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Need to work on bike, not sure I should do it myself...

2951 Views 29 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  grokca
Hey guys --

Really hoping I can get some help here. I can't ride my bike and the season is almost over... I don't have much experience (anything but an oil change) with maintaining/working on my Honda VTX1300S. I really want to get to know my bike and learn how to work on it on my own. All in all, what I need to do is

change the brake fluid
change my brake pads
and.. most intimidating of all -- change my rear brake rotor (disc?). It's rusted pretty bad and ate up my brake pads.

First, should I attempt to do this job on my own, or should I take it to a mechanic? I'm willing to put time and effort into doing it on my own. Gotta start somehow. (been using bareasschoppers for tutorials, but haven't anything for help with replacing the rotor)

Do I need to remove the wheel to replace the rotor? Can you recommend anything I should be aware of?

Thank you for your help!!

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Absolutely, do it yourself and learn how to work on your bike... you might need to buy some tools, but the reward is that you'll know it's done right. You'll get a ton of friendly help here, and can also download the Honda Service Manual for free! :cheers:
...To change your...fluid, it long enough...and...put a towel or something under it.
That's what she said! :icon_chee
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...Replacing the rotor is straight forward...Remove the wheel, take the bolts off holding it on the wheel and bolt new rotor on...Honda service manual says to replace rotor bolts with brand new ones, but there's plenty of guys here that have re-used the old bolts, just use Loctite during reassembly and don't over-torque the bolts as it's easy to go too far and strip out the threads in the wheel...
I'm one of those guys who successfully re-used the wheel's rotor mounting bolts, without any problem at all. In the pic below are three 0.010” Teflon (compressible) shims that I used to maintain concentricity between the rotor and the collar feature of the wheel, while tightening the rotor mounting bolts. I removed the shims after torquing all rotor bolts (using a ‘star pattern’, with gradually increasing torque) to the Service Manual spec (I used red thread locker on the bolt threads). The rotor in this pic has a larger diameter center hole than a stock 1300 rotor (in order to fit an 1800C's wheel), but you get the idea. When re-installing the wheel on the bike, don't forget to put Moly60 paste (now Moly77, I think) on the 'male' driven-splines of the wheel and on the 'female' splines of the final drive (that is all detailed in the Honda Service Manual). Here's the pic:

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I've seen a number of rusty rotors so I never gave any thought as to whether they were carbon steel or stainless steel. Most stainless steel is NOT magnetic - that is, a magnet will not stick to it while all carbon steel is magnetic...These rotors could be a rare type of stainless that is magnetic but it seems more likely that they are not stainless. It is also possible that the VTX rotors are different entirely from the ones on a Victory bike. In either case, it does seem likely that the damage was caused by the problem Bassdude describes so check this prior to just replacing pads and rotor....

I looked into this a while back in another thread - I believe that our rotors are very likely made from 410 Stainless Steel, see below:

I had to go look it up to confirm but, indeed, motorcycle disc brake rotors are made from specially formulated and heat-treated stainless steel:

"Conventionally, SUS420J1 (13%Cr-0.2%C) and SUS420J2 (13%Cr-0.3%C) had mainly been used as rotor materials. However, while these steels have excellent heat resistance, a 2-stage heat treatment process comprising quenching and tempering is necessary to obtain the required hardness, and their corrosion resistance is somewhat inadequate... At present, low carbon martensitic stainless steel, as represented by JFE410DB, is mainly used, because proper hardness is obtained by quenching treatment only... and corrosion resistance is also excellent..."

taken from a JFE Steel technical report: Martensitic Stainless Steel “JFE410DB-ER” with Excellent Heat Resistance for Motorcycle Brake Disks

found at:
Damn, that required more work than necessary, Mark. I do appreciate your enthusiasm though!!!
Hahahaaaaa, Matt - thank you! I did go the extra mile to make that one work, didn't I? :hmm2:
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