New XB-600 owner with front brake question

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ebiker_JK
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New XB-600 owner with front brake question

I got lucky and scored a XB-600 for $600, still under warranty, new tires (foam filled) and only driven for 4 months.
I've had it for an additional 2 months. I've lurked in these forums for a LONG time, I love it, I've learned a lot (though some things are still a mystery to me and some instructions, manuals, mods are no longer working). I know the 700 is the new flavor so I hope some XB-600 owners are still out there. On a personal note I enjoy this new lifestyle. I have a pick-up truck (needs a little work) but I am totally not missing it at all. Driving a pick-up means everyone and their momma wants you to help them move, transport items or whatever. Plus, I'm an artist that works at home so I don't need to commute much and the truck was just a bother.

As for my question:
The front brake is a a disk system (as opposed to the rear) so the front brake cable works directly to the wheel. Because of this the cable pulls and causes the plastic handlebar housing to move a little. I looked inside and the brake cable loops over a plastic shelf (hence the movement but more importantly it doesn't hold the cable well enough. The end result is the hand brake not moving all the way back to the *open* position. After using it there's still a gap and the disk is rubbing ever-so-slightly causing friction. I'd love it to be open after using the brake to reduce drag.

In fact, I'm wondering if the rear wheel should spin as freely as the front.

Any ideas how to hold that front brake line down and keep it in the full open position after usage?
It sucks that I have to flick it forward after each use to keep the disk from rubbing, and adjusting the brake line only makes it looser.

(sorry that I talk too much... I tend to overwrite simple questions).

ebiker_JK
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Or basically... how can I get the right hand brake to snap back in place like the left hand brake.

Test it out on your XB-600 -- do both your brakes move all the back after releasing them?

mf70
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

The front brake is a a disk system (as opposed to the rear) so the front brake cable works directly to the wheel.

Really? On my XB600, both front and rear brakes are cable operated drum brakes. They can be adjusted to be completely free, but this requires fairly frequent re-adjustment. The levers are aluminum, far better than my Chinese folding bicycle.

If your brake handle isn't snapping all the way back, check the cable lubrication and pivot freedom. It is good practice to lubricate pivots and the brake cables themselves. The cable should have enough freedom to allow full suspension travel without binding.

mark

ebiker_JK
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Good point. I'll check and lubricate the cable line. It isn't snapping back at all.
When I adjust the brake, set it up on the middle stand and free spin the wheel I can see it rubbing slightly.
So I adjusted it again until I didn't hear the slight scraping.

By the way... nice windshield on your bike!

mf70
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Hee hee: I expected you to say, "That's not the scoot I was talking about!" Yes, the windshield turns it into a 3.90 season vehicle in Maryland. (The last .10 is sloppy freezing ice on the ground.)

There are also pivots in the brake drum assembly as well as the brake lever. They all need to work freely. In addition, the cable ends should fit squarely and freely to the lever on one end and the brake drum on the other.

As you mentioned, the brakes should not scrape AT ALL in operation. (Also, check your tire inflation regularly. Keep at max pressure or ~10 PSI above.)

Mark

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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

It's raining in my area for the next couple of days so I'll take apart the front of the bike and check / lubricate the front brake cable.
I rode it today and noticed a distinct lowering of speed. Perhaps I'm getting used to it. But after the warranty wears off on this bike I'll consider the Shunt Mod - at least I can get better start speeds and help on hills.

I'm also concerned about the front tire not seated properly. When it spins freely (the middle kickstand up) I can see the slight wobble.

Next on my list is to get a better charger. I have the standard charger that came with the bike and the light never goes out. I suspect a bad battery (though I checked each with a multimeter and they all came up with the same reading (12v)

More updates as I work on things. And pictures, too.

ebiker_JK
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Update:
I took the front apart and just couldn't see what the problem is. The tension on the brake line is so slack it just doesn't pull back on the handle strong enough. The fitting that rests just inside the actual brake handle is loose. But the rear brake line is taught and holds firm. I lubricated what I could inside the front brake cable (WD40, then mechanics grease) but still the line is slack and if I adjust the disk brake at the wheel it rubs to the point that it doesn't even spin freely. I'm starting to wonder if the brake cable it too long, haha!

mf70
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

A few points:

You say,

if I adjust the disk brake at the wheel it rubs to the point that it doesn't even spin freely.

