Brake problems with only 2,500 miles? Dangerous

SuperTforme

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Jun 12, 2019
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27
Location
Headwaters, VA
My wife and I went on a long ride today around 300 miles. The first 200 was all backroads and twisties then we jumped on the highway to get home before dark. After long durations without using the front break say 5 minutes...the brake lever would have nearly no pressure until it almost reaches the grip. A quick pump or two and it acts normal. Several minutes without using it the same occurrence. The first instance I was going into a turn and it scared the s*** out of me. Also, the last couple hundred miles I have been hearing a noise around the front wheel at low speeds when I’m stopping or taking off. It’s like a harmonic tick or rattle. The bike is practically new with just over 2,500 miles and absolutely nothing has been done to the brake system or wheels...or anything else for that matter other than Ecu reflash. Lastly, while on some rather mean trail riding a few weeks back I did have a single instance where the front lever was soft for a moment but I figured it had something to do with abs because I used it that day for sure. That’s was a one time instance though. I’d like to look at this myself as the warranty just expired like 2 weeks ago and hoping it’s something simple. Any advice or troubleshooting is much appreciated.
 

SuperTforme

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Jun 12, 2019
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Headwaters, VA
No I have not. I can’t say I see it necessary buying a brand new bike. But yes I will go that route first. The level is slightly lower than full but definitely not under the low mark
 

Sierra1

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Nov 7, 2016
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DFW-TEXAS
I've had pads get hot/glazed, and do the same thing. But, I was working them pretty hard when it happened.
 

WJBertrand

Ventura Highway
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Jun 20, 2015
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2,799
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Ventura, CA
Any visible warpage in either of the front rotors when spinning the front wheel?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

SuperTforme

New Member
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Jun 12, 2019
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Location
Headwaters, VA
Any visible warpage in either of the front rotors when spinning the front wheel?


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I will check and see but what would cause such a thing without any kind of event or maintenance practice....they couldn’t have just warped for no reason?
 

Kurgan

Active Member
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Dec 11, 2015
Messages
318
Location
SE Michigan
The few times I've seen a rotor warp it was due to excessive heat and you could see the discoloring in the metal, a slight bluing. A dial indicator would show the high spot so to speak. I did that to the front disks on my 95 Daytona 1200 the first time through Deals Gap while 2 up with luggage and admittedly riding the hell out of the brakes.

Other times, the rotor that acted like it was warped with what could be heard or felt as a rubbing every rotation was a situation where less than OEM quality brake pads were used. The inferior pads would overheat and actually break down...pad material suddenly transferring to the rotor and sticking. It wouldn't be something easily visible but it could be felt as I said when the wheel was rotated. Replacing the pads and bead blastiing the rotors to refresh the surface cured that. This happens in cars often, too, with some car owners going for the $39.00 front brake special at a small repair garage and just thinking brakes are brakes, I want the cheapest package.

One other situation I've seen a few times was when everyone was really in to using disk locks for security. They would forget it's in place and either try to ride off with it in place or move the bike around and the disk lock would jam up against the caliper or lower fork leg, tweaking the disk.
 

SuperTforme

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Jun 12, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Headwaters, VA
I got the front wheel off the ground this morning to take a look.....definitely seems like the wheel bearing is shot. That explains my clunking noise and brake level softness. Pretty sad if you ask me. Failure after 2,500 miles. Can anyone give me the procedure or advice for getting the wheel off and changing this out? Never done anything to this machine
 

SuperTforme

New Member
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Jun 12, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Headwaters, VA
If I knew how to post a video on here I would. It’s pretty bad. It’s 1000% my noise as well. Question is why no vibration at the bars?
 

tallpaul

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Sep 14, 2017
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661
Location
Whitworth, Rochdale, UK
I'm staggered. It looks like the inner race is loose on the spindle, rather than the bearing has failed, but only a deeper inspection will show this. I wonder if the wheel spindle has not been fitted correctly and the bearing has been spinning on the spindle and worn it away?
 

SuperTforme

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Jun 12, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Headwaters, VA
I'm staggered. It looks like the inner race is loose on the spindle, rather than the bearing has failed, but only a deeper inspection will show this. I wonder if the wheel spindle has not been fitted correctly and the bearing has been spinning on the spindle and worn it away?
Your thinking the wrong bearing was installed from the beginning? Or the spindle is wrong?
 

tallpaul

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Sep 14, 2017
Messages
661
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Whitworth, Rochdale, UK
My thoughts are the spindle wasn't fitted correctly. When the spindle is tightened into the fork leg it should trap the bearings and spacers together preventing the inner races from turning on the spindle. If it is left loose then there is the possibility that the bearing inner races will spin on the spindle and wear it away. The only to correctly confirm this is to strip the wheel off the bike. I suspect if I'm right you'll struggle to get the spindle out.
 

Checkswrecks

Ungenear to broked stuff
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I have not yet. My first experience. Was waiting for any hidden knowledge that is out there. As working on aircraft....I always get advice from the experienced before starting haha. Never know!
The bike is shipped new in the crate with the front wheel off and the dealer has to install it for delivery. It strongly appears that the axle nut was not tightened, which would cause everything else to make sense. When not tightened, the inner race can spin on the axle, which we can see, plus the wheel can wobble. It beats the hell out of the races and seals to create the black residue seen in the video. The wobble of the wheel pushes the brake pads in, causing the original brake feel problem.

You'll be fine and it won't cost a fortune once you replace the two front wheel bearings. You also could probably get away with a quick check that the pads are not worn away or contaminated by the bearing grease, but it never hurts to replace them.

You're not the first and won't be the last to have a poor set up and being 2 years old the dealer will disavow that they had anything to do with it. Regardless, I'd suggest checking every other bolt for tightness.

fwiw, I've been an airplane mechanic for 44 years, worked on motorcycles for 58, and there are people on this forum with more experience than I've got.
 
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