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GSA Rear brake issue

judgedelta

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Apr 20, 2022
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1112
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9
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Yazoo County, Mississippi
My '19 GSA has a really soft rear brake. It travels about an inch and a half before engaging. I opened the rear master cylinder and it appears full. The bike has about 27k miles on it. Should I pull the wheel and check the brake pads or is there something else I should look for. How thick should the pads be? Thanks in advance, JD
 

TallMark

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Apr 19, 2022
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1092
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Austin Texas
I read this a while back and copied it but forgot to take notes on where I found it but it might help.

I had tried new rear brake master cylinder and LV Dot 4 fluid using a 911 used to bleed circuits, reverse bleed, etc. The longterm fix for me has been to do the conventional bleed front and rear and then hold the front brake front lever tight while pumping the rear brake lever ~ 20 times. The rear MC will fill slightly higher and the rear brake will firm up. I perform this "service" whenever I change the oil and my brakes have not been a problem for the last four years. YMMV but this works for me.
 
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LCGS

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Mar 19, 2022
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895
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PA
My '19 GSA has a really soft rear brake. It travels about an inch and a half before engaging. I opened the rear master cylinder and it appears full. The bike has about 27k miles on it. Should I pull the wheel and check the brake pads or is there something else I should look for. How thick should the pads be? Thanks in advance, JD
Also if you trail brake a lot and use your rear brakes 27K may be time to look at pads.

They are VERY thin new. On my 15 RT I jumped the gun as I though my pads were gone until the new ones came and saw how thin they are new.

I am a heavy rear brake and gray clutch area rider, so I do go through rear pads.

On my 17.5 GS, when I just did the 24K service and I replaced them. I have some long trips planned and did not want to have to do it before one of them. They could have went but they were close enough for me to do to not have to worry over it.

One of those trips is 4 days on The Dragon and surrounding roads so I knew I wanted rear brakes in great shape.
 

Gwiz

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Aug 13, 2022
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Also if you trail brake a lot and use your rear brakes 27K may be time to look at pads.

They are VERY thin new. On my 15 RT I jumped the gun as I though my pads were gone until the new ones came and saw how thin they are new.

I am a heavy rear brake and gray clutch area rider, so I do go through rear pads.

On my 17.5 GS, when I just did the 24K service and I replaced them. I have some long trips planned and did not want to have to do it before one of them. They could have went but they were close enough for me to do to not have to worry over it.

One of those trips is 4 days on The Dragon and surrounding roads so I knew I wanted rear brakes in great shape.
Use your GEARS, not the rear brake. Makes a racket but much better control.

Rule of thumb:

10 to 15mph rated turn, use 1st gear.
20 to 30 mph rated turn, use 2nd gear.
30 to 40 mph rated turn, use 3rd gear.
40 to 50 mph rated turn, use 4th gear.
50 to 60 mph rated turn, use 5th gear.
Above 60 rated, use 6th.

Now, that doesn't mean max speed in that gear. It means that gear should give you enough revs to use throttle to trail-brake and also is the right gear for rocketing out of the corner. If you encounter decreasing radius, the higher revs allow you to slow the bike without brakes and turn in nicely.

This is the starting point. In ideal conditions, you can go up one gear. If you find turns are rated really conservatively and the roads are perfect and biting, you can go up 2 gears...but start here and get used to revving the wee out of your boxer twin. It won't break. Ask me how I know.

You want to have some revs when you're turning so you can use the magnificent engine braking that the BMW boxer has on offer. Red line is 7 grand or so. You can use all of it. When you have at least 4,000 RPM, you have gobs of engine braking. Use of some throttle modulation will get you that trail braking rear wheel that you seek.

BTW: I learned this from Edelweiss pro tour leaders. You don't see brake lights when you follow them through the tightest roads in the Alps, even steeply downhill.
 

LCGS

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Well I learned from a Motorcycle policeman and gray area and trail braking is what I was taught and use.

Compression braking is part of every corner, but the control comes from proper entry/exit points and trail braking if needed.
 

TallMark

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Apr 19, 2022
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1092
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Austin Texas
Well I learned from a Motorcycle policeman and gray area and trail braking is what I was taught and use.

Compression braking is part of every corner, but the control comes from proper entry/exit points and trail braking if needed.
I dont think "trail braking" means using your rear brake in a turn. It's more front brake or both in the case of the linked brakes on the GS. It's fine with me that you do it but calling it "trail braking" when you are only using the rear gets confusing for forums, maybe "rear trail braking"?

"Traditionally, trail braking is done exclusively with the front brake even though trailing the rear brake will effectively slow the motorcycle, also decreasing the turning radius."

For me the rear brake is used more for slow speed stability. With the fantastic front ABS there is little fear of the front washing out like in the old days before ABS.
 

Gwiz

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1340
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Chicago Suburbs
Well I learned from a Motorcycle policeman and gray area and trail braking is what I was taught and use.

Compression braking is part of every corner, but the control comes from proper entry/exit points and trail braking if needed.
To each his own, I guess. I use rear brake for holding hills and low, low speed downhill on loose stuff. Also can be used for very slow turn-arounds and trick parking lot maneuvers, which cops like to do. I'm talking about charging the hills and curves all day. Using sufficient revs gives me all I need...and doesn't wear out the tiny rear brakes.
 

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