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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, my Speed Triple has developed a condition where the front brake must be pumped once for a solid response. To be clear, there is a 1/2 inch (or more) difference between the first pull of the brake and a second pump. Further, it doesn't stay pumped... every time I apply the brakes, I have to do a double pump. Really frustrating, as the system has been bled countless times to no avail, master cylinder replaced under warranty (no difference) and most recently ABS pump replacement (no difference). Any ideas as to what else would cause this to happen?
 

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I have a ‘16 as well and I’ve noticed that double pump difference actually today.
I’ve been overseas for 9 days and upon return I picked up the bike at the airport’s lot, the lever went down almost touching the grip, second pump was almost normal, maybe half way and third one was normal.
This tells me that this may be normal operation if it’s happening to other bikes, especially with the indirect ABS box. As per my mechanic, brakes with ABS will feel not as sharp but more “progressive” as you squeeze.
I remember my 2010’s brakes were way more responsive than these fancy-pants system. I guess it’s all about having ABS nowadays.
I just ordered a racing-grade brembo fluid with hardness higher than 5.1 fluids and brembo brake pads also racing grade which operate at cold temps too. I still have some of the old pads left to wear so I’ll report when I replace those parts.
There’s not really much more you can do since you bled the system assuming that the fluid you’ve used was from a new, sealed bottle that’s is.
 

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Thanks for the comparison. Check out a new speed triple in the showroom. I've tried several and none do this. All work was done under warranty by a factory mechanic. They are stumped, as are the techs at Triumph. I'd think that if this is a development, rather than an existing-from-new issue, something is off. I ride in the city every day and the double-pump thing is getting a bit old. Yeah man, please let me know what results you get, will follow the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
And yeah...I trade my 08 for this one. Way more responsive. ****, I miss that bike!
 

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Has anyone else experienced this on their 16+ Speed?
Yup! Now that I've gotten some proper seat time on my '17 S3, there is definitely a lot more "play" in the front brake lever vs my previous S3's. I'm with Nicspeed as to the reason why; ABS. On mine, it seems the brake lever firms up nicely the harder you brake. These are really great brakes too.
 

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Traded my 16 for a 19 recently. The issues you have are the same as my 16.
I had Pazzo levers and on low setting could pull them to the hand grip.
Made several claims to dealer who didn’t do anything to resolve.
It actually improved a little on its own after 15,000 miles????
Last resort was to purchase Brembo pads but never got around to install before trading for the 19S version.
Still have the pads if anyone is interested.
 

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Damm and I JUST got a set that arrived yesterday. Did you post them in classifieds? I would’ve taken them given they are suitable for street and not just racing.
 

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I'm new to motorcycles maintenance but the first thing that comes to mind in a car is improper bleeding (which still might be the case - mechanics are notorious for being wrong). For example my mechanic bled my system on my car three times before I had him switch which brake was bled first, aND bingo! Problem solved. I know it was a car, but still same concept.

Second is I'd guess there is water in the line. Maybe the cap in the reservoir was improperly sealed and allowed moisture in.

Next I'd say the master cylinder is going bad, one of the internal pressure plates or whatever. Also maybe a bad piston in the calipers.

Just my guess here lol.

FYI my '19 S has no soft brake issue like your describing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Traded my 16 for a 19 recently. The issues you have are the same as my 16.
I had Pazzo levers and on low setting could pull them to the hand grip.
Made several claims to dealer who didn’t do anything to resolve.
It actually improved a little on its own after 15,000 miles????
Last resort was to purchase Brembo pads but never got around to install before trading for the 19S version.
Still have the pads if anyone is interested.
Thanks. Same here. Pazzos touch the grip at low setting. There is no way this is ok. Still under warranty, so hoping it can be somehow sorted. Really not cool having to double-pump every time I brake.
So far, the lines have been bled multiple times (by dealer), new master cylinder and new ABS pump. No improvement. Back to the drawing board and def not comfortable with accepting this as a "characteristic" of a $13K machine.
 

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That sounds a lot like the symptoms of having air in the system somewhere. Might not be. If it is, the problem can be that it is hard to bleed ABS systems properly. Bleeding at the junctions can help - I have a friend who had this issue on a Thruxton and resolved it that way. for what it's worth...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bringing it back in to the dealer for yet another round of service. Will update when/if this is resolved.
 

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Pazzos went on during first week of ownership.
It might be worth putting the stockers back on to see if your issue improves. Like I said earlier, my lever compresses some before I have full braking power. But I still have plenty of room between the lever and bar when it does happen. The Pazzos are likely magnifying this effect IMHO.
 

