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Old April 24th, 2014, 07:54 PM   #1
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Unhappy Front brakes seized on my Hyperstrada!

Just suited up and hopped on the bike to go for a ride. First, I noticed as I was pushing it to the spot I fire it up at, it felt heavier than usual. But I just assumed I got weaker. LOL! Then as I took my first slow-speed turn, it was pulling heavily in the direction of the turn. I knew that didn't feel right so I stopped to check the bike over. Turns out the brake pads on both front calipers were squeezed against the front rotors. In fact, tight enough to appear as though the brake pads were compressing against it. But obviously not tight enough to stop me from pushing the bike, or driving it. Both calipers are squeezed (not just one) so whenever I'd turn while riding, it would pull heavily in that direction -- I rode it a tiny bit in my parking garage to try and better understand what was going on.

Tried using a screwdriver to gently pry the pads back to see if they'd reset, but to no avail. Then I thought maybe if I applied the ABS, it would reset the system and let the pads release. So I got up to 20mph in the parking garage and pulled hard on the front brake and all I did was do a mini stoppie. So apparently, the ABS isn't working either, or the grab and release of the ABS system doesn't work because the pads won't retract the full way. But no fault or error message or light on the dash.

I know HOW this happened, but I don't know WHY and it concerns me...

I was installing an omni cruise throttle lock and in the process of dry testing it with the motor off, I pulled the front brake lever a few times all the way to ensure the omni cruise wouldn't interfere with the travel of the brake lever. So I pulled the brake lever very hard a couple of times with the motor OFF and the bike standing still. And I noticed that it felt like the lever firmed up at the time... exactly like if you depress the brake pedal in a car a few times when the engine is off. But I figured like a car, once the engine is turned on, the lever would release tension.

Apparently, that didn't happen. So pulling hard on the brake lever while stopped (and the brakes were cold as the bike had been sitting for days when I did this -- so it's definitely not a case of the pads fusing to a hot rotor) apparently caused the brakes to seize. What I don't know is why. It's a closed system so it doesn't make any sense to me.

Going to have it towed to the Ducati dealership tomorrow or Monday.

Anything I'm missing? Are there any simple tricks to solve this problem or has anyone heard of brake calipers not resetting when pulled?

Last edited by HyperstradaHopeful; April 24th, 2014 at 07:57 PM.
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Old April 24th, 2014, 09:23 PM   #2
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My first thought would be debris in the system, possibly clogging a port in the master cylinder and preventing pressure from being released. Hopefully it's as simple as needing to flush the line.
Since it's binding regardless of whether the bike is on or off, I'd think it's a mechanical problem and not electrical/ECU/ABS gremlins.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 02:45 AM   #3
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I think if it there was a blockage in the system, you'd feel it in the lever as you wouldn't be circulating fluid. Did the lever feel odd?
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Old April 25th, 2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatdammit View Post
I think if it there was a blockage in the system, you'd feel it in the lever as you wouldn't be circulating fluid. Did the lever feel odd?
It only feels odd in that it feels more firm that normal after about 25% squeeze. I set up an appointment to have it towed to my local motorcycle mechanic expert on Thursday (that's his earliest available).
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Old April 26th, 2014, 07:42 AM   #5
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Try bleeding the brakes 1st, or remove the calipers and try to push the pistons back using the brake disc as a lever, same as if you had to remove the front wheel.
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Old April 26th, 2014, 01:19 PM   #6
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I'm going to agree with shazzam on the other forum. Make sure the throttle lock is not interfering or take it off and see if it goes away.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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Figured I'd post an update. This is embarrassing, but nothing wrong with the bike. It was just a deflated front tire.

I installed Garmin TPMS sensors and it was just barely skimming the brake caliper on the front wheel, which disaligned the tire valve and caused it to loose air. My local moto shop repositioned the valve stem, filled it with air, and was good to go.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 09:27 PM   #8
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I've been curious to hear how this turned out. Glad it was something simple. Don't stress about it, we all have our 'duh' moments now and then.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 05:02 AM   #9
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I'm glad thats all it was!!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 05:32 AM   #10
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My policy is that whenever anything goes wrong I first check the last thing I touched. Works 99% of the time...
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