‘How to service your bike’
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
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.[attachment=1947]
Lubricate well with oil, behind and inside. The oily paint brush![attachment=1948]
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. [attachment=1949]
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.[attachment=1950]
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.
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