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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I wanted to take my K12RS for a ride. It has been freezing over here in Holland for weeks (at night), and a lot of road salt was on the roads the last time I rode the big K. After that ride, some 4 weeks ago, I washed the machine and put in the garage. I ride all year round, but I have a special 'salt bike' for riding in winter. As the roads seemed to be clear I took out the big K and took off. It seemed to be a little difficult at first, because it seemed to brake of its own between gear changes. After only a mile or so I halted and started an inspection. The front brakes were very hot and seemed almost to block the machine. After some time they cooled off and I was able to ride home in several short steps. I consulted my brother who knows more about the technical stuff than I do and he said this happens often, it is a result of collecting rust and other waste material between the brake pads and the brake claw (is that English?).

I would like to know if others have indeed had this problem and what they did to get rid of the problem. Not washing seems to be a good idea, but after a ride in the salt you have to clean the machine or it gets eaten.

It is a 2003 blue/white K1200RS, with the electric power brakes.

Kind regards,
Frits van Straten.
 

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Frits, It happens if the pads and rotors are left wet: e.g if you washed the bike down and then put it away for a long spell. There is only a small gap between the pad surface and rotor which is a capillary and traps water. Some pads contain a sintered metal (it used to be brass) and these tend to be the hard one's, helped by water the sintered metal and rotor metal corrode together when left standing. Even though you think all the salt is washed off, there's probably some still left. You also find the pad surfaces can leave a stain on the rotor when the bike is layed up. I've actually seen a set of pads lock to a wheel until first use. This must reduce pad life as you rip off some of the surface .

Depending on whether you are a hard pad/high rotor wear racer, or a softer Kevlar/longer rotor life/cruiser/ don't mind the dust/don't use the brakes much like me - you might consider what type pads you have.

There are many here who lay their bikes up and are in worse weather who can help. I think I'd make sure the pads and rotors were absolutely dry, I'm lucky to have an air line. The pads are easy to get to and you can push them back a bit (say 1-2 mm max, but watch the reservoirs for overflow!). HOWEVER REMEMBER, the first squeeze on the brake some weeks later may mean no brakes! Put the disc lock on with a big label to remind you.

There is another problem I had, which is a tendency for one or more pistons to seize in the caliper which you don't notice. My bike's a '97 on original Brembo's so now I do my own check for this every 6K. I remember posting about this a while back. If you can't find it, PM me.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, thanks for the info. There are indeed marks on the disks and the pads. I will take the calipers off this evening and straighten everything out. I have an air line as well in my garage, so the brakes of the big K wil be blow-dried in the future, rather than left wet in the garage.

Thnx!
Frits van Straten
 

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My system is non servo ABS1. When I lift the caliper off, I push the pads and pistons back a few mm. I then get somebody else to GENTLY squeeze the brake lever a small amount. If you are very lucky with absolutely no problems and equal friction on all pistons, all 4 pistons will move out together.

Chances are some pistons will have higher friction but aren't necessarily siezed. Put a piece of wood between two opposing pistons (to stop them coming out) and a 'G' clamp across a third. I then get somebody to GENTLY squeeze the brake lever whilst watching the piston. Move the 'G' clamp and wood block around to check each piston. Any that don't move easy are siezed. This can happen after pads are replaced and the pistons are pushed back to their starting new pad position.



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