Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Thread Contributor: chris1951Rear Brakes - servicing tip

‘How to service your bike’ 
Rear Brake.
I am writing these blogs because I feel very strongly that if you know your bike you are a more complete rider and will have the knowledge to repair and service your own machine. You will not have to depend on the dealer. There is a great satisfaction in having done it yourself and knowing it is done properly. Don’t be afraid, follow the steps carefully and you will not have a problem. 

Adjusting your rear brake.
At first glance this appears to be a very simple job. It is mostly, but there are a few things to also do when the rear brake is adjusted that are often forgotten.

To make it easy to see I have removed the exhaust silencer. You don’t have to do this.

1. Return stop adjustment.
This adjustment only needs doing once or maybe twice. It stops the brake pedal from sitting too high. It is stated by some incorrectly that it is there to adjust the slack in the brake pedal…not so.
This is a very personal choice so set the pedal where it suits you best. I have included a look at where I have mine, do adjust yours for you!
I see many RE owners riding with the brake light on because they rest their foot on the brake 
pedal #. 
Setting it a little lower may help you if you do this. Slacken the lock nut and turn the adjusting bolt clockwise to lower the pedal. Be sure to retighten the lock nut properly.
(#There is also a second reason for brake lights being too sensitive but we will come to that later).


2. Brake rod adjustment.
Examine this pivot point on the brake pedal and check that there is a split pin fitted. I have seen bikes with this missing……. I have no idea why this happens but it’s worth a look. A drop of oil on it is also a good idea.

Next lubricate the brake lever pivot. Firstly remove the fixing bolt.


Now slide the pedal assembly towards you about 1”…DO NOT PULL IT OFF COMPLETELY.

Lubricate well with oil, behind and inside. The oily paint brush!

Refit the bolt and tighten well.

Now move to the drum, here we find the main rear brake adjuster. 

As you can see it consists of a threaded rod and a nut on one end and the pivot we have just looked at. 
3. Adjusting the rear brake rod.
It is always a good idea to clean and lubricate the thread on the rod before you adjust. Not only does it make it easier but it prevents rust seizing the nut. Use a wire brush or stiff paint brush for this. I have a paint brush that I have chopped down the bristles for jobs such as this and chain cleaning.
The nut is shaped to locate on the pivot in the operating arm. It is vital that the nut is sitting in this position when you finish.

Now press the brake pedal until you have a good brake (sitting on the bike makes this easier until you have gained experience of judging this) does it go too far? It should move about 1” measured at the brake pedal rubber before it begins to brake. Some people prefer more travel, it’s up to you but with the return stop properly adjusted I find this comfortable. If it is more than this turn the nut on the brake rod (14mm spanner) several turns clockwise (To tighten). 



 Well having done that bit it now comes to tea time, have a chi, sit back and relax, due to bandwidth limitations this has to be a two part blog. Part two coming soon.
Ok guys, welcome back, I hope you enjoyed the chai break.
If you haven't read part one of this blog please do so or this part two will make no sense!

Where mine is set, brake light is just ON and braking is just beginning at this point.

Repeat the brake test. 
Repeat this adjustment until you have a good brake. Do not over tighten, you MUST maintain the free movement at the pedal or the brake shoes will heat up as they rub and may even stop the bike as they become too tight. Spin the wheel to check it is free.

Rear brake return spring.
 Clean and lubricate, I use the oily paint brush, scrub and it’s done! 
Note the Rajasthan dust coat.  Don’t you just love the sand, grit and dust of a ride into the country?  Udaipur has it all within reach. Lakes mountains super twisty hill climbs, fast highway, desert…. and of course, cow, water buffalo, pig, dog and chicken dodging, all of which can be found wandering the roads here. Then there is my favourite……the pot holes, from a dinner plate to some you could lose your bike in. Most exciting in the monsoon.

After cleaning.

4. Rear brake light adjustment.
Often overlooked. I have seen ‘How to adjust video’s on U tube that completely neglect this part of the job. There are several very good reasons for doing this adjustment. If the switch is too sensitive it will keep flashing the brake light on/off if you touch the brake pedal while riding. If you have the habit of resting your foot on the brake pedal it may stay on.
It may not turn on the brake light if adjusted with too much slack in it.
Any of the above is bad news.
The car/bike following you has no idea that you have applied your brakes because they are either always on, flashing or don’t come on. The result can be the same in each case….getting hit from behind. So this often overlooked adjustment is vital for your safety.

The brake light switch

It consists of an adjustable switch and a small rod with a spring in it connected to the brake pedal. The spring is there to prevent the wire rod pulling the switch too hard when you brake.

Press the brake pedal until it just begins to apply the brake. Is the brake light on?
NO…. Disconnect the wiring plug to the switch,  don’t just pull, it has a clip that has to be pressed to release it. 


rotate the switch counter clockwise to raise it. Reconnect and test
YES…. Slowly release the brake and note when it goes off. Adjust as above but lower the switch until it lights at the correct position. 

Reconnect the wiring, and test again, repeat until it is working at the correct point when you use your back brake.

Now test the brake with a short ride. Be careful, if properly adjusted and set up for you it will NOT feel the same as it was so don’t jump on it

TIP: I always carry a spare stop/tail light bulb wrapped in a rag tucked away inside the light fitting. Plenty of room in there and it is where you are going to need it.

Well, that’s it for this task; I hope it proves useful to you.

Ride safe and keep it shiny side up.
Guys, I am sorry the pics are so small, I am still learning how to compress.........hope to do better next time!
Superb step by step guide Chris...will surely try this today..
There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors"
Awesome info Chris. I think I need to give you a crash course on content management on this site. Yet kudos to your efforts

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Cheers ~ Sajeesh
@chris if you need help email me the original pics on and I will replace the small images with bigger ones.
Cheers ~ Sajeesh
(05-18-2017, 04:34 PM)Sajeesh Wrote: Awesome info Chris. I think I need to give you a crash course on content management on this site. Yet kudos to your efforts

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Oh yes please. This is definitely not my area of expertise!
(05-18-2017, 05:58 PM)Sajeesh Wrote: @chris if you need help email me the original pics on and I will replace the small images with bigger ones.

Thanks bro, e mail sent via 'We transfer'
E mailed clicks. Can you please post this to FB as i have had several requests after the front brake service was posted.
Well written Chris!
since I recently had the rear brake shoes changed , I can add my two cents to this.
I observed that I was loosing the grip on the rear wheel when applying brake.
Secondly I was getting occasional grinding sounds and vibration on the brake pedal.
Ride Along!!!

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Rear Leg Guards schaufla 0 1,526 03-03-2012, 10:01 AM
Last Post: schaufla
  Front Disc Brakes for Machismo 2001 lucidaki 7 4,007 09-01-2011, 09:47 PM
Last Post: Suresh

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)