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If you want to work on it yourself, try this on a dry day:

Get some brake cleaner and some Permatex Brake Piston Lubricant from your local auto parts store, loosen the pad securing pin, remove the pads and remove the left hand caliper.
Loosely reinstall the pads and pump the pads shut against a clean screw driver.
Cover all body work with an old towel and remove the master cylinder cover.
Hit the pistons with brake cleaner and a paper towel and put the piston lube on the pistons with a Q-tip or similar.
Gently lever the pads back, pump the pads shut, repeat a few time, reinstall caliper.
Clean the pad securing pin and give it a light coat of anti seize, install pads, torque caliper mounting bolts.

Do the same thing to the right hand caliper.
Pump brake firm, check fluid level, reinstall master cylinder cap.

With any luck, that should do the trick.
 

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If there is air in the system then you need to get it out. ABS systems have control units that sit between m/c and calipers and they tend to have various unions which mean air will not easily travel all the way from caliper to m/c. For a start, if you work on the calipers, bleed them afterwars as the bleed nipples tend to be the highest point of the caliper - there is no point in working the pistons back and forth to shift air if it collects at the bleed nipple but doesn't get bled. You can bleed every union like a caliper by applying slight pressure at lever, cracking the relevant banjo or union, and doing up again as small amount of fluid seeps out. Makes sense to bleed m/c this way as well (some m/cs have a bleed nipple for that purpose, but my S3 doesn't so I just use the banjo to bleed it). If you are methodical in that way then you have a decent chance of removing most air from system. On my ABS bike (not a Triumph) I don't need to bleed all the unions but I do bleed m/c; on my S3 I displace the left side caliper and drop it below right side caliper to take brake line over mudguard out of equation as air can sit at the top of the brake hose. And as i mentioned i have a friend whose problem was only fixed by dealer bleeding the abs unit too. If you have eliminated the possibility of air in the system, then look at other issues. But you should be able to get something passable
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If there is air in the system then you need to get it out. ABS systems have control units that sit between m/c and calipers and they tend to have various unions which mean air will not easily travel all the way from caliper to m/c. For a start, if you work on the calipers, bleed them afterwars as the bleed nipples tend to be the highest point of the caliper - there is no point in working the pistons back and forth to shift air if it collects at the bleed nipple but doesn't get bled. You can bleed every union like a caliper by applying slight pressure at lever, cracking the relevant banjo or union, and doing up again as small amount of fluid seeps out. Makes sense to bleed m/c this way as well (some m/cs have a bleed nipple for that purpose, but my S3 doesn't so I just use the banjo to bleed it). If you are methodical in that way then you have a decent chance of removing most air from system. On my ABS bike (not a Triumph) I don't need to bleed all the unions but I do bleed m/c; on my S3 I displace the left side caliper and drop it below right side caliper to take brake line over mudguard out of equation as air can sit at the top of the brake hose. And as i mentioned i have a friend whose problem was only fixed by dealer bleeding the abs unit too. If you have eliminated the possibility of air in the system, then look at other issues. But you should be able to get something passable
Brand new ABS pump installed by Triumph mechanic. System was bled multiple times at the direction of Triumph before warranty work would be approved.
 

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@Steve Ford thinking in line with my thoughts - I think there is stiction of the seals on the pistons in the calipers - the seals are pulling the pistons back again, leaving a large gap between the pads and the rotor, hence the double pump to get it to close and work. Then they get retracted again by the elastic nature of the seals, after the pressure is off. Normally they should be 'self-adjusting' effectively only retracting so pad is only marginally off the rotor (almost touching but not applying any braking force).
You recognize this effect when you install new pads - you push back the pistons to create the space required for the new thicker pads; then, even with bleeding, when you pull the lever initially it will not yield any resistance and you need to 'pump' the lever several times and then it will be rock hard all of a sudden - this is because there is not resistance as the pistons/pads are moving only very small distance and require multiple pumps until that gap is closed up; of course then it should stay there. So the double pump is kinda doing the same thing, it needs to move the pad initially and then again with the second pump. You are talking very small distance here, compared to the lever travel.
You might actually find new pads would at least temporarily 'fix' it, as the pistons would have to be pressed back into a different position within the caliper cylinder than the current pad thickness allows. But it will likely return again.
If still under warranty I would request new set of calipers and of course yet another bleed would be necessary. I hate to disagree with Steve since we are essentially on the same page, but whether you or the shop does the work, the calipers need to be stripped and cleaned and new seals (& maybe even pistons replaced). But under warranty I'd be insisting on replacement calipers.

Incidentally Speed Triples underwent a very similar problem with the 05-06 S3's with Nissin calipers - Triumph did not do a full recall but offered a 'goodwill' replacement of the pistons with those from the Daytona 675, for anyone who asked.

 
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