Brakes?? what brakes


colorado Kid
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Hey guys. took my 1981 special over to stove praire road . its a long twisty mountain road. wanted to see how bike would handle. It was fun until i had to stop.. not good. took front wheel apart yesterday. my bad!! I had packed the worm gear for speedo cable full of grease. It was all over inside of hub. oops. so got everything cleaned up. then roughed up the pads with 60 grit paper. test ride tonight...... uh ok better yea but still not good guys, back break is about the same. Gonna take back break apart next i guess. ...40 years later is there a break pad that will grip better. get better grip?? plenty of life left on the pads.. pretty hard to go from 45 mph to a 15 curve right now.
Greasing your brakes is one way to keep them from squealing... :D

You are likely stuck getting new brake shoes. Brake cleaner might help some, but brake lining is porous, and if you got grease soaked in, it will leach out every time you brake and heat it up.

IIRC, you have drum brakes. There isn't really a great variety of shoes available for them. I got whatever ones were in stock at the time. They work fine, just being new makes a lot of difference.
thaks J not sure how safe twisty mountain roads are going to be at high speed on this bike, to be honest i may need to find something else for that type of riding.
thaks J not sure how safe twisty mountain roads are going to be at high speed on this bike, to be honest i may need to find something else for that type of riding.

That a good call.

I love the XS, but it's by no means a performance bike, especially in the Heritage trim with drum brakes.

It's a great bike around town, and really awesome to take to the bike night at the local brewery, but for twisties you need more grip, better stopping, and a more modern suspension.

i just worked on my 2003 shadow front disc brake and its still not great either

Not super-familiar with Shadows, but knowing old bikes... Do you still have the original hose? Hold it and see it if you can feel it balloon when you grab the lever.

If you can, probably time for a nice braided hose replacement. The difference that makes is more than you think.
After putting about 2000 miles on my resurrected 78, I'm also having some dragging brakes issues. At first i thought it just needed the caliper slides lubed and the seemed to help some, but they still drag a little when cold. Once i get some heat in them they free up just fine. My guess is the 44 year old piston seals are hardening and the heat helps soften them up enough to properly drag the pistons back slightly as designed. So I'll be throwing a rebuild kit at them.
So i pulled the trigger on caliper rebuild kits and new pistons for both calipers. Man was the front piston corroded! I am really glad i got the pistons at the same time, made rebuilding the front super easy and eliminated the drag completely. Stopping power is improved too. I'll send off both brake hoses to HEL over the winter to complete the full refurbishing of the brakes. Still have to rebuild the rear master and caliper but it still works great for now. Still some riding days left in he year. :D