No Brakes

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  • No Brakes

    Rode the bike to work this morning, everything was great. Went to leave after work grab the brake lever and all the way to the handlebars it went...hmmm. Tried the rear brake and same thing, really odd. Pumped it a few times and felt normal, wait a few minutes and nothing again! Took a quick look and nothing appeared to be wrong, no noticeable fluid leaking from the calipers, both master cylinders full. I know this is a complex braking system on these bikes but what would make you lose brake pressure at both the front and rear brake lever?
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    Race Tech G3S Custom shock
    Dunlop E3 front
    Yokohama Envigor 195-55-16 rear Darkside #1591

  • #2
    Originally posted by MMR
    Basil, could you please tell us......what YEAR...and how many MILES on it ?

    ABS bike, or not ?
    2006 with ABS 40,000 miles. After work today I will try to look a little further into it, didn't have time yesterday. Very weird to me, especially since it affected both levers.
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    Dunlop E3 front
    Yokohama Envigor 195-55-16 rear Darkside #1591

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    • #3
      Basil, thanks for the info. Mine is a direct comparison....well sorta....as mine is an '06, with 47,000 on it, but no ABS. I owned this bike originally, bought new in mid 2007 as a new bike, sold it in Sept. 2011, and then bought it back from that same guy in June 2015. The brakes worked perfect for me (and this was...at that time...my 3rd GL-1800). The guy I sold this too had rear brake drag, just before he sold it back to me, but he only rode it 3,000 miles in 3.5 years. I think that "part" of his brake dragging issue was non-use. That is my opinion. The local dealer went ahead and did the secondary master cylinder recall on this bike, replaced the secondary master cylinder, and flushed through 6 bottles of DOT-4 brake fluid, and bled the system. After they were done, and the brakes appeared to work good, I bought the bike back.

      Once back in my hands, I found they did not bleed the brakes as well as they should have. I did the brake bleed myself, and since then have put 10,000 miles on the bike, and the brakes work perfectly.

      On YOUR bike, for it to affect both the front and rear brakes....I would have to lean towards the brake compensator valve (they probably call it something else), but it is (I am having a brain freeze right now)....like a distribution valve.

      Someone else with a brain that is working this morning will come along...Rocky...wake up ...and gives us the straight info on this.

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      • #4
        I had a problem a while back were my system felt weak i did a complete flush on my brakes system using 3 big bottles of DOT 4 man was my system dirty it's nice and clean how working great. I read were a lot of guys will pump up the system by pumping on the clutch about 10 times or more before every ride i do this now. I have never had a pressure loss thats never happen to me. You need to you need check out your entire system. I was never one who believed in flushing the brake system thinking it was a close system, but after seeing what i did its just amazing how dirty and crapy the fluids get.I will be bleeding my brakes every 20,000 miles from here on in. Has MMR saids others with more info will follow. Good luck
        2018 DCT non tour, Pearl Stallion Brown, Double Darksider #856, Live To Ride, Love my Wing, IBA Member# 63744 Yellowbird Alias Coppertone

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        • #5
          The front and rear are two independent hydraulic systems, but are linked, so I would be looking for a component that is shared by both systems. Maybe the secondary master cylinder?

          MMR's suggestion I think is referring to the modulator valves, but those are also dedicated front and rear units, so unless both have failed, I would think that either the pedal or the hand brake would be effected, not both unless maybe something in the ABS controller is telling both to bleed off pressure.

          The other possibility is that something is allowing the pistons in the caliper to collapse. On other vehicles, I have had bad wheel bearings do this, but I would think that on two wheels there would be other noticeable symptoms. It still might be worth your time to put the bike on the center stand and check for side to side movement in the wheels.

