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Old 11-29-2005, 01:57 PM   #1
spike
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Unhappy sticky front brakes

Hi,
can somebody please help me out with a problem I have with my 2000 R1. The front brakes seem to drag excessively (by that I mean if you jack the front wheel up and try to spin the wheel, it might spin about 1.5 revs before stopping).

I have stripped the calipers down and cleaned the bores, pistons and seals but with no improvement. The disks and pads aren't badly worn (so the pistons are pushed out a long way) and there's no corrosion around.

The binding is not attributed to the bearings as the wheel spins OK without the brake pads in.

I have noticed on other R1's that the front wheel spins far more freely.

Thanks for your help
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:00 PM   #2
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right, you need to bleed the brake lines/system. bleed them and fill with new brake fluid, then try spin the wheel
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:08 PM   #3
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hi,
thanks Graham for the ultra quick reply. I've recently fitted SS braided lines and bled them (no more air to be seen). They feel fine and not spongey so I guess they are good. The disks aren't warped so I'm stuck for ideas now ?
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:13 PM   #4
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they are fine then. get used to them first
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:15 PM   #5
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thanks for the help but I'm not convinced they are right. I only do track days on the bike now and it feels as if the front wants to tuck a little cornering. This does not inspire confidence. As I said earlier I have checked quite a few bikes (R1's and others) and the front brakes don't bind anywhere near as much.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:15 PM   #6
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I have found this to be a somewhat common problem on r1/r6's.

They do have a bit more brake drag than other bikes.

On my r1 when i notice the brakes dragging I just unbolt the calipers and clean the pistons and the seal (without taking them out!!).

Do not EVER push the pistons inside the calipers without cleaning them of all grime first. It will shove some of the grime into the caliper bore. This is an often overlooked step. Most people just shove the dirty pistons back into the calipers to put new pads on without cleaning anything.

Unless you have too much fluid in the syatem, bleeding the system will not help cure brake drag.

Use emery cloth or fine sand paper to clean the pistons throughly. 9 times out of 10 it will free everything up.

Also you can take the brake pad spring on top of the caliper off and throw it as far as possible. It is there to help fight brake noise, but I have no noise and have not had them on in 30k miles.

Take the brake pad retaining pin and clean it, best is to use a wire wheel on a bench grinder but you get the idea.

When you put the caliper back on the disk, first pump the brake lever a few times to make it just too tight to fit over the disk. Then slowly wobble the caliper over the disk, letting the disk spread the pads slightly. This may sound counter intuitive, but I assure you it is correct.

Ever notice that your lever travels a bit more than you would like, or more than it used to? You still have the same brake power, but the lever has to physically move farther than it did before to get the pads biting on the rotors. Here is the reason why, and the reason I say to pump the lever before instillation and use the disk to spread the pads:

There is a square section rubber seal that seals the brake fluid in the calipers, and more importantly is solely responsible for pulling the brake pads away from the disk when you let off the lever (or pedal). See when you apply brake pressure and the pistons are driven out of the calipers it distorts the rubber seal, and when you let off the lever the seal has some spring energy as it is streached out, so the spring energy brings the seal back to it's normal shape and brings the piston back with it. It does not pull the pad back, but without any pressure on the pad the bike rolls freely (plus the vibration will help kick the pads out a bit, a very small amount).

Now what happens it that as the pad wears the piston is meant to slip past the rubber seal farther and farther, so that the same lever travel is always used to get the same result. In the real world though the seals will dry out a bit and stick to the pistons, and they will not let the pistons slip past the seal any. What this means is that as your brake pads wear you have to use more lever travel because the pistons are being pulled back into the same old pisotion as it always has been, even though the pads are thinner now and have to move farther to touch the rotors. This makes you move the lever farther before the pads bite onto the rotors.

By pumping the lever a couple times you will break the seals hold on that particular position on the piston, and force it out farther than it needs to go. The piston will be wet where the seal touches it now, and as you use the disk to spread the pads the piston will move back only as far as is nessairy, and the result will be a firm lever with shorter travel. Just like it was when it was new.

So long story short, push the pistons out a bit and clean them throughly with emery cloth. clean the brake pad retaining pin so that the pads can slide smoothly. Throw away the copper colored spring (it traps heat and brake dust), and use the disk to spread the pads out to where they need to be.

