Improving Gen3 650s rear brake longevity - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Improving Gen3 650s rear brake longevity

Some of you have probably seen my comments about how surprised I was to have to replace the rear brake pads in Anchorage last summer at ONLY 11,900 miles (19,278 kms), while my Gen 1 '08 has the ORIGINAL rear pads (w/ LOTS left!) at 71,543 MILES!!!

I have ensured that I'm NOT somehow holding pressure on the brake lever (I'm not), or that there's TOO much brake fluid in the reservoir holding pressure (...?), then read someone's suggestion of using a 'compression' spring to hold the brake pads away from the brake discs. I've now done that, and hopefully stopped premature rear pad failure....


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 02:59 PM
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Keep us informed how that works out Eddie.............
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:12 PM
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Yeah I don't have a gen3 but color me interested... I was always under the impression that they were supposed to "just touch" but I might be wrong. Do the springs actually keep the pads a measurable distance from the rotor?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:53 PM
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Dirt and grit in the wrong place can keep the pads from retracting properly. I was under the impression all three Versys versions had the same rear and front calipers. In particular the brake sliders need to be greased and move freely. Cleaning the slider pins with steel wool can help too as well as ensuring the boots are not cracked or damaged. I recently had to replace a rear caliper on my car because of this issue. If the caliper is working like it should, there should be no reason for the spring.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Dirt and grit in the wrong place can keep the pads from retracting properly. I was under the impression all three Versys versions had the same rear and front calipers. In particular the brake sliders need to be greased and move freely. Cleaning the slider pins with steel wool can help too as well as ensuring the boots are not cracked or damaged. I recently had to replace a rear caliper on my car because of this issue. If the caliper is working like it should, there should be no reason for the spring.
Gen III's have different calipers both front and rear.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:34 PM
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where can i buy this spring ?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGazebo View Post
Yeah I don't have a gen3 but color me interested... I was always under the impression that they were supposed to "just touch" but I might be wrong. Do the springs actually keep the pads a measurable distance from the rotor?
NOT as far as I'm aware. What they do is to 'push' outward reducing the amount of drag.

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where can i buy this spring ?
Measure how far apart the two pads are, then get a spring that's a BIT longer, and DON'T get a massive spring! Usually at your local hardware (ACE, etc).

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 06:15 PM
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You certainly don't want a spring that physically separates the pads to the point there's a gap from the pad to the rotor. Braking performance would be very compromised.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 10:04 PM
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I had my pads worn out on my 2015 at 9,000 miles... and a rotor that was warped just enough to make a "Grunk-Grunk-Grunk" noise at slow speeds.

A new rotor was $270+ (and brakes are not covered by extended warranty)... so I got a very nice used rear caliper and bracket from a 2012 w/ABS and a nice 2014 rotor (all from an EX650) w/ABS and installed them.
The hose wasn't too happy about it (the end of it wants to point the wrong way a bit), but I managed to loosen it up along its run to make it work until I can have a new one made, but it works. Works very well, pads are easier to get and cheaper too.
Caliper and bracket were $17.00 on ebay and the rotor was $30.00, but I have seen them cheaper on there (look for EX650 stuff... cheaper for some reason!)
The bike can't tell the difference.
If the newer Nissin calipers and "slightly" bigger rotors ever get cheaper, I can always go back, but I don't see why I would worry about it.
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If'n I do it, I gunna git a wippin .... OK! I do it!!!

2015 Versys 650 ABS, 1984 Yamaha FJ600, 1983 KZ750, 1977 CB750a
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 08:50 AM
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We have done the same thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chuck View Post
I had my pads worn out on my 2015 at 9,000 miles... and a rotor that was warped just enough to make a "Grunk-Grunk-Grunk" noise at slow speeds.

A new rotor was $270+ (and brakes are not covered by extended warranty)... so I got a very nice used rear caliper and bracket from a 2012 w/ABS and a nice 2014 rotor (all from an EX650) w/ABS and installed them.
The hose wasn't too happy about it (the end of it wants to point the wrong way a bit), but I managed to loosen it up along its run to make it work until I can have a new one made, but it works. Works very well, pads are easier to get and cheaper too.
Caliper and bracket were $17.00 on ebay and the rotor was $30.00, but I have seen them cheaper on there (look for EX650 stuff... cheaper for some reason!)
The bike can't tell the difference.
If the newer Nissin calipers and "slightly" bigger rotors ever get cheaper, I can always go back, but I don't see why I would worry about it.
The pads on mine were not worn out but I was very fed up with the squealing etc. of the rear brake on my Gen 3 Versys 650.
After retrograding to a 2014 Versys 650 ABS rear caliper assembly plus a 2012-2015 Ninja 650 ABS rear disc, the squealing, etc. was gone.
I can ridden with this setup for over 650 km and am also very happy with the result. I should have done this mod last summer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2014_01.jpg (59.0 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg 2014_02.jpg (83.8 KB, 53 views)

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.

Last edited by quexpress; 05-01-2017 at 02:42 PM.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGazebo View Post
Yeah I don't have a gen3 but color me interested... I was always under the impression that they were supposed to "just touch" but I might be wrong. Do the springs actually keep the pads a measurable distance from the rotor?
I just added that spring as "insurance" - that the brakes are NOT 'ON' any more than necessary.

Guess - I'll see.

Ed
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 03:54 PM
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For the record, my 2015 has over 20k miles and the rear pads are still original, no anomalous wear, no squeal, nothing. I've changed the front pads twice already.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the rear brakes, from what I can tell.

2015 Versys 650
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Big_Mac_ View Post
For the record, my 2015 has over 20k miles and the rear pads are still original, no anomalous wear, no squeal, nothing. I've changed the front pads twice already.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the rear brakes, from what I can tell.
You are one of the fortunate ones.
Past threads on this forum, and on others, have shown that this problem is not rare (squealing rear brakes, warped disc).

I still have a full deck.
I just shuffle slower.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 06:26 AM
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Don't do that

if you rely on rear brake being available instantly.
The way this works is that the spring is strong enough to push the piston back in a tiny bit.
meaning, you could have a full brake stroke yet no braking unless you pump it many times.

Even if the spring doesn't rest uncompressed far now, it will become too far as the pads wear.

And your insurer might say you tampered with brakes.

Don't do that!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Works just FINE, so far...! (About 10K kms since they were changed-out at 19,7xx kms - LOTS of pad left, and I do NOT expect any problem w/ my rear brakes NOT working.)
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