Servo Brakes on Older GS's

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by goinssr, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    And the nail in the coffin for the defenders...This was directed toward the infamous DR ABShttp://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62933&page=49
    Yet another reason to call Bullshit!

    Your report is crap and your eyes must be brown, as you too, are full of crap. How about some REAL evidence instead of this Sky is Falling Chicken Little Constipation for a change. And What about the Children, the children for Christ's sake. How did ya think to pull that one out of your ass?
    I for one like my servo equipped brakes. Went out on a Deathride yesterday on my R1200GS.... Going out today on my K1200RS. Russian Roulette it ain't. Jealousy, It may well be.

    To those that go out and buy a another bike, good riddance, uh, buh, bye, so , so, long... Lay it down and if ya can still walk, hobble down to your local BMW dealer for a SAFE motorcycle. Till then, PLEASE STFU and move on. Buy your self that Harley you've always wanted w/o ABS. You have to buy a police bike to get it. Reason? To many police getting killed on non-ABS equipped bikes.
    The old saying , carefull what you ask for comes to mind...The defender gets his Evidence http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137970
    1200GS ABS Failure Happened to Me.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So there I am on this wonderfully twisty highway 120 on the way to Xilita, Mexico a week ago. I was riding fast and loving it. Passing the occasional slow moving truck or wayward head of livestock all the while grinding metal bits, streaking darkies out of the beautifully banked hairpins and smiling like a dog in heat and then it happened quite unexpectantly. I was coming around through a long fast curve and came up on a pair of trucks chugging uphill at what I'd figure was only about 20mph. I couldn't see around them safely enough too pass and since I was closing fast, I squeezed the brake. Nothing, nada, Oh SHIT! I thought. Grabbed it with all 4 and tugged as hard as I could and it started to slow...but it was too late. Faced with tailgate and the possibility of a chance encounter with Mexican healthcare, I decided...quickly... to take my chances with the other lane. I was lucky, the road was lightly traveled, and my pants remained dry.

    The road was clean, new pavement in fact. My battery was taking charge and it's terminal was tight. WTF, I even coaxed it to do it again twice that day, driving much more conservatively of course. Could it be that the 150 or so miles of hard riding and insane twistys (this road is absolutely incredible btw) took its toll on the servo brakes? The pause only lasted a couple seconds, then it kicks in. Weird and disconcerting, didn't like that at all. Hasn't done it since but I gotta say, how do I grow to love and trust these brakes as I did?

    Never an issue with my K1200RS or my R1150GSA ever, and I was sooooo pro servo brakes in the Dr.ABS threads. Thought the hype he was spreading was just that, a load of BS. This and the warranty issue I'm having with BMWNA over a clutch slave cylinder is starting to make me think. Love the 1200GS, tell everyone I know what a great bike it is. I know, in fact that I'm partly responsible for putting at least 5 others on the same bike. I dunno guys, maybe I'm feeling a bit guilty and falling out of love here.

    Any ideas out there of what could have caused the malfunction? Need to do a bit of self-education prior to taking it iinto the dealer Tuesday. ​
    #41
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    FYI There is a big difference between the 1150 servo-ABS and the 1200 Servo-ABS when it comes to residual braking. On the 1200 you have full power, it just takes a lot of pull to get it. The 1150 you can barely stop the bike.

    Jim :brow
    #42
  3. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    He was riding a 1200 with the improved backup brakes.
    #43
  4. drdata

    drdata R1200GS

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    I was a defender, or sorts. But my 05 has started doing the intermittent loss of rear servo/wonky spedo.

    I did a complete flush. Did the FD, only fine powder on the plug, replaced battery.

    Still does it. About once every 1,000 miles. Enough to make me wonder what awaits the next brake grab....

    At one point the theory was a loose connection under the seat/tool tray, but seems that is wishful thinking.

    On the upside, the new system also uses a servo, but only for abs not power assist, and while brakes stay strong its still 3K to fix, and have seen reports they fail also.

    I will probably tear mine out someday. When it gets bad enough. No way I am paying to fix it.

    Regards
    #44
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    :dunno

    I have purposly shut my bike off at speed to feel how it works. I suspect he was surprised and didn't pull harder.

    Jim :brow

    PS If you are talking about CMWoody, well I have no further comment about that guy!
    #45
  6. onesaintsfan

    onesaintsfan BigJohnHart

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    My biggest issue with the servo brakes ( owned 3 BMWs with them) is mainly the loss of feedback and ability to modulate them. Kind of like an on and off switch. Not to mention the un-need complexity of them. Should you have an issue, they would cost 2-3 times the cost to repair.

    But the biggest reason is one thats been said here and elsewhere. If the Servo Brakes were so good and worked so well. Why did BMW discontinue them? Seriously? Why?

