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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question was inspired by the Better Brakes thread. I'm curious about how much travel is normal for the front brake lever on a stock ABS wee (mine is an '09). How firm is the brake feel typically?

On my bike, when I squeeze as hard as I can, I can get the lever all the way to the grip (not moving, of course, just sitting in the stand in the garage). Is this normal travel?
 

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Sounds about like mine. I keep the lever adjusted all the way out so it DOESN'T get too close to the grip when the brakes are fully applied. I'm afraid that I'll need to do a panic stop with a couple of fingers on the grip and I don't want to smash them or prevent full brake application.

With the lever adjusted all the way out it is a bit of a reach to grab the lever though. The front brakes on this bike seem pretty crude compared to other bikes I've ridden in terms of feel and lever travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good point. I think my lever is adjusted to 4 out of 5 (5 being the longest reach).
 

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This question was inspired by the Better Brakes thread. I'm curious about how much travel is normal for the front brake lever on a stock ABS wee (mine is an '09). How firm is the brake feel typically?

On my bike, when I squeeze as hard as I can, I can get the lever all the way to the grip (not moving, of course, just sitting in the stand in the garage). Is this normal travel?
That doesn't sound right. Did you do anything? I have my lever adjusted to wide open. When I squeeze as hard as I can with two fingers (enough to stop the bike as fast as it's going to stop), I still haven't touched the backs of my other two fingers.

The feel was very mushy after I installed a longer top hose, and changed my brake fluid. I could then squeeze the lever to the grip. It's fiddly getting all the air out. It's still not as firm as I'd like (it never was) but it doesn't travel as far as yours either.

A warped rotor will force the pistons back, and use up lever travel just to get the piston back close to the rotor, but you'd probably feel some pulsation then.

One V-Strommer who reported the same symptom as you actually had a broken brake lever, where he couldn't see it. He spent a lot of time unable, so he thought, to bleed the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should mention that this is a static test (not riding) I am squeezing the lever with about all my strength (full hand) as if in a full-on panic stop. I can just barely get the lever to touch the grip. If I do the same on my BMW or ST1300, I only get about half the lever travel.

This is low mileage bike bought new in spring 2010. I just bought it from the original purchaser a month ago. AFAIK, there has been no brake work of any kind done to it.

I did a brake fluid flush because I thought the front brakes felt too spongey, but it did not improve. I used a MityVac at the wheel cylinders for the bleeding. Did not introduce any air at the master cylinder.

Just wondering if this is how they all are. I rode a demo 2011 unit at the dealership a week before buying this one, but do not remember the brake feel on it.
 

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mine about the same

My 07 that I bought with 2200 miles is about the same. If I squeeze it as hard ans I can in the garage (four finger) it will go to the grip. This is first bike I have had like that-- and I am not keen on that. I keep mine adjusted all the way out (longest travel) to compensate so even in hard braking it should not bottom.

I am not sure but have wondered if it could be flex in the stock lines.
 

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Don't have a Wee yet... but like everyone else... (other bike experience), that doesn't seem right.

Sounds like it almost has to be air in the lines somewhere. There's usually an elbow joint right at the reservoir that sometimes can get air in it when bleeding, especially if the reservoir mistakenly goes empty during bleeding.

Is what you describe really how all the Wee's are? dang, that just doesn't sound right...
 

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Wee's got a master cylinder with a smaller piston in 2007 to provide a larger mechanical advantage. Yes, the lever can be brought to just about the grip but you won't apply the brakes that hard in an actual stop. It requires a four finger application or the unused fingers get in the way. Most people would not get the quickest stop out of two fingers anyway as the mechanical advantage still did not bring the brakes to sport bike level.
 

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makes sense gw

Thanks for description grewolf - now think I understand the situation. My hard braking experience agrees that I'd probably not get to the grip before lockup (maybe not bad with my non ABS). Seems that adding braided or kevlar lines will not change that so I figure to wait until orginal ones got older and upgrade during a replace. I am running Galfer pads- not too bad.

A honda replacement capiler setup on 02 VEE I rode recently was really nice (was paired with kevlar lines proably not the difference). Strong braking nicely graduated. I may look into that but might be pricey (looked like it had only some adapter plates for bolt on to match stock rotors).
 

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This question was inspired by the Better Brakes thread. I'm curious about how much travel is normal for the front brake lever on a stock ABS wee (mine is an '09). How firm is the brake feel typically?

On my bike, when I squeeze as hard as I can, I can get the lever all the way to the grip (not moving, of course, just sitting in the stand in the garage). Is this normal travel?
Take it out on the road and see how far you have to squeeze the lever to activate the ABS. This will give you a good idea if the travel is okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Take it out on the road and see how far you have to squeeze the lever to activate the ABS. This will give you a good idea if the travel is okay.
Good point. I'll give that a try when the weather improves. I'm getting the impression that mine is probably normal for the wee.

While my static test does exceed normal braking needs, it does allow me to check things out for leaks etc. I'd rather pop a brake line in the garage than on the road.
 

