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R1200RT eating rear brake pads


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Dear Resident Experts,


Memorial Day a friend and i did the 36,000 mile service and now i’m worried. The rear brake is going through pads like they were cheap. Here’s a bit of history on the bike:


• At the 6,000 mile check the shop’s mechanic said the rear bearing was “catchy”. It was replaced.

• February, 2008 i was rear ended and got a new final drive assembly and some other stuff back there (i don’t really know what all of it was).

• Sometime before 24,000 miles i wore the inside pad to the metal scoring the rotor.

• Shortly thereafter one of the bolts holding the rotor to the wheel loosened and damaged the caliper assembly and rotor. Rotor and caliper mounting bracket were replaced under warranty.

• Now, in about 12,000 miles i’ve gone through another set of rear pads.

• Daily commute is 3.8 miles with too many turns and red lights.


No, i DO NOT ride the brake so please don’t suggest that as the problem. While i do use the rear brake, i rely mostly on the front brake. Of course, this model has the partially linked brakes so i get some rear brake anyway. The front pads seem to be wearing normally and have been replaced once at about 28,000 miles if my poor memory serves me correctly.


What’s wrong?


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Probably nothing.


This seems somewhat normal for the hexheads with the linked non-whizzy brakes. Mine averages about 12k per set of rear pads. I've been told this isn't unusual.. and some people have reported even shorter lifetime from the pads.


You probably do want to make sure the caliper sliding mechanism isn't causing excessive drag on the rotor (if the rotor gets hot enough to burn you with normal use - I feel that's too hot, mine gets warm. A friends has burned me.) My front pads actually outlasted yours - I did them at about 35,000 miles, but they were not fully worn out (had about 1/3rd of the lining left..)


FWIW - I only use the rear brake seperately at parking-lot speeds to help make low speed turns. Other then that - I rely on the linking system. It seems to stop me just fine..

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Brake pad life has a lot of variables, but in broad terms a set of rear pads every 12K miles isn’t excessively out of the norm. Different brands may give you better life, but usually at the compromise of some other aspects. Rotor life in particular.

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Mister Tee

My first two sets of rear brake pads were ate up in like no time. The culprit was indeed binding caliper pins. Some rust removal and lube fixed the problem.

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My first set of replacement rear pads was required at about 50,000 miles. Make sure the rear caliper sliding mechanism is well-lubricated so the pads can get completely out of the way when you are not braking. I thoroughly cleaned the whole area, polished the slider bar with some fine steel wool, then lubed it with brake caliper grease.


I have yet to replace my front pads, now at 60,000 miles. I do lots of longer-distance riding which likely accounts for my long pad life.



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