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I had a 1975 Ironhead way back when,and recall that the brakes were scary bad.
On a bike I'm building now,that era of handlebar controls would be appropriate,looks-wise.
What was actually so bad about those brakes-was it poor calipers,poor master cylinders,or what?
I've got a 1981 FXWG front end on this scoot,with the dual discs.If I were to get a period-correct front brake master cylinder,would it give me good brakes?Or would a modern repro work better?
Or should I scrap that idea and just use modern stuff all around?
Advice appreciated.
 

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Your right, the brakes on my 74 ironhead were terrible. I ended up putting a rear disc on it and runnin a Nissin caliper from a jap sportbike on a 10" rotor and a 2 piston Brembo front caliper from a KTM dirtbike on the stock 11 1/2" rotor. Not period correct, but it stops like a bitch now.
 

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The new master cylinders are definitely made to tighter tolerances than the old stuff and multi-piston calipers offer a lot more progressive action with better feel. But really, who needs brakes? They just slow ya down!
 

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1981 fxwg use twin 10" discs with small calipers

these are next to no improvement over what you had previously

aftermarket calipers will help, but the mounting lugs on the 81 legs prevent you running larger than 10" discs - swap the lower legs for later model legs and this will open up a whole world full of better opportunities
 

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Bah, plenty can be done with an FXWG front end if you put your brains in motion. How about dual GSXR calipers to match the rear Fab Kevin setup. Might only be 10" rotors, but I bet I could throw myself over the handlebars this way.
 

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When you say "dual", are you talking 2 pistons or 4 pistons?

I ask because I'm looking at putting one of these 2 piston on a stripped down Shovelhead, but I'm trying to gauge whether it's worth the effort... is this considered a single or a dual?

http://www.amazon.com/Bikers-Choice-2-Piston-Front-Caliper/dp/B0061N10EA

I have this very same caliper on my bike and it don't work worth a shit!!!....Just glad I have a Performance Machine rear caliper that will top you on a dime....I'd save ya money and fit a PM front caliper...
 

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@BigDawg: Are those Ikon springs on your Shuv? What model/height? you dig em?

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Thanks for the heads-up guys!!

It's actually going on a modern narrow glide front end...
but finding a decent looking caliper that fits a 2.75" bolt pattern,
is proving a little trickier than I thought.

I've been eyeballing the tokicos/brembos/etc...
I was trying stick with a vintage look tho, small and simple.

What makes it a bit more complicated is I'm using a 12.7mm (1/2") Master Cylinder from MikesXS... and from what I understand, only newer Sportsters use this... which happen to have the ugliest fucking calipers, ever. :(

I was willing to dick around with the $100 paperweight above, but once I start dropping $200+ to gamble on master cylinder sizes... kinda pushes me towards the stock, or a spool.
 

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@BigDawg: Are those Ikon springs on your Shuv? What model/height? you dig em?

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Thanks for the heads-up guys!!

It's actually going on a modern narrow glide front end...
but finding a decent looking caliper that fits a 2.75" bolt pattern,
is proving a little trickier than I thought.

I've been eyeballing the tokicos/brembos/etc...
I was trying stick with a vintage look tho, small and simple.

What makes it a bit more complicated is I'm using a 12.7mm (1/2") Master Cylinder from MikesXS... and from what I understand, only newer Sportsters use this... which happen to have the ugliest fucking calipers, ever. :(

I was willing to dick around with the $100 paperweight above, but once I start dropping $200+ to gamble on master cylinder sizes... kinda pushes me towards the stock, or a spool.
On the back? No my friend, those are custom Works Performance Street Trackers.

And as far as making a brake caliper look "vintage," that's not really possible. They can be ugly and work shitty or be odd and work fantastic...either way they're not as cool and uniform looking as a drum.

As far as Tokicos/Nissins/Brembos, keep in mind that they're cast aluminum, so they're a grinder and some love shy of being very plain looking raw or polished calipers.
 

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werd, brushed clean was the plan no matter what...
gotta check those springs out, been looking for something low-key for a while.

Thanks guys, gotta run...
Road2Ruin this weekend, like right now (rain or shine!):

http://www.chopcult.com/event/665/

Anybody in Central Texas, come join us...
we rented the entire park for the weekend, so it's a private event...
but everyone's welcome!

MOTORCYCLES!
 

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I had a 1975 Ironhead way back when,and recall that the brakes were scary bad.
On a bike I'm building now,that era of handlebar controls would be appropriate,looks-wise.
[snip] ...
If I were to get a period-correct front brake master cylinder,would it give me good brakes?
Could you not sleeve the Master Cylinder (MC) to convert it to a smaller diameter MC using an appropriate rebuild kit (piston, o-rings, etc for, say, 5/8" instead of 3/4") and re-use your pushrod for correct feel/pressure (or, alternately, bore it out to go the other way)?

Or is that Krazy Talk?

By the way I like this video from Summit regarding choosing bore size of MC. Not sure how to embed here yet so I'll just post the YouTube URL

 

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By the way I like this video from Summit regarding choosing bore size of MC. Not sure how to embed here yet so I'll just post the YouTube URL

The info is overkill for choppers, but it does get into the details...
if you're looking for an education on Master Cylinders.
 
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