Author Topic: Braking for beginners!  (Read 1312 times)

Offline Tukig

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Braking for beginners!
« on: 28.04. 2011 09:34 »
Hi everyone, I have recently become the proud owner of a 1959 A7SS. I have studied the forum for advice on making the brakes, especially the front one, more effective for coping with modern road traffic. Obviously a well set up system is essential but I have no idea how good (or bad) the front brake should be. At present I ride very defensively but feel there is scope for improvement. The bike has the SLS 7" full width cast iron hub. A TLS set conversion seems popular but a little off-putting due to the expense. I was wondering, as you do, if any knows if the Enfield India TLS set up can be made to fit and has anyone tried it. From a financial point of view it looks tempting; but can it be done? Perhaps braking could be a separate forum topic as the subject appears popular. Any thoughts out there?

Online muskrat

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #1 on: 28.04. 2011 11:09 »
G'day Tukig, welcome to the forum.
                                                No idea on the Enfield fit, but would be good if it did. I took my shoes to a brake & clutch place and got them bonded with transmission brake material. Lots of good old asbestos  *eek*. See what your local can come up with, find the oldest fellow in the shop.
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, 88 FXST .
Muskys Plunger A7

Online groily

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #2 on: 28.04. 2011 15:25 »
On the RE brake I'm guessing its standard shoes are probably wider  - you can see the general shape on Hitchcock's web site under Parts for Indian models. Maybe with different shoes tweaked to fit, dunno. BUT, as to effectiveness - - my daughter has lately bought a 500 Indian RE as her daily rider and she says the tls brake on it is 'total rubbish'. Not just because she's got off a multi-disced Yamaha - she says the sls brakes on my Beesas and AMCs are way better. If true - and if there's nowt actually wrong with hers - then it's pretty damning, because I don't make any claims for any of mine apart from a Commando twin leader on my own Oilfield.
So I don't reckon it would necessarily be much of a swap, and one or two road tests of the RE I've seen seem to point the same way. 

Offline Stu55Flash

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #3 on: 30.04. 2011 20:05 »
I have 2 bikes from the 50's and both brake better on the rear. I put this down to the fact that tyres at the time were not up to the sort of braking on the front that can now be achieved. I've not seen any period photos of people doing 'endos' in the 50's.

The answer for me is to remember what your on and leave more braking distance.

"Keep a distance from lady "L" drivers in cars. Some are not mechanically minded, are slow to acquire road sense, an are apt to panic..." The Pitman Book of the BSA Twins.
Golden Flash Plunger 1955, Francis Barnett Falcon 67 1954, Ferguson TEA Tractor 1951. Looking for another project!

Offline wilko

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #4 on: 30.04. 2011 22:23 »
Asbestos is good for you!!

Offline Mosin

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #5 on: 01.05. 2011 22:33 »
I Took my 1960 A7SS out for a ride out organised by my local Heine Gericke shop the other week. It was a 140 mile run in the pouring rain with 77 other bikes not one of them less than 30 years younger than mine. To be honest, the ONLY area where my bike was not quite up to scratch was the braking, especially in the wet. I had the power and even the acceleration to keep up with the modern lads, but I just could not go round corners as quickly, and any overtaking had to be undertaken alongside the consideration of just how long it was going to take me to slow down again once I had passed the vehicle in question, and would I be able to do this before I was into the next corner! I put all of this down to the fact that if you are going to ride any bike then you have to make allowances somewhere along the line. In my case it is with the brakes. In the case of the other bikes, they all had to stop and refuel half way round whereas I didn't. And I could still walk in an upright position when I got off!

To be honest, I think that there were more lads that day who went away impressed by the abilities rather than by the limitations of my 50 year old machine. We just need to remember to keep things as good as they can be, and to always ride within the limitations of the bike and the road conditions.

1960 A7 Shooting Star
1959 D3 Bantam
1994 Triumph Trident 900

North West England

Offline Tukig

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #6 on: 02.05. 2011 10:21 »
Thank you everyone for your input. I am getting used to the brakes now although I still wouldn't like to do an emergency stop in the modern sense of the action. A good clean out, de-glaze, grease and adjustment helped. Hope you are all enjoying the excellent riding weather, even NE Scotland is positively bahamas (ish).

Offline nigeldtr

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Re: Braking for beginners!
« Reply #7 on: 02.05. 2011 21:58 »
If it?s any help, I have a 7 inch TLS on my 61 GF and it?s just right. If I pull hard the front squeals on a dry road and stops quickly. The forks seem to cope and it is all very controllable. Again, all this depends on the tyres, condition of the suspension and the brakes themselves all needs to match. I am always nervous about front brakes that lock when I panic ? fallen off too often I suppose. My view is make sure it all works well together and don?t try to keep up with anything modern!

1951 Golden Flash (engine now rebuilt) 1953 M21 a pain to start and 1961 GF that is turning into a black hole!