You do that to both sides and you will once again have a free spinning wheel, and a firm lever.

If you have a new bike (or brake system) you may not notice the lever traveling any less than before. That means that either the seal is not stuck to the pads or the pads have not worn much yet. This is most usefull to bikes that are a couple years old and in need of brake service.

Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:15 PM   #7
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Hi,

thanks for your very detailed reply.

that all makes perfect sense now.
I have completely stripped the calipers and cleaned the seals and noticed that they had a 'set' in the rubber. i.e not completely square. I think this may be contributing to the binding. Think I'll splash out on some new seals, pads and DOT5 fluid.

BTW the Red 00 R1's are the fastest (at least on my track days !!!)

Last edited by spike; 11-30-2005 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:13 PM   #8
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use dot 5.1 not 5. the 04-05s have a much looser pad fit than the earlier bikes and all drag is gone. I would check your pads and make sure they are not too tight in the caliper body and rsize if needed.
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:41 PM   #9
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right, I've got my new genuine Yamaha caliper seal kit (how expensive was that !!!) and am ready to fit them this w/e. Anybody have a good tip for getting the pistons out from both sides of the calipers. Last time I did it I found it a real a*$e job, as one side would pop out first (I used an airline on the caliper to blow the pistons out).

cheers guys


Last edited by spike; 12-08-2005 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 12-09-2005, 11:42 AM   #10
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Your problem may not be with the brakes at all...

The first thing you should do is loosen the pinch bolts on the fork legs... and bounce the front end off the ground in an effort to make sure the axel is not bound up in the fork leg.s...

Try this... I have fixed a few racebikes this way.
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:48 AM   #11
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thanks for the tip. I have tried this before and it didn't improve the binding (but I've heard it has worked on other bikes).
I've just stripped the calipers and inspected the old seals. What I noticed is a small sliver of the outer dust seal had broken off and worked it's way down past the main seal, probably causing increased interference between the piston and seal. Unbelievable really ...

Anyway after a thorugh strip down, new seals and a good bleed it now spins nice and freely, so I'll stop going on about it now.

Cheers for all your help and advice guys

Last edited by spike; 12-11-2005 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-11-2005, 07:18 PM   #12
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congrats on a job well done my friend
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:50 PM   #13
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Hey Spike,

I have a 2000 R1 and have the same exact problem. Just ruined a perfectly good track day. Where did you get the seals. Did they have a kit or did you have to order each seal. I've checked a few oem micro film sites and It's a little vague on whether it's per caliper or for both.

BTW Nice post JAYSTENSEC4CYL

Thanks

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Old 07-02-2007, 01:25 PM   #14
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Hi,
got them from a Yamaha dealer direct. A seal kit (dust and main seal) per caliper if I remember right. Expensive, but with a bit of cleaning and a little TLC they have been as good as gold since. Done quite a few trackdays since with no issues. front feels so much better with none of the front tucking feeling that was there before. Also when I change my front wheel I always bounce the front before I tighten the axle pinch bolt. This lets the forks settle better.

Hope this helps enjoy your trackdays again...
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Old 07-02-2007, 01:46 PM   #15
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Try cleaning the rotors with brake clean I do it after almost every session on my race bike.
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Old 09-15-2007, 04:58 AM   #16
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Thumbs up

What a brilliant thread, just wanted to bump in case this helps others and say thanks to JAYSTENSEC4CYL and Spike for 'sticking' with it till the problem was gone (pardon the pun)
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:44 PM   #17
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Hey sorry about the late post to the fix

I bought new O rings and installed with no fix.

Noticed FINALLY that one piston would stick and the other pistons would come out and seat and the sticky one would come out last and you guested it STICK drag the brake over heat and fail.

So I took the pistons out polished them with fine emory cloth and then polished them with 2000 grit sand paper.

This made the FRICTION the same on all the pistons and they worked good as new!!

Finally.

Brad

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Old 09-16-2007, 08:47 PM   #18
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:54 PM   #19
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By the way I didn't come up with the idea if you read the post that way.

Thanks to Jay THE MAN!

Brad.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:36 AM   #20
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any time guys Glad I could help

Great idea about usinf brake cleaner on the rotors at the track.

What brand do you use if you don't mind me asking? I have found that some of the brake cleaners leave an oily residue thats terrible for the brakes. I have been using 3m brake cleaner here lately with good results.
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