Is there something I can do to minimize or eliminate front disc brake screech? Brake works great but makes that screech noise when applied which is kind of embarassing and distracting. Bike is quite new...Only 2500 miles.
You probably have not been using your front brake enough. Did some hard decelerations on a quiet road. Get up to 40 or 50 then brake firmly with the front brake several times. Don't come to a full stop, don't want heat warpage.
If this doesn't fix it, then you can follow this procedure.
Do your disk brakes squeal, they all do to a certain degree but can be worse if the pads and disk are glazed, usually the result of frequent low pressure use of the brakes.
Her's one cheap way of fixing the problem
First, you'll need these supplies:
#60 grit black sandpaper.
Medium grit ScotchBrite pad.
Acetone or Brake cleaner.
1) Unbolt the brake caliper and remove the disc brake pads.
2) Get some coarse #60 grit black sandpaper.
3) Lay the paper down on a VERY flat surface. A sheet of glass, a piece of sheet metal or other really flat surface.
4) Take one brake pad, put it compound side down on the sandpaper, and sand the surface till it looks fresh and new. Use a figure 8 motion while sanding, and be careful to sand the pad evenly. Then do this to the other pad.
5) Get some acetone or brake cleaner to clean the surface of the disc. It needs to be a grease-less cleaner that will leave the surface of the disc clean and completely dry. Paint thinner or cleaning solvent are NOT good for this! Take a clean, lint free rag and apply the acetone or brake cleaner to it, and wipe both sides of the swept area of the disc, (the un-painted area that the brake pads rub against), to remove any oils and crap that have accumulated.
6) Then take a piece of the #60 grit sandpaper and carefully and lightly sand both sides of the disc on the swept areas until you can see that you have removed the surface glazing from the disc. You can tell this by the sanding scratches appearing on the disc surface.
7) Then use the ScotchBrite pad, the medium grit is best, and scuff the swept area of the disc until the sanding marks JUST start to disappear. Use compressed air to blow all the abrasive debris off the disc, or, alternatively, use a shop vac.
8.) Clean the disc off again with the acetone or brake cleaner and then re-assemble the brake caliper and re-attach it to the fork leg.
9) Before you ride your bike, be sure to pump your brakes a few times to get the hydraulic pressure back up and to seat the pads. Then go out for a ride and use the brake lightly just to confirm they are working correctly. Then, as you are riding in second gear, about 25 miles an hour, lightly drag your front brake a couple of times for about 5 seconds each time. That's it, you should have vastly improved braking and a quiet operating disc brake.
Note: This procedure applies to the OEM pads. If you are using sintered metal pads or kevlar based pads there is a different procedure to break these pads in.
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm sure I was not using my front brake enough until recently so as soon as the weather clears up I plan to take it out and give the front disc a real workout. If that does not solve the squealing I'll give it the sandpaper/ascetone treatment.
I am having the same problem with squealing but wasn't sure it was brakes but only does it while the bike is moving. Using the front brake lever does not change the sound. The bike is a 1500 nomad and has 2600 miles. Sure hope this is the problem. The noise gets to you after awhile. It only squeals once in a while that is the mystery.
Dealer said that the wheel was installed wrong. He mentioned the binding by improper wheel installation cause the brakes to be out of alignment. It took him 10 minutes to fix. Boy am I happy now. What a great bike. A friend today said he could have sold me his Harley for $8500. Glad I didn't bite. I hear they are trouble and it sure didn't have all the options we have. I got a great deal on this 2003 1500 Nomad. The best thing is my really straight school teacher wife loves it.
I had some brake squeal, too. It got so annoying even had my brakes checked by somebody more knowledgeable than me and they were fine, plenty of pad, no metal on metal.
In the end, he suggested "Squeak Away" (or something very like that name) from Auto Zone. The only downfall is that you have to take your brake pads off to apply it, so it may not be for everybody who doesn't want to do that kind of thing.
The fix for my front brake squeal was simply having the dealer loosen the front axel and lock bolts and retighten them so there wasn't a bind on the brakes. That is my rough explaination. But the bolts were loosened and retightened for the front wheel. That solved the problem. That brake squeal drove me crazy and thought it was a bearing or dragging brake.
On my meanie I've applied the disc brake stop squeak to the back of the pads several times to keep them from squeaking at low speed/low pressure. I use my fronts fairly hard, never had any glazing. The stop squeak fixes it for a few thousand miles usually.
This is interesting to read. I'll have to try this stuff!!!! My Suzuki Intruder has the front brake squeal and it can be embarrassing!!!
It had the squeal when I bought it used, and then I had the front brakes replaced. Even with new brakes on the front, they STILL squeal. I find myself using the rear brake more often and trying not to brake very hard with the front one at a traffic light.....people stare at me when my little bike rolls up squealing :icon_frow
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