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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2013 Strom 650 the front brake is mushy and able to pull in all the way while riding i have to pump it a couple times to be half decent to stop.

The rear brake is working well.
I have just rebuilt the front caliper, bled the brake really well no bubbles but didn't solve the problem. I will rebuild the Front master cylinder in the next few days to see if that is causing the issue.

Do you guys have any suggestions?
 

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What is the status of your brake fluid reserve? If it is low, then you may have a leak or it was underfilled. Top it off and see if the reserve stays at a constant level. (I realize this is obvious and you probably already did this, but needed to ask.)

I had an overfilled reserved and could not get my calipers separated enough to insert new brake pads until I removed some brake fluid.

Otherwise, check to see if everything is put back together correctly. Usually I take it apart again.

I am curious, so good luck and post your solution.
 

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A mushy lever that must be pumped to work would usually indicate air in the system.
Bleeding can often be difficult using the standard hold the lever while you release and then tighten the bleed nipple method.
Was it also ineffective before you rebuilt the front calipers? I assume that you inspected the bores before replacing both seals and wipers?

If you pump the lever up and hold it, does the lever slowly come back to the grip - or remain firm?
If it remains firmish it indicates air in the system, or even aged brake hoses.
If the lever fades it indicates a faulty master cylinder.

How many miles on the bike?
 

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Pump it up and hold it firm for a while.

If the MC is OK it should stay firm if the lever starts to creep towards the gip the MC is stuffed.

Pump it up until your happy with it then walk away, when you come back see if it's still good or back to the grip.

Pump it up, spin the wheel and see if it requires pumping again, if yes it's a warped disc.

Pump it up, release the leaver a little then spin the wheel feeling for a pulse, again warped disc.

If it's only air it will spongy but the lever should hold at some point.

I see Brockie beat me to this.
 

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You added a few other ideas though. :)
 

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On my previous bike (KLR) I chased a ghost in the front brakes for weeks! One of the clips holding the pads in place was ever so slightly out of place and would not allow the pistons to fully extend. Might not be that at all, but then again, it might be. Had me pulling my hair out for quite a while until a better mechanic than me spotted the issue. Just one thing for you to double check. Hope you figure it out.
 

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And as a comment. I had similar happening, don't bother trying to service the master cylinder if it comes back to that. Throw it away and put a new one on.

Serviceable only in theory :), in practice even if you do succeed it will eat so much time it wouldn't be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is the status of your brake fluid reserve? If it is low, then you may have a leak or it was underfilled. Top it off and see if the reserve stays at a constant level. (I realize this is obvious and you probably already did this, but needed to ask.)

I had an overfilled reserved and could not get my calipers separated enough to insert new brake pads until I removed some brake fluid.

Otherwise, check to see if everything is put back together correctly. Usually I take it apart again.

I am curious, so good luck and post your solution.
Thanks, the fluid is new and and on the proper level! No fluid is leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A mushy lever that must be pumped to work would usually indicate air in the system.
Bleeding can often be difficult using the standard hold the lever while you release and then tighten the bleed nipple method.
Was it also ineffective before you rebuilt the front calipers? I assume that you inspected the bores before replacing both seals and wipers?

If you pump the lever up and hold it, does the lever slowly come back to the grip - or remain firm?
If it remains firmish it indicates air in the system, or even aged brake hoses.
If the lever fades it indicates a faulty master cylinder.

How many miles on the bike?
I even done the reverse brake bleed. Yes the brakes were the same before I rebuild them. I replaced the seals and the pistons.
If i pump the brakes and hold them it remains firm relatively firm almost touching the grips.

65K on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On my previous bike (KLR) I chased a ghost in the front brakes for weeks! One of the clips holding the pads in place was ever so slightly out of place and would not allow the pistons to fully extend. Might not be that at all, but then again, it might be. Had me pulling my hair out for quite a while until a better mechanic than me spotted the issue. Just one thing for you to double check. Hope you figure it out.
I did noticed that the pins both side on the brake pads have wear grooves in them. Problem is that the brake lever pulls half way before i feel the engagement but feels rubbery!
 

