Brake Line Question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 9:26 am Thread Starter
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Brake Line Question

Hi all. My 2002 LT still has the stock brake lines. I've read many posts and several videos that give grave warning to upgrade to braided Speigler lines.

I'm just curious whether this is the majority or minority of the community, and whether there are any/many LTs still running their factory brake lines with no problems.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #2 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 9:38 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

I just bought an '03 LT and wondered the same thing myself. After reading and thinking, I have concluded that collective wisdom is sometimes truly wise! While it's possible and maybe even likely that I could keep the original lines, the downside risk of a sudden brake failure or expensive ABS clog due to debris in the old lines is just too great. Bedsides, stainless lines look kind of cool!😜

I have ordered and will install stainless lines as part of the complete baseline service I am planning.
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post #3 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 10:01 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Hi all. My 2002 LT still has the stock brake lines. I've read many posts and several videos that give grave warning to upgrade to braided Speigler lines.

I'm just curious whether this is the majority or minority of the community, and whether there are any/many LTs still running their factory brake lines with no problems.
For all IABS with servos built between 2001-2005 (K1200RS and R1150xx) or 2001-2009 (K1200LT) I have seen enough of these black rubber hose fail that YOU MAY THINK TWICE before you delay further the decision. For approx $US 230 (if you do it yourself) do you really want to guess if you will be lucky (or not) in the stats....

I am not paranoid, I always do my own maintenance AND I will not gamble on my safety for certain items like brakes. A good saying from my aviation days: "If you think safety is expensive, try an accident."
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post #4 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 10:53 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

I have a 2001 and got it with original lines. Once the second line burst within a month, I decided that there was no hype about these old rubber lines, only facts. If you still have the original lines, you are on borrowed time.

I was lucky in that both burst as I was leaving my home and could immediately return home without having found my safety compromised. It could have turned out much differently.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #5 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 11:43 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Hi all. My 2002 LT still has the stock brake lines. I've read many posts and several videos that give grave warning to upgrade to braided Speigler lines.

I'm just curious whether this is the majority or minority of the community, and whether there are any/many LTs still running their factory brake lines with no problems.
Definitely it's the majority. Stock brake lines are vastly inferior. Do it now if you think your bacon is worth saving.
Bob

2005 KLT Graphite Gray
2003 F650GS Black
*Too slow for fast women
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post #6 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 12:18 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Definitely it's the majority. Stock brake lines are vastly inferior. Do it now if you think your bacon is worth saving.
Bob
In reference to "Stock brake lines", I should have added the following note to my earlier post:

It would appear that around 2003-2005 period, even BMW corporate / warranty dept got the memo of these failure rate as all NEW models that came out in 2005 and later received SUPERIOR steel-braided brake hoses from factory (R1200xx, K1200S, K1300S, K1300GT, K1600...). In BMW brochure and tech documents these are called "Stahlflex steel-braided brake lines".

Because the K1200LT was planned to be retired eventually and replaced by another model-engine combo, I can pretty much guess that in 2005 they did NOT bother to retrofit the last generation of K1200LT on the assembly line (2005-2009) with steel-braided brake hoses like all newer models. This last sentence is my opinion only...

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John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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post #7 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 12:22 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
In reference to "Stock brake lines", I should have added the following note to my earlier post:

It would appear that around 2003-2005 period, even BMW corporate / warranty dept got the memo of these failure rate as all NEW models that came out in 2005 and later received SUPERIOR steel-braided brake hoses from factory (R1200xx, K1200S, K1300S, K1300GT, K1600...). In BMW brochure and tech documents these are called "Stahlflex steel-braided brake lines".

Because the K1200LT was planned to be retired eventually and replaced by another model-engine combo, I can pretty much guess that in 2005 they did NOT bother to retrofit the last generation of K1200LT on the assembly line (2005-2009) with steel-braided brake hoses like all newer models. This last sentence is my opinion only...
I should have said "stock non-steel reinforced" lines are vastly inferior.

