Questions and Answers: Bolts, Brake Calipers and Fuel Filter

A Re-bolting Development

I’ve twisted off one of the pinch bolts on the front axle of my 2010 Triumph Rocket III Touring machine. I suspect that even though the other one is set according to the torque specs, it may also be damaged. My dealer(s) can’t find these bolts (M8X1.24X35) in the US and are telling me it will take 2+ weeks to get them in from England. Got any ideas where I can get these?

I think the last time I had the front wheel off, I was guilty of using the incorrect torque settings and did the damage myself. Do you think I would have damaged the threads inside the sleeve when I overtightened?  If so, how should I go about correcting this?
Via email

8X1.25X35 is a very common metric size, in fact my local ACE hardware store has them in stock, in Hex, Allen and Button head configurations, in a variety of finishes and grades, so I’m relatively sure you can find a few of them in your area. Look in auto parts stores, industrial supply houses and hardware stores to start with, or you may even find them at your local Home Depot. Other motorcycle shops would be a good bet too.

Although I doubt you did any particular damage to the threads, it’s hardly the end of the world if you did. An 8X1.25 Helicoil set contains everything you need to repair buggered threads, retails for about 25 bucks and should be available at any decent auto parts store.

Radical Radial

What is meant by radial-mounted brake calipers?
Alex H.
Via email

Traditionally, calipers have been mounted axially—that is, with the bolts going through the caliper parallel to the caliper body. Under extreme conditions mounting the caliper like this can cause it to flex, which reduces brake performance and feel at the lever and also shortens pad life, all of which is a great concern in racing.

_Radial calipers have their mounting bolts positioned at a right angle to the brake piston, thus allowing the caliper to be bolted to the fork in direct line with the brake’s rotational force, which eliminates the flex. It also makes for a slightly lighter, narrower brake assembly and keeps the mass closer to the center of the bike. Whether radial calipers and master cylinders, which are also available, provide any real advantage on the street is open to debate, but they are fashionable. _

No Fueling

I have a 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1600, nudging 35,000 miles. Up til now it’s been trouble-free, but a month ago it wouldn’t start up. I figured it was the battery (original), and the mechanic concurred, given the age, mileage, and the fact that the bike has spent most of its life in Texas and Southern Arizona. We replaced the battery, but even though the starter worked fine, there was no ignition. Fuel was simply not getting to the cylinders. A peek inside the tank showed it was clean as a whistle, so the mechanic towed it to his workshop.

What he found was this: the fuel filter is a simple piece of gauze attached to the pump, and 35K of running had allowed all kinds of fine particles to get through to the pump outlet and clog the line. There is a small (the size of two Life Savers stuck together) nipple at the outlet and pressure buildup had caused it to split, so fuel was not making it into the line to the injectors. He tried to jury-rig a piece of tubing to replace the nipple (which you cannot buy as a separate piece), and then tried to concoct something with O-rings to maintain the pressure. Neither of these worked. Outside of a new pump, which costs nearly $500 (I'm retired and on limited income), can you think of a solution? I don't want to even consider giving up the bike. I might add that the mechanic has 35 years of experience and he's never seen this happen. I appreciate any suggestions.
Mike Baram
Via email

Ouch Mike, that one hurts. I considered all kinds of jury-rigs but I think my first move would be to contact High Flow Performance ( They list a replacement pump (HFP-382) for your bike that sells new on eBay for $68.15. If that doesn’t do the trick, I’d epoxy a piece of copper pipe into the pump. If you swedge the end slightly, a hose clamp should be able to seal a piece of EFI hose to it. It won’t be pretty, but it should work.

2008 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1600