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-   -   Brake Failure (https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/67040-brake-failure.html)

myblackt5 Mar 20th, 2012 5:19 pm

Brake Failure
 
Hello All,

I'm fairly new to K1200LT ownership. I live in the UK and own a Honda Blackbird, a Honda CBX1000 and a Honda Pan European 1100.
So, mainly Hondas.
My LT is a 2001 model with 25000 miles on it. When I bought it, the ABS light and brake failure lights where flashing alternatively. I was told that the battery on the bike was not the correct one and this was causing the lights to flash due to not enough power coming from the battery.
I have used the bike a few times to get to work, not yet changed the battery. The brake failure and ABS lights then began to flash very quickly and I lost servo assistance, making braking somewhat interesting, or non existant depending on how you look at it.
I pulled over, switched off, switched on again and had brakes again, though the brake warning lights where flashing very quickly.
I got it ome, turned it off and left it for a day or two. When I came to ride it again, I had the alternate abs and brake failure lights then after a few more miles I had the quick flashing abs and brake failure lights and no brakes again, until I switched off.
Help. I have no idea where to start, well the battery but then after that, I have no idea. Is this common?

New2rt Mar 20th, 2012 5:44 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Per the manual it indicates the brake fluid is low if it alternates once per second.
Flashing 4per second indicates the brake fluids is too low (they added too in there)

Look for leaks, check your pad wear. If that's good top off the fluid level, search for the procedure, mine is different then yours so I can't help there.
Might be a good time to do a fluid flush if that wasn't recently done.

myblackt5 Apr 4th, 2012 6:31 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
I checked the rear fluid levels. Just below minimum so topped it up to where is should be. The brake lights went off and I had 55 care free miles ride into work. When I rode home, I got 10 miles before the lights started flashing at 4hz and I lost servo assistance again?

I can't understand whats going on

RocketRon Apr 4th, 2012 7:02 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
This may or may not be the problem but it took 2 1/2 years to learn that there were two reservoirs in the rear. I kept checking the one I could get to and added fluid. Lights quit flashing. Drove it for a while and they started up again. FINALLY...someone mentioned the second reservoir. I hope that's your issue because that's a "simple" fix. However.....mine was only the slower alternating flash....not the rapid flash like you described.

BTW....please don't drive if your brakes aren't actually working! Although mine were flashing, the brakes always worked well.

New2rt Apr 4th, 2012 7:55 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
The difference between slow and rapid flash is you won't have servo assist on the rapid alternating flash. The cause for both is low fluid level. check to see if the levels are still full, if not find the leak. If they are it could be an issue with the level sensor.
I'm not familiar with the fluid res on your bike but I do know there is plenty of information on this site with pics to guide you. Search brake fluid change.

myblackt5 Apr 4th, 2012 8:01 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
A second reservoir?

When I filled the reservoir there where 2 caps on it, I opened both and topped up both levels, this was the reservoir near the pannier on the right hand side, as you are sat on the bike.

Where is the second reservoir?

loser Apr 4th, 2012 9:01 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
I have an 04 LT and your problem sounds VERY similar to what mine was doing. I'm not sure if your 01 has the integrated brakes like my 04 does but all I can say is brace yourself....lol. Sounds like a bad brake pump/modulator.

The dealer checked mine a year ago and said it was bad...."not building and/or holding pressure". After he told me the $$$$ I spent the last year "tinkering with and flushing it". No luck. I bit the bullet and bought a new one a few weeks ago. Hoping to install it this long holiday weekend.

Steve

Cochinosucio Apr 4th, 2012 10:07 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by loser
I have an 04 LT and your problem sounds VERY similar to what mine was doing. I'm not sure if your 01 has the integrated brakes like my 04 does but all I can say is brace yourself....lol. Sounds like a bad brake pump/modulator.

The dealer checked mine a year ago and said it was bad...."not building and/or holding pressure". After he told me the $$$$ I spent the last year "tinkering with and flushing it". No luck. I bit the bullet and bought a new one a few weeks ago. Hoping to install it this long holiday weekend.