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2003 F650GS Black
*Too slow for fast women
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post #8 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 12:56 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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I should have said "stock non-steel reinforced" lines are vastly inferior.
BOB,
Good point.... This is the reason why I added my last post on this subject.
I felt that both of our earlier posts may leave a new BMW owner wondering: "Why in hell does BMW keeps using inferior brake hoses on these bike?"

I am done - I rest my case ;-)
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John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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Last edited by sailor; Jan 27th, 2016 at 1:39 pm.
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post #9 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 1:47 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

Last summer I replaced all the brakelines to Spieglers on my '99 LT because one of my frontlines broke in the mountains. That was not a fun moment. But more then happy now with my new SS-lines :-)
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post #10 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 3:37 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by RemonLT View Post
Last summer I replaced all the brakelines to Spieglers on my '99 LT because one of my frontlines broke in the mountains. That was not a fun moment. But more then happy now with my new SS-lines :-)
For those still on the fence about changing their stock lines out, the above could be quite the adrenalin rush, if you survive... I can also attest to sailor's comment that BMW did not change over from the inferior lines to the steel braided lines when they manufactured my '07 LT (which now has Spieglers). These are well worth it for peace of mind.

Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #11 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 3:57 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

I had a failure on the line from the rear master cylinder of my '99 (with @85K miles) about a thousand miles from home, less than halfway into my trip. Replaced with a set of Spiegler lines once I got home.

As these are touring bikes, might be best to do preventative maintenance before you leave home.
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post #12 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 5:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

Thanks for responding everyone. This might seem like beating a dead horse, but I had to ask. Over the years I've owned and maintained many bikes, and there have been many times that other owners would tell me, "You have to get the newest (performance mod/design improvement/farkle/motorized widget/chrome plated doohickey/electronic whizzer), or your bike will (crash/blow up/be worthless/etc.), or you just won't be cool." Sometimes they were right. Sometimes they were wrong. I just wanted to make sure this mod wasn't in that category.

The fact that BMW chose to add reinforced lines to most of their product offerings in 2007 tells me that they, too, found the original lines inadequate, or there were enough owners that were swapping them that they saw this as a selling feature on their new bikes.

I ordered a new set of Speiglers an hour ago. The cost wasn't the issue. I'm more concerned about my ability to get all of the air bled out of the integral ABS system after the lines are installed. Another challenge . . . .another learning curve!

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #13 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 6:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

BTW, has anyone with Speigler lines had one fail yet?

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #14 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 6:50 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Thanks for responding everyone. This might seem like beating a dead horse, but I had to ask. Over the years I've owned and maintained many bikes, and there have been many times that other owners would tell me, "You have to get the newest (performance mod/design improvement/farkle/motorized widget/chrome plated doohickey/electronic whizzer), or your bike will (crash/blow up/be worthless/etc.), or you just won't be cool." Sometimes they were right. Sometimes they were wrong. I just wanted to make sure this mod wasn't in that category.

The fact that BMW chose to add reinforced lines to most of their product offerings in 2007 tells me that they, too, found the original lines inadequate, or there were enough owners that were swapping them that they saw this as a selling feature on their new bikes.

I ordered a new set of Speiglers an hour ago. The cost wasn't the issue. I'm more concerned about my ability to get all of the air bled out of the integral ABS system after the lines are installed. Another challenge . . . .another learning curve!
Get John Zeiler's brake flush DVD. Exellent tutorial. Keeps more $$ in your pocket rather than the dealer's pocket.

2005 KLT Graphite Gray
2003 F650GS Black
*Too slow for fast women
*A little adventure is good for the soul
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post #15 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2016, 7:19 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
BTW, has anyone with Speigler lines had one fail yet?
I believe they are warranted for life so that means they will likely not fail.

