Eliminate Servo Brakes? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 1:26 pm Thread Starter
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Eliminate Servo Brakes?

I have a 2005 with the servo brakes. The brakes failed last fall. I've put off dealing with it all winter, and now it's time to bleed the system and get the verdict.

Just in case the worst has happened, has anyone eliminated the servo entirely? I watched a YouTube video of a private bike mechanic demonstrating the complete elimination of the servo system on a different BMW model. (It involved a lot of uses of the F-word every time he'd mention the servo brakes.) He's eliminated the system for several customers.

Basically you bend up some custom brake lines and fittings to splice everything together, and simply get rid of the big, heavy, expensive, silly, useless servo. You also lose your ABS in the process, which matters to some people, but not to others. And what you end up with is....regular motorcycle brakes. No serious increase in effort. Just front and rear brakes, like God intended, and a couple thousands bucks in your pocket.

Has anyone done this on their LT? There is NO WAY I'm replacing that unit. I'll burn the bike first.
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post #2 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 1:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

By the way, one of the comments on the video was, "What if I try to sell it and the buyer won't buy it without the system?" Answer: "Find a different buyer who knows how to ride a motorcycle."

Hard to argue with that.
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post #3 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 3:23 pm
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitsko View Post
I have a 2005 with the servo brakes. The brakes failed last fall. I've put off dealing with it all winter, and now it's time to bleed the system and get the verdict.

Just in case the worst has happened, has anyone eliminated the servo entirely? I watched a YouTube video of a private bike mechanic demonstrating the complete elimination of the servo system on a different BMW model. (It involved a lot of uses of the F-word every time he'd mention the servo brakes.) He's eliminated the system for several customers.

Basically you bend up some custom brake lines and fittings to splice everything together, and simply get rid of the big, heavy, expensive, silly, useless servo. You also lose your ABS in the process, which matters to some people, but not to others. And what you end up with is....regular motorcycle brakes. No serious increase in effort. Just front and rear brakes, like God intended, and a couple thousands bucks in your pocket.

Has anyone done this on their LT? There is NO WAY I'm replacing that unit. I'll burn the bike first.
That would most likely be Chris Harris out of Manchester New Hampshire, he just closed his repair shop after 13 years.

John Baker

2005 BMW K1200LT
1979 Suzuki GS1000E
1978 Honda CB350
1975 Suzuki GT380
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post #4 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 4:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

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That would most likely be Chris Harris out of Manchester New Hampshire, he just closed his repair shop after 13 years.
I believe you're right. I'm just wondering if it's been done with an LT. Just in case. If not, for $3000 I'll happily be the guinea pig.

This may be encouraging: I installed a new battery and checked the servo function.....and noticed that the bike is leaking brake fluid like a sieve out of the front brake line, right where the line is attached to the fork just above the caliper. Seems like that might cause some issues, eh? I HOPE that's the problem. The servo sounds like it's struggling, but maybe they always sound like that. I don't know. The servo brakes may be the worst idea BMW has had since the Isetta.

Knock on wood, but I suspect the brake line might be less expensive than a servo. Though it would be my luck if they're both toast.

I'm not rich enough to live on the brink of doom like this. I may sell the bike when I get it fixed and then hie me to the Triumph dealer and pick up a Tiger.
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post #5 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 6:04 pm
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbaker15 View Post
That would most likely be Chris Harris out of Manchester New Hampshire, he just closed his repair shop after 13 years.
Did he close it or get closed? I am not sure I would advertise on YouTube that I was disabling a safety system. Don't know that it is a legal issue in the criminal sense, but it is pretty much the same as walking through a lawyer convention wearing a "sue me" sign on your back.

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post #6 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 6:07 pm
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbaker15 View Post
That would most likely be Chris Harris out of Manchester New Hampshire, he just closed his repair shop after 13 years.
His web site is still up.

http://affordablebeemerservices.com/AboutUs/

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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post #7 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 8:55 pm
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

If you do have a servo or ABS issue Try. www.modulemaster.com. They do rebuilds.

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post #8 of 14 Old Mar 19th, 2014, 11:42 pm
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

I went with a full set of Speigler brake lines when my rear brake line started leaking. Cheaper than OEMs and the work better as well as look better.

Chuck
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post #9 of 14 Old Mar 20th, 2014, 7:27 am Thread Starter
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

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Did he close it or get closed? I am not sure I would advertise on YouTube that I was disabling a safety system. Don't know that it is a legal issue in the criminal sense, but it is pretty much the same as walking through a lawyer convention wearing a "sue me" sign on your back.
Servo brakes are not a safety system. ABS is, but many bikes with ABS have a "disable" button.....and most bikes still don't have it at all.

Brakes that require electrical power to operate properly are a safety LIABILITY. It's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever encountered. BMW apparently agrees, since they stopped doing it.
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post #10 of 14 Old Mar 20th, 2014, 7:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

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If you do have a servo or ABS issue Try. www.modulemaster.com. They do rebuilds.
Thanks. I'll keep that in mind!

My original question stands.....and now I'm wondering if other ABS units WITHOUT the servo function can be spliced in.

I guess anything is possible if you have the know-how.
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post #11 of 14 Old Mar 20th, 2014, 9:41 am
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

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He announced the closing on his Utube channel, starting a new venture. Something called Team monkey?

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post #12 of 14 Old Mar 20th, 2014, 8:17 pm
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

I replaced my OEM lines with Speiglers as well. When I did mine, that same hose that is leaking on yours was bent in a U (supposed to be straight) and about to burst. No doubt this is your issue, as this is a very common failure point in this system. I suspect you could just replace that one line, bleed it, and all would be well, but the Speiglers are just way stronger than OEM. If you intend to bleed the entire system, then that is the time to replace all the lines.

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post #13 of 14 Old Apr 9th, 2014, 7:03 am
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

I am thinking about doing the same thing
My servo unit stopped working

I am thinking of eliminating everything and running
New braided lines.

Has anyone done this before?
Any tips?

True Wisdom Only Comes From Pain.


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post #14 of 14 Old Apr 9th, 2014, 7:35 am
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Re: Eliminate Servo Brakes?

Actually would like to remove the servo assist
Linked brakes and abs.

I hate the way this bike goes through rear
Brake pads, especially since I rarely use the rear brake.

Earlier LT's didn't have any of this stuff and they
Get down the road just fine...
With less maintenance headaches and $$

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