Steve

I don't think he has integrated brakes. That changed in 03 or 04 if I'm not mistaken.

I do think you have air in the system, or a leak.

DON'T RIDE WITH A BRAKE PROBLEM.

Do get a Clymers manual, if you plan to do the work yourself. That is one of the best investments you can make.

deanwoolsey Apr 4th, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
He has the servo assist brakes which are also known as the integrated system. The two reservoirs are under the side cover at the front of the right side bag. I have not heard of integrated brakes on a 2001 but if he has servos that's what he has described.

It is unlikely that your system is setting a fault from the wrong battery but I suppose it's possible. You REALLY need to get the correct battery in the bike and flush the system properly. This may or may not fix your problem but the sooner the better since your fault is intermittent. It will become permanent if it's from contaminated fluid and does not get addressed soon.

With the integrated brakes you can get killed from a system failure as the brakes fail almost completely depending on the fault code. The manual ABS (non-power assist) system is much safer in failure mode as it retains full normal brake function even when the ABS system does not function.

Cochinosucio Apr 4th, 2012 11:58 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
He has the servo assist brakes which are also known as the integrated system. The two reservoirs are under the side cover at the front of the right side bag. I have not heard of integrated brakes on a 2001 but if he has servos that's what he has described.

It is unlikely that your system is setting a fault from the wrong battery but I suppose it's possible. You REALLY need to get the correct battery in the bike and flush the system properly. This may or may not fix your problem but the sooner the better since your fault is intermittent. It will become permanent if it's from contaminated fluid and does not get addressed soon.

With the integrated brakes you can get killed from a system failure as the brakes fail almost completely depending on the fault code. The manual ABS (non-power assist) system is much safer in failure mode as it retains full normal brake function even when the ABS system does not function.

+1

jzeiler Apr 4th, 2012 7:33 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
All K1200LTs with a mfg date after 01/2001 were Integral brakes. There are some 2001 bikes that were made before this date and they have the ABS II system. They (up through 2004) all had a dual chambered reservoir in the back that feeds both the rear control and wheel circuit (front half) and the front wheel circuit only (rear half). The 05 and up had the reservoirs for the wheel circuits ON the ABS unit. These (two types of resevoirs) are the only ones that are monitored.

New2rt Apr 4th, 2012 7:45 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jzeiler
All K1200LTs with a mfg date after 01/2001 were Integral brakes. There are some 2001 bikes that were made before this date and they have the ABS II system. They (up through 2004) all had a dual chambered reservoir in the back that feeds both the rear control and wheel circuit (front half) and the front wheel circuit only (rear half). The 05 and up had the reservoirs for the wheel circuits ON the ABS unit. These are the only ones that are monitored.

BMW does not use a fluid level monitor below 05 on iABS???

Thanks

jzeiler Apr 4th, 2012 7:53 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by New2rt
BMW does not use a fluid level monitor below 05 on iABS???

Thanks

I meant that the reservoirs I just described are the only ones monitored - hey I'm an Engineer and flunked English in my junior year of HS (that is how I met my wife, I was a SR in JR English class).

New2rt Apr 4th, 2012 8:19 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jzeiler
I meant that the reservoirs I just described are the only ones monitored - hey I'm an Engineer and flunked English in my junior year of HS (that is how I met my wife, I was a SR in JR English class).


OK, thanks, I didn't want to knowingly mislead myblackt5 so just checking.

jzeiler Apr 5th, 2012 7:30 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Sounds like he is on the right track as a weak battery combined with low fluid will do just about what he described. Battery first and then top off both chambers of the reservoir (almost over fill as they are very sensitive to the level).

kellenbenz Apr 6th, 2012 3:44 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by myblackt5
A second reservoir?

When I filled the reservoir there where 2 caps on it, I opened both and topped up both levels, this was the reservoir near the pannier on the right hand side, as you are sat on the bike.

Where is the second reservoir?

Check the level in the reservoirs again and if they are low take a close look at the front portion of the rubber hose going into the rear caliper for a pin hole. It certainly sounds to me that you have a leak. (There is a rather sharp bend in the hose there.)

