Front Disk Brake Done

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Front Disk Brake Done


Post by 57pan » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:52 pm

Here is the disk brake that I added to the front end of my 57. I know this will make the purists cringe and, quite frankly, I know that it detracts from the vintage look of the bike. But, man!!! is it nice to be able to stop with two fingers on the front brake lever. The caliper and rotor are stock late-model H-D (off eBay), the bracket is off eBay too.
I'm using a GMA master cylinder that I also got off eBay.
And here is the custom adapter that I had made to mate the rotor to the stock star hub.
I've put about 150 miles on it and am very pleased with the way it works.
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Post by King » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:29 pm


Beautiful job. How does the bracket attach to the fork leg? It looks like it uses one of the fender bolts. Also a picture from the other side would be appreciated as well as the details on the adaptor. I am sersiouly considering the conversion as my winter project.


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Post by 57pan » Wed Aug 01, 2007 4:33 pm

King, I don't have any pics from the other side but, yes the link from the bracket attaches to one of the fender mounting bolts and since it has a heim rod end on each end of the link the alignment is not critical. The bracket "floats" on the axle spacer.

The axle spacer is necessary to replace the original drum brake backing plate that was removed. The spacer is the white object in this photo (this is just a piece of PVC that I used to mock it up) - it is .675 long.
Here is a picture of the bracket and link that I got off eBay from a guy whose eBay ID is chopperlong. I did have to have the one hole bored out so it would fit the axle spacer that I mentioned earlier.
Hope that helps.
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Front Star Hub Disc Brake


Post by 1950Bobber » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:47 pm

Any chance, we the Panhead riding public, can get that Star Hub spacer? would love to mount a disc on my front hub!!! Thanks...

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

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Post by fourthgear » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:17 pm

That's a beautiful thing , 57pan.

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Post by duoglide58 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:13 am

Eight years ago, I T-boned a Mercedes on its rear axle when a Blue hair made a left turn in front of me. I was not speeding and had probably slowed down to under 20 mph. I flew over the car and broke my pelvis. They totaled out the bike which I ended up rebuilding. Since the stock front end was toast, I bought a dual disc fork assembly that fit a '97 model (I think). Anyway, I always wondered if the bike had been equipped with disc brakes if I could have slowed down quick enough to avoid the accident. So you'll get no criticism from me for making your scooter safer.

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Post by Fixman » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:06 pm

Just up on eBay is a complete Hydraglide disk brake conversion unit. Item #300140694124 It came off a 60 Pan, and looks like it's fairly well made.


Captain Harley

Front Disk Brake Done


Post by Captain Harley » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:04 am

8) That is one slick setup. I'm running pretty much a stock '75 S-glide
"pie wedge" type singal disc setup on my '65 Pan. In the 'old' days I ran many a mile on those long lonesome highways with drum brakes. I lived through it and nostalga is geat for looks but give me a disc anyday........
AMF :wink: Ride Safe

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Re: Front Disk Brake Done


Post by 58flh » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:33 pm

57 PAN:----Very nice job!. I to am going to a disc. set-up---I have been running my drums for 25+yrs. now. I had a close-call awhile back, & luckily I was alone! I can throw my Pan around like a dirtbike!. But I always ride with the OL-Lady, good thing she wasent there that TIME!!. Besides my grandkid always wants a ride with pops! So Im going for a 10" set-up sportster,& I have access to machines!-So I will retain my starhub,& hide it under the drum. If I cant hide-it I really dont care! I will save all the ol-parts!-thats a given!. But just being able to STOP way better is a blessing! The day I had that close-call, I know if I had a DISC. set-up upfront ,I would not have to 180% the Pan & raise my bloodpressure :lol: . Good-Luck----58flh

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Re: Front Disk Brake Done


Post by kitabel » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:13 pm

Very nice.
However: the heim joints control something that shouldn't exist at all - the caliper's floating lateral location, which is why front disc applications are almost always rigidly mounted to the fork leg.
The complex geometry problems of mounting a disc (or non-original drum) to a springer are still there with a glide - the manufacturers have simply decided to ignore them. Transmitting the torque to the fork leg just hinders the fork's action (bends the leg, and compresses the spring), but the cure is worse than the disease, which is running the torque arm back up to the frame.

Kawasaki (and others) discovered that hanging a heavy component in front of the fork allows the link or bracket to work in tension, which is self-centering and positive, but also slows steering response and increases fork effort. The cure: put the caliper behind the fork leg. Why does this help? Because its mass acts based on its distance from the fork stem (which is the center of fork rotation). In front it's ahead by 1/2 the fork leg diameter + the stem offset. Behind, it's pretty close to directly in-line with the fork stem.

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Re: Front Disk Brake Done


Post by slowsled » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:19 pm

Great idea! How many miles on this design now? Still like it?
Would you have done anything different? Fandamntastic! I have
been trying to design a disk brake for some time, wasted lots of
money so far. This looks like a great idea.

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Re: Front Disk Brake Done


Post by Panacea » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:25 am

I would think sliders and tubes off of a later FLH with a disk would work nicely! Probably need the wheel and axle too...What the hell just get the whole bike, wait, I already did...

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Re: Front Disk Brake Done


Post by Bigincher » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:38 am

Thank you for that explanation, Kitabel.

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