Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Soft Brake Lever 2007 R1200GS

  1. #1
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Francisco East Bay
    Posts
    34

    Soft Brake Lever 2007 R1200GS

    I just replaced the front brake pads on my 2007 R1200GS at 70,000 miles. After pumping the brake lever to set the new pads against the rotors it seems that the lever is softer than before and I can now depress the lever to about an inch of the grip. I took the bike for a test ride the braking performance still seems good. I had the brake fluid replaced about 17,000 miles ago. I stopped by my local dealer and the mechanic told me that it is possible to get air in the system while spreading the old pads to make room for the newer thicker ones. He suggested bleeding the brake from the top nipple near the reservoir.

    I will crack the bleed nipple to see if there is air in the system like the mechanic suggested, (that seems simple enough) but I am still confused about how air could get into the system by changing pads. Has anyone else had this issue? Could the soft lever be related to something else?

    Thanks for you thoughts and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    3,438
    Have you bedded in the new pads? I find new pads to always feel a bit soft until they've been bedded in. EBC says to ride carefully the first 300-400 miles for surface bedding then do 10 hard brakes from 60 to 20 MPH to get the brakes hot. I believe most brake pad vendors have similar procedures.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    270
    My guess is air in the system but how it got in there I don't know.
    How many miles you got on those pads? Should not take long to square them up unless they had some major damage or the rotors are in bad shape.

    tsp
    My Blog: http://www.airheadmoto.com

  4. #4
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Clovis,CA
    Posts
    4,214

    Ride it:)

    Give the new pads a chance to seat in and probably get your feel back. Some hard use the first 100 miles should do the trick. I would not mess with the bleed yet. I have same year GSA1200 at 97000m now, same pads with no sign of needing new ones yet. I use the front brake lever ONLY, as these are integrated, I like. It works real well, as my miles above show it. My rear pads got a switch some time ago, due to warranty oil leak in FD, but were the same at 75000m, no need to change before leak happened. Some of these brakes go a LONG time, to over 100000m in my case. WHEN you spread your caliper to accept new pads, did you overfill the reservoir as the fluid went back UP the line? I don't see any air either happening, but the fluid does go back into reservoir and you may have need to adjust its level? The bleed is easy on the '07 models, if needed. Randy

  5. #5
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Francisco East Bay
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    Give the new pads a chance to seat in and probably get your feel back. Some hard use the first 100 miles should do the trick. I would not mess with the bleed yet. I have same year GSA1200 at 97000m now, same pads with no sign of needing new ones yet. Randy
    I am off for a 200-mile ride today and hopefully that will seat the new pads. I am already beginning to get improvement in the feel of the lever after just 20 miles but it isn't back to "normal" yet.

    Randy, you are right. The replacement of my pads was a bit premature. I probably had another 10,000 miles on them, but since I have two long rides planned for this summer I thought it was a good idea to replace them.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Dick

  6. #6
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    Posts
    7,730
    Just curious how long ago 17,000 miles was. The brake fluid is changed (flushed) on a 2 year schedule starting with the date the bike was manufactured. If it's close to the time - I'd suggest browsing the DIY's for how to do it, or schedule a flush with your dealer.

    While the feel may get better as the new pads start to seat on the rotors, I've also improved my brake feel a BUNCH by doing the ABS air-bleed that is enabled with the latest GS-911 software. I imagine the dealer can do the same.. it's done with the ABS activated, and it firmed up what was a somewhat soft lever feel for about 4 years on my bike (I believe it went back to when the dealer did a recall on some brake lines.) This was despite doing a standard brake flush/bleed every year (I'm anal..)

    Please let us know how it works out for you.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  7. #7
    Registered User DickNCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Francisco East Bay
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Just curious how long ago 17,000 miles was. The brake fluid is changed (flushed) on a 2 year schedule starting with the date the bike was manufactured. If it's close to the time - I'd suggest browsing the DIY's for how to do it, or schedule a flush with your dealer.

    While the feel may get better as the new pads start to seat on the rotors, I've also improved my brake feel a BUNCH by doing the ABS air-bleed that is enabled with the latest GS-911 software. I imagine the dealer can do the same.. it's done with the ABS activated, and it firmed up what was a somewhat soft lever feel for about 4 years on my bike (I believe it went back to when the dealer did a recall on some brake lines.) This was despite doing a standard brake flush/bleed every year (I'm anal..)

    Please let us know how it works out for you.
    Well the feel is much improved after about 190 miles. Breaking response is as good and I don't notice any difference before or after the pads. But I still think the end of the lever pull is too soft. Maybe this is not a problem, but I am a bit anal too. Newer model bikes at the dealer certainly had a firmer feel at the end of the lever pull.

    My brake fluid flush was 18 months ago at 63,000 miles by the dealer. But to be honest that was the first time. Would the dealer flush in January 2012 included the ABS air bleed? I have the R1200 Maintenance DVD by JVR Productions. Is the fluid flush you mention the same at that DVD? Does the GS-911 software you mention activate the ABS?

    Could the initial delay in performing the flush ( 5 years) have damaged something? The bike is ridden primarily as a tourer with little off-road.

    I like to do my own maintenance. Thanks for you all for your advise and info.

