Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XLH 883 Sportster

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2003 rear brake caliper lock up on a harley sportster

Drivig down the road and rear caliper started locking up rear wheel

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  • redfishhx Mar 11, 2009

    no none of that I was able to talk to the dealer after they opened up they said the only way that could have happen was to get air in the line.. That seems kinda funny since there are no loose lines or cracked line I was kida thinking that maybe the brake line itself might be comming appart from the inside any help?? I did blled them down and put new fluild in... It has not it since the first time wild

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  • 27 Answers

Check your pads to make sure they are in the right position and haven't started to wear too thin and move.
Check the operation of the pads is real smooth when you apply pressure on the lever (might need someone else to operate it while you look ).
Witth the rear wheel raised off the ground and the bike not running turn the wheel slowly and check to see if it warped. (I used to do this on my sportster by using a couple of car axle stands under the footpeg brackets and raising the bike up on an old hydraulic car jack - might not be the best way but it worked enough for me to get the rear wheel off to change tyres without spending a fortune-an extra pair of hands is really handy(!) here).
Look down the rear caliper and check that no **** from the road has got stuck in there anywhere.
check your wheel alignment - have you adjusted the belt lately or latered the set-up?
Hope something here helps!

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

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I just had new tires installed on my 99 sportster 883. Went riding for 2 and half hours , came home was going to leave again and the rear brakes were locked up i took the caliper apart and knocked off...


Normally, just having a tire put on should not effect your brakes in any manner. However, I do not know what the people that changed the tire did. Usually when a brake caliper locks up, it's caused by air in the system. They may have taken the brake line loose from the caliper but it was not necessary and there's no way to prove it. Also, there is a small hole in the bottom of the master cylinder that allows the pressure to bleed off the caliper. If this hole is blocked, it will not allow all the pressure to bleed off properly. Another thing that could cause it is the rear rubber brake hose. If the people that changed the rear tire allowed the this rubber line to bend too sharply, it could have damaged the inner lining of the brake line. This will allow the brakes to be applied due to the high pressure but restrict the bleeding off of the pressure. I've seen this many times and this is my best guess as to the problem, damaged rubber brake line.

Good Luck
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