Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum - Reply to Topic
Thread: When to check and adjust the rear brake on a VL800 (Volusia/C50) motorcycle. Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-20-2016 09:44 AM
Psyc0 This safety minded notification deserved a sticky!
10-18-2016 12:05 PM
rvcycleguy Well said.

10-18-2016 11:20 AM
When to check and adjust the rear brake on a VL800 (Volusia/C50) motorcycle.

The rear brake on the VL800 suzuki and related models are often overlooked - because that is the way brakes are – until you need them or they don’t work as expected.

Under normal riding conditions, the rear brake on these bikes is an “adjust it and forget it” type of brake.The normal wear on these brakes is so minute and slow as to not require much attention.HOWEVER!

The rear brake is a MECHANICALLY activated brake on these bikes and there are several considerations that must be taken when riding the bike and/or modifying the rear suspension.

Because of the mechanical linkage, the distance between the mid pivot of the linkage and the rear lever at the drum is critical.The design of the swing arm geometry causes this distance to change slightly as the wheel center moves in the designed arc when the suspension is compressed and released.

This change in distance forces the brake linkage and rear lever to move in the direction that applies the brake when the bike body moves downward toward the wheel under load and release again when the bike body moves up and away from the wheel.

Lowering the bike seat height by any means will tend to cause the brake to apply.

Brake adjustment on a bare bike must allow for this application AND for suspension travel that occurs when riding down the road.

Circumstances that result in this action are increased loads from 2 up riding, packed luggage, hitting bumps or dips in the road that cause momentary suspension travel and lowering the rear of the bike when “lowering links” are installed.

The resistance setting of the shock absorber will also affect the suspension travel under all these conditions.

Past experience of riders under the above circumstances have resulted in momentary application of the rear brake under certain circumstances or at worst, the constant rubbing of the brake shoe against the drum and overheating it, even to the point of causing a color change in the paint.

The upshot of all these words is that the rider needs to recheck the brake adjustment when ever any of the above riding circumstances change.

At the pedal end of the brake linkage, consideration of pedal height and pedal travel for rider comfort and convenience must be taken.

Pedal travel is a function of your brake adjustment done at the rear brake lever, however, if you raise or lower pedal height, you must recheck pedal travel and adjust at the rear brake lever if necessary.

Both of these adjustments are available as well and once made for you as the rider are not usually necessary again – just make sure there is no drag/engagement when you are navigating road conditions on your bike.

Brake adjustment procedures for the VL800 and related bikes are available here

One other detail about the rear brake:

There is a torque-reaction rod between the brake, just below and in front of the application lever, and the frame.This rod prevents the rotation of the brake during application.It is often necessary to disconnect this rod when removing the rear wheel.

If the rod becomes disconnected during bike operation, damage to the brake linkage and loss of controlled rear braking will occur.The bolts at each end have been known to loosen and should be checked periodically for correct tightness.The factory nuts are self locking BUT after several removal procedures, they may lose their effectiveness.Low strength Loctite is a possible substitution.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome