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Thread: 2006 R1200RT Eating rear brakes

  1. #1
    wsteinborn
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    2006 R1200RT Eating rear brakes

    I have a 2006 R1200RT with 23636 miles on it.

    The rear brakes have AGAIN worn out. I heard a scraping noise today, and found the inside pad is worn down to nothing and the rotor is getting torn up. The outside pad is darned thin. The bike is now parked until we can get this fixed.

    I think there is a defect or maladjustment with the rear brakes, because I do not use them excessively, my foot rides below the brake pedal, and this is the second time the rears have worn out. I am on the original front brakes. My front brakes provide most of my braking power.

    The bike seems to be eating rear brakes and this is not [EDIT: seems not] normal.

    After they replaced the rears the first time (just over 13,000 miles) they smelled as if they were burning, but it went away and the rotor wasn't burning/turning blue.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by wsteinborn; 09-23-2008 at 07:33 PM. Reason: corrected mileage on first brake pad replacement

  2. #2
    Rally Rat
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    Maybe you have a piston that doesn't want to retract into the caliper, effectively applying some rear brake on that pad. It can be caused by a friction issue, or a fluid return problem on that side of the caliper. Such a condition might not cause any fault warnings right away either.
    I think you are right not to ride until it's resolved, it can be a serious safety issue.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    My front brakes provide most of my braking power.
    And you know this because

    Assuming you have a bike with ABS you've got integrated brakes so every time you grab the front lever both brakes are applied. Yeah, we all assume that more of the front is being grabbed than the rear, but have you measured this? On your bike? Has anyone measured this on any bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    The bike seems to be eating rear brakes and this is not normal.
    My '05 GS went through the first set of pads in about 18K. Postings on various forum suggest that I got more life than some (most?). There were some complaints of people toasting pads in less than 5K. I carefully cleaned and lubricated the rear caliper when replacing the pads with another pair of stock organic pads. The replacement set is less than 1/2 used in the same mileage that toasted the original pair.

    What changed?

    // marc

  4. #4
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    GSA '07 here;

    Integrated brakes are a bit troublesome to me, because I ride many bikes without it too. The integrated system on the BMW is a front lever action ONLY and the pedal needs NO application and if you do so, the rear brake gets used up. Using the foot and hand to apply BMW integrated brakes will apply more rear brake than one may expect. Am I the only one thinking this??? My BMW wrench told me the hand lever applies about 60F/40R%, via the hand lever alone, so why would one even use the rear brake pedal, most of the time. Anyhow, it sure gets confusing when switching bikes, without it. One has to think carefully, which bike has it and which don't. Randy

  5. #5
    Motorradfahrer
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    2005 1200 GS here:

    I have ABS integrated brakes and assume wsteinborn has the same. With integrated brakes one only has to apply the front brake lever which will apply braking power to both wheels. Rear foot braking is only used when needed: gravel/ dirt riding..slow curving..light stopping...slow slowing down, etc. From the old school of thought(MSF)..one is to always apply both brakes for the purpose of stopping is no longer the norm with BMW integrated brake system.

    BMW front brake pads are sintered pads and since you have two surface areas for stopping one would assume that the front last longer while the rear has only one surface area and the pads are made of organic material, thus quicker wear. This is normal, but as wsteinborn explained his uneven rear pad wear...this is not normal..it's possible that like 108625 explained that it might be a piston problem. Many Alaska haul-road BMW riders carry extra rear brake pads for the simple reason that they use the rear brake more often on gravel and the addition of calcium chloride on the road, ads to the wear of the rear pads.

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    I have a 2006 R1200RT with 23636 miles on it.

    The rear brakes have AGAIN worn out. I heard a scraping noise today, and found the inside pad is worn down to nothing and the rotor is getting torn up. The outside pad is darned thin. The bike is now parked until we can get this fixed.

    I think there is a defect or maladjustment with the rear brakes, because I do not use them excessively, my foot rides below the brake pedal, and this is the second time the rears have worn out. I am on the original front brakes. My front brakes provide most of my braking power.

    The bike seems to be eating rear brakes and this is not normal.

    When they replaced the rears the first time (12,000 or 18,000 miles) they smelled as if they were burning, but it went away and the rotor wasn't burning/turning blue.

    Any ideas?
    Do you ride with your instep on the peg by any chance?
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    I have a 2006 R1200RT with 23636 miles on it.

    The rear brakes have AGAIN worn out. I heard a scraping noise today, and found the inside pad is worn down to nothing and the rotor is getting torn up. The outside pad is darned thin. The bike is now parked until we can get this fixed.
    OK.. but it doesn't sound implausable that this is normal.. more below.

    I think there is a defect or maladjustment with the rear brakes, because I do not use them excessively, my foot rides below the brake pedal, and this is the second time the rears have worn out. I am on the original front brakes. My front brakes provide most of my braking power.
    I'd ask when DO you use the rear brakes? With the linked brakes, I do 95% of my stopping with the front lever alone. I use my rear brake when stopped at a light sometimes (so I can let go of the front to itch my nose or something), and occasionally for trail-braking on a low speed corner (parking lot speed.)

