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Discussion Starter #1
My 03 has the linked brakes system and now that I have ridden it for approx 7k miles I guess I have gotten used to the brakes but have never really liked the feel I get with them. Just to make sure I am not overlooking something..........There is no way to use the rear only to trail the brake in slow stopping/turning situations such as in a parking lot is there?

My sense of the situation is that it makes no difference whether I use the front, the rear or both. The bike's computer makes the call.

Now they are great at speed but not for the above and not for quick stops from slow speed if the forks are not lined up staight ahead, etc.

Someone know more than I do here ? If so I would appreciate the insight.

Have already asked the dealer if the linkage can be disengaged(when the warranty goes out in 6 months) and was told to forget it. Virtually impossible and if so extremely expensive.

Comments? Help?
 

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Your brakes are NOT linked, they're "integral" . . . a HUGE difference. And yes, you can use JUST the rear brake in slow speed situations. Just apply the rear pedal (first gently, more as you need it) and you will get rear brakes ONLY. Of course if you jam on the pedal, you will get front brakes too. I never touched the front brake lever at speeds under 15mph. I found the Integral Braking System of the LT a very intuitive system.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now Joe,

I have already found your advice in other areas, primarily the brown wire deal to be spot on! As a result I know you know what you are speaking of.............

SO....................can you give me directions to where I can read more on this. It would seem I don't know as much about how to use my brakes as I thought. Frankly since I thought it made no difference which brake lever I used (see prev post) I have used the front for stopping at signs, lights, etc so that I could have both feet down early. But I have come very close to dumping it quite a few times when the forks were not dead straight ahead.

Thanks for all your help! ( I am truly going to have to become a contributing member of this site considering all the quality help I am getting). The brown wire deal prob saved me several hundred dollars over getting the dealer to cut it and give me a sing and a dance to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey Joe, thought more about your comment regarding diff between integral and linked....

Does this essentially mean that I will get only the brake I actually apply until the system senses that my application is not enough, based upon how hard I apply the brake, to stop at which point the other brake will be applied by the computer?

Am I getting this or am I still in the dark?

All I know is that I have always disliked them, finding them too grabby especially at slow speed. Perhaps I just don't know how to properly use them.

Any further education would be most appreciated.

I had this discussion with the dealer rep in the service area and he obviously doesn't understand them either.
 

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Basically the decision on how much of which brake the integral system applies is based on which acutuator you use, how much breaking force you are requesting, speed, deceleration speed, etc. If you brake gently, it will prefer the brake you are requesting. As you increase braking effort the computer increases what it thinks is the best way to give you what you're requesting. In a full effort stop, either or both give the same result.

Try staying off the front brake at low speeds. As Joe says, use only the rear below 10-15, especially in turns.
 

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bmwrubbercow said:
Does this essentially mean that I will get only the brake I actually apply until the system senses that my application is not enough, based upon how hard I apply the brake, to stop at which point the other brake will be applied by the computer?

Am I getting this or am I still in the dark?
I would say that the above description is fairly close. I experimented extensively with my 2002 LT's braking system and learned how to use it effectively during the various applications of riding. I found that using the rear pedal did not introduce front brakes until one applies at least 50% or more pressure to the pedal. However, rear brakes are applied very soon when you use the front lever...even with the slightest pressure.

Personally, I do like the "Partially Integral" brakes on my new GT better. :) The rear pedal NEVER applies front brakes. :) But the front lever works just as the LT's does.
 

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lenny said:
why cant you use the rear brake only? i hardly ever use my rear brake
Rear brakes are way over-rated...true...until you try performing an 18-foot UTurn with the LT. For me, it was ALL rear brake...accompanied with clutch and throttle control.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tks Joe. It's raining today(finally!) and I'm not feeling macho so I will try out the rear brake only tomorrow in a tight slow turn. Also as I come to a stop sign at slow speed. I think I like the concept of the partial integration also. I don't won't the front engaged unless I am aware of it.

I sure agree that the back is way over rated. Using it only from fear of the front will get anyone in trouble very quickly.
 

