Tuesday 1 September 2020

Triumph Bonneville T100 brake upgrade - Part 1 Rear



This article concerns making modifications to a bike's braking system. Due to the potential hazards, do not attempt this unless you are mechanically competent in carrying out the work safely. I'm posting this in an advisory rather than instructional capacity, so any work you carry out is at your own risk.


Another area where Triumph skimped on cost was the braking. The calipers fitted to the air cooled Bonneville variants are fairly cheap Nissin sliding caliper models, similar to those used on a number of Hondas.

Starting first with the rear, the caliper is similar or the same as fitted to the Honda ST1100 Pan European. Triumph fit this with a bracket that mounts it below the wheel spindle, which means that the caliper is subjected to all sorts of rain and road debris, so tends to corrode and seize up.

When I bought my Bonneville, the caliper was very sticky, so I stripped it, cleaned it, and rebuilt it with a stainless piston kit. There are a few of these on the market, here is one of them:

Updated link (April 2022)

I reassembled it, taking care to polish and regrease the sliding pins. I also fitted a new pair of pads which, once bedded in, improved the operation of the brake.

In the four years since I carried out the work, the brake has been working correctly, it's not great but is OK in operation. When I replaced my wheels (see previous post) I replaced the pads again as I was fitting a new disc, and replaced the pad retaining pins with stainless pins to help avoid them seizing in place.

Link to supplier

Although I haven't done this myself, some riders use an after market bracket to relocate the rear caliper to above the spindle, hopefully keeping it cleaner. There are a few on the market:


ARH Custom


Only problem is that the bleed nipple will now be at the bottom, so the disc would have to be removed, rotated and a piece of disc thickness wood placed between the pads to bleed the brake. Alternatively, you could fit a bleed banjo bolt which should be at the top when installed.

A higher cost alternative is to replace the rear caliper with a Brembo caliper, mounting bracket and floating disc..

Link to supplier

Part 2  Front. to follow.........

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