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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would it take to start a brake hose failure registry? I have a 2000 K1200lt and was in a close call the other day. One of a rider's main defenses is the ability to stop on a dime with proper brake control. During the close call I grabbed my front brake only to find that it suddenly failed and I only got a little braking as the lever pull all the way to the grip. After some troubleshooting and checking the front master cylinder, I finally found the problem to be a leak in the upper brake hose about 1/2 inch from the lower connection. I have read on this forum that other riders have had the same failure. A brake hose failure is unacceptable even on a 10 year old bike. I have had many older bikes and never a brake hose failure. I even have a 58 year old willis jeep with the original hoses. Had the close call become a collision, you can bet BMW would be receiving a call from my attorney. I think BMW should recall all bikes that show multiple brake line failures and replace them. Hopefully documenting this will add credibility to a lawsuit should a fellow rider fall due to this unacceptable safety problem.
 

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cmartin248 said:
What would it take to start a brake hose failure registry? I have a 2000 K1200lt and was in a close call the other day. One of a rider's main defenses is the ability to stop on a dime with proper brake control. During the close call I grabbed my front brake only to find that it suddenly failed and I only got a little braking as the lever pull all the way to the grip. After some troubleshooting and checking the front master cylinder, I finally found the problem to be a leak in the upper brake hose about 1/2 inch from the lower connection. I have read on this forum that other riders have had the same failure. A brake hose failure is unacceptable even on a 10 year old bike. I have had many older bikes and never a brake hose failure. I even have a 58 year old willis jeep with the original hoses. Had the close call become a collision, you can bet BMW would be receiving a call from my attorney. I think BMW should recall all bikes that show multiple brake line failures and replace them. Hopefully documenting this will add credibility to a lawsuit should a fellow rider fall due to this unacceptable safety problem.
I disagree. 10 years is pushing it for any rubber part that is exposed to the elements, UV and ozone in particular. If you want brake lines to last more than 10 years, buy braided stainless so that the sun can't get to the rubber.

My Chevy pickup had 16 year-old brake lines, but I just recently replaced them as they were cracking visibly. And this is a vehicle that has always been garaged and with brake hoses that are pretty much shielded from the sun.

Your brake line failure was due to lack of maintenance and replacing life limited parts before they life is up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UV and Ozone????? what the heck.... The failure was caused by poor materials and bad design. This is not my first rodeo. I have been riding for 48 years and presently have 9 motorcycles, and 4 four-wheelers which most have brake hoses on them and have never had a failure of a brake hose except this BMW. I don't know if the previous owner changed the fluid yearly as BMW suggest, but this is not a fluid problem. The rubber broke down way before its time and you yourself say your chevy has 16 years on its brake hoses. I challenge anyone to find any other vehicle that has multiple brake hose failures in 10 years. Oh,, and UV exposure: the failure part of the hose has never ever seen sunlight. Ozone? caused by electrical discharge from motors, welding, etc... The bike has not been exposed to excessive Ozone.
 

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Yeah, Sucks huh ?

I had the rear master cylinder hose fail on mine..

I just spent the twenty bucks and got a new line made..

You should sue BMW.....If you win.. Let us know....

I understand your frustration but mechanical things fail...I've been there many times but in the end all you can do is fix your bike and ride on...

BMW doesn't give a damn about you or your failure other than to maybe sell you some new parts..

Like I said, Sucks huh ?

John
 

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I have a '99 LT and experience the rear brake leak (massive) at 66K and replaced it with a locally manufactured steel-braided line for $65.....when the front brake line went out at the top of the line where it connects to the banjo bolt I about had a fit....fortunately, I was braking less than 200m from my house when this happened!

That very same day I went online and ordered Speigler Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines to replace everything related to the brake system. I also ordered all new Carbon Lorraine front and rear pads and Speed Bleeders (boy did those make it easy to do the job in bleeding the system)!