FWIW I had a 1976 Suzuki GT-750 I pickup in 1994. I had it four years before I noticed it didn't stop as good as my 74 model did. Looked at the front brake hoses (MFG date 1972) and they would inflate. Replaced them with new stock and she was stopping on a dime. No one should ever ride/drive a vehicle with rubber brake hoses over 10 years old (especially my 29 year old ones)!

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #16 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 11:20 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

I drank the Kool Aid - have Spiegler's now.

Jim
2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)
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post #17 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 12:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

I find it telling that not one response said, "I have the stock brake lines, and after 75,000 miles they are just fine." There may be a few out there, but if so, no one is interested in admitting it.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #18 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 12:25 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
I find it telling that not one response said, "I have the stock brake lines, and after 75,000 miles they are just fine." There may be a few out there, but if so, no one is interested in admitting it.
Well, if you are on this forum and have an LT or early model, it gets talked about a lot especially to new members/owners. katnapinn's recent thread is only one example of what can happen. I hope you read it.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...ake-lines.html

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #19 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 12:33 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
I find it telling that not one response said, "I have the stock brake lines, and after 75,000 miles they are just fine." There may be a few out there, but if so, no one is interested in admitting it.
Are you feeling lucky? I have some perfectly good LOOKING OEM brake hoses you can have for free.
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2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)

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post #20 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 1:22 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Are you feeling lucky? I have some perfectly good OEM brake hoses you can have for free.
Yeah, I had some cosmetically good lines on mine that I trashed, as I didn't know what was going on inside, but didn't want to take a chance. As long as the bike can go, it needs to be able to stop too...

Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #21 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 2:57 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Yeah, I had some cosmetically good lines on mine that I trashed, as I didn't know what was going on inside, but didn't want to take a chance. As long as the bike can go, it needs to be able to stop too...
Right you are - I went back and clarified my post.

And Aberdale, bleeding the brakes afterwards isn't that bad - just do it methodically. There are a lot of write ups on that. Trickiest part is accessing the nipples on the 2 sides of the ABS module - easiest for me was to bend a 7 mm combination wrench - see pics..
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2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)

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post #22 of 37 Old Jan 28th, 2016, 4:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Jim_McG View Post
Right you are - I went back and clarified my post.

And Aberdale, bleeding the brakes afterwards isn't that bad - just do it methodically. There are a lot of write ups on that. Trickiest part is accessing the nipples on the 2 sides of the ABS module - easiest for me was to bend a 7 mm combination wrench - see pics..
Thanks for offering your old stock lines, Jim, but I'm guessing the ones I have are probably identical to yours. . I have been studying the threads and videos related to IABS brake bleeding. I'm feeling a little less intimidated, but I think I may pick up a funnel and a bleed bag to make the job a little easier. I'll also pick up a couple 7mm wrenches for fabricating a special wrench.

The Spieglers should arrive mid-next week.
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I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #23 of 37 Old Jan 29th, 2016, 9:57 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Thanks for offering your old stock lines, Jim, but I'm guessing the ones I have are probably identical to yours. . I have been studying the threads and videos related to IABS brake bleeding. I'm feeling a little less intimidated, but I think I may pick up a funnel and a bleed bag to make the job a little easier. I'll also pick up a couple 7mm wrenches for fabricating a special wrench.

The Spieglers should arrive mid-next week.
That post was a bit tongue-in-cheek - no offense intended. I was going to quote Dirty Harry and ask "Are you feeling lucky, Punk?" but refrained.

Glad you are tackling replacement. As mentioned, lots of good write ups and videos on bleeding iABS brakes. For our generation iABS, you don't need the funnel like the newer version. Also, I am definitely NOT a fan of reverse bleeding after doing it once - it just makes a big mess, can push contaminates from the calipers to the ABS module and you still need to forward bleed the control circuits afterwards in any case.

