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shaunrez

2010 VFR1200 URGENT brake ABS malfunction

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Hi everyone. I had a near dead experience past week due to my 2010 Honda VFR1200 having a major braking malfunction. I have owned the old school 2002 and 2004 vfr800 and they have been nothing but a blessing to ride, so I decided I give the vfr1200 a try. Got one a few months back in almost pristine condition and with only 13k miles. The other day I took this bike out for a ride in the back roads. Towards the end of my ride (I was riding a pretty good pace) Im going about 60 mph I apply the front brakes and nothing I apply the rears and nothing. The entire brake system it seemed was disengaged. I thought for sure I was going to crash but I somehow managed to make it out of the turn (If I didn't I would have been on the bottom of the mountain and pretty dead). When I came to a stop I noticed fluid dripping all over my rear tire which seemed to be coming from the rear brake caliper. After I came to a stop and restarted the bike in like 2 mins the front brake was working fine now but the rear brake was still gone. I got home inspected the brakes and I will include pictures of what I saw. I have never seen anything like this. The rear brake pads which were pretty new have been grinded down to bare metal, the disk pad is shredded and the caliper pistons have been pushed out with such force that they have peeled back into themselves like a banana, in the process the o-rings have blown and all the rear brake fluid has been leaked out. I would like to add that the front brake system is absolutely fine. You can imagine at this point I'm quite upset.

 

I have a few questions from the VFR experts and mechanics in here. Look at the pictures and give me your input on what might have happened here cause i'm clueless. Can the ABS system on this bike completely disable both the front and rear brake systems? If yes isn't that a big safety issue? What would cause the pistons to act in such way? Any input appreciated I will soon talk to an expert mechanic that will inspect the bike and a lawyer. 

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Mate, so glad you survived the episode, like you I've never seen anything like it! Surprised you didn't detect something strange with bike or brakes prior to the meltdown.

As a thought, could moisture in the system have began to boil increasing brake line pressure sending the Pistons further out and exacerbating the situation to the point of meltdown? Only guessing!

Hope some brake experts on the forum can give you some very good advice.

Good luck with the repair and legal issues.

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Wow, you were very lucky that it didn’t end a lot worse. 

I’ve seen this happen before with pads not being installed correctly and not sitting inside the correct locating slots. 

They spin out and you end up with pistons acting directly on the disk. 

A set of SP2 front calipers I bought from a wrecked bike had the pads twisted and sitting incorrectly causing the calipers to only work on one pad each. 

Not sure if this was the cause of the said SP2 being wrecked, or if this was the problem with yours. 

The front brakes not working is a major concern and I can’t explain why, but my guess is that it had something to do with the rear failing. 

Either way it’s not very reassuring. 

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Did you notice any rear brake drag before it happened?

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Definitely looks like the rear brakes were dragging...I’d also bet money that the original brake fluid is still in the master cylinders, and that’s what caused it.  Should be changed every 2 years...

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So it looks to me that something caused the pads to wear to the metal, this looks like they got thin enough for at least the piston side pad to escape the calliper, which left the pistons acting on the brake disc with the other pad. Until the heat caused the seals to melt or deform enough to leak all the fluid. 

 

I’ve never looked to now at the 1200’s CBS, but it appears not to activate the rear brake when the front is used, but does activate front when rear pedal is pressed. Are you sure the rear pedal releases cleanly & that you did not inadvertently keep the rear pressed at any time ?  Either way the only way those pistons could get like that would be in direct contact with the disc. 

 

You say the pads pads were nearly new, doe that imply that someone changed them recently ? I’d have a word with them ! 

If you are lucky (& U appear to be, making it out of that corner) and the calliper is not damaged, then a new set of seals, pistons & pads, with bleed would see it sorted.

 

I had a blocked master cylinder return passage on a bike many moons ago, it kept brake pressure in the calliper, but you would definitely feel that drag. This looks  like a mechanics clock up or the wrong pads were fitted !

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1 hour ago, Mohawk said:

So it looks to me that something caused the pads to wear to the metal, this looks like they got thin enough for at least the piston side pad to escape the calliper, which left the pistons acting on the brake disc with the other pad. Until the heat caused the seals to melt or deform enough to leak all the fluid. 

 

I’ve never looked to now at the 1200’s CBS, but it appears not to activate the rear brake when the front is used, but does activate front when rear pedal is pressed. Are you sure the rear pedal releases cleanly & that you did not inadvertently keep the rear pressed at any time ?  Either way the only way those pistons could get like that would be in direct contact with the disc. 

 

You say the pads pads were nearly new, doe that imply that someone changed them recently ? I’d have a word with them ! 

If you are lucky (& U appear to be, making it out of that corner) and the calliper is not damaged, then a new set of seals, pistons & pads, with bleed would see it sorted.

 

I had a blocked master cylinder return passage on a bike many moons ago, it kept brake pressure in the calliper, but you would definitely feel that drag. This looks  like a mechanics clock up or the wrong pads were fitted !

The pads were newer the previous owner had changed them. But how is it that they worked fine for the first 500 miles. Before this ride I checked my brakes and they were all quite meaty. Both brake pads are worn evenly to the metal. As far as the brake fluid goes I have no idea since it was all leaked at the scene. The rear was releasing and working fine I did not notice any drag.  My biggest issue is that lets even imagine the rear brake pads were installed incorrectly the fact that the ABS cut off the front brakes is a big safety issue. I need to see if this is how the ABS is designed on this bike. It senses the rear brake locking up and it deactivates both front and rear brakes? Because the front brake and calipers were working flawless once I restarted the bike after the incident, I even rode it very slowly back home using the front brakes. The rear was still disengaged. I changed all the damaged equipment on the rear brake with new components today turned the bike on and go for a slow spin what I noticed is that the ABS light is on orange and it never goes away, it stayed on the whole time.  

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