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Discussion Starter #1
I have been working on a 420 Forman Honda for 10 hr on rear and front brakes and wheel bearing. The question is in 2013 why does Honda still use drum brakes? Polaris is so far ahead it's not funny!!!
 

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Don't discount drum brakes! They have been around a long time and STILL WORK WELL!!! They are also CHEAPER to produce keeping costs down.

Discs may offer better stopping in a car, but Ill bet that drum is just as good if not better than the discs on our atvs.

CW
 

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I'd have to agree with CW.... and also add that a drum break is somewhat semi-sealed. Not allowing, as much at least, of the dirt, mud and muck to get packed and worked into the pads, cylinder and drums like a disc/caliper systems. Which seems to wear the disc systems out faster.
 

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If drum brakes were so great wouldn't the be used a lot more? I'm not an auto mechanic but I think the stopping power of disc is much higher then drums, as there is more surface area. I think CW s comment on cost is the only reason for using them

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Don't fix what's not broken....

I also agree with cw, I mean when I had my Honda, that was low maintenance lol and spent more time riding. Now I have a more up keep I guess, don't get me wrong I like my sportsman but I feel that prevented maintenance is key but sometimes replacing front brake every year gets to you!! I just put pads on in the spring for the season- so I thought:hmmm: but after 270km bare metal!! I guess you get what you pay for so now I have order ebc's and I hope they last lol:veryhappy:
 

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Over 1000 miles on my 800 on original pads. Just checked them as I have heard they do wear fast...look fine

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I can tell you the rear drum brakes on my little 300 4Trax (had 4 at one time in the early days) absolutely sucked after they got wet, almost to the point of being useless. All 4 bikes were like that, but you sorta got used to it. That being said, they were awesome tough little go anywhere bikes. They still use the same set up 15-20 yrs later, I much prefer the disc set up on my Polaris bikes.
 

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I also agree with cw, I mean when I had my Honda, that was low maintenance lol and spent more time riding. Now I have a more up keep I guess, don't get me wrong I like my sportsman but I feel that prevented maintenance is key but sometimes replacing front brake every year gets to you!! I just put pads on in the spring for the season- so I thought:hmmm: but after 270km bare metal!! I guess you get what you pay for so now I have order ebc's and I hope they last lol:veryhappy:
EBC makes a Severe Duty (Copper metallic I think) that seem to hold up really well, and work well wet.
 

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I'd have to agree with CW.... and also add that a drum break is somewhat semi-sealed. Not allowing, as much at least, of the dirt, mud and muck to get packed and worked into the pads, cylinder and drums like a disc/caliper systems. Which seems to wear the disc systems out faster.
In my experience its the exact opposite on ATVs, the mud still gets in, but then it gets trapped there and the only way to get it out is to pull the drum off. With disc, all you have to do is spray them out after each ride. This has been the case on every bike I've had with the drums.
 

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On a sealed unit drum, if stuff is getting in the enclosure failed... not the brakes. The failed enclosure CAUSED the brake fade from water/mud infiltration.

Don't mix up autos and ATVs in my comments. I will take a hydraulic disc EVERY time on my jeeps and trucks and cars.

CW
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Stuck wheel cly. adjusters that will not break loose. On the rear the cam locked up cables that will not work. Why do they still use cables.
 

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$$$

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Stuck wheel cly. adjusters that will not break loose. On the rear the cam locked up cables that will not work. Why do they still use cables.
Don't take thins wrong, but possibly more frequent maintenance would have found the issues before they progressed to a problem.

People treat them as they would there car... but they are subjected to FAR worse conditions. Checking the important stuff like brakes suspension and tires before every ride will catch allot of problems before they become a huge head ache.

I know its a drag and its more fun to ride... But its a pay a little now or allot later scenario. Life aint fair...

Try soaking them in a good penetrating oil and let gravity work for you.

CW
 

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I too would much rather have disc brakes over drum anyday, much better stopping ability both wet and dry..... just offering suggestions to answer the original open ended question of..... Why, oh dear god why???

:dunno: Cost?? = Re-Engineering, Parts, Mechanical Changes.... If it ain't broke don't fix it.... :dunno: Who knows why they haven't switched over to the 21st century yet!! :D

I think a better question would be..... why is the hand brake lever on the left and not the right on a Polaris? (Industry standard on a cycle is right hand = front brake & right foot = rear brakes.) Or why doesn't anyone understand dirt, mud and muck are hard on any machine?

Don't get me wrong here either, as I like the one lever works all Polaris system. Just took a while to get use to the left hand controls, after owning many motorcycles (Honda & Kawasaki) and atv's (Honda) in the past!!
 

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MBN, Brakes on left, throttle on right. No good reason to put them both on the same hand. Why would you? Drum brakes are cheaper, but come on. Who wouldn't be willing to pay the little extra for a better braking system? Honda is still living in the 90's when it comes to their atv's. Not saying they are a bad machine, just waaaaay behind the times and the competition.
 

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MBN, Brakes on left, throttle on right. No good reason to put them both on the same hand. Why would you?
To conform to the unwriten, industry motorcycle standard..... front brakes on right hand, clutch on left hand, throttle on right hand, rear brake on right foot, shift on left foot and if no clutch rear brakes on left hand also. By following these simple cycle "given", many new (to machine) operator accidents could be avoided.... can't argue that!

Like I said..... Don't get me wrong, but now that I'm use to the left hand "complete system brakes"... I like it. But if I had a choice I'd put the multi system brake lever on both sides. Not like it hasn't been done before!! But it boils down to cost!! :D
 

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MBN, Brakes on left, throttle on right. No good reason to put them both on the same hand. Why would you?
To conform to the unwriten, industry motorcycle standard..... front brakes on right hand, clutch on left hand, throttle on right hand, rear brake on right foot, shift on left foot and if no clutch rear brakes on left hand also. By following these simple cycle "given", many new (to machine) operator accidents could be avoided.... can't argue that!

Like I said..... Don't get me wrong, but now that I'm use to the left hand "complete system brakes"... I like it. But if I had a choice I'd put the multi system brake lever on both sides. Not like it hasn't been done before!! But it boils down to cost!! :D
When I got to talk to a Polaris engineer back in 2009 at a dealer only invite ride to show off the new XP's before the first model year hit the showroom floor, I asked about this, being a motorcycle rider myself. This was his reasoning.

The very simple answer is they separated them for ergonomic reasons. One of their stated goals was to be the most intuitive and ergonomically correct machine to operate. With the throttle being a thumb lever below the handlebar, it restricts how far one can reach for a lever based on how big their hand is. The conclusion was that ergonomically, many women and even men would have problems reaching for a brake lever that was the same side as the throttle quickly. Putting the brake lever on the non throttle side allows the rider to have their braking hand more on top of the handlebar, thus allowing them to reach further for the lever.

If you sit on your machine and visualize that, you can kinda see what they were getting at. It was an interesting answer to say the least.
 

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My honda has 3000 mi on it and my brakes are just fine. I hardly use them due to the geared transmission. And I really like the one brake lever on the polaris, only one brake and throttle on the same side is asking for trouble.
 

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Stopping power of a drum far exceeds that of a disc. The problem is heat. The drum does not efficiently dissipate the heat. There is a REASON semis use drum brakes.
 

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Stopping power of a drum far exceeds that of a disc. The problem is heat. The drum does not efficiently dissipate the heat. There is a REASON semis use drum brakes.
Semi's don't run in the mud and muck all the time. Drum brakes suck for off road applications. If you've ever worked on older Hondas they almost always have very little if any brakes. For less than the price of OEM parts to TRY to fix them you can buy a disc brake conversion kit that will totally eliminate any future brake problems.
 
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