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One V-Strommer who reported the same symptom as you actually had a broken brake lever, where he couldn't see it. He spent a lot of time unable, so he thought, to bleed the system.
That was me. :yesnod:
 

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if the length on lever travel bothers you (as it did to me) AND you dont mind exerting an extra 30% force, you can always change to a pre K7 Wee and all years V 's Master cylinder - it has a larger piston resulting in less lever travel but also less mechanical advantage necessitating that extra 30% lever force to produce the same braking force @ the caliper.

I did that since 2009 and together with EBC HH pads, gave me an increase in confidence with Wee's brake - this mod is compatible with the ABS system- actually makes the lever pulsating less dramatic when it happens.
 

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I just put in DOT 5.1 brake fluid on my K6 Wee. Had the same issue as described by the OP. Don't know if it's the new type of fluid or if there was some air in the system, but it's much better now.
 

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This question was inspired by the Better Brakes thread. I'm curious about how much travel is normal for the front brake lever on a stock ABS wee (mine is an '09). How firm is the brake feel typically?

On my bike, when I squeeze as hard as I can, I can get the lever all the way to the grip (not moving, of course, just sitting in the stand in the garage). Is this normal travel?
I also have an 09 with ABS. I bought it brand new, bike has under 10k miles, I have not topped off or changed the brake fluid yet, brake pads are stock and my brakes work very nicely. I cannot get my front brake lever anywhere near the grip with full pressure. In fact, with full pressure I can still fit my index and middle fingers between the lever and the grip. (My other bike, an 06 Yamaha Venture, is the same way.) I'm not saying you've got a problem . . . but yours is certainly different than mine. Good luck. Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Since I originally posted this last year, I've put about 2500 miles on the bike. Now, with the adjuster in position number 1, I can't get the lever to the grip either (with about a finger's width space between the ball at the end of the lever and the grip).

So, perhaps whatever air might have been trapped in the system may have worked its way out. I've noticed that the reservoir level is down just a bit, so that may indicate that fluid has replaced some air trapped in the system.
 

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Brake Lever Pull

This question was inspired by the Better Brakes thread. I'm curious about how much travel is normal for the front brake lever on a stock ABS wee (mine is an '09). How firm is the brake feel typically?

On my bike, when I squeeze as hard as I can, I can get the lever all the way to the grip (not moving, of course, just sitting in the stand in the garage). Is this normal travel?
:) Hi everyone, This is actually not an uncommon complaint on the DL650 models. It results from the DL650 bikes from 2007 up having a smaller bore and stroke master cylinder than the early DL650 Models and all the DL1000 models to 2011.

The cure is two fold, The first is something everyone should do. Install either the CT Banjo Bleeder, $19.95, on your existing master cylinder and bleed and maintain your brakes from the top where all the tiny air bubble migrate and remain trapped contributing to the loose or spongy feel that periodically develops in our brake levers.

All the Euro Bikes and Aftermarket Master Cylinders come with the banjo bleeder installed stock and now so do all the later model Japanese sport bikes,

It simply replaces the banjo bolt at your master cylinder by the brake lever.

Once installed pull your brake lever back as hard as you can to the bar grip and Velcro, zip tie, or use whatever you have to secure it back for 4 -5 hours minimum and preferably overnight. Then burp bleed your brakes from the top before you release the pressure on the lever. Repeat periodically.

Your bike and our brakes will thank you,

The second thing you can do with these models is either locate an early 2004 - 2006 DL650 or any model year to 2011 DL1000 master cylinder and swap it out.

Install the CT Banjo Bleeder in it and do as described above to bring it along to as good as it can be,

The final solution to really bring the brake lever feel up to standard is to install the aftermarket Radial Mount Master Cylinder, I have one of these on my bike and one left in stock for any fellow Stromtrooper that wants really good brake feel. The nice thing about the aftermarket Radial Master Cylinders I have is that they come with everything you need to hook up your brake lights as per OEM, mirror mount as per OEM, fit the Suzuki Hand Guards, and give you Euro Bike quality brake feel and have the Banjo Bleeder installed in them already,

Hope that helps you see what the fixes are for the brake lever feel and pull,

Let me know,

Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
Blair
 

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Since I originally posted this last year, I've put about 2500 miles on the bike. Now, with the adjuster in position number 1, I can't get the lever to the grip either (with about a finger's width space between the ball at the end of the lever and the grip).

So, perhaps whatever air might have been trapped in the system may have worked its way out. I've noticed that the reservoir level is down just a bit, so that may indicate that fluid has replaced some air trapped in the system.
MY BAD. Did not even notice how old your post was or would not have answered . . . but glad your brake lever is tighter. Honestly, in over 20 years of riding, I've never had a bike where the brake lever can touch the grip. I would think that would indicate a malfunction. Enjoy the Wee and ride safe. Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
MY BAD. Did not even notice how old your post was or would not have answered . . . but glad your brake lever is tighter. Honestly, in over 20 years of riding, I've never had a bike where the brake lever can touch the grip. I would think that would indicate a malfunction. Enjoy the Wee and ride safe. Craig
No problem. The topic was kind-of left with no conclusion. I bled the brakes last fall with MityVac bleeder at the the wheels, but was unsuccessful at improving the lever feel. Will have to give the the banjo bleeder at try.
 
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