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Old 07-09-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
ak_diane OP
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Brake Failure 2001 R1150GS!

Is anyone familiar with brake failures on the 2001 R1150GS? A co-worker almost lost her father a few weeks ago in a very bizarre crash, he is just now starting to talk and said something about his anti-lock brakes failing.

Is this a known problem?
Is there anyway to check the brakes (on a bike that is now totaled) to determine if/how they may have failed? The State Trooper working the case sounds like a moron, the insurance company isn't investigating, and she is absolutely certain the failure is mechanical. Any help would really be appreciated!

Thanks,
Diane
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
JimVonBaden
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The 01 has standard ABS, no assist. If the ABS failed he would still have standard brakes. However, an 01 could have a line burst, but that would be obvious unless the bike was thoroughly thrashed.

Jim
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #3
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the brake lines in the years around Y2K have been known to fail. mine did. one day my rear line decided to get soft and act like a balloon & brake pressure simply expanded the line and put no pressure on the brake.... so no rear brake. it did not burst & looked normal from the outside. my fronts had a different failure where they would not let off. I'm an Anc lad, so if you want to contact me local it's ok.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:23 AM   #4
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Just had the front brake hose of an 01 F650 Dakar bubble and fail today.
Seems a lot of that vintage are doing that lately. Lots of chatter on the MOA and this site.
Time for SS Teflon replacements, and not wait until a failure.
I did my own '00 1150GS 2 years ago as a PM.
I really enjoy the firm lever feedback.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:32 AM   #5
rebelpacket
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Its a known, common item. The brake lines deteriorate from the inside out. Often, a "flap" or a blockage in the line will occur. When it does, it often acts as a one way check valve. You apply the brakes, and then they can drag, or lock.

In short, you need to replace them before they fail. If you don't then this (the worst nightmare) is possible.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
ak_diane OP
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Sounding like that is what happened and yes, worst nightmare. I was flipping through a service manual online and was surprised that I didn't see brake line replacement in the maintenance schedule - I know my old Concours had a pretty conservative replacement schedule for the brake lines...
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
def
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I ordered aftermarket rear brake line from these folks.

http://cyclebrakes.com/html/galfer_brake_lines.html


They are very helpful.

However, a local hydraulic shop may be able to make up new lines.

As previously stated, the OE lines on this BMW vintage do deteriorate and shed debris into the brake system. Also, as is likely the case here, they can rupture with drastic results.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
def
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_diane View Post
Is this a known problem? Yes. OE lines are known to fail. My rear did.

Is there anyway to check the brakes (on a bike that is now totaled) to determine if/how they may have failed? Yes. Inspect the rubber lines for fresh DOT4 brake fluid in and around the ferrules especially. Look for a burst site in the line.

The State Trooper working the case sounds like a moron, Remember, LEOs are not certified mechanics and may not know what to look for, especially on a motorcycle.

the insurance company isn't investigating, The insurance company likely has no incentive to investigate
Good luck.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:04 AM   #9
estlerd
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Wink Brake Lines

While doing the annual brake flush about three years ago on my 01 I noticed a lot of black flakes in the old fluid. Guessing it was from the lines I ordered a replacement set of SS lines, installed them & have experienced no brake issues since. Just finished this years flush & old fluid looked good as new.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
Ken Fritz
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poor maintenance?

Sounds like a case of little or no maintenance rather than a "common problem" for a lawyer to chase. Sorry for your loss and glad you made it out alive.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
ak_diane OP
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Ken,

Im a third party to the whole situation so I really wont speculate as to fault or tell her what to do. From what Im hearing he was pretty intense about safety and maintenance but we all make mistakes and something terrible could happen to any of us.

Def,
Agreed, a LEO is not a mechanic. The insurance company actually is going to investigate the motorcycle, Im sure it will help knowing where to look for the fault.


Thanks everyone for the feedback, it really does help!
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:42 PM   #12
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in similar threads about failing brake lines I have made this comment: again... I have owned cars, trucks, airplanes, and motorcycles of all types and vintages stretching back over about 45 years. I have only had two brake lines fail and both were on my 2000 BMW 1150GS. I have noted at least half a dozen other BMW line failures clustered around Y2K, so I assume BMW got a bad lot from some vender.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:41 PM   #13
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Update

I have ordered brake line kits for 2x F650GS (2001) and 1 R1150GS (2001) from Spiegler today.
I had a long conversation with Matteas and the problem is epidemic. He is selling replacement lines all day long, even dealers are purchasing them. He mentioned that it was very evident already at the MOA Redmond Rally 2 years ago. They were selling 10 sets a day and there were actual failures during the rally.
I have never seen a brake hose fail on 30+ year old Japanese bikes (although the should have been replaced as PM).
I think BMW has a serious problem with this vintage of bike IMHO and should issue a warning..
Some lawyer is going to pounce on this.
I have not heard of Airhead brake lines failing.......Has anyone else? Is this 'just' an Oilhead problem?
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
The 01 has standard ABS, no assist. If the ABS failed he would still have standard brakes. However, an 01 could have a line burst, but that would be obvious unless the bike was thoroughly thrashed.

Jim
Unless he took a mittfull of the front brake and it did not release when he let go of the lever. It just takes a flap of rubber to block the fluid from returning.
It's happened with back brake lines already and the calipers have overheated. .
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:07 AM   #15
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or the opposite... grab a mit full and get nothing. I had both failures on mine (locked brake, no brake).
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