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That is exactly what I understood. I saw and felt this with my hands when I first greased the pistons.
Thanks you Terry for the picture representation. This will bring a clear representation of what is causing the issue.
Santiago might be able to use this picture in his case investigation.
 

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I heard from Santiago about 2 hours after I put in my complaint on the NHTSA site about a month ago, and he was still in the process of finding enough data, and working with Triumph to figure out if there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.

However I did get a call from my local Triumph dealer near Atlanta this past week, and someone from their corporate offices asked that I bring my Thruxton to the dealer to have a look at it. I dropped it off this past Saturday. It seems like something is happening between NHTSA and Triumph, since I had not contacted Triumph or the dealer about the brake issue. When I have more information about what the dealer finds I'll update the group.
 

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I heard from Santiago about 2 hours after I put in my complaint on the NHTSA site about a month ago, and he was still in the process of finding enough data, and working with Triumph to figure out if there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.

However I did get a call from my local Triumph dealer near Atlanta this past week, and someone from their corporate offices asked that I bring my Thruxton to the dealer to have a look at it. I dropped it off this past Saturday. It seems like something is happening between NHTSA and Triumph, since I had not contacted Triumph or the dealer about the brake issue. When I have more information about what the dealer finds I'll update the group.
Is your bike still under warranty???
My dealer has not called me at all, even after putting in the claim 3 years ago.
I remember they comp the 2 brake flush few weeks after warranty expired. I have no receipts, because dealer said it was "comp".
 

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My dealer bled the brakes the very 1st time i mentioned putting in a claim, but this made no difference at all to their operation & he told me that Triumph would do no more to help & they believe there is no issue...After this, i decided to bleed the brakes again & discovered that the shop had done the bleed nipples up ridiculously tight....Then, after bleeding them "which again made no difference" i emailed the dealer & told them i wanted an official claim to be forwarded to Triumph....Soon after this they contacted me & said Triumph had told them to bleed the ABS system on my bike, so i agreed to let them do this but supplied them with a lot of evidence from this forum so they could see that the problem has nothing to do with air in the system & everything to do with the caliper pistons...I also made a point of telling them not to force the bleed nipples so tight a 2nd time because i did not want the calipers damaged...When i picked the bike up from the shop the brakes were operating correctly, so i said thanks, but explained that this was unlikely to last...The following day i decided to check how tight the bleed nipples were by cracking each side once & draining a tiny bit of fluid out of the "over full" master cylinder...The bleed nipples were so tight that they were creaking when i tried to loosen them...I then made the foolish mistake of letting the dealer know that i was annoyed by this, and i was concerned that the calipers may have sustained damage because of their heavy handedness...The dealer told me that i had probably let air into the system "which is obviously rubbish" and he would not warranty the brakes anymore because i had tampered with their work...and he obviously never responded to my concerns...The brakes have now been operating correctly for nearly 2 weeks since that conversation, so time will tell ! If the brakes do return to their previous state of operation, i will take it up with Triumph & continue to annoy them until something is done to resolve the problem...
 

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Is your bike still under warranty???
My dealer has not called me at all, even after putting in the claim 3 years ago.
I remember they comp the 2 brake flush few weeks after warranty expired. I have no receipts, because dealer said it was "comp".
Yes - I bought the extended warranty, though the service manager didn't know that when I dropped it off. He mentioned something about a 'goodwill warranty' if they found something wrong, so he obviously had not checked yet. However, I did not bring the bike in on a warranty claim, and had not even contacted the dealer directly. The dealer called me after the Triumph corporate technical people contacted them to have the Thruxton brought in for a look. So I guess NHTSA must be working with Triumph in some way, and Triumph wants to have a look for themselves.

I am just outside Atlanta, which is where the corporate offices for Triumph are (I think), so maybe that has something to do with it.

Really I don't expect much to come of it. There's no way in hell Triumph is going to foot the bill for the proper pistons, new seals, and the labor to put it all together. They'll probably bleed the brakes and call it good, which of course it won't be. A couple rides (and some brake pad wear) later it will be back to the same old over-travelling lever. I've bled the brakes myself, including the ABS on this bike before, and that's exactly what happens. It's a temp fix at best, cleaning and lubing pistons might help a bit more, but it doesn't solve the issue.

