The Path Less Traveled

Welcome to my blog! I'm committing this space to my adventures with motorcycles and activities related with them. This will include all sorts of stories about repairing them, going on trips, learning different riding techniques, meeting other riders, etc. In other words, a general dumping ground for whatever strikes me. Hope you enjoy the read.

Rate this Entry

Gettin' Hosed!

Posted 03-03-2010 at 09:25 AM by Gamuru
Updated 03-03-2010 at 09:40 AM by Gamuru

The day started out well enough. Woke up pretty early and I was too excited about getting on with it to fall back asleep. April and I decided to get up and go after some breakfast.

Jeff (jdpesz) was scheduled later that day for a visit. He was bringing with him a new master cylinder and front brake pads. We were going to install both and then go for a ride. Well, that's what was on the schedule, anyway. "Best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." Or something like that. Turns out that quote would be the theme for our fix-it day.

Things started out fine. Within minutes of Jeff showing up, we had his old master cylinder off and the new one installed. I grabbed a pair of pliers and removed the retaining spring and pin for his front brake pads. With a little coaxing on the caliper piston, the new ones were installed. All that was left to be done was to bleed out the air. Then, we could be off for our job-well-done celebratory ride, right?

Twas not to be. Two hours and several pints of DOT 3 later, we were still trying to figure out why his brake lever felt like squeezing a firm marshmallow. I was not happy; not happy at all. This job, aided by my vacuum brake bleeder, was suppose to be quick, easy, and done. It was none of these things and my furled brow was showing it--I'm sure.

After much head-scratching, we decided to button her up and take it for a ride. To my surprise, Jeff reported that it felt better than what he had before. I had him grab a handful of front brake on my and April's bike and told him that was what I was looking for. We decided the problem had to be with the 30+ year old rubber brake hoses.

Jeff felt comfortable with riding it home the way it was and was going to order up a set of steel-braided brake hoses. When they show up, we'll get together for another wrench-and-ride day.

So, what to take from all this? I suppose there are several lessons to be learned. Expect the unexpected. Be fluid and willing to change as the situation dictates. Oh, and replace those damned nasty old brake hoses and flush your brake fluid. That stuff does go bad after a few years.

Don't believe me? Here's proof:

Pretty nasty, huh?
Total Comments 5


  1. Old Comment
    Real Fast Travis's Avatar

    I need to flush the fluid in my cage, don't really want to!
    Posted 03-03-2010 at 06:14 PM by Real Fast Travis Real Fast Travis is offline
  2. Old Comment
    jdpesz's Avatar
    Don, I am grateful to have a friend and mentor like you. You have the patience of a saint. I'm having the new brake lines shipped priority, so they should be here any day. Will Sunday be a good day to finish this? Your place again?
    Posted 03-03-2010 at 10:11 PM by jdpesz jdpesz is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Gamuru's Avatar
    Sure. Bring a quart of brake fluid, too.
    Posted 03-04-2010 at 07:08 PM by Gamuru Gamuru is offline
  4. Old Comment
    jdpesz's Avatar
    Today I installed the new brake lines and dad helped me bleed them. Whoa, does she ever stop now!! And I bought an extra quart of brake fluid just for you. I'll bring it next time I come over.
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 07:04 PM by jdpesz jdpesz is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Gamuru's Avatar
    I was just sitting here wondering how your swap came out. That's AWESOME!!! Good job, Jeff.
    Posted 03-07-2010 at 07:33 AM by Gamuru Gamuru is offline

/pnwriders @pnwriders PNW Riders RSS Feed