Ron

ColoradoGrant Apr 6th, 2012 11:16 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
On my 02, with Integral brakes there are actually 3 fluid reservoirs. The 2 in the rear as mentioned here, and the right handlebar mounted one. Have you checked the fluid level of the front one? If you have and all 3 are good, then I would hazard a guess that your modulator is going bad. ( I speak from experience. I had to replace mine at 23,000 miles) My bike sat a lot over the first 2 owners' lifetimes possibly causing the fluid to gum up the modulator in a bad way. I ended up finding a used pump for $750.00 and installed it. I flushed a large amount of NEW fluid through it. It has been working perfect since install a few months ago. I hope you don't need to replace yours , but you need to seriously consider it, since these 800lb bikes don't slow down too well with no power assist.

jrlakin Apr 7th, 2012 11:14 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
When is the last time the brakes were flushed?

myblackt5 Apr 15th, 2012 5:27 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
I have checked the fluid levels yesterday. They are all still full from when I topped them up. And a quick ride showed the brakes as performing correctly. No flashing lights etc. However, I managed 65 miles before it failed last time so I'm not going to ride it further. I was hoping for a fluid leak but it is all dry underneath and the fluid level hasn't dropped.
I am going to get a new battery this week.

I don't know when the fluid was last changed, I will get it done. Is there a set proceedure to changing the fliud. Silly question it may sound but my Blackbird has a very long and ordered process to bleeding the brakes.

Cochinosucio Apr 15th, 2012 5:51 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by myblackt5
Is there a set proceedure to changing the fliud. Silly question it may sound but my Blackbird has a very long and ordered process to bleeding the brakes.

There was a great write up recently on this forum. Please use the search and it will give the excellent intructions on the complicated procedure.

myblackt5 Apr 15th, 2012 3:40 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
I had a search but could not find how to bleed the brake fluid. I found how to do it on 05 onwards models in the technical section.
Can anyone point me in the right direction of the how to section. And where the info on my 01 would be.
Thansk in advance

jzeiler Apr 15th, 2012 9:55 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Mark's article is here IABS Flush. You mentioned servos so I presume your front calipers say "BMW" and not "Brembo". If so then this is the info you need.

myblackt5 Apr 20th, 2012 11:16 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
I have the BMW front callipers on mine.
I have ordered a new gel battery for it today. The current battery is a 18ah and i believe i need a 19ah.

myblackt5 Apr 25th, 2012 6:22 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
New battery fitted and off i rode to work. 55 miles of no brake warning lights and perfect fully working brakes. Got to work no problem, motorway then heavy london traffic. I left work 8 hours later, rode 5 miles, got to the motorway, then the brake failure light illuminated and the abs light was flashing rapidly. I had no servo assistance on the rear but had servo on the front brakes, for a time, then I had no servo assistance at all. I pulled over, switched off, switched back on a few minutes later then carried on. Again no servo on the rear but had servo on the front for approx 15 minutes before it failed again. I kept pulling over everytime it failed as I had to limp the bike home. Every time I switched off and on again, I had front servo assistance but not rear.

I am on the verge of getting rid of the LT now, as this is getting frustrating. I was hoping to go touring around scotland on it but at this rate I won't be.

Any ideas before I give up and sell it?

loser Apr 25th, 2012 8:35 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
As I mentioned in my post halfway back up the page......Sure sounds like you need a new brake pump....$$$$$. Thats very similar to what mine was doing the past year. The dealer checked it when I first started having issues and after telling me the price of the pump I decided to "tinker with it" a bit. I finally threw in the towel a month ago and bought a new pump. I installed it and brakes are working properly again.

Steve

myblackt5 Apr 25th, 2012 8:38 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Thanks Steve,

I thought I would give the old girl one last chance but I don't want to buy a whole new pump for silly money from BMW.

