Rear brake pedal travel, is this "normal" - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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Old 10-11-2016, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Rear brake pedal travel, is this "normal"

Hi all;

I have been living with what I would think is an issue with the rear brake pedal on a 2002 KLR650 that I bought a few months back. Now I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong, or if this is just a KLR thing.

The brake is adjusted so that the lever is close to the case, but not touching. The master cylinder is fully extended and is what is keeping the pedal from contacting the case. I need to press the pedal about an inch or more to get the brake to begin to engage. Another inch or so to get start to get some useful brake action. If I stand on it, on my tip toe at this point, I can lock the rear brake on dry pavement. So, the brake works well enough, I just need to press the pedal so far it's ridiculous.

Adjusting at the master cylinder clevis as far out as the screw will allow helps a little, but now the pedal lever is contacting the case. That can't be good.

I'm new to the forum. I'd add a couple pictures, but I haven't figured out how to insert pics from my hard drive. The insert image function asks for a url.

Anyway, any comments and/or advice is very much appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:15 PM
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beltdrive,
Quite common, but have you not yet bled fresh fluid thru the system?
If not, then do so. Then report back.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, I flushed the brakes with new fluid just after I purchased the bike. The pedal starts out a little below level with the foot peg and the travel required to get any significant brake action is a couple inches. Once it gets there, it works.

I may have a slightly bent lever ? But if this is normal for the KLR I'll need to learn to ride with it I suppose. Or come up with a mod. ??
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:00 PM
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It's normal but you don't need to live with it.

1st; consider a stainless brake line: it will let you have more power with less pedal movement

....but the biggy;

- the KLR's footpegs are too high IMO. some people make the situation even worse by putting on IMS or aftermarket pegs in a well intentioned attempt to improve upon the crappy stock footpegs....BUT the wider MX style pegs (which are also a bit higher) tend to cramp the peg to shifter distance (then people go with extended shifters as the "fix") as well as exacerbating the brake pedal height issue.

there are many solutions;

- some have simply put a carriage bolt and nut on the pedal making it higher. Cheap but I don't like the added weight and it looks a bit cheezy (sorry Norm!)

- Knight Designs drop pegs: these are what I use and they solve all kinds of problems; they help the ergonomics, improve the shifter to peg distance, fix the "low brake pedal syndrome" as well as offer a slight increase in the peg to seat distance and ridding the bike of those crappy rubber pegs that stay up after contact. I have these on both my KLR's and I'm very happy with them. http://www.knightdesignllc.com/image...black-600h.jpg

- another recent product that has received good reveiws is JNS Engineerings' peg relocation brackets. They move the pegs down and back and allow you to use the IMS/Moose/DR pegs of your choice. They address all the same issues as the drop pegs and the only potential downside I can see is that you would have to remove them to perform some service work....though not often. they are also very high quality, just like everything that JNS makes. 1987-2016 KLR650 Foot Peg Lowering Brackets

- many KLR Owners have also opted to cut and reweld their existing peg mounts.

- there are also some "plate style" drop peg mounts on ebay and elsewhere which re-use the factory peg mounts but add a plate between the frame and the mount. I've chosen to avoid these because they decrease ground clearance as well as adding stress to the weak peg mounting nuts.




hope this helps,

Dave
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Last edited by DPelletier; 10-11-2016 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:36 PM
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Dave is a fairly helpful man to have around, eh?

And he types with all 10 fingers.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Dave!
Knowing that the height problem is normal, focusing on the inch of mush between first engaging the brake and full lockup is probably the place to start. I'll bleed the brakes again as suggested by pdwestman. If that doesn't help, SS brakelines don't look real expensive. Any preferred brand?

I do have MX style footpegs, but didn't realize that they aren't stock until now. The plastic and tank on this bike is pretty beat up and it's hard to spend much money on it, so I don't really mind a cheezy looking modification to the brake pedal if that will help. Maybe I'll give that a try.

Thanks again..
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Dave is a fairly helpful man to have around, eh?

And he types with all 10 fingers.
mostly just ....but thanks anyhow!

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:08 PM
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definitely bleed the brakes as Paul suggested; always the first step. I like the russel braided line I got from Eagle Mfg & Eng

If you still have issues; you can either add some material to the brake pedal contact surface (like Norm's carriage bolt) or you could build or buy some of these;

Kawasaki KLR650 Footpeg lowering Brackets | eBay

Dave
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:00 PM
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beltdrive,
After bleeding the brake again, you might try over-adjusting the pedal height.
As long as the master piston retracts enough to uncover the fluid transfer hole in the master cylinder and eliminate brake pad drag.
Then either install a rubber pad on the underside of the clutch cover or grind some material Off of the Top of the pedal arm. Then re-adjust the pedal height.

It is the internal travel distance of the master piston passed the fluid transfer hole which makes a huge difference on a stone stock, but well bled system. imo.

Near 'zero dollars' when you are on your own time.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I bled the brakes again and I DID get a few bubbles out of the system. A little embarrassing since I did bleed the brakes when I got the bike. Pretty basic stuff, but hey, I'll take it. They work better, as would be expected. Still a little mushy, but not dangerous at least. So I went a step further and tried dropping a used rotor bolt in the pedal end piece as a quick experiment to raise it a little. Better again, in fact, good enough to not worry about it anymore if I make a robust permanent modification. (not a loose rotor bolt)

Thanks again for the help. Very much appreciated.
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