Front Brake lock up - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Front Brake lock up

Anyone ever have the front brake lock up.....and stay locked up even when you release the brake?
I was making a left turn at low speed (thank God) and lightly used my front brake. It locked the brake and the bike went down so fast i was on the pavement before I even knew what happened,
Luckily some people stopped to help me right the bike but when in neutral...we could not push it because the front brake remained locked up. When I tried to move it with power, it just slid the front wheel....I eventually got it to free up and could move it but I had a lot of damage to me and the bike.
The bike is a 2007 FJR with 55,000 miles and I bought it new, never had a problem with it until this and never heard of this happening before but if it had happened at high speed it would be a disaster..I have got to resolve this problem before it gets ridden again....
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 01:55 PM
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55,000 miles. I have 44,000 and after inspecting my pads I should replace them about 50,000 miles. How do yours look. Have you ever changes brake fluid? Do you have ABS?
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 02:23 PM
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All FJR's after 06 have ABS. Is your ABS light on? Have you removed the calipers and pads?

I can imagine a scenario where a person wore the pads down to the place where they were so thin that they slipped between the caliper and the rotor and wedged there and locked up the front wheel.

I could also imagine a situation where the internals of one of the brake lines deteriorated to the point the brake line was "clogged"? and after application of the brakes it would not allow the pressure in the line to dissipate, which would hold the brake shoe against the rotor building up more heat and pressure, ALMOST locking up the front wheel, until a small application of front brake combined with a lack of grip as the bike was laid over a little for a turn, ended with a complete loss of traction.

Was it the right caliper or left that was "locked up". If it was the right caliper, was it the front set of pads or the rear that was "locked up".

If you know the set of pads that were "locked up" and they are still partially "locked" you should loosen the nipple to that caliper while holding a rag a couple of inches in front of it. If the brake fluid squirts out, under pressure, and then the wheel spins freely, at least you know the problem is NOT a mechanical problem with the caliper but a hydraulic problem with the ABS or master cylinder. If nothing comes out and the wheel is still hard to turn, you know it's a mechanical problem with the caliper.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 05:17 PM
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Front Brake lock up

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Anyone ever have the front brake lock up.....and stay locked up even when you release the brake?
I was making a left turn at low speed (thank God) and lightly used my front brake. It locked the brake and the bike went down so fast i was on the pavement before I even knew what happened,
Luckily some people stopped to help me right the bike but when in neutral...we could not push it because the front brake remained locked up. When I tried to move it with power, it just slid the front wheel....I eventually got it to free up and could move it but I had a lot of damage to me and the bike.
The bike is a 2007 FJR with 55,000 miles and I bought it new, never had a problem with it until this and never heard of this happening before but if it had happened at high speed it would be a disaster..I have got to resolve this problem before it gets ridden again....
johnhackett,

If the front disk and rotor were HOT, then it sounds like you have water in the brake fluid, and you boiled the water. Once the water starts to boil, it won't stop until it locks the disk brake or the bike stops. Even with NO water in the brake fluid, a dragging brake pad can heat up the pure brake fluid enough to boil, with the same results. Since the brake "fixed" itself, that sounds like the brake caliper cooled off, relaxing the pressure.

When was the last time you replaced all of the brake fluid? Have you removed the front wheel recently?

You only get one warning symptom if this starts happening (other than maybe a bogus "loss of power"); the brake lever (front OR rear) will lose all free play, and act as if it was welded in place. Stop immediately if you have this happen, because the brake is about to lock up solid, even at road speeds. If you open the brake bleeder briefly, you will release the brake pressure and the wheel will turn again, but the bike is unsafe to drive, except maybe in short slow jaunts to get home on back roads, with lots of cooling stops along the way.

Cheers,
Red
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 10:36 PM
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I was going to ask when and how often he flushes his brakes and clutch (too). Every other year at the most (for any kind of vehicle). Water heats, boils, and will lock up brakes at lower altitudes. At higher altitudes than you normally ride, you can end up losing the brakes and clutch. We had a rider lose his clutch on the way down from Pike's Peak. We got to checking and he had flushed all his brakes before the ride but forgot that the clutch was hydraulic too (so hadn't).


The water can also lead to corrosion in the system and cost more than an oops when parts end up needing replaced.
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Last edited by bounce; 04-15-2019 at 11:04 AM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:04 AM
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Flush and bleed annually for an FJR to prevent ABS and clutch problems. I can bet that clutch fluid is blackish.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 01:28 PM
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Why so often on the Yamaha? On most bikes it's every two years.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 02:29 PM
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Because early FJR's suffered from ABS pumps getting clogged up (not so much Gen3's) and the clutch fluid gets a lot of heat (goes blackish). If you want to prevent expensive repairs and keep your clutch and brakes working optimally, do it annually. There are many threads where rear brakes start to degrade also..... but of course, it's only my opinion, feel free to go with your own maintenance schedule. To me, prevention is what it's all about.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Ferret View Post
Why so often on the Yamaha? On most bikes it's every two years.
Read your manuals, mine says two yr intervals to "........ change the brake and clutch fluids." But FJR riders, in general, ride more miles per annum thus operate the brakes and clutch more often thus require more frequent maintenance. Your bike, your choice but to me what's the harm of annual fluid changes? I went two yrs the first time (~31K miles) and the clutch & front brake fluids were nasty so I switched to yearly.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbentnail View Post
Read your manuals, mine says two yr intervals to "........ change the brake and clutch fluids." But FJR riders, in general, ride more miles per annum thus operate the brakes and clutch more often thus require more frequent maintenance. Your bike, your choice but to me what's the harm of annual fluid changes? I went two yrs the first time (~31K miles) and the clutch & front brake fluids were nasty so I switched to yearly.


That's what I said, most mfgs recommend every 2 years. I don't think FJR riders, in general, ride any more miles than any other group of motorcyclists judging by the threads I read here (I have a 2007 FJR with 13,000 miles on it etc). Certainly no more than ST riders, BMW riders or Goldwing riders. In each group there are dedicated daily riders who ride tens of thousands of miles annually, there are riders who ride weekends only for a couple hundred miles and less than 5000 miles annually, and there are riders who ride from once a month to a couple of times a year and less than a couple thousand miles annually. It's not difficult to find low mileage examples for sale of any model motorcycle you are looking for. FJR's are no exception.

I would think the manufacturers recommendations are on the cautious side, and every other year depending on how you ride is certainly ok for most people. Maybe not for the mechanically anal types among us.

Often long distance riders use their brakes and clutch less than local riders. When I ride on out of state trips, once I hit the freeway and get into 6th, I might not use the clutch or brakes for the next 200 miles when I need to stop for gas. Whereas if I ride a local loop of 50 miles on back roads, I might be rowing the gearbox and grabbing the brakes dozens of times.

I personally will probably follow the manufacturers recommendation for now, and check the condition of the fluid at the first recommended change and make a decision from there whether I want to do it more frequently or not.

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It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I ride...every day. "Ferret"

Last edited by the Ferret; 04-17-2019 at 11:13 AM.
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