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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I'm currently hoarding parts for my shovel build and am looking at front drum options for my 45 springer. I was considering a repop side drum for the ease of usage but they pretty expensive for what they are and would prefer to run something a little more practical up front.

I have considered the GT550/750 4LS hub or maybe a CB 2LS hub and maybe for purely aesthetic reasons a triumph conical hub.

I'm aware of the dive issues running a floating plate like this on the springers and I have done my research and read others saying it's not a good idea but I still see them pop up from time to time running these Japanese/British drums.

Has anyone successfully made one of these drums work with a springer and if so how did you go about it?

Churs
 

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Although my experience is limited to chopper style aftermarket springers, I see no reason why any properly set up front drum brake would be a problem. As you indicated in your post, the brake plate has to float to let the suspension work properly, but otherwise, a drum is a drum.

Bob
 

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i put this early XS1 brake on a 45 springer . it's for sale btw


back in the 70s i ran a cb160 honda dls wheel in and extended 45 springer on my panhead. i didn't know any better (i was a kid) and connected the torque arm to the front leg. worked good in the shop so i took a test run on the hiway. i pulled off on an exit ramp doing about 50 and hit the front brake. it immediately locked up hard, shot the forks to full extension and skidded the tire till i got it stopped. talk about a rush :p:D
 

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it immediately locked up hard, shot the forks to full extension and skidded the tire till i got it stopped. talk about a rush :p:D
Yup, clamp it all together without floating the brake plate and the rocker tries to rotate with the wheel, lifting the leg and jamming everything. Look at the good side. At least you had a front brake that was capable of locking the wheel. Nobody with a stock 45 front brake could say that.

Bob
 

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Here's a pic from a few years ago of the BSA front brake on my 45. Actually, it looks quite a bit different today, but I've been running it for a while now & it works great. As was mentioned, the back plate has to float & the location of the link is important, but done right it works great. Mine is only a single leading shoe, but that won't make any difference to the setup.
Maybe when I have to get up to get another beer in a few minutes, I'll wander out to the garage & take a new pic of it.
 

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OK, here's a couple fresh pics.
I made a bushing kinda thingy (the triangular bit in the middle) so that the back plate floats on a big pin (actually another bushing) that moves with the axle. That description may not be as clear as I'd like it be, but the point is I wanted to give the back plate a fairly decent surface to ride on. Anyway, I dunno how important that really was.
Maybe I should just pretend the pics speak for themselves.... :D
 

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wanted to give the back plate a fairly decent surface to ride on. Anyway, I dunno how important that really was.
Maybe I should just pretend the pics speak for themselves.... :D
There's very little rotation of the brake plate due to the limited travel of the rockers. When the wheel and axle are assembled and axle nut torqued, the brake plate should rotate freely before the anchor is attached. That's all that's needed. Of course, a larger bearing area than neccessary ain't gonna hurt a thing.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your replies, Phlogisticated that set up looks really tidy. Seems like it's not such a nightmare after all.

Onto my next question, I'm looking at a few different drums and trying to find a decent balance between the way it looks and the way it performs. If I am going to go to all the trouble to make this work I want to use a drum that will perform better than stock without looking terrible.

Are there any good performing drums that aren't so big? So far I have been looking at older triumph conical drums, also gt550/750 4LS, I also read in another thread that GS125 drums were nice and small but I wonder about the performance of that one. Any ideas?
 

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Are there any good performing drums that aren't so big?
Sadly, no. The Triumph conical is not worth wasting time on, and drum brakes off of smaller Japanese motorcycles were made to stop a bike weighing 350 lbs. You can't trick physics. If you want to stop a 600 lb motorcycle effectively with a drum, it's gonna be a *big* one. This is just personal preference, but a small disk brake on a springer is less conspicuous than a huge drum, to my eye only, of course, and will stop better than just about any drum.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bobscogin, that's a good point and one I had considered. Personally I don't like the look of disc brakes but you're right it is less conspicuous and also less of a mess around to run them then to run the drum. It's not just the disc that would bother me but also the MC. I'm aware of the possibility of running a remote MC. I actually have a SECA remote cylinder already which I could probably make work. Hmmmm something to consider.
 

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The conical Triumph TLS brake greatly benefits from longer actuating arms which the aftermarket sells in Stainless Steel.
The 68-70 Triumph TLS brakes supposedly come in two sizes although I have never seen the smaller plate but then I never owned a 500 Triumph....
They look a lot smaller when you turn down the flange on the backing plate that covers the spoke holes on the hub.
Hope this helps.
 

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I'm aware of the possibility of running a remote MC. I actually have a SECA remote cylinder already which I could probably make work. Hmmmm something to consider.
Your point about the master cylinder is well taken. Yes, they're ugly. The remote master cylinder would be the way to go. Before you spend a lot of time fabricating it, make sure the bore diameter is compatible with the caliper you intend to use. It matters.

Bob
 

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One thing you might want to consider before you go all out on fitting a super strong brake: the 45 fork is kinda wimpy.
It's been said you can bend the rear leg on the 45 fork just by braking hard enough. Apparently that wasn't an issue with the weak little original 45 brake, but maybe it could be if you hang the fork on the front of a 600# shovel that will go twice as fast as a 45 & then give it a powerful brake.
All your front braking forces have to be reacted through that spindly little rear leg. Something to consider.
 

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One thing you might want to consider before you go all out on fitting a super strong brake: the 45 fork is kinda wimpy.
It's been said you can bend the rear leg on the 45 fork just by braking hard enough. Apparently that wasn't an issue with the weak little original 45 brake, but maybe it could be if you hang the fork on the front of a 600# shovel that will go twice as fast as a 45 & then give it a powerful brake.
All your front braking forces have to be reacted through that spindly little rear leg. Something to consider.
Gotta bear in mind that the original brake is what they were designed for. My understanding of the 2LS set-up is that it is better than stock but not much.
 

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Gotta bear in mind that the original brake is what they were designed for. My understanding of the 2LS set-up is that it is better than stock but not much.
I agree that the original brake is what the forks were designed for - which isn't much! - but I think the 2LS is really a lot better - the Triumph is substantially better & a late model Japanese brake is actually pretty good*

* with the disclaimer that if you're trying to stop a big fast shovel with any brake that was designed for a light, slow bike, that it might be kinda exciting (not in a good way...)

Bottom line: GO FOR IT!
just remember what you've got & play within the bounds of prudence!
 

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One thing you might want to consider before you go all out on fitting a super strong brake: the 45 fork is kinda wimpy.
It's been said you can bend the rear leg on the 45 fork just by braking hard enough. Apparently that wasn't an issue with the weak little original 45 brake, but maybe it could be if you hang the fork on the front of a 600# shovel that will go twice as fast as a 45 & then give it a powerful brake.
All your front braking forces have to be reacted through that spindly little rear leg. Something to consider.
It might surprise some folks that the 45" springer fork is the same construction as the big twin springer fork. The size, material, and weight is the same. Different size steering stem (7/8" vs. 1") and rockers is the only real difference.

Geo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the info, I'm going to give it a shot. I've got a list of drums I am considering now. Is there any particular hub/drum that can be ran on the 45 with not too much work?
 
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