Replace Sportster Brakes

Replace Sportster Brakes

Introduced in the late ’50s, the Sportster was a designed as a high-performance machine that personified Harley’s bad-boy image. As tough as these bikes are, their brake pads eventually require replacement. Squeaking brakes are often the first sign that the pads are deteriorating. If your brake pads are thinner than a nickel, be prepared to change them soon, but the job is much easier than it seems.

Instructions

Front Brake Pads

1. Remove the front caliper by unscrewing the two Allen-head bolts that secure the caliper to the lower fork leg.

2. Pull the caliper toward the rear of the motorcycle to slide it off the front brake rotor. Spray the rotor with brake cleaner to remove any dirt and debris that may have been trapped beneath the caliper. Wipe off the brake cleaner immediately with a clean rag or towel.

3. Remove the 5/16-inch retaining bolt and cap from the back of the brake caliper.

4. Pull the brake pads out of the caliper. One brake pad is housed in a larger retaining bracket. Push the brake pad out of the bracket to remove it.

5. Press the pistons on the inside of the caliper back with a flat-head screwdriver. This will allow the pistons to regain a full range of motion to improve braking efficiency and power.

6. Place a brake pad into the retaining bracket and then slide both brake pads into the caliper. Replace the cap and tighten the retaining bolt and then slide the caliper on to the front brake rotor.

7. Slide the caliper onto the rotor and over the brake pads and bracket and then tighten the two Allen-head bolts.

8. Pump the front brake lever to rebuild pressure in the brake line. Stop when the brake pedal requires a firm press to actuate the brake.

Rear Brake Pads

9. Remove the two Allen-head bolts that secure the rear brake caliper to the swing arm.

10. Slide the rear brake caliper off the brake rotor by pulling it toward the front of the bike. Lay the caliper aside. The brake pads should now be visible, resting on both sides of the rotor.

11. Remove the brake pads from the rotor and clean the caliper’s mounting bracket and the rotor with brake cleaner. Wipe off the cleaner immediately with a clean rag or towel.

12. Place the new brake pads against the inner and outer face of the brake rotor.

13. Press the pistons on the inside of the caliper back with a flat-head screwdriver. This will allow the pistons to regain a full range of motion to improve braking efficiency and power.

14. Slide the caliper onto the rotor and over the brake pads and bracket and then tighten the two Allen-head bolts.

15. Pump the rear brake pedal to rebuild pressure in the brake line. Stop when the brake pedal requires a firm press to actuate the brake.