Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger

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Front brake pads rub against rotor producing a noise. When the brake is slightly applied it stops. Bike only has 1000 miles on it and isnt completely broken in. Is this normal? Could this problem go away in time as the brake pad wears? Is there a way to adjust the front brakes. My bike is a 2003 harley davidson sportster 883 hugger

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  • 194 Answers

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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Brakes make a whistle noise when applied and sometimes a low grown or grinding when coming to a slow stop or start.


A grinding or rumbling noise can also be symptoms of a wheel bearing or constant velocity joint in a driveshaft. A worn wheel bearing can also cause a 'whistling' sound (as can a worn CV joint).

A grinding noise with brakes is either worn pads causing metal to metal contact on the brake disk/rotor, or the brake backing plate catching on a spinning rotor ... or a loose/missing anti squeal brake shim (they stop the pads from rattling and vibrating).

However, as you say a mechanic has looked at the brakes and can't find anything wrong .. I think I would begin to suspect a wheel bearing or constant velocity joint on the driveshaft (front wheel drive cars).

May 05, 2016 | 2007 Honda Accord Sedan

1 Answer

Weird squeak coming from the front of the bike


lift the front of the bike and see if the wheel turns freely. if there is even the slightest catch in the wheel, it is most likely the wheel bearing going out...which you don't want at speed. it can also be brake pads singing against a smooth rotor. you can try taking rough sandpaper and lay it upright on a smooth surface. while wearing gloves the whole time, take off the front brake pads an rub the surfaces on the sandpaper. reinstall them and see if the noise quits. if so. you need a complete brake service on the front. if not, you should look into the wheel bearing further.

Nov 13, 2013 | 2007 kawasaki Ninja 500R

1 Answer

Toyota highlander front wheel noise when turning left


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.

Nov 03, 2012 | 2005 Toyota Highlander

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
Steve

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

1 Answer

Front brakes


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

May 05, 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...

4 Answers

Brakes and rotors making noise


Were metallic brake pads installed? If they were and are hidhly aggressive, yes. Give them a few miles to smooth out.

Jul 29, 2009 | 2000 Pontiac Grand Am GT

1 Answer

Front end squeaking possible rotor rubbing something.


Have you checked the metal clips that olds the brake pads in the front galiper bracket. They usualy rust, break loose and come in contact whit the disc, creating a squeaking noise. Those should be replace since they are needed for the brakes to work properly

Jun 24, 2009 | 2007 Buick Rendezvous CXL SUV

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