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How to Remove the Rear Brake Pads on a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic

by Jim Murkot Sr.

Regular inspection of the brake components on your motorcycle is a must. When you determine that brake pad thickness has fallen below minimum wear levels on your ride, it is time to change them out. Removing the brake pads from a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic is a task easily performed by the average rider. A few simple tools and a can-do attitude are more than enough to be successful in this endeavor.

Step 1

Turn the release tabs and remove the right-sided Ultra Classic saddlebag. Loosen the two pad pins on brake caliper with a nut driver, but do not remove. Remove both screws from the rear master cylinder cover with a cross-tip screwdriver. Set the cover aside in a clean, dry location to prevent contamination.

Step 2

Place a drain pan underneath the rear master cylinder. Apply pressure to the inside pad with a putty knife, forcing the brake caliper piston to retract. Force the piston to sufficiently retract so as to allow room to insert a new pad, if necessary. Pull out the two pad pins part of the way to drop the brake pads. Dispose of the worn brake pads.

Fill the rear brake master cylinder to the fill-line with Harley DOT 5 silicone brake fluid. Install the rear master cylinder cover.

Tips

  • Make sure to note the way the pads come out of the caliper. This will ease the replacement with new pads.
  • As you apply pressure to the brake piston, fluid may overflow from the rear brake master cylinder. Ensure that any spilled fluid is cleaned from the motorcycle or floor to prevent slipping.
  • When you reinstall the master cylinder cover, be careful not to over-tighten the two mounting screws.
  • Brake pad kits are available from your local Harley dealer.

Warning

  • Replace brake pads in pairs on each caliper. Never replace just one pad, as this can lead to problems in braking.

Items you will need

  • Cross-tip screwdriver
  • Large putty knife
  • Drain pan
  • SAE nut driver set
  • DOT 5 silicone brake fluid

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