    Even with that low use - my R1200R rear brake pads needed replacement at about 14-16,000 miles. And the rear wheel gets a lot of brake dust on it (partly due to the design of the caliper being located fully inside the rim) - much more than the front shows.

    If you're using the rear brake in situations besides what I do - and you have a heavier bike - I could see that sort of brake pad life to be "normal"..
    The bike seems to be eating rear brakes and this is not normal.
    Actually - might be.
    When they replaced the rears the first time (12,000 or 18,000 miles) they smelled as if they were burning, but it went away and the rotor wasn't burning/turning blue.

    Any ideas?
    The inner pad is for some reason considerably thinner - brand new - than the outer pad. Dunno why, except perhaps so it purposely wears out earlier since the "wear-hole" is on the inner pad.

    If that's the wear pattern you've seen, inner pad first, outer pad not far behind - sounds as if you're seeing normal wear, and you don't have a binding caliper. The rear caliper is a sliding caliper design, if the sliding bit was hung up - the inside pad would wear much faster than the outer one. If you can rotate your wheel fairly easily in neutral on the center-stand, then the piston/hydraulics aren't hanging up.

    This is truly a case of YMMV - I'd expect the range of "normal" in this case is probably from 10k-30k, very much depending on riding style, where you ride (stop-go, highway) and riding speeds.

    PS: I'll fix the title of your thread.. from "read" to "rear"..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  8. #8
    wsteinborn
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    I just got the "that's normal" from the dealership. From all the "that's normal" talk, I need a new rear tire and new rear brakes every 10,000 miles?

    Geeze.......... I expect I'll have a big fight on my hands trying to get them to pull apart the brake system under warranty.

    13K+ on the first set and less than 10K on the second set of pads? I find it hard to believe. I am not an agressive rider. 80% of my miles are commuting to work. I would have thought if I were a heavy brake user something would have shown at my last service 4000 miles ago.

    KBasa - due to foot pain, I use floorboards and my toe is always off the rear brake pedal. In fact, I use the rear less than I did before just because of the extra effort to use it now.

    Even though I told them this is my main transportation to work, they'll fit me in, over a week from now. Having just one dealer sucks.

    grumble.... grumble......

    I love how the RT handles, and the electric windshield is the cat's a$$. It is a really comfy bike. But darn, my ex-HD was mechanically more reliable and required a lot less on-going expenses.

    Sometimes it makes me wonder if I did the right thing.

  9. #9
    wsteinborn
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    Maybe I just have unreal expectations. Maybe everything is OK, but it just feels wrong to me.

    Taking the bike to my dealer is inconvenient - taking it evey 6,000 miles is tough enough, but taking it every 10,000 for brakes is going to suck. (I do about 15,000 a year)

    I may have to buy the twinmax and start doing my own work, darn it. (I am the furthest thing from a mechanic)


    Thanks for all your advice. (And for changing the thread title - that was bugging me.)

  10. #10
    wsteinborn
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    Hmmmm....

    Since there are patches of metal missing from the rotor (on the inside side) maybe that accelerated the pad wear, rather than being the result of the pad wearing down to metal.............

  11. #11
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    Hmmmm....

    Since there are patches of metal missing from the rotor (on the inside side) maybe that accelerated the pad wear, rather than being the result of the pad wearing down to metal.............
    Huh? What sort of patches of metal missing?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  12. #12
    On the Road
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    Pictures would be nice. My 04 1150RT went 26000 miles before I sold it for the 06 1200RT and according to the BMW shop it still had over 75% of pad life remaining front and rear. They accused me of replacing the pads between services but I didn't, I just don't use the brakes much.

  13. #13
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteinborn View Post
    Hmmmm....

    Since there are patches of metal missing from the rotor (on the inside side) maybe that accelerated the pad wear, rather than being the result of the pad wearing down to metal.............
    Whoa, this is an arresting development. I'm with Don and Marty on this request, can you describe it in more detail and maybe include a picture?
    By the way, if at any time you did use your rear brake only, how did it feel?

    Bob

  14. #14
    wsteinborn
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    Well, it seems the "patches" may be torn up rotor with metal from the pad attached.

    Pictures on the way.

    Every now and then gong down the highway the bike would slow just like it was hit with a big gust of wind, but it wasn't that windy. I never thought much about it until now.....
    Last edited by wsteinborn; 09-23-2008 at 10:59 PM.

  15. #15
    wsteinborn
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    Without picking at it, I really can't tell how damaged the rotor is beyond heavy grooving, but there obviously aren't "patches" missing. That s just how it felt, when I was blindly reaching around.

    Outside of the rotor showing a pad with 1mm of thickness left:


    Inside of the rotor:


    Inside pad is gone - well into the metal backing:
    Last edited by wsteinborn; 09-24-2008 at 01:27 AM.

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