Fixing A Stuck Front Disc Brake On A Harley Davidson

Motorcycles that sit for a long time can have parts freeze up on them. One part that is known to freeze is the piston on the front brakes. You need to remove the caliber to inspect the piston to see if it is covered with dirt or rust. If you are comfortable working on your own bike, this is a job you can do yourself. Here is how to remove the front brake so you can inspect the piston and fix it.

Place Bike on Jack

You should obtain a jack stand you can put your bike on to lift it up in the air so you can work on it. This will make the project easier and help to keep you and your bike safe.

Remove Brake Caliper

The brake caliper is attached to the side of the front wheel on the motorcycle with four bolts. Remove the bolts. The bolts can be stuck in the caliper and be hard to remove. If this happens to you, take a length of pipe about two to three feet long and slide it over the handle of the ratchet. Push down on the far end of the pipe with one hand while holding the socket against the head of the bolts with the other hand. This will give you the extra power you need to loosen the bolts. The caliper should now pull right off of the wheel.

Inspect Pistons

The brake pad sits in clips on the caliber. Remove the pad to inspect the piston. You are looking for a lot of debris and rust buildup on the surface and sides of the piston. The debris can keep the piston from moving and needs to be cleaned off of the piston.

Cleaning Piston

You should be able to just pull the piston out of the piston housing on the caliber. If you are having trouble, soak the piston down with brake cleaner or penetrating oil and let it sit for a half an hour or so. The piston should come out after the brake cleaner eats away at some of the dirt and rust.

Set the piston on some newspapers and spray the rest of it down with brake cleaner. After a few minutes, gently rub off the cleaner and crude with a clean rag. You should use a green scrub pad to rub off any hard-to-remove material.

Make sure you also clean out the housing where the piston goes. Again, spray it down with brake cleaner and wipe it clean.

Reinstall Piston

Place the piston back in the housing in the caliper and put the brake pad back in. Bolt the caliper back together and test to make sure the brake works properly.

If you have trouble performing this repair, contact a motorcycle repair shop like Monarch Honda for assistance.