Front Brake Pad Replacement for the Mean Streak

Although the Mean Streak is a Vulcan like the Nomad, Voyager and Vaquero, it gets its front brakes from the Ninja sport bikes. Much of the information on this Gadget page also applies but the disassembly and reassembly process is somewhat different (you can refer to that Gadget page when replacing the rear pads).

What you'll need:

  • 8mm Allen Socket
  • 3mm Allen wrench
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Brake Grease
  • Anti-Squeal Compound
  • Brake Pads. The Mean Streak changed it's front brake design in 2005. If you're unsure, check with your dealer.
    In both cases, the pads typically come in sets for a roter, and you will need two sets.
    • 2002 - 2004, EBC FA188H Note: 2 individual pads per rotor
    • 2005 - 2008, EPFA369/4HH Note: 4 individual pads per rotor
  • Small C-Clamp (optional)

How To Do It

  1. Coat the backs of your new pads (the metal side) with the anti-squeal compound according to its instructions. Be sure to let it dry. (This is step 1 simply to give the compound time to dry without wasting time.)
  2. Put a towl or other protective covering over your fender. Something with a non-absorbent surface like a fender protector is good as it won't allow the brake cleaner to get through. You can pick them up at Pep Boys, Auto Zone or any other auto supply store.
  3. Remove the two caliper bolts with your 8mm Allen wrench.
  4. ms caliper 1
    Remove the plated spring piece that covers the pads by removing the two small bolts with your 3mm Allen wrench. Note the word "spring." Make sure you hold the cover down with one hand while you loosen the bolt with the other or that tiny bolt will fly across your garage never to be seen again! Once one bolt is removed you can relax and remove the second one.
  5. On this caliper, the retaining pin is under the center of that spring covering, held in place by a clip inside the caliper. Remove that clip with your needlenose pliers and work the pin out of the hole (it only goes in one way.
  6. Remove the old pads
  7. Clean up the caliper the best you can with your brake cleaner. Use a soft nylon-bristle brush or your fingernails if you need to scrub any area, especially the pistons themselves.
  8. Now is a good time to retract the pistons so you can get the caliper back on with the new pads (which will be thicker). Do not open your master cylinder for this or brake fluid will squirt out of the master cylinder and immediately begin removing your paint. Place one of the old pads in it's normal position and use your small C-clamp to slowly retract the pistons. You might even find that you can move the pistons with your fingers. With a very small C-clamp you can retract the pistons one at a time. Next do the same thing on the other side of the caliper.
  9. Put a little bit of brake grease on the pin and channels where the pads slide.
  10. Insert the new pads into the caliper with the brake material sides facing each other, metal toward the outside. The Mean Streak front pads are symmetrical; it doesn't matter which side of the caliper they're on.
  11. Slide that pin back into the hole to hold the calipers in place. The end of the pin without the small hole for the clip goes in first. Hold both pads to one side and insert the clip through the pin. A good practice is to insert it from the top of the caliper downward.
  12. Put that spring-loaded cover back on. Make sure you don't lose the tiny bolts. Torque to 26 in-lb (or just nice and snug).
  13. Separate the pads with your fingers and slip the caliper over the rotor.
  14. Tighten the caliper mounting bolts to 25 ft-lb.
  15. Repeat for the other side.
  16. Pump the hand brake lever until it's working properly. There should be no need to bleed the brakes as you haven't allowed any air to get into the lines, but if you can't get sufficient pressure on the brakes go ahead and do that. Take it easy the first few miles and test your stopping ability.

For the rear brakes you can follow the steps for other Vulcans here.

Tag: brakes

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