I don't know how to link other posts, but some pointers I learned doing this:

1. Before removing the handlebar reservoir cover, turn handlebars all the way to the left. Although not absolutely required for bleeding, I remove the 3 switch assembly screws, loosen the brake assembly clamp and rotate it so the reservoir is as level as possible. Replacing the hose requires this anyway - just leave it loose until after you bleed. Put a quarter over the hole in the sump so fluid doesn't squirt out while you are pumping the lever.

2. To access the bleeders on the ABS module, get two 7 mm combination wrenches (Home Depot has them for $1.99 each) and bend the box end of one 90 degrees for R2 & F2 ports. You'll have to remove the "FFA" clamp bolt for R2 and remove the battery for F2. Bleed sequentially F1, F2, F3, R1, R2, R3 several times. See picture identifying the ports (courtesy of John Sailor).

3. For bleeding the wheel circuits, turn the key to on (do not start) and use the servo pumps to push fluid from the reservoir(s) to the calipers. Be careful to not drain the reservoir! A trick I learned here is to replace the two overflow hoses from the caps with hoses submerged into a can of clean DOT 4 brake fluid to replenish the fluid level as you pump. See picture. Many here use Valvoline Synthetic DOT 3-4. I went through almost a whole large can to thoroughly bleed after Speigler brake hose install.

That reminds me it's been a year since I did this - time to get back into the garage to flush the brakes!
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2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
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1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)

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post #24 of 37 Old Jan 29th, 2016, 12:26 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

I know of a '99 K-LT that had the rear slave line fail with approximately 3K miles on the odometer, and that was last summer. Long story on the reason for age/mileage craziness for such a bike, but certainly a lesson that age is just as much a factor as mileage, in the failure of these lines.
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post #25 of 37 Old Jan 29th, 2016, 3:08 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Thanks for offering your old stock lines, Jim, but I'm guessing the ones I have are probably identical to yours. . I have been studying the threads and videos related to IABS brake bleeding. I'm feeling a little less intimidated, but I think I may pick up a funnel and a bleed bag to make the job a little easier. I'll also pick up a couple 7mm wrenches for fabricating a special wrench.

The Spieglers should arrive mid-next week.

Hey, dont feel intimidated. I just did mine on New Years day. Use the instructions and videos from this website and others and you will have no problems. I never needed to bend the 7 mm wrench. The funnel and the bleed bag helped. I am no great mechanic.

David W

2013 F800GT - sold
2005 K1200LT
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post #26 of 37 Old Jan 30th, 2016, 5:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Jim_McG View Post
A trick I learned here is to replace the two overflow hoses from the caps with hoses submerged into a can of clean DOT 4 brake fluid to replenish the fluid level as you pump. See picture.
I like this idea! I'll give it a try.

'dale

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #27 of 37 Old Feb 17th, 2016, 8:18 am Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

Well, the Spieglers are on, and the brake system is bled. It was not a difficult job at all after reading about the procedure and watching the on-line videos. The most difficult part for me was bleeding the front brake circuit without running out of brake fluid in the front brake reservoir. I fabricated a funnel/plug from a glass turkey baster and a synthetic wine bottle cork. Worked a charm.

New lines, new brake pads, and new synthetic fluid. Should be good to go for a while!

I get a great deal of satisfaction in learning how to do something myself. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, tips, and encouragement.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #28 of 37 Old Feb 17th, 2016, 9:49 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
Well, the Spieglers are on, and the brake system is bled. It was not a difficult job at all after reading about the procedure and watching the on-line videos. The most difficult part for me was bleeding the front brake circuit without running out of brake fluid in the front brake reservoir. I fabricated a funnel/plug from a glass turkey baster and a synthetic wine bottle cork. Worked a charm.

New lines, new brake pads, and new synthetic fluid. Should be good to go for a while!

I get a great deal of satisfaction in learning how to do something myself. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, tips, and encouragement.
Good job. It isn't all that difficult if you are capable of turning your own wrenches. I just hope you used DOT4 and not the Silicone based DOT 5.
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Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #29 of 37 Old Feb 17th, 2016, 11:25 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

Never had a problem with my 2000 K1200LT brake lines.

