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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my 1st venture into a forum. l came here hoping someone here might save my life. I quit riding in 82 when I became a dad. Fast forward to 2018 when i bought the 2017 Kawasaki x 300 versus intending to stay off the roads of texting drivers. A month later after a safety course I am back to my old vintage 1982 self, riding aggressively enough to stay ahead of traffic putting myself in the sweet spot. I now have 3 additional bikes. A 98 Honda Valkyrie Tourer, which led to 99 Honda Valkyrie Interstate (wanted the CB/FM radio full dresser look) and an 03 Honda VTX 1300 I got really great deal on. The Interstate is my baby and has taken me to Tennessee and back twice. I am having issues with the rear brakes on the Interstate just disappearing from time to time. Pedal goes down and bam, no rear brakes. Topped off fluid, tried putting weight on it overnight and thought it was fixed. Coming home today, lost rear brakes again. Got home, shut off bike. Went back in 10 minutes and had brake pedal pressure. Any one with ideas of what could cause this. I'm here to learn more about how motorcycles work and to become a better rider. In addition, does any know the location of the CB fuse. I can't find it and the CB has never powered on. I might not know what to do to power it up.
 

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Can't help with the CB fuse location but, well, might help with the brake problem. How old is the brake fluid? If it hasn't been changed in a while bleed it out and refill. Had a hydraulic clutch screw up on me a couple years ago. Would not disengage until the lever was almost against the grip, changed the fluid and presto! Been working fine ever since.

Check your rear brake pads make sure you still got some. There's more but someone with more experience than me can explain caliper rebuilding, if it comes to that.

Just start with the simple things, look for leaks, cracked hoses and anything that just may not look right.
Oh, and YouTube can be your best friend. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A fluid change is due I'm sure. Brakes are working now but can't trust my life to them. Fluid level is ok. Thanks for the guidance.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Change that fluid is where to start. But you might need new brakes being that old. It's something to look at but isn't the problem right now. But if you really want your life saved, learn to use that front brake much more. 80 to 90% more. The front brake is where your stopping power is. That's one major difference between street and dirt. I only use my rear brake on emergency braking and on gravel roads or U-turns. All the other time it's front brake only. But on to your current problem. You may need to clean the pistons. They might be sticking so it feels like nothing. But get that fluid change for sure. Water in the fluid and a sticking caliper piston could be your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Change that fluid is where to start. But you might need new brakes being that old. It's something to look at but isn't the problem right now. But if you really want your life saved, learn to use that front brake much more. 80 to 90% more. The front brake is where your stopping power is. That's one major difference between street and dirt. I only use my rear brake on emergency braking and on gravel roads or U-turns. All the other time it's front brake only. But on to your current problem. You may need to clean the pistons. They might be sticking so it feels like nothing. But get that fluid change for sure. Water in the fluid and a sticking caliper piston could be your problem.
You make sense, however, I've always been in the habit of initially applying both brakes for muscle memory in the event I wind up doing an emergency stop where I need all the braking my bike has. I normally depend more on the front brakes. I now intend to change the brake fluid first after ready this post. Thanks!
 

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Ace Tuner
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The brake works sometimes, but not others? That almost has to be a problem with the master cylinder.

Considering the age of the machine I'd expect there would be lots of "mud" in the brake hydraulics. Bleeding the system might help but the sure cure is a complete overhaul of the system. (Master cylinder AND caliper).
The brake hoses are old enough that they might be expanding under pressure so you may want to replace them while you're at it. However, expanding hoses would not cause the brake problem you describe.

S F
 
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