BTW....Speigler lines are guaranteed for life!! Great service....call 'em and speak with Mathias (pronounced Matt-ae-us)

Good luck!
 

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I remember that the German TUV ( the organization that does mandatory vehicle inspections in Germany) used to require new brake lines on cars after 10 years.

I started to search German sites and found this:

"Gummibremsschläuche sollten im Motorradbereich, nach Herstellerangaben alle 4-6 Jahre gewechselt, werden"

Translation: "Based on manufacturers recommodation, Motorcycle rubber brake lines should be replaced every 4 to 6 years. " It goes on the say that such recomodation no longer exsists for cars.

My opinion: The life span depends on the enviroment. Cool and not much direct sun light, they may outlast the bike. Hot, and in a lot of sunlight, as soon as you see cracks, replace.

I replaced mine with Spiegler lines and difference is amazing. Much firmer feel, and easier to apply just the right pressure.
 
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For the registry. Both the hose from the front master cylinder, and the one at the left front caliper started to leak last summer. Bike is an '02 with, at the time, 102k miles and has been in the Southwest for most of the time. Replaced with Spiegler's.
 

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Voyager said:
... Your brake line failure was due to lack of maintenance and replacing life limited parts before they life is up.
+1.
Also, was the 2-year brake fluid change schedule followed on the bike?

cmartin248 said:
... I even have a 58 year old willis jeep with the original hoses. ...
Now that I know that classic car owners ride around with World War II vintage brake hoses, I'll stay way-way the f*&* away. You are kidding us, no?
 

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An acquaintance of mine bought a 99 last year. On his way to show it to me, the right front line burst just above the caliper. Being a miser (in this case a foolish miser) he didn't spring for a new line but rather bought an used line from one of the wrecking yards. It came, I put it on for him with the understanding that I was dead set against using an used brake line, and after getting everything back together, his brakes are still soft and spongy. I wouldn't ride his bike to the end of my driveway to get the mail.

Just this spring, I was slowing on an off ramp, pulled my front brake lever and it came all the way back to the handlebar. The brakes worked, but THAT is not a good feeling. Limped over to the dealer a mile away and had them check it out. I was having a brake line aneurism. I ordered a set of SS Speiglers right then and there and limped the bike back home and parked it 'til I put the new brake lines on it. The Speiglers were $210 and worth every single penny! FWIW, the service manager asked me when I last changed the lines and I told him I bought the bike used, but I imagine they are the stock lines. He told me the OEM brake lines should be replaced every 4 years if you value your life. I do. I changed to the Speiglers and haven't looked back.

P.S. My Hondas used to have VERY spongy brakes and so did my brother's Voyager. The Japanese don't make brake lines any better than the Germans do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually I did replace my 1952 willis M38 brake hose in the late 80's but the original still worked. Everyone wants to talk about how BMW recommends replacing the brake hoses every 4 years. This only re-enforces my statement that the materials and engineering are far below standard and this is supposed to be a premium motorcycle. I still challenge anyone to produce comparable brake line failures on ANY highway vehicle. Toyota just spent billions on a sticking gas peddle and I would swap a sticking throttle for a brake failure anytime. I have ridden everything from a cushman eagle to the latest CBR1000 and only remember one brake hose failure and it was a late 70's Honda CB750 that was stored in a chicken house for years and the brake hoses swelled closed but never had a through the wall failure. This BMW has spent all its life in a garage except for the 22k original miles on it. No one will be able to convince me that brake hoses should be replaced every 4 years on ANYTHING unless the material is sub-standard.
 

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Posting over and over here will not change BMW's processes one iotta, so what's the point. You are pissed now get over it. I have had brake line failures on many British products. If you bought it new you know what you got if you bought it used you take your chances. Fix it and go for a ride and enjoy the fine handling that BMW did manage to engineer in to this great machine.
 
