How To: Veteran Motorcycle Brake Blocks
The rear brakes on the Premier keep me thinking while I ride the bike. Interesting thoughts like “Will they stop me quickly enough this time?” or “Will they fade away to nothing?” The brake material had worn so much that the block could jam itself into the dummy brake rim, which was an all-or-nothing proposition: the brakes would grab well, but they would lock.
The VMCC sells new brake material in slabs, so I ordered some. Well, I tried to order some. After they refunded my British pounds via PayPal, they told me that they do not have enough insurance to sell the brake material in the USA, or in Canada. Same thing for V belt connector clips. I’m not sure if the trouble is the perception that Americans sue people a lot, or maybe that Brits tend worry a lot about the possibility of being sued…
A friend in the UK bought the material and mailed it to me pronto. It was very straightforward to machine it to fit the brake shoe. It can be cut with wood working tools like hand saws or routers, as well as metal working tools like mills or files. The saw roughed it out, then a bit of milling to narrow it, then two holes to drill and some shaping with rasps and files finished it.
On the left is the old brake, made from Fibrax material. The new material is on the right.
How are the brakes now? Very slightly better… Which is to say, they are terrible, but not as terrible as they used to be. Some guys make brake blocks from wood, I might try that before springtime.