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Old May 8th, 2016, 11:28 AM   #1
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Burning rear brake

Perhaps you won‘t believe but I have to share my today’s experience.

After some spirited riding my rear wheel blocked. Not suddenly but gradually, over three or four seconds. I managed to stay upright and to bring the bike to stop but pulling the clutch didn’t relieve the blockage. When I checked the rear wheel I saw fire coming from the brake caliper. I don’t mean heat or even a smoke but indeed open flames.

With help of some quick-witted fellow drivers I extinguished the fire quickly. The rear disc looked tempered and ABS cable had traces of burning on it but luckily the fire hadn’t time to expand.

What’s really confusing is that after cooling down the rear wheel turns freely again.

Needless to say I find the whole experience quite alarming. Even if I was riding harder than what the bike’s built for the brakes should never block nor start throwing flames. (I can positively rule off the idea that I was riding for a prolonged period of time with my foot on the pedal. I always ride with my balls of feet on the pegs unless I brake and/or change gears.)

Any ideas what could cause the fire and how to prevent it from happening again?
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Old May 8th, 2016, 12:58 PM   #2
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I have heard of this when the return port in the master cylinder is plugged. You might want to disassemble it and make sure there is not a blockage.
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Old May 8th, 2016, 01:13 PM   #3
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I had a similar experience quite a few years ago on my Monster S2R where the rear brake caught on fire. The bike felt a little sluggish, but not too bad. I was waved down by a motorist who noticed a lot of smoke from my rear. When I stopped, the brake was on fire. It died by itself less than a minute after I stopped.

The culprit was a very little rock that got lodged between the pedal and the frame enough so the rear brake was lightly dragging the whole time I was riding. I didn't use the rear brake to stop when flagged over so the rock was still in place. It fell when I started inspecting the bike after the fire was out and was jiggling the brake pedal. If I had used the rear brake to stop, It probably would have fallen and I wouldn't be any wiser.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
I have heard of this when the return port in the master cylinder is plugged. You might want to disassemble it and make sure there is not a blockage.
This exactly.

My mother's monster had the exact same thing happen to it twice in the last month exactly as OP described. We replaced the caliper, rotor, pads, and brake line. Same thing happened 3 miles down the road, again, turns out it was the master cylinder that had seized.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:29 AM   #5
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The Ducati rep said (on the phone, without seeing the bike) that this would happen if the brake pedal free play was misadjusted. Which is funny as the bike is still more or less new and I’ve never touched the adjustment.

I will point the service guys to the master cylinder when the bike goes to Ducati for repair. Hopefully they’ll do a proper check.

Last edited by Cerv; May 9th, 2016 at 07:37 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #6
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Dragging the rear brake, maybe? I rode twisties hard for about 1.5 hrs yesterday following a friend on his S1000XR (scary fast motor, btw). Slung grease out of the chain that probably never thought it was leaving. I'm a very casual rear brake user, though.

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My mother's monster...
And I seriously hope nobody ever says "My mother's HyperStrada..." Monster's are cool but there was always something just a little androgynous about them to me...
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Old May 10th, 2016, 06:07 AM   #7
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And I seriously hope nobody ever says "My mother's HyperStrada..." Monster's are cool but there was always something just a little androgynous about them to me...
I have her to thank for getting me into Ducatis. She won't touch my hyperstrada though, it's much too tall for her.
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Old June 1st, 2016, 10:45 PM   #8
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I had a similar experience too, but it is all my fault, because I adjust the break pedal too much and the break pad itself hold together, it smokes, and it the disk turns into blue, but no fair.

Please remember to change the breaking pads later on.
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Old June 2nd, 2016, 11:03 AM   #9
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I had a similar experience too, but it is all my fault, because I adjust the break pedal too much and the break pad itself hold together, it smokes, and it the disk turns into blue, but no fair.

Please remember to change the breaking pads later on.
Same happend to me last year after I adjust the brake pedal too much. The speed was slow and I stopped right away. No damage.

One of my friends also adjust the brake pedal too much on his Multistrada.
Not so lucky. He had to replace disk, ABS sensor cable, brake hose and caliper.
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