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Thread: Upgrade front brake on KHK

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Upgrade front brake on KHK

    As part of my quest to make my '56 KHK even more fun and functional, I need a stronger front brake. I prefer to stay with a drum brake because it is, after all, a 1956 motorcycle. Mike Scarborough seems to do well with a mid-'60s - early '70s Sportster brake laced into a 18" rim. What experiences have others had? I ride the bike fairly briskly and will soon have increased luggage capability, which means more weight. The stock front brake simply is not adequate.

    I considered an alloy rim with twin leading shoe brake from a Moto Guzzi, but the thing weighs so much that I was concerned the fork would not handle it.

    As I play with this bike, I am careful not to damage or discard any of the original parts. I really like this old bike, but want to get more out of it.
    George Tinkham
    Springfield, IL

    1941 Indian 841
    1948 Indian Chief
    1956 H-D KHK
    1960 CH
    1964 BMW R69S
    1966 Honda Touring Benly (aka "150 Dream")
    1984 Moto Guzzi V65Sp

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico


    Keep in mind that the "more" you try to get out of it the less you may like it. The frame isn't stiff enough for too much extra weight and push, it will flex even more than it does now. The swingarm will flex as well, the stock shocks aren't up to it, the fork is flimsy, and as you know the brakes are inadequate. Two up with luggage will make for a nice wallow down the road. The '64-'72 brake will help slightly, but they are no great shakes either. And they came in 18" as well as 19" so no need to re-lace one. A single sided BSA brake will do better than either but needs adapting. A TLS late '60s Triumph brake is also better.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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