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Thread: R1150R rear brake seems dangerous....

  1. #1

    R1150R rear brake seems dangerous....

    I was doing about 70 mph on a major highway when it looked like a car was going to swerve into my path. (The driver was being forced over by another who had decided to swerve out of the exit lane through the zebra stripes at the last moment.) Thinking that slowing down was the best option in heavy traffic, I hit the brakes front and rear. The rear did a quick fishtail and I thought I was going down. Though nothing bad happened my pulse rate was about 180 at the point.

    With the power assist, the brakes are grabby and I barely use the rear most of the time. Should I just forget about using the rear at all?

  2. #2
    Registered User pawork's Avatar
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    same bike

    I have the same bike. Sounds weird - I thought only the abs bikes (like mine) have the servos, and I've practiced panic stops w/o ever having anything like you described happen. Does your bike have ABS? And servos?
    2002 R1150RA
    1997 M3 Coupe

  3. #3
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfkneller View Post
    Should I just forget about using the rear at all?
    The rear brake is handy for going downhill on gravel (don't ask how I know )
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  4. #4

    Doesn't seem to have ABS...

    I have never gotten that pulsed braking. It definitely has a powerful assist.

    It fishtailed with rear braking at low speed in a parking lot recently as well.

    It's a 2003 that I bought secondhand. I have no instruction book. I'll have to inquire with the local BMW dealer.

  5. #5
    If you fishtailed because the brake locked - and assuming you have ABS - the ABS isn't working correctly.
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  6. #6
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    what PG said. if your bike has ABS, it's not working, and should be looked at.
    that, and rather than not using the rear brake, learn to use it correctly (a progressive action, rahter than stomping on it). An ERC class might help you get started on the practicing you need to do to improve your operations.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #7
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    A change of tires to much more sticky ones (read lower mileage) would help as well, ABS or not. I can remember them helping with that very issue when I had non ABS bikes years ago.
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  8. #8
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    As Paul pointed out if you have ABS and your rear brake locked up you have problems with your ABS. If you don‘«÷t have ABS (and maybe even if you do) take a look at your preload setting on the rear suspension.

    I have a ‘«÷02 non abs Roadster and am a large guy. I have experience rear problems under hard braking when I have set to firm. For example setting it stiff for a touring load then forgetting to crank it back when going back to daily commute mode. Under hard braking this has ranged between the rear becoming light and fishtailing and the rear end coming off the ground under hard braking.

    The rear brake is an important part of our control system. I urge you to figure it out before giving up on using the rear brake altogether.

  9. #9
    jingdog
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    You dont need servo assisted brakes to get in trouble with the rear wheel! Plenty of trouble there with regular hydraulic brakes! Plenty of trouble with rear CABLE brakes! If you in fact have ABS THERES PLENTY OF TROUBLE WITH ABS BRAKES TOO! As your experience would suggest...
    20 years before the advent of ABS, I went to front brake use only. Too many potential problems slamming on the rear brake in a panic situation in a curve. Or even not on a curve. Over the years I have weaned myself off of using the brakes PERIOD. Also, I do not ride in congested areas where emergency use of the brakes is more likely to be necessary. Also my traffic reading skills after 40 years are pretty well honed. I almost NEVER need to slam on the brakes. I allowed myself to get in a bad situation on the freeway last year. Light rain. Stop and go bumper to bumper traffic. One minute we would be going 70, the next minute traffic was stopped. Sudden stops and starts with traffic behind you bearing down rapidly! I got off the road as soon as possible! I was thankfull for the ABS brakes on my GS (the only time I EVER thought it usefull). On the other hand, it was foolhardy continue in such conditions even with ABS. (so what good is it?)
    Sounds like you had quite the learning experience. My prescription is 1) Avoid traffic congestion. No commutes to work in traffic! 2) Get good at reading traffic. Position yourself to avoid sudden dangerous situations. 3) practice braking under all conditions, especially panic situations. 4) Use your brakes as little as possible. 5) Overbraking is a SERIOUS mistake. Do what you have to to avoid it.

  10. #10
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfkneller View Post
    I have never gotten that pulsed braking. It definitely has a powerful assist.

    It fishtailed with rear braking at low speed in a parking lot recently as well.

    It's a 2003 that I bought secondhand. I have no instruction book. I'll have to inquire with the local BMW dealer.
    There will be an ABS ring with slots on one side of the front wheel if your R1150 has ABS

    this pic shows one on a newer R1200 bike...pic is a little fuzzy...and yes the rim is bent for you photo sleuths

    As far as braking technique and not using the rear...especially in turns...to each his own. Trail braking into a corner is used a lot to scrub speed ,hitting the fronts will straighten a bike out and put you in a ditch IMHO. Using the engine is great unless you downshift too far/too late and skid the wheel anyway...I use it along with braking at times, sometimes only use engine braking. Some folks with the linked brakes never touch the rear and let the system apply the rear for them...I ride different brands as well so I use both out of habit. Grab front only on some bikes and unless in a very straight line...you have a handful so to speak!

    I too as many here have ridden many years on non ABS equipped bikes...I thought I had years of experience and could mentally be fast enough to stay out of trouble, a false sense of security as my reaction time is not what it was when I was 18...I have had the pleasure twice on two diff BMW bikes to experience a true ABS slowdown and appreciate the option...Had I been on one of my former bikes I would have surely had diff outcomes in one of them. Having the option to turn it off on my GS has also kept me out of trouble...I get a front ABS operation in gravel when I forget and like to be able to lock the wheels off road.

    I commuted for years ,but found routes which kept me off freeways during rush hours. And when I did have to use them, I just kept a reasonable space cushion to be able to read and react to situations. Avoiding commuting , traffic congestion and weather was not an option as it would limit riding when/where I wanted.

    Taking the riders course is not a bad thing as mentioned...and going to a large empty parking lot and practicing will help as well with knowing what that particular bikes brakes will do.
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  11. #11
    Cycl2day Cycl2day's Avatar
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    PIAA Bulbs

    Has anyone used the PIAA Extreme white, Plasma or cyrstal bulbs? If so are they much brighter than the standard BMW bulbs?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by amilano10 View Post
    Has anyone used the PIAA Extreme white, Plasma or cyrstal bulbs? If so are they much brighter than the standard BMW bulbs?
    dude, you really should start a new thread if you're going that far off original topic.

    and you should really consider doing a search before even that, as the "best bulb?" question has been done to death.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  13. #13

    Checked with my BMW mechanic about the braking...

    He says that the momentary fishtailing was because the rear wheel locked briefly but the ABS then released the brake. "Otherwise you would have been on your ass!"

    He also said that I would not feel pulsing like I do with the car ABS.

  14. #14
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    that doesn't sound quite right to me, on either statement.
    if it had locked long enough to cause a fishtail that you could feel, the ABS is not reacting as it should, especially if this happened on dry/clear pavement.
    and you should feel the ABS kick in, although it may not feel the same as your car does. least ways, i have always been able to feel it engaging on my (ex-)K11RS, (current)R11S or (current) F800GS.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  15. #15
    jcridge
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    I haven't heard if the rear brakes actually locked up or not...and does the bike have ABS.

    If you have low tire pressure and or loose pivots, bearing etc... you will have the sensation of fishtailing when braking at high speed, but not actually locking the brakes up. You also need to figure out if the suspension is properly preloaded for your weight, rear suspension jumping due to rebound and preload maladjustment could also be a factor.

    If you have a rear wheel ABS sensor out of range just enough not to cause a failure, but enough to allow lock at times???

    2 cents,

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