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Rear brakes are effen useless!!!

3402 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  dfib
My rear brakes (which the pads have just been replaced by the dealer) on my 2001 S3 don't do anything!
Even going 10 miles an hour I can not stop the bike. I know everyone complains about the brakes being lousy but It is fuckin useless! There has to be a way to fix this.

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I dont think rear brakes are useless, though I rarely use mine. But it sounds like yours are pretty much completely mis-adjusted. Better to have them set weak as opposed to too touchy though.

Mine has needed pads for the last year , I never use them so why bother .
I can not understand how you guys can NOT use your rear brakes. I don't get it.
I think most of the complaints revolve around the front brake, at least for older 05 and 06s. If you rear brake is not bitting enough, it may be time for your dealer to look at and replace the pistons, even though a 2001 shouldn't require such maintenance, but, look at all the problems I have been you never know.

I also don't understand how some riders never use the rear...most of my stop light stops involve heavy use of the provides a smooth slow stop.
Various gurus of moto (Reg Pridmore and Keith Code) will tell you different things about the rear brake's use. Same thing with engine braking....some say do it, some say that's what brakes are for why beat up your motor?

I figure if you practice using all techniques, you're better off when the shit hits the fan and you need options that come out automatically.

I used to use the rear brake a lot when I carried passengers around. I havent had a passenger in 15 years. Dont miss it either. Reg Pridmore convinced me one day that I could stop faster WITH the rear brake and the front together than with the front alone. But as he admitted, you really gotta watch what youre doing when panic stopping and using the rear, i.e. you gotta practice it. I figure in most cases involving a panic (surprise) stop, I wont know the surface beneath me very well and my synapses will go to the most frequent use....the front.

About the only use my rear brake gets these days is holding the bike still at an inclined stop light while I use both hands to scratch my ass and pick my nose.....or is that pick my nose THEN scratch my ass.

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I use my rear brake a lot. If I give it a quick firm push it'll easily lock the rear tire. What you don't want to do is hammer either of your brakes mid-turn or mid-maneuver. I did a 60-0mph run on my bike using my veypor and managed to stop in 2.8 seconds in around 108ft when I used both brakes (rear AND front on the verge of locking up). However, this would be near-idiotic to do in traffic as you'd be almost guaranteed to get mauled from behind by slower stopping cagers. Best bet in most situations is to try and dodge unless you KNOW no one is behind you.

Anyway, make sure they're properly bled and bedded in. If they're brand new pads it takes a bit of use before they finally bed in and want to bite.
I ALWAYS use both brakes. I agree with Code, that even if it only add 2-3% effective stopping, that's a couple less feet I'll travel in an emergency. I also trail brake in corners to help tighten a line and use it to stay still on hills..

I also use engine braking, great for those runs of twisties where you sit in 2nd or 3rd from 3000-9000rpm and use the engine to help brake for a tighter corner.

See the rear brake is your friend, it has lots of uses.

Seriously, to paraphrase kuhlka, the MORE techniques you know, the more you can do to get out of trouble and that has to be a good thing :)
I have a 2001 Speedy and I use both brakes even though the rear is utterly useless. I would say it provides about 2% of the stopping power. The rear brake on speedy is more useless than the drum brakes all around on my 6000lb 64 chevy 3/4 ton pickup. And thats bad.
The rear brake is great, I use it all the time. Yes you will stop faster with it. I understand that some of the older generation speedy's are having issues with their rear brakes... I dunno the problem, but if you can lock it there's not a problem (maybe too strong even) I adjusted my rear brake lever all the way down ( towards the ground ) so that it would take that much more effort to lock it. A good rule of thumb is if you can fell yourself pushing it you're pushing too hard. Rest your foot on the lever and let teh weight transfer apply all the pressure to the lever. When you lock it, you lose control and the gyroscopic effect that the turning wheel gives you.

I use mine in the turns a little, honestly it's a bad habit that i'm trying to fix. If you reallly think your brakes useless, try this. Next time you approach a stop sign or red light, apply the rear brake before the first, just slight pressure, your not trying to stop with the rear, then stop as you normally would with the front. You'll find that by applying the rear brake, you've bound the rear suspension a bit, the weight transfer to the forks will be much more controlled and not as drastic.

The best braking advice given to me was in Motors school. You brake just like you grab a boob, progressivly. If you reach up and grab it you're gonna get slapped, but if you squezze it lightly and progressivly sqeeze harder you'll be hearing a moan (girl or tires).
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J-pip do you have a 955? The rear brake wouldn't be there if it weren't for the hoards of guys willing to do wheelies on this machine. The rear on the 1050 must be better because the rear on the 955 is absolutely useless (it must be on for effect) :gayaway:
The rear brake on my '01 works fine. I have the brake clevis upgrade from Jeff Spencer at and EBC HH sintered pads. There is a thread over there where Jeff is making some more bits for the 97-01 bikes. Here it is. I recommend getting one. It's the part between the pedal and the master cylinder.
They were fine on my 01 too. I managed to lock the rear with ease more than once.... Although only once without trying.
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