I did replace them a year ago just as a precaution.

A note about bmw stuff: I rebuilt several 1970s Airhead BMWs. I used the original brake lines (the only hydraulic section was from the front master cylinder under the tank to the front brake caliper(s). Never had a problem with them.

Other original "rubber" components on these old bikes lasted the years quite well. During my rebuilds, I occasionally would replace an original rubber part with a new one from BMW (BMW Heritage parts). The thing I noticed is that the new rubber parts from BMW lasted only a year or two before degrading. The original stuff would lasted 2 or 3 decades, the new stuff lasted 2 or 3 years.

BmW has come a long way from the "legendary motorcycles" they used to advertise, and not in the best way. Those old Airheads weren't perfect, witness spun wheel bearings, etc., however they were the "bullet proof" bikes of the time.

BmW new bikes are marvels of performance engineering, but they haven't progressed as much as other manufacturers in the area of reliability and durability; just my observation. The short lived brake lines are evidence of that. I wonder, did they make their own parts in the 1970s and are now contracting out to the likes of China and India for parts? In any case, the quality is lacking in lots of cases.
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post #30 of 37 Old Feb 17th, 2016, 2:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Never had a problem with my 2000 K1200LT brake lines.

I did replace them a year ago just as a precaution.

A note about bmw stuff: I rebuilt several 1970s Airhead BMWs. I used the original brake lines (the only hydraulic section was from the front master cylinder under the tank to the front brake caliper(s). Never had a problem with them.

Other original "rubber" components on these old bikes lasted the years quite well. During my rebuilds, I occasionally would replace an original rubber part with a new one from BMW (BMW Heritage parts). The thing I noticed is that the new rubber parts from BMW lasted only a year or two before degrading. The original stuff would lasted 2 or 3 decades, the new stuff lasted 2 or 3 years.

BmW has come a long way from the "legendary motorcycles" they used to advertise, and not in the best way. Those old Airheads weren't perfect, witness spun wheel bearings, etc., however they were the "bullet proof" bikes of the time.

BmW new bikes are marvels of performance engineering, but they haven't progressed as much as other manufacturers in the area of reliability and durability; just my observation. The short lived brake lines are evidence of that. I wonder, did they make their own parts in the 1970s and are now contracting out to the likes of China and India for parts? In any case, the quality is lacking in lots of cases.
I'm not sure, Charlie. My 1987 R80RT, and 1989 K100RS still have their original brake lines and appear to be working just fine. Even my 1970 Honda CB450 still has it's original front brake line.

I'm curious whether the servo assisted brake system on the LTs operate under higher pressures which possibly reduces their life expectancy. Of course, there are many cages with power brakes that seem to have no problem with longevity. Apples to oranges comparison, I know.

I would rather be lucky than good lookin'.

Bikes currently in the garage:
1970 Honda CB450
1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster
1978 BMW R100S
1981 Yamaha SR500
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo
1987 BMW R80RT
1987 Harley Davidson Tour Glide
1989 BMW K100RS ABS
1990 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail
1991 BMW K1
2000 BMW R1200C
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2002 BMW K1200LT
2009 Harley Davidson XR1200
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post #31 of 37 Old Feb 17th, 2016, 2:29 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

I have just ordered Spiegler lines for my bike. When the conversion was done to my LT they have changed the rear lines for SS ones but I'm still running the Standard lines on the front. Think now would be the time to change the front ones now that I have an extra wheel and more weight to stop.

2005 K1200LT Trike Conversion
1995 BMW R850R
1975 Honda CB400/4
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post #32 of 37 Old Feb 17th, 2016, 4:49 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Aberdale View Post
I'm not sure, Charlie. My 1987 R80RT, and 1989 K100RS still have their original brake lines and appear to be working just fine. Even my 1970 Honda CB450 still has it's original front brake line.

