So anyway, believe it or not, my front brakes feel pretty damn good right now. For the first time that I can recall, im actually satisfied with the lever feel. The problem is that I don't know why, and im trying to work out how this could be a bad thing. As I have only really put 30 km's on the new pads, I haven't really gotten into them yet. I can see from the rotor surface the pads are not bedded completely. The only odd thing which may have impacted the improved lever feel is time.. Let me explain.
Just before Christmas, I finish work, for 4 weeks holiday.
Day 1: I go buy front and rear pads, get home, and get to work on the front. The calipers were looking a bit grubby, so I spent ages with tooth brush, cleaning them up, also one caliper is wearing the pads unevenly, so I mess about with cable ties holding the pistons pack and pumping the brakes up to get them moving and I just give them a bit in and out action, none of the pistons had managed to grab a seal and drag it up, and im pretty happy that all four pistons on each front caliper are doing the right thing. Front end, both sides new pads in, I begin the bleeding process, but nothing is going right, none of my hoses is getting a good seal on the nipple and the rotation when I open the valve is causing the hose to slip, I have fluid dripping all over the place, so I switch to the other side, hoping things will improve, about a minute in, I have the same problem, the hose is a tight fit, but the slightest movement and the hose pops off. At this point, I can taste brake fluid, awesome, how did I manage that? I give up in disgust.
Day two: I go out to the garage and survey the mess, there are bits of clear hose everywhere, I can count 4 different one man bleed devices all scattered around the bike. Right, start again, new day and all that. I go hunting for smaller hose, I find a fresh 10m roll of 3mm shit. I cut of a decent length,I put one end in a glass jar and drop in some fresh fluid to cover the end of the hose, I attach the other end of the hose to the bleed nipple and grab my trusty 10mm spanner. I spend forever on each caliper, pushing out old fluid, im careful not to let the lever bottom out on the grip, I had recently read that tip. By the end I have clear fluid coming from each caliper, and the usual spongy lever which I have grown to expect.
I decide to give up for the day, but I will do the old apply pressure on the lever over night and see f I can get some air to rise into the res. I crack the res cap about half a turn and wrap a clean rag around the res. Sure leaving the fluid potentially exposed to air is bad, but I just want to give the air bubbles (if any) a reason to rise. I cable tie the front brakes on pretty hard. I go to bed. The next day I cut the cable tie holding the lever and slowly pump it up. It a little better, but still very ordinary, and history tells me that it will return to shit in a few hours anyway.
The next two weeks I get away for a bit of a holiday I don't go near a brake caliper.
Last Friday I head back out to the garage, and recall how I never did the rear pads, so I give them the treatment. The last thing I do it hang a weight from the rear brake lever and chuck another cable tie over the front brake. Its about 3:30AM by this stage, I forget to crack the front and rear reservoirs open to allow the air out, and I go to bed.
Saturday, around mid day, I go back to the bike and begin to clean out the bobbins on the front rotors at some point I release the brake levers from the cable ties. I pump the front a few times and it suddenly firms right up. Feels good, I assume it wont last. A few hours pass and I have fixed my exhaust leak, time to bed in the front pads I installed 2 weeks ago, and the rears I just put in. I go for a ride, but go easy on them, the front lever feels great, and stays that way. I have owned this bike for about 17 years, and the front brakes lever has never felt this good, something must be wrong. I go looking for problems, one of the front pads isnt making complete contact with the rotor, so I pull the caliper of, and manipulate the pistons in and out for a while, then reassemble, go for a ride, front lever still feels good. The pad still isnt hitting the majority of the rotor, a straight edge across the rotor shows a big low spot. I need new rotors, I guess the new pads are going to take some bedding in to completely clean the surface up. I did not bleed the front calipers again after this.
Front lever still feels good.
Im going to go out there again in a minute and check it again..