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Brembo Brake Retrofit


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Installing Brembo's Four-Piston Brake System
By Hot Rod Bikes Staff

The first thing we noticed when we caught our initial glimpse of Brembo's four-piston braking systems, was just how great they looked. The calipers are flawlessly chromed, and the rotors have chromed carriers and a stainless steel braking surface.
We spoke to a few people who had installed them and were told that they work better than they look. We just had to get our hands on a set of them to try out for ourselves.
A call was placed to our local Drag Specialties dealer and within a couple of days, we had a box at our front door.
Brembo offers caliper kits for use with your stock Harley rotors, or complete kits with larger 12.6-inch full-floating rotors for the ultimate in stopping power.
Rotors can be ordered either with a five-oval slot design that looks somewhat similar to the factory H-D rotors, or the ten-spoke version that we opted for.
Brembo has kits to fit most models from 1984 to the present. The kits contain all the necessary hardware and brackets to get the job done. All you need to supply are a few hand tools, a lift, and a bit of sweat. Oh, and don't forget the DOT 5 brake fluid.
The last thing we need to do is break-in our new pads. Unlike most manufacturers, who tell us to take it easy on our new brakes for the first few miles, Brembo now recommends performing 10 aggressive stops from 60 to 40 mph, immediately followed by 10 more from 40 to 10 mph.
After allowing the brakes to cool, we're finished and can confidently say that these are some of the best brakes we've ever tested on a Harley bagger -- period!




Then, the two 12-sided caliper mounting bolts are removed, and the caliper is pulled away from the rotor. You can either remove the caliper from the hose at this point, or tie the caliper up and out of the way until you're ready to install the new Brembo calipers. Just remember to support the weight by the caliper body, and not by the brake hose to prevent hose damage.

After removing the axle, the front wheel is dropped and pulled out from underneath the fender.

Since the factory Torx-head bolts can be a bit stubborn, we heated the heads of them with a torch to break the liquid thread-fasten-er loose to make its removal easier. A T-40 Torx bit is used for the front rotors, while a T-45 is used for the rear.

Now the stock brake rotors are removed and set aside.

We laid the Brembo rotor next to our stocker to give you an idea of just how much bigger it is. It looks a lot nicer too, doesn't it?

A small amount of medium-strength blue Loctite is recommended by Brembo to keep everything in place.

The front rotor is torqued to 19 lb-ft, flipped over, and the process is repeated on the other side.

Our front wheel is slipped back in place and the Brembo brake caliper mounts are installed. The bolts provided in the Brembo kit have a 6mm Allen socket, so make sure you have one in your toolkit before you begin. Torque spec for these bolts is 30 lb-ft.

This is one of the most critical parts of the installation -- centering the calipers over the discs. Brembo provides spacing shims with the kit to make the job easier. Each package contains two 0.020-inch and two 0.030-inch shims per caliper. All three of our calipers required the thicker shims, but make sure you check your caliper alignment, rather than just dropping in the thicker ones because we needed them. This step is very important for proper and safe brake function.

The calipers also use a 6mm hex bit and are torqued to 30 lb-ft.

After attaching the brake hoses to the calipers, we fill the brake master cylinder reservoir, and we're ready to bleed the system.

A pressure bleeder was attached and the front brakes were bled one at a time. You can also do it the old-fashioned way by slowly pumping up the brake lever and cracking the bleeder screw loose to allow air bubbles to escape. Just don't forget to tighten the bleeder screw before you let go of the brake lever -- to keep air from rushing back into the system.

Re: Brembo Brake Install Retrofit


Both front brakes are bled and ready to go. They also look much better than our stock brakes.

The rear brake was installed and the caliper centered with the appropriate shims, just like the front calipers. Since the bleeder screw faces down when the caliper is installed, the bleeding process must take place with the caliper off of the bike and the bleeder screw facing upward. We used our old rotor to keep the pads from bumping into each other while the bleeding was done.

We're finished with the rear, and the only regret we have is the saddlebag is going to hide this incredible-looking piece of hardware.

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08 Brembo Brake Retrofit - Harley Davidson Community