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Old 11-18-2012, 03:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My first ER6N (rear) brake failure

To tell the truth I have never had this happen to me on a bike ever, but I have had it happen years ago on old Volvo I owned.

I was coming down a steep, long and twisting country road of the top off a mountain ridge down to the coast the other day. Though I was mostly in second and engine braking, this road is so twisty and there are always madcap teenagers screaming around these tight little bends on their scooters so I was trailbraking around most of the bends.

When I finally get down to the bottom of the valley I discover there is nothing happening with the brake pedal, it just keeps going down. At first I thought it was air in the lines or even a leak in the lines. But then I figured it must have overheated. Weird thing, I was flashing on the Volvo incident (same mountain, different road).

I kept riding slowly and didn't touch the brake pedal for at least 15 minutes. when I finally gave it a try it came up firm again.

Anybody else have this happen on their ER6/650?
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds scary. Were you using your front brake in combination with the rear?
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You probably just overheated it. Were you using both front and rear brakes?


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Old 11-18-2012, 07:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RacinJason44 View Post
You probably just overheated it. Were you using both front and rear brakes?


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That was my thought, but I don't know enough about brakes to say that confidently, or give an opinion really. In for an answer though.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RacinJason44 View Post
You probably just overheated it. Were you using both front and rear brakes?


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Oh I definitely overheated it. Just never had it happen to me on a bike before.

I was using the front brake but more intermittently when I really needed them. As I said was trailbraking a lot around the curves.

So some of you have had this experience with Kawasakis (or other bikes?) before? It's my first Kawasaki, was just wondering. Never had it happen to me with Hondas, Aprilias, old eglish models, or even the heavy old Harleys.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Rear brake is useless at speed, I try not to even use it

Stick with the front brake, get in the habit of relying on that... if you build up rear brake muscle memory all that will happen is you will lock the rear and forget about the front when you actually need to stop for an emergency
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sportyaccordy View Post
Rear brake is useless at speed, I try not to even use it

Stick with the front brake, get in the habit of relying on that... if you build up rear brake muscle memory all that will happen is you will lock the rear and forget about the front when you actually need to stop for an emergency
I agree i almost never use my rear break when hitting the twisties and flying around 33 the road behind Ojai, if im going under 15mph then ill use the rear only, just smoother for me when coming up to stop signs, i dont like putting my feet down if i dont have to.

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Old 11-19-2012, 02:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow im surprised, I use my rear brake on a lot of twisties, its a nice way to bring the bike into a balanced speed while downshifting and getting ready for the turn. My rear brake gets used a lot on all my bikes. Using the front for me throws off the weight distribution by unloading the rear end to much. Just my honest opinion. Or preferred method I guess.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Rear brake should always be used in traffic and coming to a stop, should mostly be used in balancewith the front in normal street riding, and is essential coming at slow speeds down a steep hill because of the weight distribution. At speed and under hard braking it isn't much use because of the weight transfer to the front, but riders who don't use it at all are not riding as well as they might. It's very useful for just steadying the rear end a touch.

If overheating causes excessive brake fade the probable solutions are either to use a harder pad or you have brake fluid that's taken up some moisture. Fluid is hygroscopic and needs to be replaced every two years to keep it moisture free. Water in the fluid turns to steam when it gets hot, and steam compresses, leaving you with no working brake until it cools and condenses.

Rob
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by williamr View Post
Rear brake should always be used in traffic and coming to a stop, should mostly be used in balancewith the front in normal street riding, and is essential coming at slow speeds down a steep hill because of the weight distribution. At speed and under hard braking it isn't much use because of the weight transfer to the front, but riders who don't use it at all are not riding as well as they might. It's very useful for just steadying the rear end a touch.

If overheating causes excessive brake fade the probable solutions are either to use a harder pad or you have brake fluid that's taken up some moisture. Fluid is hygroscopic and needs to be replaced every two years to keep it moisture free. Water in the fluid turns to steam when it gets hot, and steam compresses, leaving you with no working brake until it cools and condenses.

Rob
Yes I tend to use both, and am not a great fan of using the front brake only on steep downhill twisties. And I definitely use it after the front brake when coming to a stop/slowing down from high speeds - it's there for a good reason.

As to the brake fluid, I just had the rear pads replaced a week before so fluid would likely have been replaced/topped up, and the pads new pads are stock. I had new braided lines put in 4 months ago so the fluid was definitely changed then.
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