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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned VTX for a month. Front brakes didn't work very well at all when I got it. I knew I was taking it in for tires so I figured I would just wait till then to inquire about it. Well I didn't realize I was ordering Covid 19 tires and it would take 2 weeks for them to get here. Fast forward. Finally got tires put on yesterday. Tech said that there was some type of film on front rotor. Said to clean rotor and pads and then scuff both with sand paper. I pulled pads today and cleaned them with brake cleaner. I cleaned rotors with alcohol. Problem is unchanged. They just don't stop worth a damn and will barely will hold it on a hill. It's not an air issue. The lever is easy to pull and doesn't have to be pumped up. You can see the forks compress when I squeeze the lever but it doesn't stop. Just wanted to get some input before I go rubbing on a rotor with 400 grit sandpaper. I changed many a brake pads in my day motorcycles included but never had this problem. Pads look 75% or more by the way. Sorry for writing a book for such a small issue but I like to provide all the info I can when asking for help. I searched all over forum for this issue before I asked for help. Thanks in advance for the input.
 

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That's not a good situation. Do you see any coating? Clear coat maybe? I can't image anything lasting on there long.

Do they look like Honda pads?

I'd try wire wheel on grinder and brake cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am going to try wire wheel when work is done this week. Any others with any input would be appreciated before I get started.
 

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Too short for my weight
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when I got my X I had the same problem. I tried cleaning the pads and the rotor, nothing. Then I bled the brake line real good, tapping all along the brake line with a wrench to remove any air bubbles. That helped but I still didn’t think it was all it should be. Finally, I ended up removing the caliper completely and rebuilding the piston, replaced the pads with new, and re bled the line tapping it again with a wrench all along the line. The front brake is the best it has ever been but to be honest, I feel like it grab better. I’ve also found that rear brake trail braking works best in the mountains and I don’t use the front all that much.
 

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Fastest Red Club Member
2007 VTX 1300R, Indianapolis
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Not using OEM brake pads?

Sounds like need to be bled or a caliper issue unless pads are some weird aftermarket with crappy material.
 

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Front brakes are a rough subject for me, I don’t think you should be able to lock them up on a bike but getting them bled is sometimes tricky. The bleeder should be at the uppermost point even if you have to remove it and put something metal between the pads and bleed it off the bike. With just one brake on a 18” wheel I’m not sure you’d ever get a solid front brake but like Sean said try bleeding and chasing the air out of the line and even though the pads are still 75% they may have absorbed something so if possible put fresh on and clean the rotor again with a good degreaser.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys for your help. I'm gonna do all of the above. Any suggestions on where to order Honda pads? No Honda dealer here anymore and after all I have read on this forum about aftermarket pads, well, it just ain't happenin.
 

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Reeling Jackwagon
2003 1300S
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Both sets of my pads came from eBay. Partzilla is a little slow from my experience.
 
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Whatever you do, don’t order from hondapartsnation
 
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I guess I'm one of the lucky ones with a good, established Honda Powersports supplier, and usually get any stuff in 4-5 days tops, incl. over a weekend.
 

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I don’t think you should be able to lock them up on ... With just one brake on a 18” wheel I’m not sure you’d ever get a solid front brake
No disrespect, but I couldn't disagree more. Braking power is like engine power, the more the better. You need to master the use of both to be safe though. Having the power to lock the front wheel doesn't mean you will lock the front wheel. It's about control.

I haven't ridden a 1300, but I've ridden several other bikes with single front rotors that had good solid brake feel. I wouldn't ride long without good brakes on both ends myself.

Opinions are like elbows, or so I hear.
 

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No disrespect, but I couldn't disagree more. Braking power is like engine power, the more the better. You need to master the use of both to be safe though. Having the power to lock the front wheel doesn't mean you will lock the front wheel. It's about control.

I haven't ridden a 1300, but I've ridden several other bikes with single front rotors that had good solid brake feel. I wouldn't ride long without good brakes on both ends myself.

Opinions are like elbows, or so I hear.
I have to agree with you here. Your front brake in an emergency is essential. Years ago I took one of those rider safety courses to see if I could learn anything and that is one subject they harped on.
 

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I have owned VTX for a month. Front brakes didn't work very well at all when I got it. I knew I was taking it in for tires so I figured I would just wait till then to inquire about it. Well I didn't realize I was ordering Covid 19 tires and it would take 2 weeks for them to get here. Fast forward. Finally got tires put on yesterday. Tech said that there was some type of film on front rotor. Said to clean rotor and pads and then scuff both with sand paper. I pulled pads today and cleaned them with brake cleaner. I cleaned rotors with alcohol. Problem is unchanged. They just don't stop worth a damn and will barely will hold it on a hill. It's not an air issue. The lever is easy to pull and doesn't have to be pumped up. You can see the forks compress when I squeeze the lever but it doesn't stop. Just wanted to get some input before I go rubbing on a rotor with 400 grit sandpaper. I changed many a brake pads in my day motorcycles included but never had this problem. Pads look 75% or more by the way. Sorry for writing a book for such a small issue but I like to provide all the info I can when asking for help. I searched all over forum for this issue before I asked for help. Thanks in advance for the input.
I had a situation similar on another make of bike but it was the caliper. Just because you have good pressure does not mean the piston is working correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had a situation similar on another make of bike but it was the caliper. Just because you have good pressure does not mean the piston is working correctly.
[/QUOTE] I am hoping rebuilding the caliper fixes my problem. I am going to change fluid too.
 

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You can see the forks compress when yu squeeze the lever??? That only happens if the bike is stopping! Squeezing the lever doesn't compress the forks, the forward weight transfer of the stop does that. I don't understand your question.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I can tell the brakes are working somewhat but not working nowhere near where they should.
 

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2004 VTX 1800
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Spongy brakes are almost always caused by air in the brake lines. I would try to bleed them again making sure not to allow any air into the system. A cheap way to do this is to use the plastic tube method. Place a piece of plastic tube over the bleeder nut and the other end into a container full of brake fluid. You you bleed the brakes and the tube always has brake fluid in it and wont allow any air to flow back into the system. The tube must be a tight fit on the bleeder nut and you can only loosen the bleeder nut just enough to allow them to bleed but not allow any air to travel past the nut threads. Here is video that show the process:
 
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