I fully expect to be putting down the $$$ on new coated stainless steel pistons and a seal set. And I'm kinda ok with that, because $500 to fix the brakes is way cheaper and less painful than crashing.
 

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At least we know there is a solution to the issue, Jeevs and I have proved the fix.
Before I hated the bike, because it was unrideable with that first long pull. Now, I am enjoying it ever since I fixed the problem.
 

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I just received a call from Triumph and they are going to contact my local dealer and "Do whatever it takes to fix the issue". He could not elaborate but I am willing to give it a shot. Maybe they will replace the calipers or seals/ pistons. I doubt it, but it is worth a shot before I tear it down and fix it myself.

It will be a few weeks before I can get it into their shop, but I will keep the forum posted.
 

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Update on my '17 Thruxton. The dealer has had it for a month, and they are finally to the point they are ready to start road testing it. Weather has been kind of rough here, so hopefully they'll be getting it on the road this week. I know they rebuilt my calipers and replaced the master cylinder, but not sure if the pistons were included in the rebuild. I'll have to wait until I pick it up to find out. I'll update the thread when I know more.
 

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I would say that if the same OEM pistons are used when they rebuild the caliper, than it is likely that the same problem will develop. Thought it was worth a try to see if Triumph can figure out the problem and fix it, but if they don't I'll just do it myself.

From talking with the service manager I get the impression that they're sort of taking the shotgun approach with the issue - change everything and hope something fixes the issue, rather than really finding the root cause and addressing it. I really tried to impress on him the issue with the aluminum pistons when I dropped it off, but I think that Triumph is calling all the shots on this one, not the dealer. So if they're replacing parts they're probably using Triumph OEM, and unless Brembo has made a design change in the caliper or pistons they are supplying, I'm likely going to get the same pistons it originally came with. Likely that they'll replace everything, put new pads in, ride it 50 miles and say that it's working just fine. Then I'll ride it 1000 miles, wear in the pads, and have the same issue all over again.

Not sure that the troubleshooting methodology is working very well on this one from Triumph's end. That said, I'd like to thank all the folks on this board to did a great job troubleshooting and finding the true cause of the braking problem. Well done!
 

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If they're obliged to use Triumph OEM parts perhaps you can suggest they try these DLC items which, if the website is to be believed, are now fitted as standard to the Thruxton R.


Or perhaps they might consider using the Brake Tech items which Red Baron has had some success with. There was even a suggestion that the pistons used in the TFC Rocket 3 are different to the standard Rocket 3 and as a consequence don't suffer the soft initial first pull issue.
 

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BRAKE UPDATE:
Most interesting call just now with Triumph USA customer service.
Guy asked me about my brake problem, but the rep himself has no knowledge of the issue, just a middleman.
I had to explained everything to him and then, he put me on hold to talk to Tech Dept.
I told him my issue was solved, but not by Triumph; that I used aftermarket parts to fix the issue.
The Tech told him for me to bring the bike back to the dealer with all OEM parts, so they could take a look at the problem again.
I almost exploded. I told him the dealer had my bike twice in for the same problem, for them to do a bleed for no fix.
I also told him, what he was asking was not possible to do, since it was plain crazy ridiculous and they would not be able to replicated with aftermarket parts.
I asked if a refund for my parts to fix Triumph inability to fix my issue could be possible. He said, he would pass it along and get back to me. I'm not holding my breath, but it's positive that they are acting on the pressure of NHTSA.
 

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BRAKE UPDATE:
Most interesting call just now with Triumph USA customer service.
A Triumph rep called me last night too and asked if i was still having brake problems mentioned in my NHTSA filing. I said I was, and his folllow-up was if my brake subsystem was all still original oem -- levers, master cylinder, calipers, pistons, pads. The conclusion was he asked me to bring my bike in to my local dealer and initiate a goodwill warranty claim. I mentioned taking it in several times over the past 5 years and he said they intended the local guys to work closely with Triumph to figure the issue out. I guess it won't hurt to drop it off again.... but i did just buy the braketech pistons and was looking forward to installing them!
 

