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TLS brakes #717890
12/06/17 4:41 am
12/06/17 4:41 am
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Paul Sammut Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Paul Sammut  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Much as I like to keep my C Rapide as original as possible, I do wish to ride it - and as safely as I can. My brakes are fairly woeful, despite readjusting them umpteen times. I have come to the conclusion that I would like to purchase a set of two twin-leading front brakes. Does anyone have any recommendations for a particular kind or source, please? Should I purchase Black Shadow drums, also, or are complete kits available?
All suggestions gratefully received.
Kindest regards,
Paul.
P.S. I have read a fair amount about other, less drastic, options, including a different balance beam, stiffer back plate, thicker cables, etc. and also about disc brakes, but TLS brakes appeal most to me.


Paul

'74 Commando
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
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Re: TLS brakes [Re: Paul Sammut] #717992
12/07/17 1:55 am
12/07/17 1:55 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,638
Springfield Nebraska
Richrd Offline
BritBike Forum member
Richrd  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,638
Springfield Nebraska
dual discs, only way to stop


Rich (member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: TLS brakes [Re: Paul Sammut] #718019
12/07/17 12:56 pm
12/07/17 12:56 pm
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 126
Birmingham, UK
T
Twin Pot Phil Offline
BritBike Forum member
Twin Pot Phil  Offline
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T

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 126
Birmingham, UK
Hello Paul,
I road raced an outfit on 'standard drums' - so they ain't that bad (but I did use AM4 linings then) - but they do require careful specific attention.
In line with your view requirements;
An outrigger mounting plate on the balance beam when the beam is still used is compulsory, as the original mounting is poor and flexes,
Good quality cables - in past times some stretched like chewing gum and compressed like a sponge (or so it appeared to me), nice thick inner and on the portion from the lever to the beam a nice robust, non compressing, outer,
Shadow drums are compulsory! - the fins act as ribbing strengthening the drum stopping it from distorting when braking, new ones are even better as they are slightly more substantial in critical areas,
The standard brake plate is useless (I have loads of bent ones from road use) - the cam boss requires at least one brace adding to it and the pivot mountings require reinforcing, alloy brakes plates (which incorporate the required bracing and thicker plate wall) are a significant improvement (I raced on these) - they replicate the works racing version (which were cast in magnesium) and can be made to 'look the part' by paint and careful polish,
The brake shoes can be extended for greater surface area or new ones made to suit,
A Dutchman (I think he is 'VincentBrake' on the VOC forum) makes the TLS version in Europe (DavidD will know all of the manufacturers so can update my post shortly!), never used one personally but judging by the number seen in use they must work.
When setting up the levers at the plate make sure they are at 90deg to the cable when fully operated (maximum leverage) and operate the brakes (and hold) while tightening the wheel spindle.

So, not much to do then!!!!

Re: TLS brakes [Re: Twin Pot Phil] #718110
12/08/17 4:26 am
12/08/17 4:26 am
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Paul Sammut Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Paul Sammut  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Many thanks, Phil. Extremely helpful suggestions (as opposed to that from Richrd the Turd😌)
I will start looking for Shadow drums and get started on the outrigger plate and thicker cables, first.
Cheers,
Paul


Paul

'74 Commando
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
Re: TLS brakes [Re: Paul Sammut] #718282
12/10/17 12:14 am
12/10/17 12:14 am
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 324
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
BritBike Forum member
David Dunfey  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 324
New Hampshire, USA
Paul,

I would email Vincent Speet first. Vincent makes the double tls brakes and he is a top notch machinist as well as a Vincent rider. You can email him at vincent@vsmmetaal.ns. He can tell you what he supplies and what you might need. Coventry will have anything you need.

Phil has covered the other bases. Thanks Phil!

David

Last edited by David Dunfey; 12/10/17 12:16 am.
Re: TLS brakes [Re: David Dunfey] #718291
12/10/17 5:25 am
12/10/17 5:25 am
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Paul Sammut Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Paul Sammut  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Will do, David, thanks for the suggestion.
Paul.


