Cleaning Rotor Bobbins - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2018, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning Rotor Bobbins

Hey guys,

I've got a lot of noise coming from my front wheel on my 2015. At low speeds its sort of a "shhh" accompanied by a periodic increase. So almost sounds like my rotors are warped, however I'm not getting noticeable pulsating when braking. So maybe it's an issue with a bearing? I've got to borrow my brother's front stand to really investigate. The bike is new to me so I don't know when the sound developed... but's only got 7,500 miles.

But in the meantime I saw some suggestions on cleaning the bobbins for the rotors. Mine cannot be turned my hand at all. It looks like you use some break cleaner and rotate them to free/clean. But I'm not seeing much concensus on whether or not to lubricate them (grease can attract dirt of course). What do y'all do?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2018, 08:21 AM
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Find a short bolt & nut that fits thru the bobbing to facilitate rotating with a wrench & a very small application of Fast Eddie's wonder elixir (WD-40)
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2018, 08:29 AM
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I recommend Liquid Wrench and the nut/bolt method to clean them, followed by a thorough flush of the entire rotor with brake cleaner.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2018, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for the input guys. I'll do some minimal lubrication on the bobbins, sounds like most important think is to keep the rotors cleaned.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2018, 09:40 PM
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Be very careful about lubing the rotor bobbins with WD40.
Any fling will cause loss of braking!!!

I may have lightly lube them once in the past but you should try and NOT put any oil or lube near brake components.

I have cleaned my rotor bobbins many times now since WITHOUT LUBE (WD40).
Just use Brake Cleaner and a bolt with washers and 2x Nuts.
Once you do it, the next time at oil change services they are easier to clean.

The bobbins are supposed to be tight and not freely rotated (forget trying to rotate by hand)... you just clean them so they are not STUCK.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 06:42 AM
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Your front discs could also simply be glazed. Google will yield various solutions, usually involving 3M pads and brake cleaner. I've had best results with 3-4 repeated hard (just short of ABS kicking-in) stops from 50-60 MPH. FWIW, some techs advise against brake cleaner on discs because they believe it can actually lead to disc glazing; I don't know if that's true or not, but I switched to Acetone years ago, which works just fine as a cleaner and is much cheaper to boot.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigitt View Post

The bobbins are supposed to be tight and not freely rotated (forget trying to rotate by hand)... you just clean them so they are not STUCK.
That's interesting. Maybe that's not the issue then... I was under the impression they were supposed to be rotated fairly easy (by hand). I need to get my own front stand to diagnose, but what I did notice before was a sound which periodically increased when rotating, with a lack of free rotation. It sounded like brake pads were rubbing and that the rotor was warped. From what I've read, this is fairly uncommon, and further my breaking feels smooth, as far as I can tell. I suppose it doesn't hurt to clean the bobbins, take a run, and see if the issue is still occurring.

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Your front discs could also simply be glazed.
Would that cause the apparent noise I am experiencing?

Last edited by sternman318; 04-18-2018 at 10:17 AM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2018, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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So cleaned the bobbins, that didn't change it. Flushed the brakes, that didn't do anything.

Then I realized the max pressure on the side is not what it's supposed to be at hehe. I think 10lbs over pressure might have caused the loud tire noise. And the rotor warpage I heard was likely rubbing on the front stand mounts. I'll give it a ride tonight but I think the issue in the case was operator error
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 05:32 AM
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Bobbins do not need to rotate, they even make bobbins that are not round: https://ebcbrakes.com/articles/sd-sy...-how-it-works/

There is a lot of talk about them needing to rotate and all these instructional videos of how to clean and lube them but I see no reference to any authoritative source. It's like something someone came up with in their sleep and because of the internet, they evangelize about it and gullible people pick it up, replicate. Rinse and repeat and soon you have a whole school of thought and a loyal following.