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Here is the long story on how the brakes work. Has been posted before.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you RoyVL. This is what I was looking for. Am downloading it now for further study.
 

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Just beware. IMHO, that doc has some confusing vernacular in it that muddies the water, as much as clears.

Also, the one paragraph that explains why the LT does NOT have partially integral brakes is this:
"The reason is that many motorcycle riders now switch over directly from their car to a motorcycle and do not have the many years of motorcycling experience riders often had in the past. When applying the brakes in an emergency, such riders often only apply the footbrake and thus give away far more than 50% of the braking power potential."
 

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Who says you can use ONLY rear brake?

Hey Joe,

I'm interested by your commentary (as usual) but a bit confused. I too have "experimented" with my 2003 integrals, following three years of experience with a 1999, non-integral LT. I have found no evidence that the rear pedal ever gives me just rear braking. Just the opposite: I used to routinely drag a bit of rear to set up the bike through tight switchbacks in the mountains. But that same technique with the integrals DOES apply some front braking, which is evident in the severely accelerated wear on the front tire that I'm now getting in the mountains.

I've read all the tech details, and can't find any indication that the system can or will selectively apply just one brake. Only that it meters braking force between them, based on traction available. And it seems that the traction availability is judged by activation of the ABS at one or the other wheel. In other words: if you don't brake hard enough to activate ABS, the system isn't learning anything about your traction, and therefore remains fairly "stupid" in it's application of braking force.

The last straw for me is that I just wore my rear pads right down to the backing, in just 24k miles, while the fronts still have plenty of lining left. That tells me the system is over-using the rear, by a wide margin. My dealer confirms that by saying they're seeing "a lot of" premature rear pad wear on these integral set-ups.

So: just curious, but what evidence did you find that you can apply rear only, by using light pressure on the foot pedal?

I just hope the new LT has the partials. I'm not having another set of these things!

Rubber side down, eh?

Don
 

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From the brochure





'Integral Brake System














Both the handbrake and footbrake lever act simultaneously on both the front and rear wheel brakes'












'BMW's new Integral ABS comes in two different versions: the fully integral and the partly integral version. On the fully integral version featured initially in the BMW K 1200 LT, Cover Figure, both the handbrake lever and the footbrake lever act simultaneously on the front wheel and rear wheel brakes,
Figure 4.'












'BMW's new fully integral ABS only requires operation of either the footbrake or handbrake.
Figure 5 shows the extra safety provided by this combination of front-wheel and rear-wheel brake application when operating only the footbrake.'










 

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DBHutchins said:
So: just curious, but what evidence did you find that you can apply rear only, by using light pressure on the foot pedal?
With all the confusion and controversy about the integral brakes, I decided to perform my own test. After taking my '02 for a short ride (to activate the ABS), I pulled the bike into the garage and left it running, put it up on it's centerstand. I then put the bike into 2nd gear and let out the clutch. I walked over to the right side of the bike and revved the bike. I pulled the clutch back in and applied pressure to the front brake lever. The rear wheel stopped almost instantly, no matter how much pressure was applied to the front lever. This proved to me that the front level ALWAYS applies rear brakes. This is why you are going through rear pads at an accelerated pace. FWIW, I had the same experience with my rear pads.

Next, I put a scissor jack under the engine and lifted the front wheel off the ground. Again with the bike in 2nd gear, I spun the front wheel as fast as I could, then applied pressure to the rear brake lever. It took quite a bit of pressure before the rear lever stopped the front tire. The slightest bit of pressure began slowing the rear wheel. This test proved to me that the rear brake pedal applies rear brakes FIRST, then as more pressure is applied, introduces front braking.



DBHutchins said:
I have found no evidence that the rear pedal ever gives me just rear braking. Just the opposite: I used to routinely drag a bit of rear to set up the bike through tight switchbacks in the mountains. But that same technique with the integrals DOES apply some front braking, which is evident in the severely accelerated wear on the front tire that I'm now getting in the mountains.
My above test explains why you're going through rear pads faster than front pads. No matter which lever you're using, rear braking is applied. Of course, the fact that you only have one set of rear pads vs. two sets up front is a factor also.



