Drum Brakes OR Disc Brakes???

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Calkins, Nov 21, 2012.

?

Disc OR Drum???

  1. Drums front and rear?

  2. Single disc front and rear?

  3. Dual disc front and disc rear?

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  1. Calkins

    Calkins On Any Sunday...

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    I am going to start building a gravel road only bike soon. One big hold up for me right now is trying to figure out how I want to do brakes. I will be using a Yamaha XT500. I have a disc brake XS650 swing arm (which will add about one inch to the wheelbase), and I have XS650 forks to do single or dual front disc. So, do I go for discs or drums front and rear? I will not mix and match. I want the same front and rear. If I go drum, I could find a twin leading shoe front hub. Basically, what I want to end up with is my flattracker with nasty knobby tires. Yea, the current rage right now, I know...
    #1
  2. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    I'd go with drums front and rear for riding in the dirt, even though I do have a modern dual sport with disks at both ends.

    You just don't need that much braking power off the pavement.
    #2
  3. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

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    If you want to keep them the same, I'd go with drums front and back too. It'd be far simpler and for that light of a bike, the drums will work just fine. The only time you'd find drums insufficient is in a racing situation when you are on the brakes hard and frequent. They'll heat up and become useless.

    For real world gravel riding, the drums will work just fine and be far simpler to install and maintain.

    Of course, this is coming from a guy with a '71 CB 350 with a 360 front end so I could have a front disc brake.
    #3
  4. Calkins

    Calkins On Any Sunday...

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    I had a '90 XT350 that I rode on pretty much only gravels for 1k miles last year. I rode it pretty hard. I rode it like a flattracker, trying to slide every corner I came to, then topping it out until the next corner. I guess, it was a mixture of flattrack and road racing.

    I will have a nasty engine on this bike too. I think I will run the same Dunlop D606 tires that my 350 had. I love those!
    #4
  5. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    If it's gonna be mostly dry, go with drums but if you are in a lot of water maybe the disks will be better.
    #5
  6. Calkins

    Calkins On Any Sunday...

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    #6
  7. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    Disc front and rear. So much more predictable off road. I have a 2003 CRF450R (disc F&R) and 1980 YZ465 (drum F&R) and the CRF is much less tiring to ride even though it's more high strung.
    #7
  8. Speed King

    Speed King Long timer

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    I'd go discs.
    #8
  9. muschelschubser

    muschelschubser Been here awhile

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    Discs for braking, drums for style?
    #9
  10. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Why worry about having the same at both ends.
    Most bike that had disc on them in the seventies only had them on the front. It works fine , they're seperate systems anyway.
    If you are going to ride some asphalt , go with a front disc. On the rear as long as the brake has good feel , a drum will be fine.
    The bike you show as your inspiration has a disc/drum combo.
    #10
  11. robtg

    robtg Been here awhile

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    If you are riding offroad, the XT drum brakes are light and have decent stopping power. Why change?
    #11
  12. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

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    I've never needed more braking power on or off road on my '77 XT500. Plenty of power, good feel, very little fade. Stops better than my riding buddies KLRs...
    #12
  13. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Where is the disc front drum rear choice?
    #13
  14. Calkins

    Calkins On Any Sunday...

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    Exactly my thoughts!

    I really like drums. I had a '90 XT350 that I rode gravels with last year. I rarely used the front brake.

    As I stated before, I have stock Yamaha parts to go with each of the ideas. My next project will be a XS650 which will get the same treatment. With that, I am leaning toward disc on both ends. That gets me excellent braking on pavement, if I get bored with dirt on any given day. Now, dual or single disc up front?
    #14
  15. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    Given the choice I'd go with single disc front and rear. I use a lot of rear brake on gravel, not for stopping but rear wheel control....and I notice on rear disc bikes my rear disc gets pretty hot. Single disc only on the front, enough stopping power and light enough.
    #15
  16. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Yup, those steep down hills can be a bitch.
    #16