That being said, there is a brake noise problem on the Versys. But it will not be cured by any bobbin-touching. As you can often see, people who cleaned the bobbins and everything else will come back and admit later that the noise is back or didn't really go away at all, it was all more of a wishful thinking and placebo effect. The fact that this brake noise is often hard to eliminate and the reasons are largely unknown does not mean that we should shop for different emotionally comforting theories and assumed fixes and defend them.
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Last edited by Kristjan Valk; 08-09-2019 at 05:37 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 06:58 AM
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I have EBC rotors with the square drive bobbins and EBC HH pads. They are very good rotors, wear well and evenly but I still get some shuddering on occasion at the point where forward motion is almost stopped.

It's not really a problem, more of an occasional annoyance. Otherwise, superb two-finger braking, if a little wooden feeling due to the OEM master cylinder being somewhat less then wonderful.
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Last edited by Smiley; 08-09-2019 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Clarity.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
I have EBC rotors with the square drive bobbins and EBC HH pads. They are very good rotors, wear well and evenly but I still get some shuddering on occasion at the point where forward motion is almost stopped.

It's not really a problem, more of an occasional annoyance. Otherwise, superb two-finger braking, if a little wooden feeling due to the OEM master cylinder being somewhat less then wonderful.
Smiley - way back in '09 I posted a thread about changing the OEM (EARLY - '07 and '08) 'square' front brake master cylinder to EITHER a later ('09 up) Versys or Ninja650 master cylinder, which I did.

REALLY improves the front brakes on the early ones (your 'tangerine' V is an '07...?) Here's my '08.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 05:35 AM
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Yes, mine is an '07 in 'burnt orange'. I've thought about getting a used later model mc.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 09:12 AM
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Bobbins do not need to rotate, they even make bobbins that are not round: https://ebcbrakes.com/articles/sd-sy...-how-it-works/

There is a lot of talk about them needing to rotate and all these instructional videos of how to clean and lube them but I see no reference to any authoritative source. It's like something someone came up with in their sleep and because of the internet, they evangelize about it and gullible people pick it up, replicate. Rinse and repeat and soon you have a whole school of thought and a loyal following.

That being said, there is a brake noise problem on the Versys. But it will not be cured by any bobbin-touching. As you can often see, people who cleaned the bobbins and everything else will come back and admit later that the noise is back or didn't really go away at all, it was all more of a wishful thinking and placebo effect. The fact that this brake noise is often hard to eliminate and the reasons are largely unknown does not mean that we should shop for different emotionally comforting theories and assumed fixes and defend them.
Some real wisdom here. This M.O. could be applied to a boat load of topics of many forums.

A couple topics immediately come to mind.

The ever contentious "OIL" threads.

Oh and how about the never ending "how to care for your chain" topic.

The "proper tire pressure" fits too.

And to complete the short survey we must not forget "What RPM to shift at."
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 11:45 AM
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Don't forget the immortal tire thread.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:08 PM
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Some real wisdom here...And to complete the short survey we must not forget "What RPM to shift at."
My suggestion - sometime BEFORE you 'hit' the rev-limiter...!



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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 07:59 AM
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Bobbins - wasn't familiar with their function so I googled and found this video. Stick with it. The guy is a bit nervous at making the video at first but later calms down and gets into the physics of the bobbin's function. His argument is to just leave the bobbins alone:


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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:24 AM
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Well explained in an entertaining fashion. Funny guy!

I have the square drive bobbins (EBC) and I just leave them the f*ck alone.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:11 AM
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DO NOT LUBE BOBBINS!
It's right next to the disk, dude!

Only brake cleaner if you can't resist spraying something somehow, somewhere, someone..lol

I only turn them dry with the nut&bolt trick. It never changed anything (didn't remove any sounds), so I don't do it anymore.

Shushing sounds are just the pads rubbing from residual pressure from calipers' pistons. Maybe the pistons sides have begun corroding and don't return enough away from disk. If you can't push the pistons back in by hand, that's it. That will need to be cleaned, perhaps even restaured (brushed), worst case replaced before putting new pads obviously.
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Last edited by dddd; 08-16-2019 at 07:48 AM.
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