DBHutchins said:
I just hope the new LT has the partials. I'm not having another set of these things!
I wouldn't count on it. A few factors tell me that BMW will leave the fully integral brakes on the LT.
  1. It's still going to be a 700# bike. BMW wants that bike to stop as fast as it can.
  2. Because of the amount of newbies, or pleasure riders that ride the LT. They want front braking when that pedal is stomped on in emergency situations. Sad, but true.
  3. I can't imagine how fast a 700# + bike would go through rear pads with partially integral brakes . . . can you? If you think 24K is bad, try 12K on for size.
Lastly, some food for thought. The next time you're riding through tight switchbacks in the mountains, try to get away from the rear brakes and utilize engine braking instead. Setup for the turns using front brakes, then rely on throttle control for the rest. I think a lot of riders get into the bad habit of using way too much rear brake in the twisties. The longer I ride, the less rear brake I use.

Of course, standing a bike up whilst mid-turn using the front brakes isn't a lot of fun either. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Now I have to agree with Joe on his last comment for sure. I learned to ride the twisties (the Smokies) on my first BMW a 1978 R100S (I still have it). The brakes on those old bikes are so poor compared to modern machines that one had to learn to use engine braking...If you rode agressively, you simply could not stop the bike without doing so.

And while were on that, the KLT redlines in second gear somewhere just short of 90mph!! When I ride the twisties, I shift very little, using the engine to both accelerate and brake the bike. As a result, I don't use the brakes nearly as often.

I have heard so many new riders or new to BMW riders say they don't want to "hurt" the bike by riding it anywhere near redline or to use engine braking. Now I do not advocate redlining the bike regularly, but occasional "agressive riding", but below redline, will keep the engine running better between tuneups, make the brakes last longer and put a big smile on your face! :D
 

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messenger13 said:
Personally, I do like the "Partially Integral" brakes on my new GT better. :)
Your GT? What is a GT Joe???:rolleyes:
 

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messenger13 said:
I wouldn't count on it. A few factors tell me that BMW will leave the fully integral brakes on the LT.
  1. It's still going to be a 700# bike. BMW wants that bike to stop as fast as it can.
  2. Because of the amount of newbies, or pleasure riders that ride the LT. They want front braking when that pedal is stomped on in emergency situations. Sad, but true.
  3. I can't imagine how fast a 700# + bike would go through rear pads with partially integral brakes . . . can you? If you think 24K is bad, try 12K on for size.
Lastly, some food for thought. The next time you're riding through tight switchbacks in the mountains, try to get away from the rear brakes and utilize engine braking instead. Setup for the turns using front brakes, then rely on throttle control for the rest. I think a lot of riders get into the bad habit of using way too much rear brake in the twisties. The longer I ride, the less rear brake I use.
Thanks for the explanation, Joe. Guess my foot is less sensitive than your hand on the foot pedal. But I like your test technique.

Gotta disagree though on the wear issue, and the rear use in hairpins. I almost NEVER use the rear brake pedal, EXCEPT to stabilize the bike in very tight turns. I'm talking Alps hairpins or U-turns here, not normal twisties. I think most experienced riders do the same. So my rear wear on the non-linked LT was much less than the fronts. And of course I use engine braking, in addition to the front lever, to slow prior to entering a curve. As does anybody who really knows how to ride.

Interesting discussion. I wait on BMW AG to see whether the new LT will offer partials. I'm going to be pissed if it doesn't. I've ridden the GT, and like you I love it. But the rearset and high peg position, even with the seat at the high position, wasn't nearly comfortable enough for me. The navigator and I are both thoroughly spoiled by the ergo's on the LT, so I'm waiting for the new model. I want an LT with 100 lbs less lard and 40 more HP. Yee-Hah!!

Don
 

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DBHutchins said:
Gotta disagree though on the wear issue, and the rear use in hairpins. I almost NEVER use the rear brake pedal, EXCEPT to stabilize the bike in very tight turns. I'm talking Alps hairpins or U-turns here, not normal twisties. I think most experienced riders do the same.
OK, I agree with you there. I ALWAYS used rear brakes in tight U-Turns, etc...
 
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