Paul

'74 Commando
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
Re: TLS brakes [Re: Paul Sammut] #753378
10/19/18 9:25 pm
10/19/18 9:25 pm
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 391
Kenya
P
Peter Gee Offline
BritBike Forum member
Peter Gee  Offline
BritBike Forum member
P

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 391
Kenya
When I got my 51 Rapide in 1973 that had been fitted out by a well known local Vincent racer, it had Shadow drums and bonded putty-coloured "Duron" linings - standard balance beam, plates and cables .I have no idea what the prior owner did to those very standard brakes, but they were totally superb and compared to everything else I had ridden in pre-disc days, could not even be compared. Jamming on the fronts was like a gigantic hand pulling you back, the G force was tremendous and smoking, literally. I never felt the same bite and braking until twin discs came along, they were certainly far better for example than my single disc Commando and BMW R80 Gs, made 30 years later. Ive upped that to a German conversion with a much bigger disc and metallized racing pads, and it still is way behind my old Rapide.

When the Durons wore out, I tried Ferodo Red, Ferodo green and whatever I am not good at brakes but I never got half the performance out of them, no matter how I fiddled.

Just a word to say that standard Shadow type brakes could be very good. I suspect the previous owner gave them the works- skimming the drums when the wheels were fully laced and tensioned, followed by mounting the shoes and plate on a lathe to achieve total surface adhesion. I have since changed the Jones 20" front to a locally replaced 19" and never bothered to get it skimmed - maybe that contributed but cannot be all the story of why my fronts are now about as useful as a Bantam;s brakes.

I still have my clutch shoed by Duron. It has never slipped and bites like fury. I dread having to replace the shoes.

Last edited by Peter Gee; 10/19/18 9:30 pm.
Re: TLS brakes [Re: Paul Sammut] #753481
10 hours ago
10 hours ago
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 324
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
BritBike Forum member
David Dunfey  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 324
New Hampshire, USA
Peter,

It is great to hear your experiences with your Rapide. It is quite believable that your brakes once worked quite well. I don't think it is very common, but sometimes the brakes are done quite well and seem to over perform. More often it is the other way around. The famous rider Harry Lindsey set the Irish land speed record on Gunga Din. After road racing Gunga he turned to Phil Vincent and said something like "the brakes are really horrible." Phil looked at him and said "these are the best performing brakes in the industry."

It is a shame that the brake was not designed as a twin leading shoe, like the BMW. The problem with the single leading shoe is that it tends to work quite well and then it begins to swap performance by swinging from the original good performance while wearing down the leading shoe to the bad performance of wearing down the trailing shoe. I have even considered removing the trailing shoes altogether, thus eliminating the poor performing evil twins. I did run twin disc brakes, but found that the powerful braking highlighted a handling problem with the forks.

The Duron P28 lining was used on the twin clutch and the brakes from 1952 to the end. It was well loved on the clutch for its lack of fierceness. I think after 1955 the club supported the use of Ferodo linings. I think they first adopted MS3. This was the green lining that was non-metallic and was considered medium (.38) coefficient of friction. MR41 was the brown woven linings and these had a high coefficient of friction, about the same as AM4 (.43) The pink or red linings were about the same as the green non-metallic.

I have found that the although the brake system is fraught with problems, most of them have been solved by stiffening various cables, plates and components. I suspect one of the culprits that is left are the brake shoes. They are not well designed being too soft, too light and having no hardened steel shoe for the brake cam. Most are bent, by this time. I would not be surprised that the brakes work really well until the linings get replaced and then the shoes get bent from trying to squeeze the original performance out of them.

Skimming the drums and arcing the shoes on a lathe is the only good way to figure out what is working correctly in the system. Finally, replacing the original lever usually downgrades the braking quite a bit. The original pivot point was 7/8" and most replacements are longer (1" or 1.25") and produce much less force causing you to squeeze much harder.

Lowering the front rim size helps the leverage ratio of the brakes. If you think of the ratio of the rear sprocket to the size of the rear tire it is easy to see that the larger the sprocket and the smaller the tire, the more torque is produced on the ground. In the same way, the smaller the front tire and the larger the brake the more stopping power you will have. I run 18" tires and an 8" brake for example.

I hope your clutch linings wear out on your last ride as you pull in the driveway.

David

Re: TLS brakes [Re: Paul Sammut] #753497
52 minutes ago
52 minutes ago
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,603
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
BritBike Forum member
triton thrasher  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,603
scotland
Quote
After road racing Gunga he turned to Phil Vincent and said something like "the brakes are really horrible." Phil looked at him and said "these are the best performing brakes in the industry."


Not very good at learning from rider feedback then!


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.

Moderated by  John Healy 


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