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A Triumph rep called me last night too and asked if i was still having brake problems mentioned in my NHTSA filing. I said I was, and his folllow-up was if my brake subsystem was all still original oem -- levers, master cylinder, calipers, pistons, pads. The conclusion was he asked me to bring my bike in to my local dealer and initiate a goodwill warranty claim. I mentioned taking it in several times over the past 5 years and he said they intended the local guys to work closely with Triumph to figure the issue out. I guess it won't hurt to drop it off again.... but i did just buy the braketech pistons and was looking forward to installing them!
I am going to give the local dealer a try as well. I have never let anyone work on my bikes in the 40 years I have been riding, but I will put it on a trailer next week and let them crack on with it. It is 18 degrees out right now, so it is just going to sit anyway until warmer weather prevails. If they can't fix it, I will just replace the seals and pistons myself. I just hate doing brake work. Bleeding is a pain in the ass and I hate slimy brake fluid with a passion.
 

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A Triumph rep called me last night too and asked if i was still having brake problems mentioned in my NHTSA filing. I said I was, and his folllow-up was if my brake subsystem was all still original oem -- levers, master cylinder, calipers, pistons, pads. The conclusion was he asked me to bring my bike in to my local dealer and initiate a goodwill warranty claim. I mentioned taking it in several times over the past 5 years and he said they intended the local guys to work closely with Triumph to figure the issue out. I guess it won't hurt to drop it off again.... but i did just buy the braketech pistons and was looking forward to installing them!
The questions asked to you by the rep, tells me they won't be giving me a call for my parts refund.
I obviously educated the guy on the issue and he now knows what to ask.
Hope they fix or change something for you.
Please report back, if they change the calipers, pistons and seals or master brake cylinder.
 

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I have never let anyone work on my bikes in the 40 years I have been riding,
I agree 99.9% on this, only when I need the warranty work that goes without saying.
And every time this happens, I go over the work done to find lose panels, missing screws, lose screws or stripped screws.
On simple oil changes, only twice a lose filter and always the oil plug not torqued to specs.

On the issue with Triumph, I am seriously considering a legal letter ($250) requesting for parts refund ($450) and labor ($500), since it is ridiculous what they asked to bring it with OEM parts.
Maybe they will refund me knowing the cost of litigation and bad publicity, if I were to prevail.
 

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Well I got my '17 Thruxton R back from the dealership on Saturday. They rebuilt the front calipers and replaced the master cylinder after replicating the issue (stated on the invoice). The parts listed on the invoice were Triumph parts, and the pistons were the standard OEM grey pistons. The brake feel was marginally improved, but I can tell it was more from having put new pistons and seals in and 'resetting' the piston position than an actual fix - similar to what would have happened if I'd just moved the pistons out, cleaned and lubed them. I'm guessing a few miles down the road and some brake pad wear and I'll be right back where I started.

My initial squeeze on the brake did not go as far to the handlebar as when I dropped it off, but still travelled more than I would expect. A second quick squeeze (that double pump we're all talking about) was marginally firmer, so the symptoms are still there.

Not like I had anything to lose, I don't ride it much in the winter and they covered everything on warranty. Not overly upset with the dealer or service department, they did what they could. I made it clear when I dropped it off that replacing the original pistons with new OEM wasn't going to work. But the service department is limited by what they are allowed to do. They're only going to replace OEM with OEM when doing warranty work. Until an actual recall is issued for a defective design, this is what we're getting from Triumph.

Time to rebuild it right myself with the proper parts. Thanks to everyone on here who has contributed to finding the true root cause and proper fix to the brake issue. Looking forward to having the premium brake system that I paid for when I bought the bike new. Hopefully one day the guys at Triumph or Brembo will figure it out.
 

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How quickly does the symptom return after the first double squeeze?
 
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