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I haven't looked yet but are the brake lines indicated to be replaced in the service interval section in the owners manual? LOL..... Either way mine went out this past fall on a bike with 16K miles. I think it's a big load of crap that BMW puts these cheap brake lines on these bikes. It's all about saving a dollar at our expense of our safety. Don't forget the fact that they have those nice high pressure fuel line connectors that leak too. Strike two right?
 

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Sunshine said:
I haven't looked yet but are the brake lines indicated to be replaced in the service interval section in the owners manual? LOL..... Either way mine went out this past fall on a bike with 16K miles. I think it's a big load of crap that BMW puts these cheap brake lines on these bikes. It's all about saving a dollar at our expense of our safety. Don't forget the fact that they have those nice high pressure fuel line connectors that leak too. Strike two right?
My front hose failed at the junction block. When I removed it I looked at how it was made. I didn't notice anything "cheap" about its construction. It appeared to be constructed of the same material and in the same fashion as automotive brake hoses. but these hoses are subjected to higher internal pressures (I believe they are anyway) more vibration and are in the elements more. The Spiegler hoses are just a few dollars more for a complete set than the hose that split on me.And they look better.
 

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Morley said:
My front hose failed at the junction block. When I removed it I looked at how it was made. I didn't notice anything "cheap" about its construction. It appeared to be constructed of the same material and in the same fashion as automotive brake hoses. but these hoses are subjected to higher internal pressures (I believe they are anyway) more vibration and are in the elements more. The Spiegler hoses are just a few dollars more for a complete set than the hose that split on me.And they look better.
I guess using cheap was a poor choice of words. I do think that the hose is damaged when the crimping process is performed though.

On a side subject...... I do like how you put out there about the LT's brake systems having higher pressures(what are the relative pressure then and compared to what?) and more vibrations(relative to what?) cause the brake line failures without any proof other than your belief of either being an issue. Welcome to the internet where everybody is an expert because they have heard it or read it somewhere.
 

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I do think BMW should be liable for the cheap workmanship and materials they put into a part that could kill people. I also think before the lines go, then melt enough crud into the brake system that the ABS unit fails at the same time of shortly afterwards.
 

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MAking service intervals just shows that they know they suck and will fail, Honda fixed timing belt issues years ago by making the interval shorter that originally in the owners manual, that only puts blame on the owners for something that was designed wrong.

Then later Honda did the right thing and removed all belts and put chains in, then the failures stopped happening!

BMW, Your turn?
We as owners would be happy with simple things like, lower cost replacement parts, or a discount on next bike?

Too many people are defending the corporate decision to risk our lives, I guess because they like the bikes. But that is not the issue.
 

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I do think BMW should be liable for the cheap workmanship and materials they put into a part that could kill people. I also think before the lines go, then melt enough crud into the brake system that the ABS unit fails at the same time of shortly afterwards.
Do you have even a shred of evidence to support this borderline libelous assertion?

The stock brake lines on my 2007 are still working fine after 7+ years and 48,000 miles. I will change them this winter as 7 years is quite a while for rubber parts exposed to UV and ozone (same holds for tires, radiator hoses, etc.
 
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CMARTIN248 has a good point. This is another engineering inconsistency of BMW designing a tremendously expensive ABS linked braking system for the safety of the rider and then to use only marginal quality brake lines with such a short life span again seems contradictory to what BMW products are suppose to be all about" higher price for higher engineered quality". I can just hear them, " Ve r untz 100 euro's overenz budget. HALT z gut brakenz lines":histerica
 

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CMARTIN248 has a good point. This is another engineering inconsistency of BMW designing a tremendously expensive ABS linked braking system for the safety of the rider and then to use only marginal quality brake lines with such a short life span again seems contradictory to what BMW products are suppose to be all about" higher price for higher engineered quality". I can just hear them, " Ve r untz 100 euro's overenz budget. HALT z gut brakenz lines":histerica
Again, what data do you have to support your assertion?
 
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