Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger

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Front brakes My front brake pads are rubbing against rotor. If i apply brakes slightly the rubbing stops. My bike only has 1000 miles and im inexperienced as i just bought it. Im not sure if this is normal for a bike that isnt completely broke in or not. If there is something wrong how could i fix it or will it go away after the brake pads wear down? Is there a way to adjust the brakes? My bike is a 2003 sportster hugger 883

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Check the rotor to be sure it is flat (not warped).and that the brake caliper has free movement when released.

Posted on May 07, 2010


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SOURCE: front brake pads rub against rotor producing a

What you describe is normal for a Harley. It's aggravating as hell, but short of swapping the brake system it's an issue you learn to ignore.

Posted on May 06, 2010

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When i brake im getting a slight grinding noise but have no warning light on dash board?

brakes have pads (sometimes called shoes) that press against a round disc connected to the wheels that go round and round to stop the car moving. When the pads wear down you get metal rubbing on metal rather than a heat absorbing material rubbing on the metal disc.If you do not get your brake pads checked they can wear down / damage the metal disc and then have to spend lots of dollars getting the metal disc re - machined smooth (this disc is called a rotor) and new brake pads.
You are correct the warning light on the dash will not light up it will light up only if the hydraulic fluid used to press the pads onto the disc fails and you then fail to stop. .

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Check the brake rotor backing plate to see if it is rubbing against the brake rotor, check the brake pad condition at the same time, it may be the low brake pad sensors that you are hearing.

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Brakes rubbing in front causing warped rotor, how do I stop this from happening ? it has a late model wide glide front end 11 1/2 " rotor

Disc brakes are going to rub, that's the way they are designed. They have no springs or anything to retract the pads once the piston pushes them out. This is the way they keep the rotor clean and dry and provide superior braking in wet weather. If the brakes drag too heavily on the rotor, it could be because the caliper is not "floating" as it should on the mounting pins. The caliper should slide back and forth on the two mounting pins. Take them out and put synthetic brake grease on them and make sure the caliper is loose. Also, make sure the brake hose is good. The brake hose can become internally detached. When it does this, it will allow the brake fluid to pass when you apply the brakes because of the extremely high pressure. But, It will not allow all the pressure to bleed off the caliper when you release the lever and will hold the pads too tightly against the rotor. To test, apply the brakes and then let off. Then, open the brake bleeder valve and see if the brake fluid makes a short squirt out of it. Air in the brakes will cause the same problem. Bleed the brakes and see if that helps.

Good Luck

May 18, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXD Dyna Super Glide...

1 Answer

Front brakes drag causing roters to heat up.

You probably have air in the brake system. As you ride the bike, the pads do rub on the rotors ever so slightly. In doing so, they get warm and heat up any air in the brake system. As air is heated, it expands and causes the pads to rub harder creating more heat, which further expands the air. Finally, the pads are pressing against the rotors so hard that they heat up. Bleed the front brake system of all air. Do run the master cylinder dry while bleeding the brake.

To bleed the brake, make sure the master cylinder is full of the correct type of brake fluid. It will tell you the type of fluid to use on the master cylinder top. Now, to bleed brakes the steps must be done it this order. Apply the brakes by squeezing and holding the lever. Open one of the bleeder valves and allow the fluid and any air to bleed out. The lever will go to the handlebars. Close the brake bleeder valve. Release the lever and allow the master cylinder to refill. Check the level in the master cylinder. Now repeat the process on the other brake caliper. You may have to go back and do this a couple of times one each caliper. Just make sure you don't allow the master cylinder to run dry. Now, your front rotors will run a bit warm because the pads do stay in contact with them all the time. This is one advantage of disc brakes, the pads keep the rotors clean and dry all the time meaning you have good brakes all the time with them. The old drum brake would get water in them when riding in the rain and you basically didn't have any brakes until the brake shoes dried the water out.

Good Luck

Sep 21, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson FLHR-FLHRI Road king

1 Answer

2000 FXDX front brake rubbing. I hear it rubbing as I'm driving. If I engage the front brake slightly, the rubbing noise stops. What is this?

Disc brakes rub slightly anyway, but your rotor might be a little warped, so you are getting more rubbing than you should. How hot is the rotor getting after a short ride? (don't burn yourself, they do get hot after use). Is the rotor discolored blue/brown anywhere from overheating? How are the pads? If the pads are worn down significantly, the pistons may not be returning fully into their bores, and they are holding the pads against the rotors. Hope this helps.

May 15, 2010 | 2003 Harley Davidson FXDX Dyna Super Glide...

2 Answers

My harley davidsons front brake pads slightly rubs against my rotor. when i slightly apply the brake it stops. Can anyone tell me whats wrong if anything? I posted this question a few days ago and i was...

Ok, on disc brakes, the pads always have slight pressure on the pads. When I say slight, that's exactly what I mean. The pads slight pressure on the rotor is designed to keep the rotor and the pad clean and free of water. Thus good braking in wet conditions. There are no springs or anything to 'pull' the pad back away from the rotor.

Now, as for warpage. Since the disc brake rotor on a motorcycle is a very thin design, a bit of warpage is not uncommon. The only way to accurately check for warpage is to check the rotor with a dial indicator. Your local shop can do this for you but as long as you're not getting a "surging" feeling when you apply the brakes, you're fine.

From what you have described in your post, there's probably nothing wrong with your brakes. If you have any doubt however, you need to have an experienced mechanic check the brakes on your bike. Defective brakes can cause serious injury or death. Do not ride a bike that you are not certain of the servicability of the brakes.

Good Luck

May 08, 2010 | 2003 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883...

1 Answer

04 ElectraGlide standard new brake pads rub on rotor all the time

nothing to worry about unless it's causing some serious drag. it's probably that you never noticed that your brakes made some noise in the past. could just be the pads you had installed. every bike i've noticed has the pads running on the rotors, with new pads you notice the sound more until they wear in a little.

Apr 19, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson FLHT - FLHTI Electra...

1 Answer

To many front rotor changes

make sure the caplipers are doing their job properly. if the calipers are not functioning properly that will cause uneven wear as well as a dragging, as in the pads are not coming off of the rotor and therefore rubbing while you're driving. also, check to see that you are getting a pad that will wear without so much rotor wear. they make pads that will absorb more wear so that you don't have to replace the rotors every time you have your brakes done. And if that doesn't work... no joke, change your braking habits. unfortunatly, to many people wait till they're at the stop sign or red light to apply the brakes instead of preparing for the known. my brakes have been on my truck (HEAVY) for 50,000 miles (hard use) and have only begun to squeak in the last 100 miles. Changed my brakes completely and my braking habits. good luck

Jul 07, 2008 | 2000 Mercury Sable

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