Clean Rotors for Better Brakes - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Clean Rotors for Better Brakes

I've got an 09 V with around 11,000 miles on it. Brakes have always been plenty good enough for my riding, but had started to degrade over the past six months or so - just didn't feel as strong. Didn't feel exactly like air in the line, but the brakes weren't firm. There have been lots of threads talking about improving brakes with stainless lines and other pads, so I stopped at a local Kawasaki dealer to discuss their thoughts.

One of their mechanics checked the bike, confirmed it unlikely that air was in the lines, then suggested he just check if the rotors were clean. The rotors looked clean, but he got some clean "white" shop rags, sprayed brake cleaner on the rags, and wiped both sides of each rotor with the cleaner-soaked rag. I was amazed at how much "black" came off onto the rag. Some combination of road-sludge and axle grease residue had really dirtied up the rotors - and it wasn't easy to see by just looking at the shiny rotors.

So, he cleaned the rotors a bit and suggested I take the bike home and do some more - since the brake pads also had to be dirty. Bottom line, after cleaning and re-cleaning the rotors several times, the brakes are much better.

I now check the rotors every few hundred miles, by spraying brake cleaner on a white rag and wiping the rotors. If I get any black residue, then I clean thoroughly. Made a nice difference in stopping power on my bike.

I searched and didn't find anyone else who'd had this experience, so I thought I'd just pass it on.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 04:03 PM
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Thanks, I will try that on my Versys; it takes a lot more force than it used to, to get the same braking performance.

The brake feels firm, the lever does not even get close to the handlebar, but I have to squeeze harder to get the same performance.
When I had the wheel out to change the front tire I did scrub the pads with sandpaper, but did no cleaning of braking surfaces (I did clean the internals of the calipers).
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 05:20 PM
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Any kind of oily residue on the rotors like brake fluid would hurt braking but I would think just brake pad dust, rust or dirt would come off when you apply the brakes a few times.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Sprocket,
I had similar thoughts, but now I check the rotors and often find them dirty enough to warrant cleaning. Also checked my 10 V (I ride in WV) with only 1500 miles and found them dirty enough to clean thoroughly.

Brake cleaner is only about $3.00 at NAPA. Find a clean white rag, spray on some cleaner, wipe and see what you find.

Let us know.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 07:45 PM
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I find that that the dirt accumulates rapidly. I use to clean them every week when I washed the bike but stopped doing so. guess, I will clean them every week again. Good info, thanks!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 08:28 PM
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Also good to blow clean the pads. A lot of brake dust accumulated.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 06:47 AM
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Great tip, gotta try that

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 07:05 AM
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This is a good link in my opinion on how to clean rotor bobbins
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=2686

Last edited by kiwi 41; 01-01-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 07:06 AM
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Kiwi,
About a year ago, I too started having "pulsating" front brakes at low speed. I read the thread you mentioned here and tried lubing the bobbins with WD-40. It worked great. Since then I put a few drops on the bobbins whenever I change oil - with no pulsations since. I was concerned that some of the WD-40 might have gotten on the rotors, but there's an awful lot of black on the rotors, whether I've used WD-40 or not.

I think it's a good idea to lube the rotor bobbins, and also clean the rotors with brake cleaner. Anytime the brakes pulsate, lube the bobbins. If the brakes start to lose effectiveness, clean the rotors. Doesn't cost much, doesn't hurt anything, and, in my case, helped a lot.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 05:37 PM
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"I think it's a good idea to lube the rotor bobbins, and also clean the rotors with brake cleaner. Anytime the brakes pulsate, lube the bobbins. If the brakes start to lose effectiveness, clean the rotors. "

Good advice, I do things in a different order> clean bobbins with brake cleaner, lube with lubricant of choice, specialty brake lube probably best. Then clean the rotor with cleaner applied to rag, wipe both sides, moving wheel to clean area hidden by calipers. I wear vinyl gloves whenever I deal with cleaners, lacquers etc; nasty sh*t that stuff. Don't be huffing it either.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
"I think it's a good idea to lube the rotor bobbins, and also clean the rotors with brake cleaner. Anytime the brakes pulsate, lube the bobbins. If the brakes start to lose effectiveness, clean the rotors. "

Good advice, I do things in a different order> clean bobbins with brake cleaner, lube with lubricant of choice, specialty brake lube probably best. Then clean the rotor with cleaner applied to rag, wipe both sides, moving wheel to clean area hidden by calipers. I wear vinyl gloves whenever I deal with cleaners, lacquers etc; nasty sh*t that stuff. Don't be huffing it either.
wbhy nott? it maaaaakes me see funnee things

and turns what i try ttto think all sparrrkly....... eheheh,,,, ehehhh,,,, who are you?
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