Poor braking on '99 Aspencade


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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zeoran
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Poor braking on '99 Aspencade

Post by zeoran »



I know I've brought this up before but this is something I just can't get comfortable with.
The brakes on my '99 Aspy are just not what I feel they should be. I have to put the pedal all the way down just to get any stopping power at all and it's nowhere near good. I know wings are heavy bikes and I'm a heavy rider too, but my 2002 ST1100 had great stopping power and it had the same brake setup as my wing and was almost as heavy. I've replaced the front brake line with braided steel and that did help with that one. I'm going to replace the front-left brake line with a braided soon. I've bled the brakes more often than I can count, I've replaced the rear pads just a couple of weeks ago. I've done the trick where I bungee the pedal down overnight and that also helped a little. Am i just expecting too much from the 99 Wing's braking system? Is it going to come down to needing to get new calipers? I've been using Dot 5.1 fluid in all my bleeds. (not the wrong kind) I've also been using nothing but OEM Honda pads. (based on recommendations from this site)

It's really disconcerting to me every time I ride that I have no real emergency stopping power. Is it possible to get proper braking power on this bike or am I just going to have to get used to not having emergency stopping power?

God bless,

~Mark



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blupupher
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Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 SE

Re: Poor braking on '99 Aspencade

Post by blupupher »

Without riding your bike, no way to know if there is an issue or if it is just "how it is".

I felt I had better braking on my VT1100 Shadow with a single disk front and drum rear, but the GL1500 is almost 300 lbs more.
I do feel the braking on mine is sufficient though.
1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE

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WingAdmin
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Re: Poor braking on '99 Aspencade

Post by WingAdmin »

It sounds like you've done everything I would recommend - braided steel brake lines, fresh fluid, air bleeding, tying down brake levers overnight.

I can easily lock up both my front and rear wheel at speed using my brakes, so the brakes are definitely strong enough for the bike.

The only other things left are rebuilding the master cylinders and calipers. Calipers in particular have seals that wear out over time due to heat and contamination. If the seal grips the piston and doesn't slide, it can cause the piston to retract too far - meaning you have too much brake travel to engage it. I had this problem with my 1500 on the right front caliper until I rebuilt it.

I have rebuilt the front master cylinder and all three calipers on my bike. My rear is probably due, and I have a rebuild kit waiting to be installed, but I've been putting it off simply because it's such a nightmare to get to the rear master cylinder.

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zeoran
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Poor braking on '99 Aspencade

Post by zeoran »

WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:58 pm
It sounds like you've done everything I would recommend - braided steel brake lines, fresh fluid, air bleeding, tying down brake levers overnight.

I can easily lock up both my front and rear wheel at speed using my brakes, so the brakes are definitely strong enough for the bike.

The only other things left are rebuilding the master cylinders and calipers. Calipers in particular have seals that wear out over time due to heat and contamination. If the seal grips the piston and doesn't slide, it can cause the piston to retract too far - meaning you have too much brake travel to engage it. I had this problem with my 1500 on the right front caliper until I rebuilt it.

I have rebuilt the front master cylinder and all three calipers on my bike. My rear is probably due, and I have a rebuild kit waiting to be installed, but I've been putting it off simply because it's such a nightmare to get to the rear master cylinder.
Would you recommend rebuilding the calipers on all 3 brakes? What is the difficulty level of doing it and what parts would I need?
I JUST had the saddlebag, etc off when I replaced the pads on the rear but I'll gladly do it again to get proper stopping power. I just hope the parts aren't too expensive and it's not too time consuming or requires special tools. I don't have a proper garage or bench or anything to work with.

God bless,

~Mark

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 21496
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Poor braking on '99 Aspencade

Post by WingAdmin »

zeoran wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:02 pm
WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:58 pm
It sounds like you've done everything I would recommend - braided steel brake lines, fresh fluid, air bleeding, tying down brake levers overnight.

I can easily lock up both my front and rear wheel at speed using my brakes, so the brakes are definitely strong enough for the bike.

The only other things left are rebuilding the master cylinders and calipers. Calipers in particular have seals that wear out over time due to heat and contamination. If the seal grips the piston and doesn't slide, it can cause the piston to retract too far - meaning you have too much brake travel to engage it. I had this problem with my 1500 on the right front caliper until I rebuilt it.

I have rebuilt the front master cylinder and all three calipers on my bike. My rear is probably due, and I have a rebuild kit waiting to be installed, but I've been putting it off simply because it's such a nightmare to get to the rear master cylinder.
Would you recommend rebuilding the calipers on all 3 brakes? What is the difficulty level of doing it and what parts would I need?
I JUST had the saddlebag, etc off when I replaced the pads on the rear but I'll gladly do it again to get proper stopping power. I just hope the parts aren't too expensive and it's not too time consuming or requires special tools. I don't have a proper garage or bench or anything to work with.

God bless,

~Mark
If they've never been done, then I can definitely recommend it! It's not too difficult to do, and the parts are inexpensive. It just takes some time and patience, to make sure everything is cleaned out properly. No special tools required. You can see the process here: How to rebuild your brake calipers



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