My AVL just rolled over 7000 miles and I'd like to figure out if my rear drum brake is nearing the end of its life. Is there a way to tell how far its worn down/ how much pad is left?
In all likelihood, the amount of brake pad put onto the rear brakes by the Indian designers is sized to accommodate the way many (most?) of the people there ride.There are many over there who never touch the front brake. They are so afraid of locking up the front wheel that they rely only on the rear brake for all of their riding.Explaining how the front brake should be the main brake for all braking in dry conditions has little effect on their belief's but I keep trying.
Even 'experienced' riders here got a taboo thing with the front brakes Most would not believe if one said that front brakes contribute to more than 50% of the braking. Some bikes even have the brake lever removed!......
Actually, front braking power is more equivalent to 70-75% of all the braking power. Which is why it is important that you use both brakes in normal situations. This is ALSO why in countries where there mostly dirt roads people don't use their front brake. Too many inexperienced riders don't know how to brake properly in dirt and suddenly the whole country says 'Front brakes are horrible! Don't use them, they make you crash!" In all reality, just don't pull the front brake all the way and lock up the front wheel and you'll be fine.If you don't believe me on the braking power, try this. Next time you are riding around approaching a stop sign and there is NO OTHER TRAFFIC, TRY stopping abruptly using only your rear brake. Then at another stop sign, stop abruptly with only your front brake. Let me know what happens. If you are still learning to ride, I guarantee you will look at your braking techniques totally differently. Scottie
The only way to keep from locking up the rear wheel is to lighten up on the pedal (or lever). I know it's easier said than done particularly in emergency situations. You just need to work with your brake applications by braking as hard as you can without locking up the brakes, front or rear, and get to know how much pressure you can use in any situation. IT takes a lot of practice, but will pay great dividends on to long run. I use my front brake 90-95% of the time even braking into turns,but it takes a lot of practice. In my first few days of riding many years ago, I learned about front brakes on a rocky dirt downhill when I grabbed the front brake and went over the bars! I fallen several times from excess front brake use including once in a slightly wet and extremely slick parking lot, when I just barely touched the front brake and instantly went down! That pavement was like ice! Didn't really hurt anything and I picked up the bike and rode off. I sure appreciated those naked bikes that you can drop and not damage much as opposed to these faired modern bikes that'll cost $3000 for knocking it over in the garage! I guess that's why its been almost ten years since I owned a faired bike!Bare