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          • #6
            Brake systems require a regular change of fluid :
            • Brake Fluid & Clutch Fluid - Inspect every 4,000 miles (6,400 km). Replace every 12,000 miles (19,200 km). *Replace every 2 years or at the indicated odometer interval, whichever comes. Replacement requires mechanical skill. Refer to the official Honda service manual.
            For those at are unaware Dot 4 and most standard brake fluids love to soakup water as they are mostly vented systems. This little verbage above came from my OLD GL1800 shop manual and really doesn't get talked about very much but it can really cause a bad situation and either no brakes or even locked up brakes if steam forms in the brake caliper ( yep happened to me) But there is a solution that works much better than Standard DOT 4 Brake Fluid, I have changed 3 years ago to Valvolines New Synthetic Dot 4 - Dot 5 compliant Brake fluid and I buy it in the Qt Bottle as its perfect to do the Brakes and the Clutch. I also use a MityVac Vacuum Bleeder MV6830 http://mityvac.com/pages/products_bcbe.asp that hooks to your compressor and is much faster and easier.
            Just follow the instructions for the Honda Manual and your Trike Manufacturer so you know the secquence to bleed in....

            If you have old brake and clutch fluid and it is hard to see in the glass view port your past time or if its been sitting in there for years (over 2 years)

            So now its time to beat me up, I'm just repeating factory verbage and trying to save someones life.... so this winter when your bike or trike is in storage or just prior get on Ebay or Amazon and fine a MityVac to hook to your compressor and run buy AutoZone and get a new jug of brake fluid (synthetic) and take 45 minutes to change fluids.... you will be amazed at what comes out of your bike, let it flow clear - no bubbles.... then check it / cover all painted surfaces as brake fluid will strip paint....

            Okay I'm Done....

            UPDATE: Well after 2 more days of reading some of what I was told was BS / Yes the Valvoline is Synthetic but it is still Glycol Based so it also will soak up water but it is a Purer version of Fluid that takes longer to get dirty but it still uses the same time and mileage change values. So it is better and seems after 3 years to be lasting longer as its still clear. I wanted to update what I found and be pro-active!!
            Last edited by Solidbob; 10-23-2015, 02:28 PM.
            Retired, Lifetime NRA, IBA #5831, AMA Lifer, HOG Lifer, Gypsy Tour Rider

            "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Yellowbird View Post
              I had a problem a while back were my system felt weak i did a complete flush on my brakes system using 3 big bottles of DOT 4 man was my system dirty it's nice and clean how working great. I read were a lot of guys will pump up the system by pumping on the clutch about 10 times or more before every ride i do this now. I have never had a pressure loss thats never happen to me. You need to you need check out your entire system. I was never one who believed in flushing the brake system thinking it was a close system, but after seeing what i did its just amazing how dirty and crapy the fluids get.I will be bleeding my brakes every 20,000 miles from here on in. Has MMR saids others with more info will follow. Good luck
              The problem, as explained to me by Honda mechanic, is that in a motorcycle the brake lines run close to engine and exhaust heat by necessity which "cooks" the fluid and gives it the darker color. Autos brake lines are routed toward outside and act like radiators. Also, motorcycle systems are much smaller in volume so any water contamination shows up immediately. The high heat/cooling cycles don't help this either. That's why Honda says fluid should be changed every two years/12,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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              • #8
                Went in to work this morning and as I walked past the bike I grabbed the brake lever and it seemed fine, hit the rear pedal...fine. Weird. So all day long every time I walked past I checked again, several times throughout the day. Didn't get a chance to do more than that as it was crazy busy today but what the heck??
                Progressive Monotubes
                All Balls
                Race Tech G3S Custom shock
                Dunlop E3 front
                Yokohama Envigor 195-55-16 rear Darkside #1591

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                • #9
                  Always easier to have two people bleed the brakes and clutch. Can use the time to reconnect in the marriage by having the little lady get on the floor bleeding the brakes and clutch while you pump the levers and pedals and pour fluid. Always nice to see the little lady take an active interest.
                  "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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                  • #10
                    Right, I find it much easier if she just tops off the resivour.... the compressor does all the work and just sucks it out, I had the hand pump model and that was a joke .... I couldn't pump that fast and never got anywhere. Know I just watch til it gets clear with very few bubbles. Everybody to their own poison....
                    Retired, Lifetime NRA, IBA #5831, AMA Lifer, HOG Lifer, Gypsy Tour Rider

                    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

                    Comment: (For off-topic replies)

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