  8. #8
    BMW Rider
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCA View Post
    I just replaced the front brake pads on my 2007 R1200GS at 70,000 miles. After pumping the brake lever to set the new pads against the rotors it seems that the lever is softer than before and I can now depress the lever to about an inch of the grip. I took the bike for a test ride the braking performance still seems good. I had the brake fluid replaced about 17,000 miles ago. I stopped by my local dealer and the mechanic told me that it is possible to get air in the system while spreading the old pads to make room for the newer thicker ones. He suggested bleeding the brake from the top nipple near the reservoir.

    I will crack the bleed nipple to see if there is air in the system like the mechanic suggested, (that seems simple enough) but I am still confused about how air could get into the system by changing pads. Has anyone else had this issue? Could the soft lever be related to something else?

    Thanks for you thoughts and suggestions.
    Yes, it may mean air or it may mean the pistons are beginning to stick. The act of changing the brake pads will sometimes introduce this problem. Happens often enough to know it happens but it is not an everyday event by any means. Had it happen just this past Saturday on a Harley while the customer insisted we messed up his brakes. And all we did was install new brake pads. Took about 1/2 hour of continuous bleeding before we were able to get reasonable pressure. Lots of unknown junk floating around inside the reservoir. Customer insisted brakes were perfect before we touched them. I have no doubt customer was right. Customer just doesn't know this can happen sometimes. Advised customer to anticipate a master cylinder&caliper rebuild from as soon as on the way home to maybe never.

  9. #9
    BMW Rider
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCA View Post
    .......... Would the dealer flush in January 2012 included the ABS air bleed?
    This is an on-going issue. Customers frequently do not know what was renewed/bled. We will write down the specifics, i.e. wheel circuits and ABS circuit clearly stated for example. Much of the dealer paperwork I see fails to discuss exactly what was done. Repairs orders that indicate a Service was performed frequenty fail to state if the brake fluid was renewed and what's worse the brake fluid itself may not be listed. Some dealers like to include brake fluid in the Shop Materials field. Pure lack of communication as I've discussed in the past and a poor way to write up a repair order.

    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCA View Post
    ................. Does the GS-911 software you mention activate the ABS?
    Yes it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCA View Post
    Could the initial delay in performing the flush ( 5 years) have damaged something?
    ...............[/QUOTE]

    Yes, it is possible but not guaranteed. This is an example of performing maintenance-related work where it is possible to introduce a problem that didn't exist prior to the work being performed.

  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    Posts
    7,730
    Quote Originally Posted by DickNCA View Post
    Well the feel is much improved after about 190 miles. Breaking response is as good and I don't notice any difference before or after the pads. But I still think the end of the lever pull is too soft. Maybe this is not a problem, but I am a bit anal too. Newer model bikes at the dealer certainly had a firmer feel at the end of the lever pull.

    My brake fluid flush was 18 months ago at 63,000 miles by the dealer. But to be honest that was the first time. Would the dealer flush in January 2012 included the ABS air bleed? I have the R1200 Maintenance DVD by JVR Productions. Is the fluid flush you mention the same at that DVD? Does the GS-911 software you mention activate the ABS?
    The dealer flush should include the ABS activation and flush, but.. without watching them do it, it's guesswork if it was done. And no - the fluid flush is right here in the DIY section, doesn't cost a cent for a BMW-MOA member to access it.

    And yes - the latest release version of the GS-911 software includes the ABS activation.

    Could the initial delay in performing the flush ( 5 years) have damaged something? The bike is ridden primarily as a tourer with little off-road.

    I like to do my own maintenance. Thanks for you all for your advise and info.
    Off-road/on-road - doesn't matter. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water, in this case water vapor from the air. The water is what does the damage... pistons corrode, bad things happen. Could the long period of not being done have caused some damage? Certainly there is that potential.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  11. #11
    Barback King rapiddog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Acton, SoCal just West of Hell
    Posts
    309
    I have an '07 R1200R with all the records from the PO, has 14K miles.
    No record however of a brake flush.
    It's an ABS bike.

    I did the complete 12K service myself, including bleeding the brakes at the calipers.

    The bike has a very soft feel at the lever. First 1/2 of the pull is hardly functional and then the binders come on strong.
    Now in the extreme hot SoCal weather it feels like the lever is going to pull all the way to the grip.

    I'd assume it needs a complete flush by the dealer.
    I've been quoted $170 to do the barke and clutch bleed.

    Is that price inline with an ABS activation and flush?
    I certainly hope so...I rarely have a dealer do maintenance, but the brakes are always iffy.
    "...the burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind...." Larry of Arubia

  12. #12
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    Posts
    7,730
    Quote Originally Posted by rapiddog View Post
    I have an '07 R1200R with all the records from the PO, has 14K miles.
    No record however of a brake flush.
    It's an ABS bike.

    I did the complete 12K service myself, including bleeding the brakes at the calipers.

    The bike has a very soft feel at the lever. First 1/2 of the pull is hardly functional and then the binders come on strong.
    Now in the extreme hot SoCal weather it feels like the lever is going to pull all the way to the grip.

    I'd assume it needs a complete flush by the dealer.
    I've been quoted $170 to do the barke and clutch bleed.

    Is that price inline with an ABS activation and flush?
    I certainly hope so...I rarely have a dealer do maintenance, but the brakes are always iffy.
    At that price - the GS911 is half paid for with this one item. Seems the thing to do is to buy one. And yes - this should clear this up for you, it sure did for me. There probably is absolutely no reason to do a clutch bleed. It's not brake fluid in there - it's mineral oil with no specific change interval. If it's dark black then you might change it, if not - leave it alone.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •