Power brakes: TOO sensitive? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Aug 28th, 2006, 9:27 pm Thread Starter
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Power brakes: TOO sensitive?

After my little ride Sunday on the GT, I have been thinking a lot about the sensitivity of the brakes. My engineering mind tells me they are calibrated WAAAAY too sensitive! One should be able to easily modulate them for the needed stopping force with enough granularity in the required force curve to allow it to be a smooth transition between light, to medium, to heavy.

I found the brakes on the GT to be far too sensitive, requiring only light two finger pressure to get WAY too much front brake.

It makes no sense to have full braking at a fraction of the force the weakest handed rider can put on the lever! Brick wall stopping power should not be there until a few pounds are on the lever, not ounces! That means you have to be able to feel the difference between something like 6 ounces and 6.2 ounces, which few can do. If the range was spread out over say 0- 5 pounds force then the change in braking that an ounce or two makes on the power brakes would require several ounces change, much easier for people to modulate.

If I end up with a new bike when the time comes, I will wait for the newer POWERLESS braking system coming out on some of the '07 bikes. I had all the braking power I needed on the '01 LT, could activate the ABS front or rear with out straining hard. The more I think about the overly sensitive brakes on that GT (are all like that?) the less I like it. I have absolutely NO need to be able to brake extremely hard with two fingers, nor do I want to.

There was a time or two on the LT where I was riding pretty quickly in twisties and came up on something that required a little braking, sure would not want that STOP NOW surprise to happen then and cause the front to wash out for no good reason.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #2 of 7 Old Aug 28th, 2006, 9:44 pm
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The first power brakes on the RT were so sensitive that light rear braking would actually lock the wheel and engage the ABS. I hated them on my brief test ride. BMW did recalibrate shortly after that to make them less grabby.

It took me maybe a day or two to get used the the power brakes on my '02 after coming from a '99 LT. Now they work just great. You can easily modulate them, if you are smooth, but they don't tolerate grabby ham-fisted inputs well. Maybe the GT is a bit more sensitive due to its reduced overall weight.

I'm also quite interested in the new non-power brakes coming in '07. Not because of being too sensitive, but because of longevity issues. I'd hate to get 100K on the bike and suddenly find I need a $1,700 brake booster, plus labor.

And didn't you hear? The new Hossack (er, Duolever) forks mean the front end never washes out. It's practically fool-proof. And we sure know a lot of fools putting that theory to the test.

Ken
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post #3 of 7 Old Aug 28th, 2006, 9:51 pm
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My thoughts on the "power" brakes.

I too used to think the brakes on my '02 were too sensitive. However, when Carol and I were loaded down with 100 lbs. of gear. We had been in the saddle all day. Hitting about 80 mph in rush hour traffic in Atlanta, I came to appreciate the "power" brakes in a panic stop. Of course, the ABS also came in handy. I would not want the "power" brakes without the ABS.

The "power" brakes are a large benefit to the LT. They may be a little strong in a parking lot, but in real world, high speed panic stops, I find them priceless! An 850 lbs. machine at high speeds SHOULD have powerful brakes!
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post #4 of 7 Old Aug 28th, 2006, 11:05 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wardenross
My thoughts on the "power" brakes.

I too used to think the brakes on my '02 were too sensitive. However, when Carol and I were loaded down with 100 lbs. of gear. We had been in the saddle all day. Hitting about 80 mph in rush hour traffic in Atlanta, I came to appreciate the "power" brakes in a panic stop. Of course, the ABS also came in handy. I would not want the "power" brakes without the ABS.

The "power" brakes are a large benefit to the LT. They may be a little strong in a parking lot, but in real world, high speed panic stops, I find them priceless! An 850 lbs. machine at high speeds SHOULD have powerful brakes!
Oh, don't get me wrong, I want powerful brakes too! BUT I do not want them powerful with very little pull on the lever! I want them to really stop the bike when I want it to, and that will be evident with a strong pull on the brake lever, do NOT want full brakes with far less than full pull on the lever. I want the brake power to be proportional to how hard I am applying them. The GT brakes were slamming me to a stop with probably 5% of the pull I can easily put on the lever. That is just wrong for me.

I think BMW is making a good move getting rid of the electric pumped brakes and going back to the ABS II system, with additional control added instead of the servo pumps.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #5 of 7 Old Sep 29th, 2006, 10:48 am
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You will just have to buy a 07 GT. No longer servo assisted and I must say they work excellent and very linear.

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post #6 of 7 Old Sep 29th, 2006, 12:33 pm
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[QUOTE]And didn't you hear? The new Hossack (er, Duolever) forks mean the front end never washes out. It's practically fool-proof. And we sure know a lot of fools putting that theory to the test. [QUOTE]

oh uh...errr....I resembled that remark...



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post #7 of 7 Old Sep 29th, 2006, 3:24 pm
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David,

Remember the first time you drove a car with power brakes? I'm sure that many of us thought that the brakes were overly sensitive after coming from a car with manual brakes; my recollection is that I tested the seatbelt thoroughly concurrent with my first brake application.

I know that the first few rides on the LT, coming from a cruiser with mushy brakes and a sportbike with stoppie power, I was a little surprised by the sensitivity of the LT system. However, as I put more and more miles on the BMW, I gained a more refined feel for the power of the brakes and their application. Perhaps you might factor in that you haven't been riding as much as you used to and your personal sensitivity is not as finely honed. I bet with a few days or weeks of regular use, you would adapt to the power brakes just fine.

All that said, I agree that I would wait for the new system without the power assist as well. Modern unassisted discs can provide more stopping power with two fingers than my old bikes ever dreamed of having. I also am ruing the day that my LT power booster fails like all mechanical things; that is not a bill I am looking forward to.

Brett

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