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Thread: 98 K1200RS Rear Brake Failure

  1. #1

    98 K1200RS Rear Brake Failure

    I bought my 98 K1200RS in April 2014 with 28K miles on her. I have put an additional 22K on the bike since. Near the end of 2014 had all the brake pads replaced as a matter of preventive maintenance. 10K later at the 48K inspection the tech said the rear pads were down to less than 25%. Service manager suggested that I was riding brake. I seldom use the rear brake! Next ride going into tight 90 degree RH turn I thought I saw sand and was going too fast (as usual)so I used the rear brake and there was NO brake. I managed the turn because the perception of sand was incorrect. Took bike back to dealer next day....tech spent several hours on it and found nothing wrong.
    Next weekend saw me at Fontana Dam Resort in a raging downpour. I absolutely had not touched rear brake on ride to Fontana. I was in parking lot and had just finished backing up and tried to start forward but rear brake had locked up and I went down hard on left side. Trashed my left knee and demolished LF turn signal. It took 3 men to help me get bike back up and after inspection, rear wheel was free so I rode around the mountain and found a room. Next morning, I had to use rear brake to prevent running out in front of traffic from side road....gravel road, mud and sand at end of road. I rode 2 miles to gas station and stopped at pump. When I got off bike, rear end was SMOKING....for at least 15 minutes.
    Bike is in shop now and they don't know why the brake did this. Replacing damaged parts (warped disc, cooked caliper, etc.) and ALL brake lines (and turn signal) for good measure will cost app. 2 grand. How can I trust this bike now? I have read the complaints about ABS pump failure on forums and the NHTSB web site and the pump failure doesn't seem to happen on the 98s. Current theory is bad brake line not allowing fluid to return to master cylinder?????
    I will appreciate any and all comments on this TIA, Rileous
    P.S. Tail of the Dragon was awesome, will have to go back every year.

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    Astatula, FL
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    1,241
    Quote Originally Posted by rileous View Post
    I bought my 98 K1200RS in April 2014 with 28K miles on her. I have put an additional 22K on the bike since. Near the end of 2014 had all the brake pads replaced as a matter of preventive maintenance. 10K later at the 48K inspection the tech said the rear pads were down to less than 25%. Service manager suggested that I was riding brake. I seldom use the rear brake! Next ride going into tight 90 degree RH turn I thought I saw sand and was going too fast (as usual)so I used the rear brake and there was NO brake. I managed the turn because the perception of sand was incorrect. Took bike back to dealer next day....tech spent several hours on it and found nothing wrong.
    Next weekend saw me at Fontana Dam Resort in a raging downpour. I absolutely had not touched rear brake on ride to Fontana. I was in parking lot and had just finished backing up and tried to start forward but rear brake had locked up and I went down hard on left side. Trashed my left knee and demolished LF turn signal. It took 3 men to help me get bike back up and after inspection, rear wheel was free so I rode around the mountain and found a room. Next morning, I had to use rear brake to prevent running out in front of traffic from side road....gravel road, mud and sand at end of road. I rode 2 miles to gas station and stopped at pump. When I got off bike, rear end was SMOKING....for at least 15 minutes.
    Bike is in shop now and they don't know why the brake did this. Replacing damaged parts (warped disc, cooked caliper, etc.) and ALL brake lines (and turn signal) for good measure will cost app. 2 grand. How can I trust this bike now? I have read the complaints about ABS pump failure on forums and the NHTSB web site and the pump failure doesn't seem to happen on the 98s. Current theory is bad brake line not allowing fluid to return to master cylinder?????
    I will appreciate any and all comments on this TIA, Rileous
    P.S. Tail of the Dragon was awesome, will have to go back every year.
    If the brake lines are still the original rubber set, your theory is most likely correct. Time to replace them all (F & R) with a set from Spiegler. There are a few threads that show how the original rubber line deteriorate internally.
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack

  3. #3
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mendocino, CA USA about as far left as you can get in the lower 48
    Posts
    840
    Yep, I would agree with Bob, brake lines are 18 years old and only 46,000 miles on them.....they were ripe for replacement 8-10 years ago. All of mine have been replaced, many not soon enough as they failed though not in the manner yours did, I just lost brake power slowly, no lock up for me. Once the lines are replaced and other work is done, you are good to go. Trust has to be earned gradually.
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >137,000 miles -- owned since new,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
    '06 Kaw 650R track bike sold
    http://www.seagullbb.com/

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