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My front brakes stopped working and my front wheel went crazy... Why?
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My front brakes stopped working and my front wheel went crazy... Why? - August 17, 2010, 12:20 AM

I was doing about 50-65mph and started braking aggressively at the last second to come to a stop (stop sign) when all of a sudden my front brakes seemed to stop working as if the brake pads were not able to grab a hold of the rotors. At the same time the front wheel started to shake extremely bad and I felt I was going to lose the front wheel and go down.

Note.........

- The bike I was riding is a 2004 gsxr 600 with bad front brakes (by that I mean they don't brake as good as your normal bike but they work fine since I no longer ride anything like I used to) Not sure if this braking problem has much to do with the fact that the bike has been down on its side before by the previews owner)
- I have owned the same year and model bike before and have never had this issue before. Not sure if it has to do anything with the fact that I put on 65lbs!
- The same thing has happened to me before on my 1000RR

I was coming to a fast stop on a down hill part of the road both times when this has happened to me. Speed 50-85

Can someone please explain to me what caused this to happen?
Thank you


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August 17, 2010, 02:46 AM

now I don't know too much about brakes or bikes in general, but this seems to be what happens when your brakes boil, which means the water inside the lines gets so hot it turns to gas which can be compressed unlike the liquid; the fluid acts as a spring rather than a solid bar between your brake bar and calipers meaning the force you put on the lever doesn't translate exactly to force on the pad

Seeing as sport bikes have twin rotors and powerful front brakes though I don't see this as a possibly for a single aggressive stop from 60-0 as they're meant to do basically this over and over again but could the drop on its side have messed up one of the calipers? I dunno if there's anyway to test the braking power of each caliper but you might have only one of the calipers doing any work if the wreck was bad enough. I'm interested in an actual answer as well because I really don't want this happening to me, seems pretty scary


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August 17, 2010, 05:50 AM

Possibility...brakes are dragging and heating up and boiling the fluid causing loss of braking and possibly the heat warped the rotors from the heat causing the shaking.


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August 17, 2010, 06:53 AM

Warped rotors. Or if the bike was wrecked then bent from a crash. Do you feel a slight pulsing on the brake lever when just riding down a straight road? Just put a little pressure on the lever and feel for a pulse.


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August 17, 2010, 07:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodge131 View Post
Warped rotors. Or if the bike was wrecked then bent from a crash. Do you feel a slight pulsing on the brake lever when just riding down a straight road? Just put a little pressure on the lever and feel for a pulse.
↑ what he said. Its also because you ride a Suzuki.
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August 17, 2010, 07:16 AM

Quote:
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↑ what he said. Its also because you ride a Suzuki.
+1 I've never had that problem on a Yamaha

When was the last time you changed your brake fluid, how old are the pads, and like dodge said, check to make sure your rotors aren't bent/warped (causing the head shake)


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August 17, 2010, 07:20 AM

How are the fork seals looking?


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August 17, 2010, 08:14 AM

If you wheel actually shook as you where loosing brakes I would say you had a front wheel bearing failure. When the bearings go the wheel can rock from side to side which allows the rotors to depress the brake pads and cause you to loose the brakes. You didn't say wether you continued to ride or not but if the bearings were the issue I doubt you would've been able to continue.
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August 17, 2010, 09:03 AM

is the break fluid good, is is black? Are your wheel berring good?


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August 17, 2010, 01:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by hokierider View Post
now I don't know too much about brakes or bikes in general, but this seems to be what happens when your brakes boil, which means the water inside the lines gets so hot it turns to gas which can be compressed unlike the liquid; the fluid acts as a spring rather than a solid bar between your brake bar and calipers meaning the force you put on the lever doesn't translate exactly to force on the pad

Seeing as sport bikes have twin rotors and powerful front brakes though I don't see this as a possibly for a single aggressive stop from 60-0 as they're meant to do basically this over and over again but could the drop on its side have messed up one of the calipers? I dunno if there's anyway to test the braking power of each caliper but you might have only one of the calipers doing any work if the wreck was bad enough. I'm interested in an actual answer as well because I really don't want this happening to me, seems pretty scary
If only one of teh calipers is working that could explain why the braking is so bad ....


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August 17, 2010, 01:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post
Possibility...brakes are dragging and heating up and boiling the fluid causing loss of braking and possibly the heat warped the rotors from the heat causing the shaking.

I did a bit of reading on warped rotors and I think that might be whats happening..


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August 17, 2010, 01:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodge131 View Post
Warped rotors. Or if the bike was wrecked then bent from a crash. Do you feel a slight pulsing on the brake lever when just riding down a straight road? Just put a little pressure on the lever and feel for a pulse.

Like do you mean if i am grabing the brakes lightly when riding a straight line do they feel as if they are grabing and letting go as if the wheel is not straight ? If thats what you mean then no I dont think so but I will check again . I mean whats strange to me now that I think about it my 1000RR had less then 3k and was always kept inside and clean so I don't think it could have warpet rotors or bad brakes or bad brakes from a lowside since it had never been down . But the samething happend to it while I has coming to a agressing stop going down hill..


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August 17, 2010, 01:55 PM

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↑ what he said. Its also because you ride a Suzuki.
lol


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August 17, 2010, 01:57 PM

Quote:
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+1 I've never had that problem on a Yamaha

When was the last time you changed your brake fluid, how old are the pads, and like dodge said, check to make sure your rotors aren't bent/warped (causing the head shake)

The bike has 21 k on it so i am not sure when was the last time the brake bads /fluid has been changed.

How can I tell if the rotors are warped?


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August 17, 2010, 01:58 PM

Quote:
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How are the fork seals looking?
They look and feel fine ...


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