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I even done the reverse brake bleed. Yes the brakes were the same before I rebuild them. I replaced the seals and the pistons.
If i pump the brakes and hold them it remains firm relatively firm almost touching the grips.

65K on it.
That should eliminate a MC issue.
Sorry but air in the system is still the most likely culprit, especially as the issue was there before the rebuild.
The alternative is flexing hoses. Did you fit new pads?
Notched pins will not help.

Try clamping the brake lever to the bar overnight. This can allow air bubbles to float into the MC.
Otherwise I would bite the bullet and throw some braided brake lines at it.
 

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I’ve had success getting air out of system by just squeezing master cylinder lever till the brake switch clicks , 10-15 times,then release,wait 10 seconds or so then pull lever all the way & hold.
Repeat several times—If there was still air in system you will see it coming up into master cyl..Repeat as needed.

BIG P.S.—put towels around anything painted.Go easy,not Tammy,& you won’t have a mess.🎱🇨🇦
my. 2 cents.
 

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I vaguely recall reading somewhere that there's something about the ABS that makes bleeding the brakes tricky, but I'm not positive. Worth looking into maybe.
 
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2013 Strom 650 the front brake is mushy and able to pull in all the way while riding i have to pump it a couple times to be half decent to stop.

The rear brake is working well.
I have just rebuilt the front caliper, bled the brake really well no bubbles but didn't solve the problem. I will rebuild the Front master cylinder in the next few days to see if that is causing the issue.

Do you guys have any suggestions?
Yep: replace the entire front brake system. Seriously. BTDT: excessive front brake lever travel: one solution
 

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Just wondering if your master cylinder push rod is adjusted so it doesn’t have any free play? Too tight?Or possibly not returning all the way to the relaxed position.(stuck mid way?)
 

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Check the rotors for runout.... if even slightly bent (this can happen easily if not careful changing tires with the rotors "on"), the rotor wobble will push the pads back into the caliper, and cause the fluid to be sent back up to the reservoir, and cause the brake lever to act mushy or even (in my case- DL-1000a) pull (alarmingly) all the way back to the grip (but will "pump up" and brake normally will a few squeezes).

This phenom. (tweaked a rotor whilst spooning on new tires) happened to me, causing no end of consternation until I finally figured it out. Pull the wheel and setup on balancing stand.... then fix a dial gauge that just touches the rotor... (do each side in turn) and check the runout as you turn the wheel.

If negligible (there is a spec in Suzuki Shop Manual- can't remember it), then you are good and this advice is moot.. Good luck
 

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How did you bleed those lines? I installed ss 3 line kit on my 013A but also had speed bleeders assist me doing this by myself. It did take longer and more fluid than I thought it would. If I remember correctly, I used better than 2/3rds of a 12oz bottle before being satisfied with a solid lever. Good luck and let us know how this turns out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
So I bought brake calipers from a low mileage 2015 Strom with original pads, that didn't solve the issue, I've rebuilt the front brake master cylinder and bought banjo bleeder for it which still haven't arrived. I'll report back after i install it. If that doesn't solve the issue i will get full front braided lines!

I talk to the guy at Sv racing where I bought the banjo bleeder who told me a lot of times these dl650 have air trapped up by the master cylinder which makes the brakes spongy.
 

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Following thread with interest, my front brakes are just OK. Not good, not terrible, just OK. I've bled and bled and bled until I've actually bled from my hands (brake fluid on your wound stings like a mofo, do not recommend) but still did not have any great success. I'm going to "assume" that there's some pocket of air at the junction where the ABS pump is.

On MB and BMW (cars that I work on a regular basis), it's super easy to self bleed the brake lines....just hook up scanner, activate the ABS pump to pressurize individual lines, then crack it loose and you've purged the air lines. Takes maybe 15 min for all four corners.

I don't have access to the factory SDS, but the aftermarket alternative doesn't have any options to actuate the ABS pump.
 

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You said that you did a reverse brake bleed and that should have pushed any air out of the top of the line.
Either trapped air that you cannot get out, or flexing brake hose are I think the most likely.

Once on one bike I had so much of a problem that I removed the caliper, put a thick piece of plastic between the pads, hung the caliper by string from a ceiling joist, and bled them that way. With no dip in the line.
 
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