Blue Rear Rotor after 600 Miles: What The Heck?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Applecrate, May 16, 2018.

  1. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    At my 600 mile service my friendly local BMW shop informed me that my rear rotor was blue, the pads were shot, and both the rotors and pads needed to be replaced. Front was fine. A nice $700 addition to my first service. My bike is 2017.5 Rallye.

    I have never had this happen before in 30 years of riding. My previous GS (2014) didn't eat brakes or rotors. Riding style, boots, and brake lever are same on both bikes.

    I don't ride the rear brake or even cover it. I'm wondering if slow speed riding splitting lanes on a trip could have heated the rotor if I was feathering the front brake. Perhaps light use of the front triggered the linked rear? Seems this is a possibility reading through posts. Would my Nav Data Log be of any help? Dealer says the wheel spins fine by the way (engine off).
    rotor.jpg
    #1
  2. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore The Real Deal

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    Surely they're going to warranty that.
    #2
  3. misanthropic

    misanthropic Long timer

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    My data logger shows many more applications of the rear brakes than the front and I rarely touch the pedal. Hmmm. Same bike BTW.
    #3
  4. M33

    M33 Been here awhile

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    Go aftermarket if they won’t warranty it - much more reasonable and likely better than stock.
    #4
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  5. Callisto224

    Callisto224 Long timer

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    $700 for a rotor and a set of pads?

    :scratch
    #5
  6. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    $700 for rotor, pads, bleeding brakes, install. And no, they won't warranty it. They say my foot was resting on the brake. I felt like resting my foot somewhere...
    #6
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  7. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin'

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    Okay, like the fork tube issue, there is definitely an ABS issue with the rear brakes on these bikes that the mothership has failed to acknowledge. Get them to pay up, not you. You are not the first person to mention excessive brake count on the rear brake.

    My own brakes faded to nothingness before 6k, had them bled, and 2k miles later they were again gone and again re-bled. I am not alone on this issue either.

    Put your foot down on this and push back. Open a case with NTSB and let BMW know in writing they have a brake failure issue and they need to resolve it NOT on your dime.

    Someone else here mentioned their ABS pump was replaced under warranty for this reason.
    #7
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  8. Tor

    Tor Native Viking

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    Did you happen to try adjusting the brake pedal (height) by any chance sometime in the past? The reason I ask is that if you try adjusting the brake on the brake cylinder shaft, you risk adjusting it the the point when you have no blowback on the cylinder when releasing the pedal, and so the brake pressure on the brake cylinder outlet side is unable to escape properly. You essentially end up with brakes that don't release completely and you end up with an overheated brake disc and possible wore down pads.

    upload_2018-5-16_21-10-41.png
    #8
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  9. Callisto224

    Callisto224 Long timer

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    ^^^ this.

    If they won't help and insist that you pay for the repair, do it yourself for less than a hundred bucks in parts (and only a couple beers in labor!).


    :photog
    #9
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  10. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    Motorius: I am going to pour through the threads to see what's out there with poor rear brake performance and, if it appears that there's a pattern, I'm going to make an issue out of it.

    Callisto224: I had them do the repair and I kept the parts. I'm going on a trip and don't have the time to do it myself.

    Tor: I specifically asked them to check the brake pedal height. They saw no problems, but I am concerned. Would this issue exist even if the wheel spins freely? In other words, how do you ensure your brake releases completely other than a freely spinning wheel?
    #10
  11. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin'

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    I had a thread in here where I mentioned my brakes fading away. Search for that one...
    #11
  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    'Something' obviously caused this, you or the bike. Since you are going on a trip and likely will do big miles???.....why not test it out? Just don't touch the rear brake after applying it once. In a couple of days you've probably done 600 miles and you can then check to see if the rotor is blue and the pads are worn...if so your trip is F'd and you will have to go to the closest dealer and report the maladay before riding any further. Of course if all looks well you'll be checking your brake pads at least every night. Just shine a flashlight there and see if they are wearing quickly. How many miles on your bike at the 600 mile service?
    It could be any number of things from you to calipers sticking (both?...odd)..ABS fault (should show on your dash)....being as it's both discs and both sets of pads therefore the brake is being applied evenly...so not likely a sticking caliper(s).
    #12
  13. The Opa

    The Opa experienced

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    Mine is a 2015 GS. Linked brakes, so I'm thinking your brakes are linked also? (Sorry, I don't know all the specs on all the machines) If they are linked, using the front will first apply the rear, so I am told. My info (from the gps) tells me my rears have been on more than twice as often as the fronts, and I seldom touch the rear brake pedal.

