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post #1 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 7:12 pm Thread Starter
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Braking question

My '06 LT is the first motorcycle I've owned or ridden with ABS brakes. Overall I'm very pleased with them and will attest to the fact that they probably saved our bacon when a car pulled directly into our path on one of our first rides.

However, I've had a very un-nerving experience a number of times and I wonder if it's normal. It happens when I'm braking relatively hard to a stop from highway speed and I go though a dip or over a bump that causes the bike to get light on the wheels. When this happens it's like the brakes release and then grab again when the weight comes back on. This scared me a bit the first time it happened but I've come to accept it since it has happened a number of times and has not caused a serious problem, but it's really spooky and in the right situation could be downright dangerous.

Anyone else experienced this? Can anyone offer an explanation?

Jim
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post #2 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 7:20 pm
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Re: Braking question

Yes, just the computer unlocking your wheel. If you did not have ABS the wheel would've locked and possibly a crash. If you are going into ABS mode a lot, then there may be a problem with the bike or your braking method. In motor school we teach to apply the rear first then the front to allow weight transfer. To squeeze the brakes and not to grab.

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post #3 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 8:14 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Braking question

That is what I've always done with previous motorcycles. The BMW, however, does not give me that choice. The brakes are fully integrated.

Jim
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post #4 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 8:34 pm
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Re: Braking question

I'm picking up my new LT this week & coincidentally I asked the salesman today about the fully integrated system. According to him when you apply either of the brakes the other brake is applied, but on a proportional basis. He was not sure of the %, but for example if you apply the rear brake approximately 70% of the braking force is applied to the rear and 30% to the front and vice versa. On my RT the brakes are linked front to rear only. You would still be able to apply the brakes the way you did previously, applying the rear first then the front and this should give you the results you are looking for...
I know there are much more experienced LT riders than I, so I'm certain they can give a further explanation or a corrected explanation...
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post #5 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 9:02 pm
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Re: Braking question

Or it could be the abs sensor is out of ajustment. You may have a feeler gage in your tool pouch. I'm not sure what the correct gap is, Maby someone here will chime in and tell you . Good Luck!
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post #6 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:28 pm
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Re: Braking question

Every time it happens I am just a bit surprised. I think it's normal, though, and has caused no problems other than getting my attention now and then.
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post #7 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Braking question

I often wonder just how much real knowledge dealers have about these bikes. My dealer told me it makes no difference which brake lever you use. The braking force is applied to the wheels the same whether you use the hand or the foot lever. This is confirmed for the LT in the owners manual and in the Clymer service manual.

Jim
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post #8 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:37 pm
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Re: Braking question

Quote:
Originally Posted by javandyke
I often wonder just how much real knowledge dealers have about these bikes. My dealer told me it makes no difference which brake lever you use. The braking force is applied to the wheels the same whether you use the hand or the foot lever.
My experience is that there is some bias front and rear but only for light applications. The harder you apply input the more it applies both brakes. You can drag a little rear but it must be a very light touch. You can also test for yourself. Do a panic stop (under controlled conditions) with just the front, then just the rear and finally with both. You will notice a difference.

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post #9 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:38 pm
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Re: Braking question

I too have an '06 LT. The only time I have had an issue with the ABS is when I encountered my first panic stop. I grabbed a handful of brake and the servo assist kicked in to REALLY apply pressure and the ABS shortly after that.

But if I slowly apply the brakes the servo assist kicks in gracefully and slows me in a controled response and the ABS only kicks in if the wheel locks. I'd suggest practicing applying the brakes in a slower more controled manner in your daily rides. Or maybe go to a large parking lot and test what works best for you.

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post #10 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Braking question

I did not mean to give the impression that the ABS was kicking in during these stops, they are simply normal braking situations. I am fully aware of the results of hard braking when the ABS does its thing.

I'm not a serious rider by some standards, but I have several hundreds of thousands of miles on a number of different motorcycles and this is the first I've experienced anything like this. I'm very much used to working the front and rear brake for maximum control. It's been an adjustment to relinquish this control to a computer. So far I like this integrated system, but it takes some getting used to.

Jim
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post #11 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:58 pm
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Re: Braking question

Hmm, I don't feel that way at all. I'm not sure why though. I do know I have not changed my braking habits at all. I routinely use both brakes simultaneously. I don't feel like the computer is taking control and in fact it will not unless I exceed the limits and the ABS has to kick in to prevent the wheel from locking up.

The servo assist was the more difficult component for me to get used to, but I adapted quickly. I use the two finger method unless I feel more pressure is required and then automatically use my whole hand.

I had my wife on the back in the early stages once and grabbed the brakes a bit too hard (just the two fingers) and stopped a bit too quick for her. It's surprising how well the servo assist works on such a heavy motorcycle.

Just as an FYI, if you know the motorcycle is going to get light on its wheels and the ABS will kick in, take control yourself to prevent it by lessening your grip on the brakes before the motorcycle gets too light on its wheels. I vary my grip on the brakes quite a bit. I hadn't considered it until now when rereading your thread about the issue. Maybe that's why I don't feel like a computer is taking control of the motorcycle braking out of my hands.

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post #12 of 12 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 11:05 pm
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Re: Braking question

I have an '07. Right by my house, there is a long flat off ramp from the highway with a series of poorly filled potholes and bumps. If I exit normally at a fairly high speed and then brake aggressively, when I hit the bumps I get the same sensation. The first time it happened was pretty startling. These are not skidding conditions . . . just enough tire slip on the bumps to activate the ABS. Without ABS, I'm fairly confident that I wouldn't even know the wheels had slipped (I have three other motorcycles that I ride on the same ramp all the time without skidding or crashing).

I chalk it up to a sensitive ABS system. Maybe I'll really appreciate that some day if I get in real trouble. I agree though, when you first get that "whoops my brakes just failed" sensation, it's a real attention getter.
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