Soft Front Brake Issue Finally Laid To Rest - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Default Soft Front Brake Issue Finally Laid To Rest

For the last two and a half years I've done battle with my front brakes, from day one I just didn't like the feel. I fiddled with the lever adjustment, I re-bled the things at least four times (with and without a Mighty-Vac) and yet I still would get a soft "pedal" on the first pull. Not soft enough to be dangerous but it was irritating none the less. I even spoke to a Vic mechanic at the dealership and he told me that it wasn't uncommon for anti-lock brakes to have a different "feel" on the first pull. Let's just say that statement didn't instill me with a lot of confidence in his mechanical abilities.

A year or so ago I just gave up on trying to get the thing to properly bleed and have lived with it since. I got in the habit (a bad one at that) of double tapping the front brake every time I used it. It only takes a split second to do it but it really isn't a good habit to get into simply because in an emergency situation you will automatically double tap the lever and that split second could mean you wind up as somebody's hood ornament.

So yesterday on a casual walk around of the bike I peeked down into the top of one of the front brake calipers to have a look see at how much pad I had left. What I saw wasn't what I was hoping for as I was down to bare minimums on at least two so it was off to the Vic shop to get hosed for $90 for brake pads (next time I'll check more often so I've got time to order off Amazon).

Of course during the change out I pulled the calipers and to make life easier on myself I wrapped each in a rag and used a universal brake piston backer offer (big channel locks) to push the pistons as far back into the calipers as possible. The pad change out went without any hiccups and again my hat is off to the engineers at Victory who take into consideration that someday someone might just want to work on one of these things. New pads installed I made a quick trip around the block just to make sure the front end wouldn't fall off at the bottom of the hill and parked it back in the garage.

Last nite I went out to dinner with my daughters and had to ride about twenty miles of stop and go to get to my destination. Not far from the house I realized that I had good pedal on the front brake. All of a sudden there's no need to double tap the damn thing to get the pressure that I always thought that it should have!! I'm scratching my head wondering why in the world new pads would have ANY effect on a stubborn air bubble in the system when it dawned on me that I had forced that tiny bubble back out into the master cylinder when I pushed all eight brake pistons back into the calipers at once, if only I would have thought of that trick a couple of years ago.

So the moral of the story is, if you're going to war with the front brakes on your Vic trying to get the system to bleed out properly maybe try pushing back the pistons all the way and see what happens.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 10:00 AM
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Very cool. Congrats on the find, and thanks for sharing.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 10:43 AM
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Interesting. I have this EXACT symptom on one of my Vic XCT bikes. When I change pads, I will try your suggestion. Unfortunately, this could be a long time as this is occurring on my wife's bike in FL and she doesn't ride it a lot. It has only ~11,000 miles and doesn't gain a lot of miles per year.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 10:54 AM
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more then likely one or more of the caliper pistons were getting stuck on the o-ring. So when you pushed them all the way in you centered the pistons. So now they come out straight and true.
Either way good for you

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Vinish,

It's basically a 15 minute job and you don't have to put new pads in. Just pull the calipers and pads then force the pistons back as far as you can. You might want to remove the master cylinder cap and have somebody watch to make sure there's enough room in the reservoir but there's really very little volume in the calipers so it shouldn't be a big deal.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 01:49 PM
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Glorious OP, my CCT had the same problem... So I flushed new brake fluid, now I forgot if it worked or not.... If not I will push back all the brake-pads to ZERO ... super good info

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 02:21 PM
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I had the same issues and when I changed the pads, it was better for awhile and then went back to normal. Yours might do the same thing
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 04:50 PM
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Don't forget to clean the pistons before forcing them back into the caliper, and be prepared for a master cylinder overflow.
Local Pirtek hose man got rid of his ABS victory for the reason you describe and bought a big BMW boxer.
After gearbox problems that were found to be a weak decent spring on the shifter star.
And then the brake problem that the dealers said was 'normal'
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Was gonna trade it on a Dark Horse till his wife said "aren't they made by the same people?"
He bought a BMW

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for sharing.. that's very helpful. Kinda dealing with the same thing.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:52 AM
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It will be back as soon as you get a little wear in the pads.....sorry

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