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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my 636, i have 450 miles on it. Here are things that bother me. One, the rear brake. Its basicly usleless its so underpowered. Is it broken? Two, is there supost to be 1/2 inch or more of throtle free-play? Thanks
 

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i've never rode a 636 but there is no way the rear brake is useless... try pushing down harder.. and for the throttle, it needs adjusted.. if you follow the throttle cables from the clip on you will see an adjuster on each one... just loosen the lock nut and turn them out until the play is minimal... dont make it too tight though
 

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The way Kawasaki builds the bike ought to be a clue. They put giant brakes on the front and a tiny little brake on the rear because they expect you to use the front brakes to stop most of the time. I try to use my rear brake at least once a week to make sure it is still working.
 

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PAGE, All motorcycles are built like that. The front brake has 70-80% of the bikes braking power. The rear brake is underpowered for a reason. The rear brake can be a VERY dangerous thing to use at the wrong time. You want most of your stopping power to come from the front break. If they were both equally as stong the rear would always lock up and you could flipping you bike or lowsiding it all the time. To do a test though to make sure nothing is wrong with your rear brakes or lines. Go in a straight line and slam on the rear brake. Your rear tire should lock up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok let me re-state that. On all other bikes iv used (cb750, cb400 and a 600r) if you press the rear brake it will stop the rear wheel very easily but with the 636 I have push very hard to even notice its working.
 

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There isn't any adjustment but they might not be bedded in properly yet. It takes a few miles. Go out and make some high speed stops and get them heated up and see if it changes. You should be able to lock the rear wheel without any problem.
 

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The proper throttle grip free play is 2 to 3 mm or 0.08 to 0.12 in. To learn how to adjust the free play, check out your owner's manual.
 

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Tommy, “all” bikes do not have useless rear brakes.

Usually it’s smart money to do roughly 80% or more braking using the front, but slowing down depends on traction conditions. Exclusively using the front in rain or gravel can and will lead to loss of traction: too much weight pushes the front end, and without a full contact patch the front slides. That’s not good.

Ever ridden a cruiser? (Yah, I know: why would you want to?) On many cruisers, the rear brake provides appreciable stopping power. The fundamental axiom of applying front brakes first and foremost to supply most of the braking power does not change. However, it’s equally true in this case the rear brake ads significantly to the stopping process.

My Blackbird, a “sportbike” to some and “sport-tourer” to others, uses Honda’s Linked Brake System (LBS). In a nutshell, LBS adds a little rear brake when the rider applies the fronts. Similarly, applying rear brakes partially actuates the fronts. (How this works exactly is outside the current topic’s context.) LBS is mostly transparent to the rider in its latest iteration. I assure you the bike stops from enormous speed smoothly and quickly: a little rear brake helps stabilize the bike under hard deceleration. Maximum deceleration still occurs by applying both front lever and rear pedal simultaneously, however.

I agree with the original poster: the ‘03’s rear brake provides almost-nonexistent stopping power. That’s by design. At the same time, the stock front radial calipers slow the bike like GP brakes of just a few years ago. I’ve ridden a bike with Lockhart AP calipers and iron rotors from c. 1985 that didn’t stop any better than the 636.

The ZX heavily favors using the front exclusively, not unlike most other hard-core sportbikes. Serious sportbikes are balanced in such a way that stabilizing the rear under hard braking isn’t a life-or-death prospect (other bikes seem like freight trains, with all that weight pushing from behind).

Nevertheless, the fastest guys at the track trail a little rear brake in the middle of turns, never mind what Keith Code says on the subject. This helps stabilize the bike and maintain traction. The ZX’s rear brake is light enough to NOT lock under such conditions, only slow the wheel slightly in relation to the rest of the bike.

-=DRB=-
 

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Originally posted by swjohnsey
I try to use my rear brake at least once a week to make sure it is still working.
[:M50] Muahahahaha... just read this for the first time... nice.

The 636 may be faulted for a thing or two... but for stopping power, it's the best I've ever brought to a screeching halt. Ever. Period. Obviously, it's primarily because of fairly high quality stock components and radial mounted calipers on the front, but if you honestly find the rear wheel is hard to get reaction from or lock, I'd suggest there must be something wrong. I find the rear end no less powerful than my '96 or '98 models, or my '99 R6, or my GSXR600, etc etc... but again the vast majority of my braking still comes from the front end in most situations.
 
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