Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Rear brake stuck/ not fully releasing
I've got a 2003 K1200LT and after the mechanic changed my rear brake pads (about 3 months ago), I began noticing that my brakes were squeaky/ a bit noisy as I started riding. I also noticed a fair bit of brake dust and my fuel consumption when up. Finally after a ride, when the bike was set on the centre stand and in neutral, the rear whell just wouldn't free-wheel freely - on different days, there'd be various degrees of being suck - from rotating and stopping sooner that you'd except of a free-wheel spin (like someone was gently pressing the brakes) to just refusing to spin (like someone was pressing the brakes harder).
I notice the squeaking get noisier when the brakes/ wheels warm up and when the bike is in netural, I can feel like it's being held back.
I took it to the mechanic before and he tried bleeding the brakes and he took off the whole rear brake (off the disc) and re-attached the brake mechanism. He eventually got it to free-wheel while in netural on the centre stand but once I rode it off and the wheels/ brakes warmed up again and once I'd pressed the brakes, the semi-stuck brakes symptoms surfaced again.
This morning I took it to the mechanic and like what we'd observed in the past, when the bike first got to him (he's about 1.5 miles/ 2km from my home), the rear wheel free wheeled easily. I then took it for a ride and after riding a further 1.5miles/2 km the semi-stuck brakes symptoms appeared again.
Back at the workshop, the rear wheel was a bit stuck and he tried releasing some brake fluid and the spun freely. However when the brakes (either hand or foot brakes) were engaged again the rear wheel became semi-stuck. He tried pumping the foot brake and trying to spin the rear wheel, but the rear wheel was still semi-stuck. HOWEVER when he tried to pump the hand brake after a few spin-and-brake episodes, the rear wheel completely free wheeled.
It looks like the brake pistons are not completely releasing the rear brake, but something is happening with the servo assist that is somehow able to completely unlock the rear brake (although mind you know not press the hand brake once and the rear wheel unlocks, but it's a bit hit-and-miss, sometimes the hand brake needs to be pressed about 5 times before the rear wheel completely unlocks).
He said he didn't know what was wrong or what to do, and didn't charge me for his time today. So I got him a 6 pack of his favourite beer to thank him for his time, but my problem still exists.
On the way back from the mechanic, when I found that the brakes were squeaking after I'd released both hand and foot brakes, if I pumped the hand brake about 5 times or so, I could feel the bike was completely rolling smoothly while in neutral, but the moment I touched the hand or foot brake, I could feel that the rear brake was semi-stuck again.
If anyone has any idea, I'd appreaciate any thoughts about what I can do to rectify this issue. I don't really want to change my riding style/ teach myself a bad habit of just using the hand brake (which because of servo assist does activate the front and rear brakes - and usually the initial press of the brake, be it hand or foot brake, does cause the rear brake to become a bit stuck).
Thank you in advance for sharing your similar experience and what you did to get over this problem and/or what you suspect the issue or problem to be and what you'd suggest I check.