This is a weird thing to want to do, but I want to know if there is a way to increase the dead stroke of a hydraulic handbrake for an electric moped. The dead stroke is the initial part of the lever stroke before the calipers actually engage the disc brake. I want to do this as we are incorporating regen braking into our senior design of an electric moped.

We want only one brake lever and are trying to make it so you pull the handbrake and for the first 30% of motion no hydraulic braking will take place as it will only be activating the Regen brake system. Then the last 70% of motion would engage the disc brake like normal. These are arbitrary percentages but the idea is to reduce user confusion and make it so braking is all done with one lever and that the energy regen is maximized before engaging the hydraulic brakes for a faster stop.

Would adjusting fluid levels in the hydraulic brake affect this? Are there any adjustments that can be made to basically decrease the responsiveness of the disc brake to the lever input?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I think this would depend upon the design. Does the handbrake lever directly interface with the hydraulic piston (master cylinder)? Is there any way to add lever length between the handbrake and the hydraulics? Not knowing exactly what the system is you are trying to make adjustments to would limit any kind of answer we could give you. May 3, 2018 at 14:56
  • Is there a way to send a picture on here? I could send a picture and then hopefully answer your question better.
    – user172485
    May 8, 2018 at 18:24
  • If you click on the edit link just below the meta-tags, you can edit your question. once inside, click on the small, square thumbnail which is centered at the top of the edit window. Then you can drop an image in there. This is if you are on the computer. Not sure if you can do it (or how easy it is) from the ap. May 8, 2018 at 19:57
  • I tried to add a pic to my post but it says my image is too large.... just one picture. this is like impossible.
    – user172485
    May 10, 2018 at 17:37
  • It's kinda crazy sometimes. You may need to resize it (obviously) smaller. You'll get it! May 10, 2018 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


The first idea is to separate the rod pushed by the lever into two parts, so it has a sliding section in the middle, such that the initial movement moves a small piston into a cup - once it hits bottom then it will drive the rest of the rod as normal. This piston / cup does not need a seal but does need to stay straight... and a spring to expand it again...

On a smartphone so no drawing... but the idea is simple enough...

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