    Burned down my rear brakes early on. I rebuilt the caliper and replaced the pads. Then my buddy got in the BMW rep's face at a dealer soiree, and they called me in and replaced it all under warranty.

    As @Motorius suggested, push on 'em til they fold.

    My $.02 worth, good luck.
    #13
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  14. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    Definitely a lot of premature rear brake wear threads on these new bikes popping up. I wonder if the traction control has anything to do with it, as most of these systems engage the rear brakes and are activated long before the tc lights on the dash. I’ve seen this on a lot of sports cars today with bad drivers at track days. They leave on all the driver aids and go gonzo through corners taking bad lines and overdriving the car, and the tc is literally chattering away nonestop on the rear brakes to compensate. Actually saw a guy destroy a set of carbon rotors in a single day, which is almost impossible to do since under normal use they’re likely to last a decade or more.
    #14
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  15. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

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    I've seen this happen twice now recently .................. for 2 different reasons.

    Once time was because of the brake adjustment exactly like Tor mentions in post #8 (done to a fiend's bike by an instructor in a RawHyde class .......... the instructor really didn't know what he was doing with adjustment). It ended up being a big mess ......... wore out consumables and got REAL hot. IIRC it did some damage to the brake caliper internals too.

    And the other time I was riding with a friend that has been riding/racing for 40 years ................ and he didn't realize that he actually was putting some slight pressure on the brake pedal. (He was wearing some heavier than normal boots because it was a cold weather ride) I was riding behind him and I "thought" his brake light might be on, and then I began to occasionally smell hot brakes! :eekers So I rode up next to him and got him to stop to tell him about it. His rear rotor was blueish and hotter than a monkey's dick! He just made a point of moving his foot to a different than normal position and that was the end of it.

    RD
    #15
  16. GP1200

    GP1200 Been here awhile

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    I have 43000 kms on my original brakes with lots of life left in pads front and rear. 2014 GSA. Something dramatic is happening to your brake system. The first bike I ever rode i didn't realize my big boot was riding the rear brake lever. If you are 100% sure you are not riding it, take this up with BMW. I don't trust the stealers as far as I can spit. I wouldn't put it past them they found the caliper pins or piston seized , cleaned them up and blamed you for this.
    #16
  17. Tor

    Tor Native Viking

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    The only way to ensure proper blowback is to have the cylinder shaft adjusted correctly. It would happen once you use the rear brake. It would either stay engaged (no blowback) or bleed back very slowly, depending on how much the blowback is restricted, and eventually start wearing on the disc and pads.

    If the dealer told you they checked the clearance on the cylinder shaft, and claim the clearance is in spec, then the cylinder might be faulty. Hard to tell.
    #17
  18. Pch123

    Pch123 Bar Crossings

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    Why would a dealer knock back warranty work on a stuck caliber pin? Doesn’t make sense. More dealer hysterics!,,
    #18
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  19. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin'

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    If the mothership won’t acknowledge the issue is a warranty problem.
    #19
  20. GP1200

    GP1200 Been here awhile

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    Because dealers make a lot less money on warranty work. How do I know this interesting tid bit ? My dealer actually told me this to my face. I will not generalize and say they are all crooks. Mine is, or was rather. BMW headquarters is also painfully slow at approving warranty work and they put up a lot of resistance. Once again, just my experiences. 5 BMW's , two of them cluster F's. For instance , and this is one of a dozen. My bike lost a few bolts and screws to the vibration gods a few weeks into my ownership. I go to pick them up and they hand me a bill . They wanted to charge me for parts they didn't torque properly and /or put Locktite on at the factory. "Well, BMW didn't agree its a warranty issue" Dumb , short sighted business people.
    #20