I'm curious whether the servo assisted brake system on the LTs operate under higher pressures which possibly reduces their life expectancy. Of course, there are many cages with power brakes that seem to have no problem with longevity. Apples to oranges comparison, I know.
Yup, 1994 R90S, 1976 R90/6, 1973 Honda CB550 I rebuild all using original brake lines. No reason brake lines shouldn't last. I would expect that bikes from the 1980s and 1990s, and forward would do as well.

It was just my observation that the new rubber components BmW was supplying didn't last nearly as long as the original parts, AND, as a long time member of this board, I've noted many reports of K1200LT brake line failures. Whether those failures are more common to particular years or servio assisted bikes, I haven't seen any data.

I wouldn't think that the servo assisted systems have any greater pressure in the brake lines between the master cylinders and the calipers; that doesn't make any sense to me.
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post #33 of 37 Old Feb 18th, 2016, 9:51 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

Ok, I get the point! Just ordered a set of Spieglers and the funnel thing

I did replace the original lines on my 95 R1100GS last year after one burst, but they had been on since it was assembled in 1994 and had date stamps from 1993!
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post #34 of 37 Old Feb 20th, 2016, 10:42 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
Yup, 1994 R90S, 1976 R90/6, 1973 Honda CB550 I rebuild all using original brake lines. No reason brake lines shouldn't last. I would expect that bikes from the 1980s and 1990s, and forward would do as well.

It was just my observation that the new rubber components BmW was supplying didn't last nearly as long as the original parts, AND, as a long time member of this board, I've noted many reports of K1200LT brake line failures. Whether those failures are more common to particular years or servio assisted bikes, I haven't seen any data.

I wouldn't think that the servo assisted systems have any greater pressure in the brake lines between the master cylinders and the calipers; that doesn't make any sense to me.
I agree that higher pressure makes little sense. If you can lock the wheel with manual brakes, you have all the pressure needed. More adds no utility.

What ABS does have is the ability to cycle pressure much faster. I could see thus causing fatigue issues if you used ABS on every stop, but who does that?

I am guessing the answer is more mundane: BMW likely changed suppliers to cut cost and got inferior materials and construction.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #35 of 37 Old Feb 20th, 2016, 3:14 pm
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Re: Brake Line Question

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...I am guessing the answer is more mundane: BMW likely changed suppliers to cut cost and got inferior materials and construction.
Bingo!

Reminiscent of the rash of failing OEM tire valves. Remember those?
Ancient history, but BMW delivered an number of bikes with valves stems that would spontaneously let the air out because the rubber of the valve stem wasn't bonded to the metal core of the valve assembly:
http://www.bmwlt.com/ubbthreads/show...=&view=&sb=&o=
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post #36 of 37 Old Feb 21st, 2016, 7:41 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

Data point new to me sadly neglected 02 had a "mystery fluid" mist on the front. short version; right front hose at the fork junction revealed it's weakness in a big way.
I feel German manu's went suppler shopping starting in the late 90s to counter a currency gap that made them noncompetitive in the world market. Buyers got bit by "low cost" vendors with little or no QC. My 04 Sprinter van suffers from similar issues. Bosch gets no respect from me.

K1200LT gone, beater 1100RT on the way
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post #37 of 37 Old Feb 21st, 2016, 9:27 am
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Re: Brake Line Question

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Originally Posted by Kevin12T View Post
I have just ordered Spiegler lines for my bike. When the conversion was done to my LT they have changed the rear lines for SS ones but I'm still running the Standard lines on the front. Think now would be the time to change the front ones now that I have an extra wheel and more weight to stop.
Good idea too! The front brake line on these bikes is one of the weaknesses. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it when I replaced mine, but there is a short hose on the right side, after the junction where the front line splits into two, which supplies the right-front caliper. That short hose, maybe 3" long, is supposed to be straight. Mine was bulged into a U-shape and ready to burst at 5 years old and 24k.

'15 GTLE


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