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Honda CB1300 front brakes (2004)brake judder why?

I have replaced both front discs and fitted new pads (approx 800 miles ago),to begin with the problem of judder had gone away when new discs fitted but now pads are worn in it's back again, I've cleaned caliper pistons they look good condition, the judder varies with the speed bike is going, going slowly and braking say 20 mph it feels like the brake is holding then not as disc rotates, the discs are quality ones not cheap Chinese, They cost 300 pounds, I noticed today after a ride when I pulled the brake lever (the bike was stationary)about 3 clicks can be heard in one caliper, as I pull lever in a little I hear a click then pull in a little further another click heard then pull lever full on another click is heard,( I think it's coming from the caliper)any ideas what's going on please?

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  • Honda Master
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Your description is a very common one in the world of disc brakes.

Imagine a person fits a brake disc and does not ensure the runout is within tolerance. A brake disc that has a runout greater than tolerance, that is greater than the amount the pads withdraw from the disc, becomes a wobble plate.

As the wobble plate rotates there will be a light point contact with the brake pad at each side of the disc. The brake pad friction material is a fairly efficient grinding material and so after a while the amount of localised disc wear becomes significant enough to create a judder.

I don't know if that is the problem here but whenever fitting a brake disc it is best practice to use a dial gauge to check the runout, though most do not. Most are lucky and get away with it but a few do not.

I suggest you use a micrometer to check the disc thickness at small intervals all around. If the thickness is not uniform to a high degree around the circumference, you might prefer to have your discs machined rather than replacing them again. It would be a good idea to check each caliper thoroughly as excessive disc runout does increase the amount of caliper wear.

As a mater of general information, each brake pad should retract when the brake is released by around 2 thou (0.002 inch), though it could be less. The maximum permitted axial runout of the disc is therefore 4 thou when measured near the outer circumference. It should be noted that figure is not without potential problems if the pads do not retract the full amount so working to a maximum runout of 2 thou is better.

If the mounting surfaces are clean and undamaged and the discs are quality items and burr-free, there should be little trouble in achieving neglible runout but that should never be assumed and should always be checked with precision measuring instruments.

Posted on Apr 15, 2017

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Try greasing the caliper slides if that doesn't work the caliper may need rebuild or replacing.

Posted on Apr 15, 2017

  • Al Iby
    Al Iby Apr 17, 2017

    I have cleaned the caliper pistons & cleaned and lightly greased the sliders, made no improvement ( the calipers appear in very good condition, I clean them regularly) Thanks for your reply btw..cheers ..

  • Bruce Augustine Apr 24, 2017

    i hope you used the proper grease for the caliper slides, it is not just regular grease for those. There is actually caliper slide grease using the wrong grease could cause the problem you speak of.

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