R1100GS sticking front brakes

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by crowtalks, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. crowtalks

    crowtalks Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    TN
    I had posted in the forum about my 1100gs sticking front brakes...they worked fine as long as I remembered to take my knuckles and push the brake lever out after engaging the front brakes. I rode like this for about a month and decided that was stupid and finally tackled the front brake master assembly, especially since it started visibly weeping from the master cylinder area. I had bought a kit from Magura and rebuilding the master cylinder was a breeze.

    Before I started the disassembly, I was sure I would find something odd like a collapsed brake line or something oddball like that, but what I surprisingly found the original issue to be was that the right lever on these bike have the mounting threads inside the lever itself and the lever, as well as the bolt, rotate within the lever housing and the bolt and the passageway had gotten gunked and corroded over the years causing it to not want to rotate within the housing. Once I used steel wool to polish the lever bolt and wd40 and light grease on the housing the lever started operating freely the way it should.

    Hope this info can help someone along the way.

    Jim
    #1
  2. White Owl

    White Owl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Hey Jim, good to know! Any pics to share? Happy braking!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. rosok

    rosok n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Canada
    Good info, thanks. I have the same issue with mine and just haven't got around to doing anything about it yet. I only got the bike a month or so ago and have to deal with a few things on it. Still trying to figure out how to simply rotate the levers on the handle bars, seems ridiculously involved coming from a guy used to Japanese bikes all his life. Regardless, love this 98 R1100GS and slowly getting to learn it . It's like riding a tractor!
    #3
    slacker1965 likes this.
  4. crowtalks

    crowtalks Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    TN
    The R1100GS is my "newest" bike. The bike is heavy and ungainly standing still, especially with the seat set to high (I am 6' 1")...however, once it gets to rolling I found I can flick it around as easily as my little R60.

    Riding and cornering are miles above the K100RS, in my opinion...(I am in my 60s and my back isn't what it used to be riding leaning forward for days at a time)

    The bike that comes the closest to a tractor (especially around curves in my opinion) was a 76 Goldwing...that bike had a horrible front geometry.

    I hadn't taken any pic (didn't think about it) but taking some should be easy enough...
    #4
  5. rosok

    rosok n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes it does Corner surprisingly well and its handling is quite good I was more referring to the engine as being the tractor. Pretty sure I need to adjust the rocker arm side clearance as well as the valves from what I've read, I'm getting quite a knocking clattering from one or both cylinders
    #5
  6. jbuggyus

    jbuggyus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    320
    Location:
    washington
    Rebuild the front calipers and replace your brake lines with braided lines if you havent already. Calipers are easy to rebuild and the kits are available from BB.
    #6
  7. crowtalks

    crowtalks Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    TN
    I ordered a kit for the calipers a couple of weeks ago and was gonna rebuild them this week or next...braided lines are a great idea...can you recommend a site for the best deal on braided lines?

    It definitely sounds like you might need to check your clearance...I can't recall, as I haven't needed to dive into mine for several years, but I'm thinking the oilheads use bucket and tappets...in other words, you may have to use shims the adjust the clearance. Browse youtube to find out the procedures...

    Jim
    #7
  8. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    27,922
    Location:
    The Berkeley of Arkansas
    I have ordered a few from Apex with good success, I think they are a great value if you can measure your own lines, and choose the proper fittings.

    http://www.apexbrakes.com/custom.asp
    #8
  9. crowtalks

    crowtalks Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    TN
    OK, thanks! I'll check it out
    #9
  10. jbuggyus

    jbuggyus Been here awhile

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    320
    Location:
    washington
    I did Spiegler on my r1100gs and the quality was superb. At that time the best deal i could find was through sportbiketrack.com.
    Still spendy. I did not have to shim anything.
    #10
  11. crowtalks

    crowtalks Adventurer

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    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13
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    TN
    Thanks...the shim reply was to rosok about his valve clearances...
    #11
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  12. rosok

    rosok n00b

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    Oct 15, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes will be checking shims or I mean gaps there is no shims on the valves just screw Adjusters, and with the rocker arms just have to reposition the mounting supports I've done a bunch of reading already thanks that's all good try and do it this weekend and as far as the brakes go yes I have braided lines on mine very good idea gets rid of sponginess not sure which ones these are, they came on the bike already installed. I do all my own maintenance I quite enjoy it and it makes me know the bike and understand it better plus I'm cheap and I don't trust anyone :-)
    #12
    mouthfulloflake likes this.
  13. slacker1965

    slacker1965 .....no matter where you go......

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    charlotte
    You may be able to save $ on your braided lines(over $$$$ prefab kits) by having them made. Here in Charlotte, we have a Pirtek franchise that will make custom brake hoses.... They specialize in mobile heavy equipment hoses but have a city counter also. You can even get colors! I have used them for custom hoses on hot rods.... Usually under $45ea no matter length....
    If you go that route make sure you get the hoses that have the coating on the outside so you don't chafe wiring etc. If you plan on raising your bars you can have them made a bit longer....
    fwiw, it seems that the OEM rubber hoses tend to collapse internally over time....

    Edit: just went to apex brakes website mentioned above & plugged in some #'s.....it looks like my sample hose was gonna be $20, def worth checking out..... Maybe I read it wrong?

    Let us know what you figure out
    Peace
    KS
    #13
  14. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Location:
    The Berkeley of Arkansas
    they are cheap, and shipped fast from Canada in my experience with apex, ive got 4 of their custom brake lines on my 1100GS, three seperate purchases.

    yes they are a good value in my opinion.
    #14
  15. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    California Central Coast
    I love my R1100GS, and agree that the handling is phenomenal. Looking at it and pushing it around the garage, you'd never think it could handle as good as it does. Stable at speed, yet very flickable.

    I recently did a little refresh on mine...paint, suspension, 1200 injectors, exhaust, a fuel controller, plugs, plug wires, O2 sensor, headlight, windscreen, and scrubbed decades of gunk off of it, and I'm sure I've missed some things I did...since doing so, the bike has come alive. Rides great, handling is even better, and the power bump is quite noticeable. All that came after I had taken care of the post-purchase basics...stainless steel braided brake lines, all the fluids, etc.
    #15
  16. MrAndMrsZINC

    MrAndMrsZINC Snappin' necks and cashin' checks

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    221
    Location:
    Rural Tennessee
    Regarding your initial post.... Thanks for that. Realized i had be doing the same knuckles correction on this last trip. Pulled that bolt yesterday and sure enough, just as you described. Springs back like it should now.
    Now i can use my knuckles for other things...
    #16