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Thread: 2011 BMW R1200RT Front Brake Lever is hard to pull

  1. #1
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    2011 BMW R1200RT Front Brake Lever is hard to pull

    I've owned this bike since new. 110,000 miles, mostly long distance including coast to coast trips. Changed the brake fluid every 18 months, brake pads every year. Absolutely NO brake issues until...... In the last year there has been an intermittent problem after taking off, within the first mile, the front brake lever will tighten up and be difficult to pull. The pads are not dragging. Brake operation is perfectly normal except for the fact that it takes a comparatively massive effort to pull in the front brake lever after this happens. After pumping it, it still remains a little tight but you can operate the bike safely. Since then I have bled the system thoroughly and performed every service function that you can with the GS911 including bleeding the abs module.

    HOWEVER....today I figured out how to consistently replicate that problem. After warming up the bike, I can take it to, for instance, a parking lot. I stop the bike and shut it off with the key (not the kill switch). I wait about 10 seconds and then restart the bike. I then shift it into 1st gear and take off. After attaining anything over about 5 mph, the front brake lever tightens up and requires a HUGE effort to pull in. Once you pull it in it loosens up somewhat, enough to operate the motorcycle. This problem can be replicated EVERY time.

    I just replicated this problem in the garage even. I put the bike on the center stand and shifted into 1st gear with the rear wheel in the air....once again, super tight front brake lever until you fight like hell to "break it loose". By the way it appears to be the Continental-Teves system (according to the GS911).

    I spoke to my local dealership service guys who are knowledgeable and reliable. They seem to be vexed by this problem. I spoke to the tech at Module Master. He stated that they can rebuild the controllers but if there is a problem with the actual valves a rebuild is a waste of money, it will still be a problem.

    Anybody have any thoughts on this? Thanks in Advance!.

  2. #2
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    It appears to me that there is an issue internal to the ABS unit. Something is causing the flow of fluid to be abnormally restricted within the ABS unit. And given what you can do to cause it to happen it would seem to me it is an electrical issue. I say this because what you are doing to cause it to happen is changing the bike electrics as opposed to a mechanical event like spinning a wheel or something.

    As for what to do to correct things I don't have any real clues except to say make sure everything electrical external to the ABS unit is clean and sound. Start by unplugging, cleaning and reconnecting the big connector at the ABS unit.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It appears to me that there is an issue internal to the ABS unit. Something is causing the flow of fluid to be abnormally restricted within the ABS unit. And given what you can do to cause it to happen it would seem to me it is an electrical issue. I say this because what you are doing to cause it to happen is changing the bike electrics as opposed to a mechanical event like spinning a wheel or something.

    As for what to do to correct things I don't have any real clues except to say make sure everything electrical external to the ABS unit is clean and sound. Start by unplugging, cleaning and reconnecting the big connector at the ABS unit.
    Yes, cleaning the connectors is the next step. However, I'll just ask this question now since it's going to come up: Any thoughts on bypassing the ABS? The controller has to still be connected or else other components like speedometer, cruise control, etc. won't work. But a direct master cyl. to caliper connection? Hmmmmm.....

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