Changing Rear Brake Pads on Touring Bike

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by BuddyK, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. BuddyK

    BuddyK Member

    Is it possible to change the rear brake pads on a 2009 street glide with out removing the wheel and caliper? The service manual says to remove both, but that seems like a lot of un-necessary work.
    Thanks!! :)
  2. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    Removing the caliper without removing the wheel will be a challenge. Not saying it can't be done because I have never tried but can tell you that if you are successful in removing the caliper without removing the wheel, you will be bleeding, will have added several new words to your vocabulary and could be speaking in tongues. :newsmile100: Then you will have to get the caliper back on which will be even more of a challenge. Take a look at the way the caliper is mounted and I think you will understand why the wheel needs to come off as part of the process. You will have to pull the axle out far enough to the left to free the caliper, at which point the wheel is free to cock in the vertical and/or horizontal or both which makes removing the caliper pretty near impossible.:(

    I have been wrenching on these bikes for a while now and have learned that every time I try to short cut the manual, I realize that the guys that wrote the manual knew what they were doing. So, follow the manual; can't go wrong.
  3. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

    Spread the pads a little and with a little maneuvering it will come out.
  4. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    It can be done, but like Dolt said "not worth the effort". In order to do a proper pad exchange, (IMO) you need to clean the pistons and such. There's just not enough room with the wheel half out to do it right.
  5. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    I agree with Joe and Breeze that caliper removal without removing the rear wheel can be done. Perhaps it is easier on the later models but having never worked on one, I can't really say. I can say that on the early touring models, like my '02 FLHT, it takes more than a little maneuvering to get the caliper out without removing the wheel. Of course, I have to take into consideration that I have '10 FLHX 3.5"x18" front wheel mounted on the rear to replace the 3.0"x16" OEM wheel, which contributes to the degree of difficulty. The wheel/swing arm geometry is completely different than it was in stock configuration; forgot to consider that in my OP.:nosad

    So BuddyK may not find the task as challenging as I indicated in my OP; it was a bit "tongue in cheek" and not intended to discourage Buddy from taking on the task in whatever manner he chooses. However, I would still recommend following the manual as well as Breeze's suggestion to clean the pistons while you have the caliper out.:D
  6. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    Yes. The hairy part is trying to get caliper past the rear wheel with out scratching it but it can be done. As said retracting pads help a lot.
  7. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    It must be a harder job on a street glide then a bagger. Jack and I changed the brakes on my bagger a couple years ago and bing bang done, only thing we removed was the hard bags. I guess all the years Jack did brakes he's found a secret and we never spilled a drop of blood just a little brake fluid.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  8. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Not sure about the the late models either but you can change the pads without removing the caliper on the earlier models. Like Breeze states, its best to get in there and clean the pistons and do it right. That means pulling it all apart.
  9. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

    I am so pitiful - I thought a Street Glide WAS a bagger.

  10. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor