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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I have a DCT on order and will explore options to have the rear brake on the left handle bar. I'm aware of all the issues (confusion with clutch if lending out the bike etc) and don't want this thread to about the pros and cons, but rather a technical discussion on how to achieve this mod.

First question - the existing parking brake lever only applies one of the two rear calipers from my understanding, so a straight forward adjustment /replacement of existing parking brake lever is possibly not a good solution? Once I have the bike I will explore (and share) how to go about this. In the meantime, if anyone has been down this road and wishes to share, I will be very interested to hear about it.

Cheers
 

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I have installed a left handle brake on quite few of my bikes. I also plan on installing one on my Africa Twin, when it gets here. Aug. 28th:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Ozav8r are you saying DCT model handbrake does not utilise existing twin pot calliper at the rear?
People who have spent time with the bike - please feel free to chime in here:nerd:. My understanding is that the PARKING brake (OEM installed on the left handlebar, but with a lever that is deliberately positioned so far away from the handlebar grips that it won't be confused with a clutch and actuated by mistake) only applies one of the two rear calipers. I'm sure Honda has very good reasons for doing this, but I will most definitely have a proper rear brake actuated on the left handlebar, once I get my bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have installed a left handle brake on quite few of my bikes. I also plan on installing one on my Africa Twin, when it gets here. Aug. 28th:mad:
My bike should get here next week, so with a bit of luck mine should be sorted by then.:wink2:
 

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@Ozav8r lucky you, I've still got a 2.5-3 months wait.

Please keep us informed on what you find and how you get on, i'd love to see a solution for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If practical, I'd like to retain the operational use of the foot brake, but if that's too hard it'll go to the left handlebar with no regrets!
 

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I have a NC750X dct and my understanding is that the lower rear calliper is cable operated There was speculation that this was because it has to be to comply with EU regulations for any automatic vehicle, but I cannot find any such reference.
I suspect that Honda changed the design from the upward lifting lever on the NC to the design on the AT because there have been huge problems getting hanguards to fit on the NC's and Honda wanted them from the get-go on the AT.
The mechanism on the NC is ugly and I have considered stripping the whole thing off the bike (it would save several kilograms, but apparently it would fail its MOT if I did so
Mike
 

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The hand brake on the DCT bike works on a separate caliper from the rear brake calliper, It's cable operated from the handlebar, The idea is that when parking on a hill you apply the brake,
It works well I use it most of the time, when getting on and off the bike while using the side stand, the bike can't move then,
Some of the guys who've come from scooters have converted their DCT Vultus to left hand rear brake, but they still retain their handbrake, which is in a different position (not on handlebar)
I wouldn't do that because I have other bikes with a conventional clutch set up, Maybe if you have just the one bike you'll be ok
Which ever way you do it you'll need the parking brake occasionally
 

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If practical, I'd like to retain the operational use of the foot brake, but if that's too hard it'll go to the left handlebar with no regrets!
I've also been thinking of the practicality of having both a left handlebar brake, & the foot brake, but would also lose the foot brake if needed. (My right foot is partially paralysed, so my rear braking tends to be lift & stamp)
The system I'm thinking of is having a hydraulic clutch & lever off a suitable donor bike, with the hydraulic hose running to the rear caliper, sharing a dual banjo fitting with the rear brake pedal hose: Not sure if that would work with back pressures through either master cylinder when braking.
For the parking brake, I thought of just having some sort of stretchy band to loop over the lever, when the parking brake is required.
The only other concern is insurance or warranty issues, with changing anything from a standard system.
(After waiting 5 weeks, my Tri-colour is due next week.........:confused::):laugh:)
 

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<SNIP>
The system I'm thinking of is having a hydraulic clutch & lever off a suitable donor bike, with the hydraulic hose running to the rear caliper, sharing a dual banjo fitting with the rear brake pedal hose: Not sure if that would work with back pressures through either master cylinder when braking.
For the parking brake, I thought of just having some sort of stretchy band to loop over the lever, when the parking brake is required.
The only other concern is insurance or warranty issues, with changing anything from a standard system.
(After waiting 5 weeks, my Tri-colour is due next week.........:confused::):laugh:)
Actually, it seems a pretty do-able project and your approach is practical. You might be able to find a long stainless steel braided line reaching front to rear to simplify the installation. Also, it will be advisable to determine piston diameter of the rear m/c and use a clutch m/c with the same piston diameter.

Your DCT model will probably have ABS. For testing, pick a section of road with loose gravel/dirt and get a "baseline" with the stock set up to see how ABS system behaves when you "nail" the brakes at a given speed. When you test the modified brake set up, use the same road and compare performance. If everything works well and no warning lights, you're good to go. If not, disabling ABS is usually done by removing a fuse. Where ABS is required by law (EU) that might be problematic.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am starting to think that the best (almost certainly the easiest) way to skin this cat is to simply take the existing lever and bend back the outer 2/3rds sufficiently to allow ones left fingers to comfortably reach it. Couple of issues - you'd only be actuating the lower brake calliper and I haven't yet found out if there's a large (or any) difference in braking force achievable. Secondly, there's no brake light switch on this circuitry, but in practical terms I don't think it really matters too much. It's only for trail and off-road use anyways, and you would retain the right-foot brake lever anyways. Ohh, and no ABS of course, but that's what we all want anyways;-)
 

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A couple of other problems trying to use the parking brake as a rear brake: 1. If AT lever works like the NC700/750 DCT parking brake (and I'm sure it does), the lever is locked into ON position when you engage it. You have to pull it a second time to release the lock. And it you defeat the lock mechanism, you give up it's parking functionality. 2. The rear parking caliper is mechanical (not hydraulic) so exerts much less force on the pads and the pads are smaller than the actual rear brake pads - so your effective braking power using the parking brake could be less than 25% (WAG) of the regular rear brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Yeah the reduced brake force might be a show-stopper. I have only played a little bit with it at low speeds and it seemed to pull up the bike OK and was easy to modulate. The mechanism on the Africa Twin is different to what you describe on the NC700. On the AT you need to physically move the locking latch, after the park brake handle has been brought back far enough to allow it. Unless you do that, the lever will extend back out again by the force of the springs, allowing a "normal" operation and actuation of the brakes.
 

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*Pulls out deckchair and popcorn.

I'm a mountain biker so am very very comfortable with my rear brake on the right; I love this idea.

I'm pretty sure tapping into the foot master circuit wouldn't work because I would imagine clutch levers are self adjusting (open to the reservoir when released), so the pressure would fill the reservoir when the pedal was pressed. You'd have to delete the foot lever (pedal?), then god knows what would happen to the ABS?
 

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I live on a gravel road with a 90 degree bend on it. The gravel tends to pile up at the bend and gets quite deep. The other day I approached it a bit too fast - concentrate you **** - and I nearly dropped the bike because I instinctively went for the non-existent back brake on the left lever (I have the DCT). Normally I'm riding my mountain bike so this was a schoolboy error but it made me think how nice it would be to have a left hand rear brake on the AT. Of course I should have just moved my right foot but it's frightening how sudden problems force your instincts into play and as I've been off motorbikes for a while those instincts are bicycle instincts!

So I'm watching this thread too. Anything that will help me transition between the two modes of transport is a plus for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have just ordered a spare parking brake lever (53178-MJP-306 in the US, 53178-MJP-??? in Oz) to have a play with. It was only AUD30 (US$23.39) and I will bend the spare one to suit the mission and retain the ability to stick the OEM one back in, if this turns to poo. Did a trial run yesterday with a suitcase handle tied to the Parking Brake Lever, and the bike certainly pulls up OK by actuating the Parking Brake during speed, and it was easy to modulate the braking forces as well. The parking brake pads - as has been pointed out - are a lot smaller than the regular rear brake pads and may well wear out quickly depending on how much this is used. If used predominantly on slow speed in the dirt, and you keep an eye on them, it should be OK though.
 

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I've also been thinking of the practicality of having both a left handlebar brake, & the foot brake, but would also lose the foot brake if needed. (My right foot is partially paralysed, so my rear braking tends to be lift & stamp)
The system I'm thinking of is having a hydraulic clutch & lever off a suitable donor bike, with the hydraulic hose running to the rear caliper, sharing a dual banjo fitting with the rear brake pedal hose: Not sure if that would work with back pressures through either master cylinder when braking.
For the parking brake, I thought of just having some sort of stretchy band to loop over the lever, when the parking brake is required.
The only other concern is insurance or warranty issues, with changing anything from a standard system.
(After waiting 5 weeks, my Tri-colour is due next week.........:confused::):laugh:)
I would check with the guys that manufacture the Clake. They would have soled this problem as they have a dual master cylinder clutch/rear brake combination (one lever controls both, or you can have separate levers).

If Magura or someone comes out with a hydraulic clutch conversion for the AT I'll consider this option as well (I plan to get a manual trans version).
 

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There really is no problem with that parking brake. That brake`s only use is to prevent the bike from rolling on an incline or decline while parked. Not too much power though. If you start riding with the parking brake still engaged, you`ll notice that the bike just doesn`t ride smoothly and if you ride on just long enough the parking brake pads will have worn enough so you`ll have to adjust tension again ;)

 

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If I were Honda I would also use super soft pads in that little mechanical caliper too!
Beware chaps, you may eat through them very quickly
 
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