A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

Home Repair And Restoration

Brake Clean

Job Date - February 19, 2019

By Pocketpete

Following Ren's fluid change I cleaned up the brakes and had a sticky piston. That seems OK now, it's moving in and out without problem. The o-ring on the pad retaining pin was perished so I ordered one, and as Honda states you should replace the brake bolts - blah blah. Yes right...

They are a single use then throw away the item. I've had them off 3 or 4 times and put them back on and I'm still here to tell the tale. They are very soft bolts so I thought it's time to change them.

My local dealer didn't have them in stock so I ordered them off Fowlers. The bolts £4.24 per pair. The o-rings were £1.99 each. Yes that's right for that tiny speck of rubber. And I thought sod it I may as well replace the slider pin, or as I would say pad retaining pin.

That was £16.54 all plus vat and postage. £25 quid gone...

The parts were fitted and as can be seen the new bolts have a red patch on them. They were incredibly difficult to fasten up. It's as if they are bigger than the old ones. I suspect they shrink or wear away once used.

The new brake calliper bolt for Pocketpete's CB500X

The o-ring was a git to get on it's so tiny. My eyes couldn't focus that small. Eventually I soaked it in hot water and it popped into place. 

The tiny rubber o-ring on the brake pad retaining pin

I fastened it all up and the brakes look nice and shiny.

Did it really warrant changing the bolts? I'm not sure. If Honda says we should we should but then if they told you to put your hand in a fire would we? I'm suspicious over everything about bikes, it all seems contradictory on all sides.

But I've saved the old ones for Ren, he may be able to use them in a future project as they look pretty good.

A further note about all this. My brakes have always made a strange noise when braking, sort of a distant cat purring noise. I even took it back to the shop thinking something was amiss. They said its normal for abs models. The noise is almost a vibration - very hard to describe. Its only on the front under reasonable braking.

Since putting the new bolts in - no noise at all! Torqued up to spec, no problems, brakes working lovely. The only difference is the bolts and the cleaning. Very odd. But these bolts are chrome not black...

The shiny clean callipers on Pete's bike

If you'd like to advertise with Bikes And Travels contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

Bill said :-
The red patch is locking compound which is activated by the friction of tightening, probably why they feal tight when fitting.
23/2/2019 10:47:27 AM UTC
Bob said :-
I bet that locking compound is the only reason they specify new bolts.
I've never, never changed the caliper bolts in 30 years of spannering bikes and I've never used locking compound on them either - still alive.
3/4/2019 9:07:08 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
No I admit I've never used fresh bolts or locking compound. It's one of "them things". 99.999% of the population will be fine without new bolts and/or locking compound. But if the bolt falls out Honda can say "erm... did you use new bolts? We clearly state you should use new bolts each time."
3/4/2019 10:09:48 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
As far as I'm concerned the only time you need new bolts is when there is a predetermined stretch - eg big ends on Triumph and Norton twins, head bolts on my Discovery etc.

Not only do I reuse bolts, don't use loctite (at least not there), I don't use a torque wrench either. So no doubt my calipers will fall off next time I apply the brakes.
5/4/2019 10:20:30 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Good heavens Ian, it is a miracle you're still with us!
8/4/2019 7:39:50 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Yes, but it's the daft bits that catch me out. On my first short run of the year on the Guzzi a few weeks ago I did think the handling was a bit squirmy. When I got home I checked the tyre pressures - barely above 20 psi both ends. Good job Roadriders are quite stiff tyres.....

Hangs head in shame........
8/4/2019 10:13:03 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Mr Soady, I'm almost embarrassed to know you. Oh yes, can rebuild a vintage motorcycle, toured Europe on various eclectic machinery and worked for the AA. Forgets to check tyre pressures. DOH!
8/4/2019 10:56:00 AM UTC

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