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Discussion Starter #1
Was shuffling the bike around the garage earlier, and went to do another shuffle and she wouldn't budge. No it wasn't in gear, I checked. So after some visual inspection, some shoving the bike back and forth trying to get them to release, I gave up and did some reading. Found a fellow on another forum that was having similar issues and the fix was to crack the bleeder screw, which fixed my issue. Read that this type of issue is usually related to some release in the master cylinder not releasing, which makes sense. Could just be in my head, but now it seems the lever is really stiff with little to no travel as well. Haven't ridden it in a month or so and am not recalling what it should feel like. And, its one of 3 bikes in the garage.
Was planning on riding into to work tomorrow, but now I'm wondering if it should be to the dealer instead. Though, unless they can reproduce it, they won't do squat. If it were to lock up at an intersection, it would likely mean a tip over, best case.
Bike has 7k miles on it and fluid has never been changed, and looks clear'ish. Thoughts?
 

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You have a restriction somewhere. try to get it to do it again and this time start at the master cylinder cracking the brake line. if it doesn't loosen up there work your way down looseing each conection , when brakes loosen up your resriction is in the part before that connection. be careful not to get brake fluid on your bike it will eat paint quickly.
 

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Someone could have messed with it over the winter and worked the brake lever. If the pads are worn enough the part that pushes on the pad (can't remember the name right now) could have come all the way out. In this case take the brake pads out after releasing the pressure and see if it did. You might want to take the caliper apart and clean it real well before trying to put it back in place if it did and of course; change the pads.
 

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Someone could have messed with it over the winter and worked the brake lever. If the pads are worn enough the part that pushes on the pad (can't remember the name right now) could have come all the way out. In this case take the brake pads out after releasing the pressure and see if it did. You might want to take the caliper apart and clean it real well before trying to put it back in place if it did and of course; change the pads.
INCREDIBLY unlikely. Even with totally worn out pads the backing plates plus the rotor should be more than enough thickness to prevent this from happening. More likely is gunk buildup on the pistons preventing them from retracting or a piece of debris in the line or master cylinder that's clogging up the works.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
INCREDIBLY unlikely. Even with totally worn out pads the backing plates plus the rotor should be more than enough thickness to prevent this from happening. More likely is gunk buildup on the pistons preventing them from retracting or a piece of debris in the line or master cylinder that's clogging up the works.

Agreed. I'm thinking I'll go get some fresh fluid and bleed them which will hopefully get ride of the blockage.
 

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Take off the calipers, spray the f*ck outta the pistons with brake cleaner, then flush the fluid from the whole system...
 

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Agreed. I'm thinking I'll go get some fresh fluid and bleed them which will hopefully get ride of the blockage.
Soofle might be right but this isn't how to fix it. You will still need to remove the pads so you can see the piston and clean it really well with a soft bristle brush and some Dot 4 brake fluid. You will need to pump the piston out carefully to hopefully see the problem spot but it's still better to take the caliper apart to make sure it's done right.

If he is right, and it's likely he is, some gunk that was soft before winter laying on the piston has gotten hard over the winter.

This issue can happen overnight even or as a slow buildup until it seems like it happened all at once.
 

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Found a video, much better than the explanation I wrote.


No need to re bleed the system that way.
If that doesn't work, particles in the master cylinder will cause the pistons to not retract as will any air leak in the system. The master cylinder pulls the pistons back slightly when you release the handle. An air leak will prevent that.

I'd start with good cleaning as it is the easiest option and probably the problem. While you have the caliper in your hands and pumping them out you will be able to see if some of the pistons are pulling back or not.

If some are pulling back on the release of the lever but others aren't it's probably just some crud. If none pull back maybe air in the system or an air leak.
I've always used only chlorinated brake cleaner for this.
Don't get the brake cleaner on anything, wear rubber gloves and use only with a ton of ventilation. stuff works good but is bad ju,ju.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, pulled the calipers and the pads and inspected the pistons. A little bit of crud on the exposed section but nothing too major. I pumped the lever a bit to get more of the piston to show and blasted with brake cleaner while pushing one piston in to get the others to push out. When I was pushing one piston in to get the other to push out it took allot of effort. Didn't feel like piston stiction but more like allot of pressure behind each piston. When it came time to push the pistons back in enough to get the pads back in with space for a rotor, there was not way they were going back in by hand. I ended up cracking the bleeder so I could get the pads back in. Normally, in the past, on other bikes, this has not been a problem and just had to make sure I wasn't overflowing the reservoir. Reservoir lid was off. Moving on I did the same with the other side. Sucked out most of the old fluid and flushed/replaced with some Motul Dot 4 and they feel really good. Hopefully, that took care of it.

Thanks all for the advice and input. Super helpful. thumb up
 
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