    Thanks
    #46
  7. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    The brake servos you refer to in your post don't depend on an electric switch . Which, if it fails means your brakes don't have the servo.

    I've got a pile of servos in my workshop that have been removed from bikes to help form my opinion. :lol3 .

    Everyone loves their servos - until they fail.
    #47
  8. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    Could be the cost of all the warranty claims, or the fear of a lawsuit.
    #48
  9. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    I've got half a dozen servos in my garage from K's and R's, salvaged warranty units.
    #49
  10. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    I've got half a dozen servos in my garage from K's and R's, salvaged warranty units.

    Since they're warranty units, you can deduce that they failed in fewer than 36k miles or 3 years.
    #50
  11. the_menno

    the_menno Forever Noob

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    Steptoe, please move to Winnipeg. I'll buy you a house!

    Servo brakes are great until you have to shell out to fix 'em. They day they die on me is the day my girl gets a servo-ectomy.
    #51
  12. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    Paying to fix them is the least of whats wrong with servo brakes.
    #52
  13. ricohman

    ricohman Marinoni man

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    My '05 has had no issues with the servo system.
    I do enjoy the power and the"grabby" part actually feels good when its in the - temps and your hands are cold even with the heated grips.
    But I do feel like I'm riding a time bomb. If the servo fails I guess I will have to convert to a conventional system.
    But the bike has worked as designed for 7 years.
    #53
  14. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

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    I've had them for over ten years. I like the way they stop but think the ABS2 was a better system. The IABS partial linked brakes do not work on wash board and I have actually run a few stop signs that had wash board as the brakes would not engage. (probable why they discontinued them) I also do not like having no brakes with the key off and very little braking if parked on a hill and just started the bike. And, my IABS is going south, hard to find used, and more than the bike is worth new.
    #54
  15. the_menno

    the_menno Forever Noob

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    Exactly the reason why I miss my '02 GSA! I currently have an '03.
    #55
  16. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    BTW - I just did my second full brake bleed on my '05 this weekend as part of my 24k normal maintenance. The JVB DVD (and having done it once before) made it very easy. Buy yourself a little brake bleed kit with a catch bottle or IV bag to keep things neat and tidy. The tank is off in minutes and the bleed points on the module are easy to access. Don't be afraid of this job. I'm happy to take on this task every year if it keeps my servos healthy.

    Thanks Jim Von Baden for foresight to use my exact bike in the demo DVD (except for the yellow trim and "Hello Kitty" side-bag).
    #56
  17. Wolftail

    Wolftail Adventurer

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    I thought braided steel lines have a rubber liner to contain the brake fluid. The braided stainless tubing that covers the inner rubber line does not expand, or has extremely minimal expansion, compared to stock rubber hoses, which expand like crazy, even when new.

    Are you recommending that the life expectancy of steel lines or the inner rubber tubbing within the braided steel lines can break down over time?

    I'm curious about the brake lines, as I'm about to install a set of spieglers stainless brake lines (front & rear) onto my 2000 R1150GS / ABS bike.

    The bike has only 22k miles on it, but unfortunately many of the records were lost in the shuffle. So, I have to assume, for safety, that the brake lines are original. It's possible the fluid is also. The thought scares the heck out of me, though the bike will stop on a dime - squealing front brakes, and chattering ABS noises free of charge :shog .
    #57
  18. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    I think everybody is right, me too. I like my servos, but if they calf, I'll have a spot under my tank to mount an air compressor.
    #58
  19. jachard

    jachard Been here awhile

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    Typically, high quality stainless lines have rubber beneath the stainless then a PFTE liner which is much more resistant to breakdown by the fluid. The stainless sheath serves two purposes, first it reduces the ability of the rubber underneath to expand, thus creating a firmer feel, second it protects the rubber from the elements and debris damage. The downside is that with the stainless sheath, one cannot visually inspect the rubber for damage. I replace the stainless lines on my race car every three seasons as PM but they are in a very harsh environment. Typically what causes damage is flying debris or less than optimal routing which can cause strains on the rubber near fittings etc. BMW does an excellent job IMO with proper routing so I wouldn't worry too much but squeezing the hoses near the fittings and in general all along and spots that have frequent movement is a good idea to asses the health of the hose in question

    As far as the service intervals for changing brake fluids, I do a full flush every 6 months with a FRESH can of fluid, i.e. just opened. I ride a fair amount in the dirt so I like to help the system as much as possible. As a side note, on my race car I flush the fluid after every hard track day.

    IMO, waiting 3-4 years to do a full flush on a high performance braking system is asking for trouble. The DOT 3,4 and 5.1 fluids, with some exceptions, are hygroscopic which leads to poor braking performance and corrosion.
    #59