The 3 Rs -Rotors, rubber n 'renchin'



Yanked the rear wheel off the Ultrabarge a few days ago to throw on the spare wheel with new rubber. The D407 went 18k with 2/32s left, probably could've got another 2k out of it to get down to the wear bars at 1/32 but it was severely squared and cornered like crap. The rear brake pads were lookin' a bit thin as well.

This was my first foray playing with the Brembo calipers. Not as easy as changing the drop-out & replace pads on the previous brakes but basically straightforward and uneventful. One aspect that had me scratching my head was spreading black goo on the back of the pads using a template that only leaves the paste where the pads touch the pistons. Possibly for anti-vibration or some such. The front replacements use no goo. Curious. The rear pad kit was an -09-B Part # so they've had a couple of upgrades since introduction. Comparing the new pads to the old I probably had 40% or so of life left. Already had everything apart with the pads out since the calipers have to come off to pull the wheel so swapped the new ones in and figure I won't have to be concerned about 'em for another 30k or so.

The rear wheel swap was uneventful. The replacement is a spare I picked up on eBay resulting from someone doing a trike conversion. Back when 10 - 12k was standard on a rear dresser tire having a spare ready to go for a long trip beat thinking about buying rubber on the road. Now that 18k seems routine on a rear tire it isn't nearly as handy. And buying rubber at a dealer may not be as painful as it used to be. The D407s retail for almost twice what the predecessors went for but they get double the mileage and handle better. Many dealers are offering a free mount n balance on or off the bike which might even put the deal in the ballpark with cheaper American Elites once all is considered. Still, I've probably ran my last D407, more due to the front D408 experience than any problem with the 407s.

Although the front 408 was a tad below half depth I swapped out the front as well. 18k ago when I needed to replace the rear after a puncture I scored a set of chrome takeoffs from a Limited complete with new rubber for about the price of the wheels alone. Since I was putting OEM polished aluminum on the rear I didn't want a chrome one on the front....minimizes the poser points ya know. Plus the floating rotors on the front had been warped for a good long while. Last time I use those POS too.

Swapping out the front wheel brought something to light I hadn't suspected. I'd been thinking every road on the planet was rough as shit. The front D408 had the same 18k on it as the back, the replacement had 5800 miles on it when I pulled it for the chrome poser wheels. After a shakedown ride produced a smooth ride on a rough road I concluded the other tire must be cupping. Didn't show anything obvious after inspection but the difference in smoothness was remarkable. The D408 may have solved some of the severe cupping problems at low mileage the front D407s originally exhibited but a tire at half tread depth exhibiting that rough of a ride means I won't be using 'em again. Probably American Elites next time.

The OEM discs eliminated the choppy, rough braking resulting from the floaters being warped. They weren't severe, you had to really get on the front brakes hard in excess of 60 MPH to get a front end shake out of 'em but it started only 2k after I put 'em on. I'm not particularly hard on brakes so I'm concluding the H-D floaters may be crap. Front pads looked to have 60% or better left so I left 'em for another time and stuck the replacements on the shelf.

Fresh rubber, fresh service & fluids...guess I need to find somewhere to go to wear out the pesky tire tread. That's *after* a trip to the dealer for a recall on the rear brake switch. When they put the catalytic converter on the '10s they left the switch were it had been....which ended up real close to the intense heat of the catalyst. I got the recall letter last November but put it on the back burner despite warnings of switch failure etc. Well, the switch finally turned to toast and went belly up. The replacement/relocation is a freebie and I'm expecting it to be worth every cent of what I pay for it. Hopefully they won't screw something else up in the process.

On a semi-related maintenance note, a few years ago I scored Mobil 1 20w 50 V-Twin for $6.37/qt and bought 4 cases. Advanced Auto Online must've figured they were losing their shorts on a 20% offer and free shipping for oil that was already on sale because oil is now excluded from all off their online offers. The thought of $11 or so a quart for synth makes me gag and Mobil 1 15w 50 seems to have disappeared from the shelves locally. I saw Royal Purple 20w 50 murdercycle oil at Summit Racing a few days ago marked at $8.37/qt. Their online price sez a whopping $14.18/qt! Must be mismarked on the shelves so I'm gonna run over and buy a bunch before they figure it out.

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