I thinlk it might be time to give it one last clean before I take some pics and get it up for sale

loser Apr 25th, 2012 8:46 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
There is a post for an 01 brake pump for sale right now about ten posts down from this one. It sounds like its an "earlier model" 01 so might not work for you but take a look....

kimokk Apr 25th, 2012 9:15 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by myblackt5
Thanks Steve,

I thought I would give the old girl one last chance but I don't want to buy a whole new pump for silly money from BMW.

I thinlk it might be time to give it one last clean before I take some pics and get it up for sale

Look on ebay for one too. Don't give up!

myblackt5 Apr 29th, 2012 5:30 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
I've had a look around on ebay. There are a couple of pumps around but they are hundreds of s so I have given up now.

Its a shame, it is a nice bike but 700+ for a used pump really does not sit well with me.

So i'll give it a clean then have to sell it at a huge loss, which is also very annoying.

Bones1955 Apr 29th, 2012 9:05 am

Re: Brake Failure
 
Is there a problem just bypassing the entire abs system with new lines?
My old Voyager had no trouble stopping with just regular brakes .
My 2000 BMW does not have power asist and it stops even better then the old kaw.
Just seems to me you could bypass the whole thing and be fine..I dunno.
But that is something my red necked butt would try. :D

jzeiler Apr 29th, 2012 3:59 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bones1955
Is there a problem just bypassing the entire abs system with new lines?
My old Voyager had no trouble stopping with just regular brakes .
My 2000 BMW does not have power asist and it stops even better then the old kaw.
Just seems to me you could bypass the whole thing and be fine..I dunno.
But that is something my red necked butt would try. :D

There is no need to "bypass" anything on the ABS II bikes as the ABS unit does not interfere with normal operation even when it fails. On the Integral bikes they are power assisted and must have a functioning ABS unit.

I suppose you could remove an I ABS unit and just feed the calipers from the repective master cylinders. Not sure how well that would work.

Bones1955 Apr 29th, 2012 4:02 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jzeiler
There is no need to "bypass" anything on the ABS II bikes as the ABS unit does not interfere with normal operation even when it fails. On the Integral bikes they are power assisted and must have a functioning ABS unit.

I suppose you could remove an I ABS unit and just feed the calipers from the repective master cylinders. Not sure how well that would work.

Yeah i was referring to the integral ones with assist.
I would think a brake light switch would have to fashioned for front and back ,that would be one prob.

jzeiler Apr 29th, 2012 4:11 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bones1955
Yeah i was referring to the integral ones with assist.
I would think a brake light switch would have to fashioned for front and back ,that would be one prob.

Since the ABS unit gets the input from the lever and pedal switches and then sends a signal to the brake light relay that would be an easy jump at the ABS unit connector. I guess that would be a last resort if the bike was otherwise sevicable and you didn't want the power assist anymore.

Bones1955 Apr 29th, 2012 4:23 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jzeiler
Since the ABS unit gets the input from the lever and pedal switches and then sends a signal to the brake light relay that would be an easy jump at the ABS unit connector. I guess that would be a last resort if the bike was otherwise sevicable and you didn't want the power assist anymore.

Well just saying I'm cheap and would give it a shot if I had that prob with the assist system before spending 3k. cheers!

Besides my 2000 without that fancy system stops just fine imo.

gary45 Apr 29th, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
IF the BMW calipers have the same diameter pistons as the BREMBOs and the front handlebar master cylinder is the same diameter in both systems there isn't any reason why a brake line could not be run from the master cylinder directly to the front caliper splitter on the forks, the rear piped directly to the rear caliper. The issue is the diameter of pistons - then you would be the same as 99's and 00's

the K1100 had ABSI, heavy system, so when mine failed removed everything and piped hand and foot master cylinders to the calipers

if you are going to drop the price to reflect the problems but you like the bike could do the change, ride it and lose money selling some time down the road - as long as the system is left in place someone else might repair later

myblackt5 Apr 30th, 2012 3:40 pm

Re: Brake Failure
 
I have bought a replacement bike today, I collect it on Wednesday. A 2002 K1200GT.

With fully working brakes and a huge stack of BMW service history.

First job if it needs it or not is a brake fluid flush.


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