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Old 04-05-2013, 11:56 PM   #1
Justin5000
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Default Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

I am current putting together a rigid Harley using some parts off an '82 Ironhead. I am running a 16 in the rear and a 21 in the front. I have seen lots of custom bikes running just a rear brake and am curious if there is a certain caliper/hand control/disc you guys would suggest using for that purpose. Possibly one that is a bit stronger or one known for having more stopping power? I plan on getting new lines, pads and a new caliper due to not completely trusting one that's 30 years old for my sole source of stopping. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

*disclosure - I searched for this topic and apologized if I have reposted something that has already been posted.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

My opinion.
A drum brake will have no problem locking up sending you in a skid. You'll need to use engine braking a lot and change your riding style a bit.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

My opinion. Much the same as above. Back brakes are easy to lock up. The car you hit will stop you much faster.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Avoid dangerous rear brake lockup and install front wheel only coaster brake.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatch View Post
Avoid dangerous rear brake lockup and install front wheel only coaster brake.
That is funny Hatch.
Best laugh I have had for a while.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Yeah, no need for a front brake on a high-powered, lightweight motorcycle — much better to look cool. Very smart.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Make sure you increase your insurance, to cover half a brain. Looking cool, will get you hurt, and in this case, maybe killed. You have to ask yourself, how cool is it, looking out from a "closed casket funeral". Just remember, you only live once, but you are dead, forever.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

A motorcycle is a dangerous vehicle.

If you want to be safe, I suggest a full size SUV with air bags and crumple zones.

Many people ride for years with no front brake and have zero problems, other than the close calls we all have at times. You are forced to adjust your attitude and ride more defensively and look further ahead than you do when you have the false sense of safety that front double disks and ABS gives you.

I'm just going to assume that the original poster is an adult and can make his own decisions about his life without the need for people pretty much calling him stupid just for daring to ask about something that is done all the time.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

No front brake are you building a trailer queen or a scooter you're gonna ride? 70% of your stopping power is in your front brake why would you want to give that up? Yes I have had bikes with rear brake only it requires a very differant riding style. just say'in
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

what oil do you suggest for a front wheel coaster brake equipped motorcycle?
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Ok.....heres a fact,not opinion. you cannot increase the stopping power of a rear wheel only system. You can only increase the reaction time of the system, but a skidding rear wheel is a skidding wheel, and math determines the stopping distance. Thats why the cops measure your skid marks after you crash......to calculate how fast you were going when you died.......mechanical drum vs hydraulic disc makes almost zero difference on the total stopping distance.......unless you add ABS.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

My advice: buy a 10 million dollar insurance policy and make me the beneficiary!
Hopefully I'll never have to cash it in!
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishman View Post
A motorcycle is a dangerous vehicle.

If you want to be safe, I suggest a full size SUV with air bags and crumple zones.

Many people ride for years with no front brake and have zero problems, other than the close calls we all have at times. You are forced to adjust your attitude and ride more defensively and look further ahead than you do when you have the false sense of safety that front double disks and ABS gives you.

I'm just going to assume that the original poster is an adult and can make his own decisions about his life without the need for people pretty much calling him stupid just for daring to ask about something that is done all the time.
Thanks Englishman. I agree with def having to have a way more defensive riding style with running just a rear brake. And yes, I am an adult who had a question and was fully prepared for sarcastic comments from everyone. I was hoping at least one or two replies would surface answering my question, which they have.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:54 AM   #14
Justin5000
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatch View Post
Ok.....heres a fact,not opinion. you cannot increase the stopping power of a rear wheel only system. You can only increase the reaction time of the system, but a skidding rear wheel is a skidding wheel, and math determines the stopping distance. Thats why the cops measure your skid marks after you crash......to calculate how fast you were going when you died.......mechanical drum vs hydraulic disc makes almost zero difference on the total stopping distance.......unless you add ABS.
Thanks Hatch. That's about what I was looking for. I haven't quite decided if going just with a rear brake is my path on this one, but this info has helped!
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:56 AM   #15
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

What are you guys suggestions, brand wise, on brakes for a guy putting a bike together on a budget? Need to check my lottery tickets but as of right now I'm still on a small budget. What's your favorite on your past builds? Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Cheapest is oem.....remember that "back in the day" we didnt have texting drivers.....or road rage.......mildly pissed, but no shots fired
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

I run a sprotor myself and it preforms great! stops that wheel on a dime! its the rest of the bike thats the problem.

Last edited by wanderalone; 04-06-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderalone View Post
I run a sprotor myself and it preforms great! stops that wheel on a dime! its the rest of the bike thats the problem.
HA!!....good one!!!
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

I was glad of two brakes last Saturday while riding along at about 50 in bright daylight, on a good main road, when some 90-year-old bint in a little hatch-back pulled out across the road in front of me . . . no front brake looks cool on the right bike, but luckily for me that day my Lowrider isn't cool.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #20
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Default Re: Recommendations for running just a rear brake...

Gotta brake early with rear only and if your in a split second situation your mostly fucked.. I used a rear 2 piston fab Kevin on last triumph and it was perfect . Didn't lock up unless you stood on it. That was a bike under 400 lbs . I don't think I would ride a big twin with rear only brakes. Too much weight. I have locked up both wheels at the same time on a bt and it saved me from a wreck . If you wanna puit some miles have both breaks. $0.02..
Fuck abs bikes too, that feature is dangerous on a bike imo. It rolls when should be stopping
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