If you have the same scoot as me, the front brake is a drum, not a disk. (If it IS a disk, stop reading!) There are two arc-shaped shoes inside the drum. They are levered apart by a cam at one of their pivots. Outside the housing, the cam is attached to a lever. The cable is held with an adjusting nut in a fork of the lever. There are two extremely strong springs that hold the two shoes together and pull the shoes back from the drum. That spring force acts through the brake cable to close the brake lever. This is a pretty common braking system. I would recommend unscrewing the brake cable from the lever on the housing on the wheel again. The cable should be VERY free, and the cam lever on the housing as well as the handlebar lever should pivot freely. If this seems too complex, get help. Any mechanic that works on scoots in general should be able to check the system.

Second, I wouldn't worry about the tire irregularities with foam filled tires.

Third, if you feel things are a little "gutless," try going for a ride with a friend on a bike -- or keeping up with your friend on the scoot while YOU ride the bike! You'll see how much your scoot is doing!

Fourth, if you are serious about upgrading the charge system, look into discussions on this site on parallel/serial charging setups. Even without touching a wire, you can get considerable insight into the charging profile by using a Kill-a-Watt to track the charger's electricity usage. As the pack voltage gets up to 53 volts, the current draw should fall back to idle. You can also measure the full pack voltage during the charge cycle. A mere check of resting voltage will show little. Lead acid batteries change their resting voltage very little (+- .5V or so) between fully charged and discharged.

Mark

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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

I've only had my XB-600 for 2 months and since then I have been an avid lurker here. I have read a lot here and I've come to think of some of the posters here as stars. To have MF70 reply to a newbie like me is great. I will tackle the front brake and I'll use your advice. I have noticed one thing already. The cable coming off the drum loops to a hook that's mounted on the fork (that guides the cable up into the front housing). The rubber insulation on the brake line has worn away against that hook.

As for the charging system I will get into that next. I responded as such in another thread about charging SLA batteries.

mf70
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question
ebiker_JK
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Seems no matter what adjustments I made didn't help. The front brake line was still too slack to bring back the brake handle... and... there was still a slight scraping sound inside the drum when the wheel spun free. I also lubricated the brake line to help it ease along. However, I did somewhat fix the problem.

The brake line coming off the handle goes into the plastic housing between the handlebars (next to the controller). It looped up to the top and over a small plastic ledge. Because it looped *up* it created a sharp angle off the brake handle. I slide the brake line off the plastic ledge and let it even out. And just like that the tension was back in the handle. However, I ended up with more slack at the bottom. I noticed the picture [above] for mf70's bike and I see his front brake line is level with the adjustment nut. My brake line was running straight up the fork (through a clip that's mounted to the fork).

I took it out on a run and the brake *snaps* back in place, just like the rear brake handle.

I'm thinking the previous owner did a few things to this bike (I bought it used) because I have other questions about why things are, or are not, working properly.
I also think someone tried to steal it because the ignition component doesn't fit properly, and it doesn't have the locking mechanism when you turn the fork (I looked inside and there's NO block on the fork at all. In fact, the key doesn't even turn beyond the "off" position down to the "lock" position.

Still, I love this bike. I get around town (I live on 2 mile island that's all flat)

I need to get into the electronics behind it, though... starting with the charging system, like mf70 said.

mf70
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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Victory!

Yes, the cable runs horizontally from the brake drum and then curves back to a clip on the fork. I'll bet that the PO re-assembled the drum plate rotated 90 deg from where it needs to be. There should be a pocket in the brake shoe mounting plate that engages a lug on the fork to absorb brake torque. The cable housing will end at a stop on the mounting plate, and the adjustable end of the cable will continue on through a barrel stop and be adjusted by a saddle nut that fits over the barrel.

Losing the steering lock is no big deal. As you noticed, it's easy to shear off anyway. Get a good big chain. Scoots are VERY "collectible." :)

Mark

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Re: New XB-600 owner with front brake question

Yes, I've read all the horror stories of people losing their bikes to idiots, and sure enough the fork lock didn't help anyone.
So far I've been lucky and I live in a nice area so I haven't locked it on short store runs. But idiots are everywhere.

I guess I'll get a cable lock. I wish this had disk brakes because a simple disk lock would be nice (though enough idiots could just pick the whole bike up)
I'll run the cable through the rear wheel because the front wheel only needs a crescent wrench on a single nut and it's gone!

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