no cool adults.