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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last few days, I changed both tires on my 2012 XCT. I did not bleed the brakes and I did NOT replace the brake fluid, pads, or rotors. While the wheels were off the bike, I did squeeze the brake levers/pedal a bit to push the pistons out on all three calipers a little and I then cleaned the portions of the pistons I could access. I used a large screwdriver and a small crowbar to push the pads out and, hence, the pistons back in in order to get enough space between the pads to fit the rotors when I reinstalled the wheels.

I test road the bike today after the work was done and the front brake behavior has changed. It was never spongy and is still not. However, the distance I have to pull the front brake lever before I cannot pull it any further has substantially decreased. Now, I don't have to pull the front brake lever very far before it reaches its full braking ability - maybe 3/4 inch. This is really weird since prior to this work, I had to pull it further - maybe 1.5 inches. Any ideas on what might cause this would be appreciated.
 

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Released some air pocket when you pushed calipers out and by pushing it back in allowed it to get into the line and float up.
 

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When was last time you changed the fluid out? If its like 2yr or more, go ahead and get some fresh in there. Sounds like a bleed issue. As mentioned maybe air pocket and you got it forced out so now the air dont compress.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I bled both brake systems about 1 year ago and the fluid is still a very good color in both reservoirs.
 

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Released some air pocket when you pushed calipers out and by pushing it back in allowed it to get into the line and float up.
Exactly, i had a CCT and found that airpockets MUST be present , so @Vinish when opening the calipers, you moved the oil and that can remove or relocate a airbubble

3 weeks ago my friend who bought my CCT called me that the rear brake was stuck sollid, it was parked 4 weeks in his house, went there, bleed the brakes, and all working again .... 10 months prior i changed the brake fluids

The CC bikes have a air problem in brakes, thats for sure

My jackpot never have that problem, also the hammers have no airpockets problem, hence it is VERY difficult to initially prime a new hammer front brake properly also ( i put a hammer front end on my jackpot )

Andre using TaPaTaLk
 

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I bled both brake systems about 1 year ago and the fluid is still a very good color in both reservoirs.
Just want to add, when i did my 4" foot control extensions on the jackpot it took forever to bleed the rear brake properly, once done it has been good for years ...

Andre using TaPaTaLk
 

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Yep, sounds like it's working right now. 11/2 inches sounds like an awful lot. I'd ride it.
 

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I would be seriously concerned about any bike that needed 1.5 inches of pull on the brake lever. I like to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You know the free play on a 12 XCT has an adjusting wheel on the lever right?
Thank you. Yes, I am aware of this and even with it adjusted to bring the lever as close to the grip as possible, the brake lever still reaches its stopping point substantially further from the grip than before I began that work which included replacing the tires.
 

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I don't have anywhere near 1.5 inches.
When I bled the brakes I did the tie the brake lever thing and that seemed to have squeezed out the last bit of air.
 

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Just for haha's I checked the free play on my bike ....3/4" measured toward the end of the lever next to the ball. Think you may be chasing your tail on this one. Sure sounds that somehow while r+ r the wheel some trapped air must have gotten released. I don't think you are going to find anything wrong, It was wrong before the wheel was removed. As long as the bike stops properly I wouldn't worry.
 

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I do not know what changed the way your brake is working, but .5 inch seems like a working dimension. I measured the action on my 3 bikes and got about .5 inch.

YMMV, but I run new fluid into my bike brakes every 1-1.5 years.

To check your system is not sticking now, you might just go for a ride and use both brakes as needed, then stop using the front brake for a bit. After a bit, stop the bike and check the axle, caliper, and then the rotor (careful), and you should find little or no heat.

So, if the bike is stopping while the front brake is not overheating, all there is left to do is enjoy the ride.

Hoping the problem is not one.
 

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My HardBall has the front brakes slowly go spongy regularly every 6 months or so. My first actions when it annoys me too much are to remove the calipers and push the pads in and out a few times. I'll only reach for the vacuum bleeder if that doesn't fix it. I change the fluid every 12 months.
 

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Wow! I have never read or heard of the symptoms you describe, Steve.

Your service interval seems just right. While the problem seems under your control, at this point, it might be worth thinking about rebuilding the caliper at some point to see if that resolves the issue. I am in the desert SW and so have less problem with moisture.

As the former owner of a 77 H-D FLH I have had a number of adventures with braking. The Motor Co. missed with the design of their giant kidney bean brake caliper, which resulted in sporadic brake failures. It was not unusual, on a dark night, to see a bright red rear rotor motoring down the road, or to have the seal in the master cylinder blow out, as one attempted to stop. The service manual had the wheels being rotated and the wheel bearings checked at either 500, or 1k intervals. I regularly replaced bearings until I completely rebuilt the system and went to DOT 5 fluid.

Oddly enough, rear braking on my Gunner was too efficient. The solution I found on the Web was to reduce the size of the brake pad. That has worked well w/o any negative side affects that I can see.

Hoping you have miles of smiles on the road.
 
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