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Old 04-02-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
Beef_Weezle
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Angry Front Brake Hard to Pull

It being a nice day and all, I pulled out the A for a quick putz around town. I quickly noticed that the front brake handle travel became incredibly limited. It is rock-hard and will only pull about half way to the throttle. It doesn't seem to return all of the way, either. The brakes still grab as they should, but it's a really disconcerting feeling.
I checked the fluid and it was clean and full. The master cylinder is relatively new (last November) by the stealership. The calipers don't seem to be sticking, either.

Could this be from the bike sitting with the right handle bar up in the air all winter and the master cylinder piston drying out? I been on a few rides in the last month with no issues. I read a post awhile back about some guy with an R who had the same problem but I can't find it and I don't remember what the solution was. For the time being, while the bike is parked on the kickstand, I turned the handlebars all the way to the right.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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I have noticed that mine will "pump-up" and become more firm with use. You can squeeze it several times and it will become more firm and travel is reduced and when left for a while it becomes softer and more travel.
It stops fine and reliably, I have bled it multiple times but the improvement is short term.
I supect the rubber hoses but have not yet felt like spending the dough on braided replacements.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:07 PM   #3
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Angry It's getting worse...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rc4man View Post
I have noticed that mine will "pump-up" and become more firm with use. You can squeeze it several times and it will become more firm and travel is reduced and when left for a while it becomes softer and more travel.
It stops fine and reliably, I have bled it multiple times but the improvement is short term.
I supect the rubber hoses but have not yet felt like spending the dough on braided replacements.
It's worse than that. There's almost no travel whatsoever. And it's not returning all the way, either. I can jiggle it with my pinky about an 1/4" before it contacts the piston. The brake light comes on without me even touching it. Anybody know what's goin on here?
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:55 PM   #4
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what happens when you open one of the bleeder screws? does the wheel spin freely off the ground?
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:05 PM   #5
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A friend's comin over later to help me bleed the brakes (the old-fashioned way). I don't have a stand, so I don't know if the wheel spins freely off of the ground. However, I'm able to push the bike around with no problems.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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sounds like the master cylinder is sticking or has some type of obstruction. with out the brake lever pulled open the bleeder screw it should just trickle out. while bleeder screw is open slowly pull brake lever, if its still hard to pull most likely its a faulty master cylinder/mechanical falure or maybe a collapsed hose.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
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Did you change levers, or any thing else? I would also want to check the caliper to make sure the pistons are clean and move freely.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkus View Post
Did you change levers, or any thing else? I would also want to check the caliper to make sure the pistons are clean and move freely.
Everything is stock. The Stealership replaced the master cylinder last November and I've only wridden the bike four or five times since then. If it is the MC, I'm gonna try to get them to foot the bill.

Gonna bleed them tonight. Will post updates.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef_Weezle View Post
It being a nice day and all, I pulled out the A for a quick putz around town. I quickly noticed that the front brake handle travel became incredibly limited. It is rock-hard and will only pull about half way to the throttle. It doesn't seem to return all of the way, either. The brakes still grab as they should, but it's a really disconcerting feeling.
I checked the fluid and it was clean and full. The master cylinder is relatively new (last November) by the stealership. The calipers don't seem to be sticking, either.

Could this be from the bike sitting with the right handle bar up in the air all winter and the master cylinder piston drying out? I been on a few rides in the last month with no issues. I read a post awhile back about some guy with an R who had the same problem but I can't find it and I don't remember what the solution was. For the time being, while the bike is parked on the kickstand, I turned the handlebars all the way to the right.

Any ideas?
Erm... It is supposed to be pretty rock hard, at least on the Brembo versions. The lever hardly moves at all. It certainly should not come half way to the bar, that would suggest a fault to me.

My best reading of what you are saying is that a) the master cylinder needed replacing and is now working properly, but differently to what you are used to and b) either the lever itself is sticky and needs lubricating or the right hand control has been miss-assembled and the cup of the lever is not sitting on the operating pushrod.

For action, I would take the lever off (being careful not to damage the brake light nipple) and put it back on again, making sure it is done correctly and that the lever is free to move on the pin. I would then ask someone used to a V-Rod to compare their feel to yours.

I have a suspicion bleeding the brakes won't work, this sounds mechanical, but it can't do any harm.

I would not ride the bike until you know what is going on.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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First off, the only reason I wanted to bleed it was to troubleshoot the system. As soon as I opened the bleeder, the lever lost pressure (as expected), but it still didn't return all the way out.
Secondly, I am used to having firm brakes. I like having minimal travel with a decent amount of grab. To clarify, the brakes still work, but they are incredibly sensitive. It's either no brake or almost locking up the front wheel. Also to clarify, there was no issue up until yesterday. I only put about 100 miles on the bike since the MC replacement, but up until yesterday the handle travel and return was spot-on. I did remove the lever per you advise and everything was put together correctly. The cup is sitting smack dab on top of the pushrod.

I'm kind of at a loss here. To me, it seems like there is something seriously wrong with the MC. I think it's surpassed my level of expertise at this point. I know it's been 4+ months, but should I take it back to the dealer? I really don't want to shell out big bucks if I don't have to. I just want it fixed.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:24 PM   #11
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Is the fluid level in the master ok? Not sure if it could cause a problem, but it is an easy check. Did you check the caliper to see if the pistons are gummed up?
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:37 PM   #12
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Can you return the lever easily with your finger, or is it stiff?

I reckon you're right, sounds like the dealer needs to see it.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #13
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The lever moves freely. I have to hold it forward so the brake light goes off. It's going back to the dealer ASAP.

I just pulled out the work order for the MC replacement. Turns out the tech recorded the mileage wrong, meaning it looks like I put on several thousand miles (instead of several hundred) since it was replaced. That's just f**king great. I preparing to get jizzed on this deal
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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I hope they didnt mix dot 4 and 5 fluids when they did the swap. That could cause the issue
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef_Weezle View Post
The lever moves freely. I have to hold it forward so the brake light goes off. It's going back to the dealer ASAP.

I just pulled out the work order for the MC replacement. Turns out the tech recorded the mileage wrong, meaning it looks like I put on several thousand miles (instead of several hundred) since it was replaced. That's just f**king great. I preparing to get jizzed on this deal
Your master cylinder needs cleaning out. Probably gummed up. Might need to replace the fluid completely.
The brake lever is pushed out by the plunger in the master cylinder. Its return spring is quite strong.
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