First time caller with brake issues - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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First time caller with brake issues

Strat newbie. My first Strat and not even close to this old retired mans 1st nor last bike. Traded in a 2010 Vision for this beautiful 07 Strat. Having brake problems and I hope I can explain this right. I put new fluid in thus bleeding all that stuff. Oil change, new plugs, normal stuff as one never knows when those things happened last.

So I'm testing the brakes. Front brake problem. Sure it stops fine. But hard braking turning makes it so I can barely turn the wheel back. Possible calipers. Semi braking or softer braking will let me turn easy. I know you're not suppose to brake heavy into a turn for a length of time if any. I thought about backing off the brake tension. Hell if I know where that is and if I feel safe doing it.

So if this has been posted before a on page where ever, please point me there and my apologizes ahead of time if it has. I did do some searches.

On a side note every bike I've owned, well not the ones before the internet, I paid my dues to help the site and get some sound advice.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:44 PM
KCW
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welcome to the forum.

Not sure I understand the issue - when you brake hard while turning, is it difficult to turn the handlebars straight to center, or to spin the front wheel?

If its totally a brake issue then a caliper freezing up could be what you are describing. It could also be the brake hose is coming apart inside and acting like a check valve, it lets the fluid into the caliper, but does not let it back out. Ive had that happen on a couple cars, 15 year old cars, but never heard of it on a motorcycle.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your support. It's very hard to turn back to center. It's like the brake(s), and I just do this at a slow speed, I'd hate to even think what it would be like fast, but when with firm pull its like I say is hard for me to straighten the bars back to center until I ease back off the brake. Softer braking won't have that effect.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 09:30 AM
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That sounds like a problem in the steering not the brakes, like it puts it in a bind inside the tube where the bushings/bearings are. The turning of the handle bars should not have anything to do with the brakes, you can hold your brake on and turn it left and right.

No matter where you go there you are. - Buckaroo Banzai
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 09:31 AM
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BTW Welcome to the forum. I am betting someone on here has the exact answer for you. Nice looking bike too.

No matter where you go there you are. - Buckaroo Banzai
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 07:07 PM
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I think maybe its just that you are braking the front wheel in a turn, which is loading up the force on the handlebars.

On a motorcycle you never want to brake in a turn, esp not hard. In the MSF riding class they really drilled it into our heads, if you have to stop in a corner straighten the bike up first and then 'panic brake' with the front and back wheels.

It sounds like you are braking first and then trying to straighten up the bike with the brake held on hard. Thats going to cause a couple of serious problems if you do that at speed:

1. if you brake (front or back wheel or both) in a curve the bike will spiral in / fall into the turn harder, because the balance of the lean of the bike and the centripetal force trying to stand the bike up is suddenly altered. The bike is now falling into the turn harder which makes it even more difficult to straighten it.

2. you only have so much traction on the front wheel to work with. When the bike is turning you are using a lot of your traction. If you then try to brake hard the front wheel can break loose and you will go down.

I would put the front wheel up in the air with blocks on the frame and make sure there is nothing wrong with the steering bearings - no slop and no binding. If that is all good then read up a bit on braking in turns. There are some techniques that racers use to load up the front tire, but man that can put you right on the edge of dropping the bike in the worse possible place - in a fast turn. Its one thing on a race track, its a bad deal with on-coming traffic, or a curb.

Just to be clear, if you are in a right turn, you are pushing the right hand grip forward to countersteer the bike to lean to the right. If you suddenly need to stop push the left grip to lean(straighten) the bike back up vertical and then stop for all you got without locking up the front wheel.

You can lock up the back wheel in a panic stop as long as you hold the skid till the bike stops completely. If you let off the back brake while the bike is skidding and still moving you will high side, it will throw you through the air like a wild horse.

If the front brake starts to lock up, get OFF the brake instantly. The spinning front wheel is the only thing keeping your bike from falling over, just as if you stopped the bike and let it go with the kick stand up.

One of the most critical skills for riding is judging a curve before you enter it, slowing the bike down before entering the curve, and then if you have margin to go faster roll on the throttle smoothly. Getting into a turn too hot and then trying to brake.... its too late at that point, for all the reasons listed above, you are going wide or you are going down.

I understand that you are an experienced rider and I apologize if this post sound a bit preachy. I have panic stopped in a turn like I described, going around a blind curve there was a high loader putting tree limbs into a dump truck right in the middle of my lane. No flag man, no warning signs. Getting the bike straight and then stopping really works.

And I have also nearly spiraled into a curb. I pushed the choke in too soon on a cold morning. Making a right hand turn at a corner the engine stumbled and the bike nearly went into the curb on the right.

Keeping your speed steady in a curve is not optional.

Last edited by KCW; 10-11-2016 at 08:30 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:13 AM
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Good Post KCW. When I said hold the brake and turn left and right I was not talking while riding. I did mean as a diagnostic in a shop. I know that was not clear from that post. I learned the hard way during my MSC not to hit the front brake while turning. Lucky I was going under 20 MPH.

No matter where you go there you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

Last edited by NGM; 10-17-2016 at 07:24 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks KCW, one of most over looked things on a bike, car, etc. Bearings. After following your advice It does appear I need to replace the the steering bearings. Top and bottom. This should be fun. The wheel bearings seem to be ok for now. No signs of immediate concern. Being a 07 with 22k miles doesn't matter. They can go bad from washing the bike, hitting 1 to many pot holes, etc. Like I mentioned bearings are so often overlooked. I had put somewhere in the area of 380 miles on it before the brake stuff started. I also had completed hooking up a nice amp w/speakers that would run through my phone. It wasn't until I had finished and tested the sound quality on a ride that all the sudden the brake issue reared its head. I just thought I zipped something off I shouldn't have while mapping out the installation of the amp and speakers and promptly removed it. Funny how things work out like that. My added sound device warned me of my existing problem with the bearings. My riding skills are ok. After years of riding the wife wanted to learn. So we took the riding course. I did learn a few things so much so I took the advanced course. Regardless of what you think you know there's always something more you can learn. Thanks again!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 08:16 AM
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Im a bit paranoid about bearings - replaced too many on my cars.

Every once in a while I hit a bump in the road and something on my bike makes an odd clunk sound. For a while I thought the steering head was loose and I jacked up the frame and checked it a couple times. Never found anything loose or questionable. I think it might be the suspension topping out when the springs are fully unload (ie bike is almost airborne).

Noises bother me. I know that mechanical parts are pumped full of noise at the factory. When all the noise has leaked out the part stops working - esp if the noise all leaks out at once.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Oddly enough I took the bike in to have new tires put on. The mechanic did check the steering and claimed there is nothing wrong with the bearings. He suggested I bleed Both sides of the brakes. I only did the right as I assumed the master is on the right side. Of course I'm in the wrong show as they wanted $75.00 to bleed both. I went back and picked the bike up today and will do both sides. Guess I need the better half here to help. Kinda difficult to do the left side by yourself. Is the master on the right side? I need to by a repair manual to get better specs. or is there a spec site available?
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