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Thread: Rear brake failure

  1. #1

    Rear brake failure

    I had an "interesting" ride last week, to say the least. I left Winter Park CO Monday morning, rode over Berthoud Pass and down I-70) to Denver. As soon as I pulled into town, I noticed I had no rear brake. Upon inspection, the bleeder screw was loose, the rubber nipple was missing, and brake fluid was all over the place. I just had my 6000 mile maintenance done a week prior to this. I called the service manager who was perplexed. It seemed to him if it had happened before I left then I would have lost the brakes a lot sooner than I did. The other thought that I don't want to think about is I did leave the bike parked unattended when I stopped for breakfast. I know this sounds paranoid, but how likely was that screw to come loose on it's own?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by jolev55 View Post
    I had an "interesting" ride last week, to say the least. I left Winter Park CO Monday morning, rode over Berthoud Pass and down I-70) to Denver. As soon as I pulled into town, I noticed I had no rear brake. Upon inspection, the bleeder screw was loose, the rubber nipple was missing, and brake fluid was all over the place. I just had my 6000 mile maintenance done a week prior to this. I called the service manager who was perplexed. It seemed to him if it had happened before I left then I would have lost the brakes a lot sooner than I did. The other thought that I don't want to think about is I did leave the bike parked unattended when I stopped for breakfast. I know this sounds paranoid, but how likely was that screw to come loose on it's own?
    That depends on how tight it was when last tightened. Almost tight enough can take a while to get loose. I once had a starter bolt back out on Voni's R1100RS, 22,000 miles after the starter was last installed. Hidden between the starter and engine case, behind the starter cover I'm pretty sure nobody tampered with it and it still came loose. My belief is that the dealership tech got it almost, but not quite, tight enough.
    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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    Did the dealership service the brakes at 6K (it is scheduled)? The rule is always go back to the last change to find your problem. Lucky it wasn't the front brakes coming down the mountain could of killed you.

    Jay

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by strataj View Post
    Did the dealership service the brakes at 6K (it is scheduled)? The rule is always go back to the last change to find your problem. Lucky it wasn't the front brakes coming down the mountain could of killed you.

    Jay
    Yes, that thought definitely crossed my mind. Yikes. Actually it was the 30k service {6K since the last one). My paperwork has it checked off as "visually inspecting brake pipes, brake hoses, and connections" and "checking brake-fluid level, rear brakes" but I don't think the fluid was changed.

  5. #5
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    The rubber cover probably disappeared because the bleeder was loose and fluid is slippery, so when the brake was applied at some time, the cover popped off. That leads to the bleeder being loose/not quite tight enough from the last time the fluid was flushed/bled. As far as the possibility of tampering, the front bleeders would be easier to access, and it would take a really sick individual to carry a wrench around just for that purpose. Did the suspect bleeder have any unusual marks on it?
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