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Who needs BRAKES? Tony & Lori's Torrey tale of the brakeless BMW!


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Sunday morning started out GREAT!

We choose to do a loop that Carl (C_Williams) suggested that took us out and around Lake Powell. A good 300 + miles with some absolutely stunning views on fantastic roads! Truly fantastic so much so that I couldn't stop to take pictures!


We arrived at Lake Powell had some lunch then went to ride the ferry over the lake to continue on 276. I had my hand on the brake lever

and it seemed way to close to the grip. A pump or two brought it back up. But what is up?


We got on the ferry with 3 other bikes and some cars. One guy on a long trip on his GS from WA (not with the Torrey group though). It was on the ferry where I looked at my front rim and saw it to be wet. I first thought it was just fuel or oil from a car. Closer inspection brought horror... my brakes are leaking fluid!




I thought at first it was from the banjo but I tweeked the hose a bit and saw the dribble. One pump on the lever brought out a 2 foot stream of even more fluid! I couldn't believe it! We had just ridden some crazy fast roads and I was seconds away from having no front brakes! The ferry ride was a blessing in disguise.


The GS rider had no useful tools just the stock kit and two crossed fingers for his trip! We got to the other side of Lake Powell to Hite Marina. I told Lori to walk off the boat as I try to get this brake less hulk of a bike off onto a completely gravel road with silt sand on the side. I nearly dumped in that silt when I tried to pull over as my wheels sank in and I roosted out like a moto-crosser! I gave the people waiting to get on the boat quite a show. Someone on the boat told Lori that she should have ridden it off instead of me after that.


We limped up to the gas station where the >>?what now?<< sank in. We are 130 miles from Torrey and 800 from home!


Being a typical guy I don't like to ask for too much help. Lori insisted that I see if a mechanic was in the gas station. So I went to check and yes one was. I said to him "I know you can't help me but I have to ask."

Yup he couldn't help but did loan me some tools even though his strict policy is "NO TOOLS LOANED!" Remember kids your German made bike has SAE brake fittings.



There it is .... the hole. Yeah this dosen't come apart.


I really wanted to believe that the junction box was not press fitted. Um it is. I started to make phone calls trying to get in touch with Bob (Killer ) Who's number was left in our room! I called Jamie (KMG_365) but it is Sunday and everyone is heading home.(I didn't know the whole story with Jamie and Les till we got back or that they had Bob's truck.)

My next call was Eric (ESokoloff) who was home! He posted a S.O.S. on the board and got back to me a hour later with Bob's number.


Now what everyone needs to understand is that this part of Utah has little or better yet no cell reception! The marina did have signal!!! But go just a few miles away and you have nothing for hundreds of miles....

I called Bob but he wasn't there... Little did I know what he was going to do.......


Eric confirmed the one piece brake line POS that is completely unserviceable in a incident like this. Thanks BMW! He also said we could probably get back on a rear brake and engine braking. Thank you again BMW for making the 1100 separate circuits!


Jim (the mechanic) came to retrieve his tools and I thanked him again for the loaners and he said I can tell who is the right type to hand my tools to and I passed!

I called Bob and got the machine again and informed it that we were GOING FOR IT!

So we packed back up and off we went 130 mile on a rear brake only.


The trip was uneventful with speeds at or under 80. Lightning strikes during part of the journey were more disconcerting. We got to Hanksville and used a pay phone to call Bob again. Still not home.



Tony's usual working enviroment... stuff everywhere! Lori is DONE.

and "THE NOTE"


We rode up to Bob's house where we met up with Peter (Alglover).

This note was pinned to the house! our responses followed.


I went into the house to check his machine. I heard my messages which I guess got there AFTER he left! Bob saw the post by Eric and just took off to help us. As I was listening to the messages the phone rang. It was Bob in Hite Marina!!!! We some how passed each other! Lori and I did look for his silver truck but alas he didn't have that. Les and Jamie did. He was in a green convertible!!! Poor Bob had to make a 260 mile round trip. I can't thank him enough for the effort. Needless to say that nights dinner was on us!


The next day was problem solving day. How do you fix a unfixable part? Eric had a idea that I agreed should work. That was to weld shut the junction box at the tee and have at least one working disc up front.

Bob said Biggi should be able to do that....IF he wants to... Let's hope for the best.



Line is off in 5 minutes and the only tool some folks need...


Well Biggi is a great guy! He doesn't let it show but he seemed to like the resourcefulness of the idea I brought him. Once he cut off the hose we found the copper crush ring BMW uses to make the hose all one piece. Welding is now in question. BUT no worries more ideas start to flow. Drill and tap and put in a cap plug. Biggi has a "magic drawer" filled will all that little stuff we all lose.



The culprit now cut off and out of my life and doing my best impression of Richard (Benicia_RT_GT) with shorts and riding boots.


Well it worked! The plug preformed perfectly. I reinstalled the line and we pumped some fluid in and I bleed it while Bob pressurized it. We now have one working front brake to get home on! We did get home with some other trials along the way but not from the brakes!



Bob. Torrey's best import in my book as well as many others! and The FIX!!!


Thanks to everyone who helped or tried to help and a especially big THANK YOU to my friend Killer! who went above and beyond to help!



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Just wow.


Lisa's RS developed a similar brake line leak, but it was in the one that goes from the master cylinder to the solid lines that go to the ABS. Luckily, we discovered this close to home so it wasn't a big deal. A call to cyclebrakes.com had new Galfer stainless lines at the front door the next day. I sure am glad that thing failed at a "Good" time instead of when you're braking from "Torrey speed" to make a corner. eek.gif


And I'm sorry, but this shot of your typical work environment is just hilarious.




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Sorry you had mechanical difficulties, but what an amazing story of board members coming to help out.


Hope to see you and Lori soon,



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I like Biggi's fix far more then my weld/solder suggestion thumbsup



Of course that was before I knew that your crimped fitting was damaged from the Marmots gnawing on it blush.gifgrin.gif




Very glad that it all worked out.


Sorry for the unnecessary miles Bob.

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Glad to hear you made it home. Talk about scary. Wasn't this Russell's old bike? You sure he didn't sell you a lemon? grin.gif

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Wasn't this Russell's old bike?


I was thinking the same thing.... lmao.gif


Glad everything worked out ok.


It was great meeting you two in Torrey!

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Glad to hear you made it home. Talk about scary. Wasn't this Russell's old bike? You sure he didn't sell you a lemon?


Yes getting home is really nice. Scary yes if we had been in the heat of the ride. Again small miracles do happen! Stopping to take that ferry was shurley one.


Naw that bike is no lemon just a BMW!dopeslap.gif It just went from one hoon to the next.

Stainless lines are on order!

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The good news is that when you replace all your rubber lines with new steel-braided teflon lines you will experience a very noticeable improvement in brake performance. Galfer or Spiegler have what you need in a ready-made kit.


I hope that your paint wasn't damaged by the leak..?

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Glad to hear you made it home. Talk about scary. Wasn't this Russell's old bike? You sure he didn't sell you a lemon? grin.gif


Don't look at me...I never used the brakes. grin.gif

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mmmmmmmmmmmm Pork Chop That sounds good right about now!!! wave.gifwave.gif



Glad it all worked out, and I wish I could have helped!

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