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Discussion Starter #1
My front brake lever, which has been spongy and soft ever since I bought the bike in 2016, suddenly became firm.

Last night I went out to my garage to grab another beer and got sidetracked by my bike (like happens, often)...I hopped on and squeezed the front brake lever a number times very quickly..i saw what looked almost like foam in my reservoir sight glass as I was squeezing the lever multiple times.

Then I heard a loud metallic 'pop' noise that came from under my tank (assume it was the ABS pump). I squeezed the lever again and, hallelujah, the lever was firm for the first time since I've owned the bike.

I've replaced the fluid and bled the brakes every year since I've owned the bike. I've tried every method out there to get a firm lever (all except reverse bleeding, that was on my 'to do' list) but nothing worked.

At first I thought Oh, great, I broke something...but everything functions correctly. There is no brake fluid leaking and I went for a 90 mile ride today and the brakes worked perfectly...although I did not activate the ABS..

So any thoughts on what happened? My first thought was that an ancient air bubble was finally exorcised out of the ABS unit...but why would it have been a metallic noise? Almost like 'hitting a screwdriver against the tank' kind of noise.

Anyone experienced anything similar?

Braking performance didn't seem to change much but the lever feels sooooo much better.
 

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Very odd!
I actually find my front brake to be pretty 'spongy' too. They work fine, but I'd prefer a more firmer action.

Maybe I need to grab me a beer or two, and try and reproduce your experience?!? :unsure:

The metallic 'popping' sound is a little disconcerting, but the brakes are now better than before, who cares I guess!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll keep an eye on the braking system to look for any problems...but the good part is I'm now able to brake with 2 fingers on the front...before the lever would pull so far back it would smash my fingers still on the grip so I always used 4 fingers to brake.

I can easily test the rear ABS to make sure it's still working....not sure if I can (or want) to test the front wheel ABS. actually I've never activated the front ABS..
 

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My front brake became much harder when I poured Motul RBF 600. Although mine is non ABS. I'm sure bleeding the ABS controller properly is more complicated.
 

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I would guess you had a piston seized. The ABS module fails safe as required by DOT, and even if it were to fail hard, it's just a volumetric solenoid, you would fairly quickly fill it up with fluid, and your breaks would come back. You've probably had a piston in there cockeyed since you bought the bike. Were it my bike I would pull that caliper and check, and were it my caliper, I would rebuild it because that's what I do. Easy to check, if you have any miles on it at all your pads will be worn really goofy, and you should be able to move the pistons with your thumbs..I've had them cut loose with a bang on cars but I've never seen it on a bike.

I've seen bikes with dual front rotors wear one pad at an angle until it bites before they notice anything wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
tracyt, appreciate the input..but I've had my calipers apart to clean and lube a number of times. I replaced my pads this last winter and everything was functioning correctly...everything except the spongy lever! Brake pad wear was even and both pistons moved easily enough when I pushed them back for the new pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, Rogue..we’ve actually been on vacation all week so won’t see the damage in person until tomorrow. Luckily I only lost 1 tree along with a lot of mess...but I have friends in Cedar Rapids that just got whacked...all kinds of big, old trees down. They are still without power in parts of CR tonight...4+ days after the storm!
How about you guys? The storm rolled right over you, too.
 

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Hey, Rogue..we’ve actually been on vacation all week so won’t see the damage in person until tomorrow. Luckily I only lost 1 tree along with a lot of mess...but I have friends in Cedar Rapids that just got whacked...all kinds of big, old trees down. They are still without power in parts of CR tonight...4+ days after the storm!
How about you guys? The storm rolled right over you, too.
My town looks like a war zone and there's still nearly 20K in the DSM metro without power. With so much damage all around me, I'm not sure how, but the only damage we had was our antenna - it was ripped out of the roof by the bolts. Two planters are missing from the front porch, which I never did find - maybe they're at your house? 😂 We lost power for less than 10 minutes, with a handful of blips. We were incredibly lucky. Of course this blew through on trash pick up day, so I, along with all the neighbors, spent a couple of hours collecting trash and cans from everywhere. I'm definitely adding 'derecho' to the list of things I never want to experience again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
arrived home last night to a pleasant surprise..not too much damage. I'm in North Liberty in a (relatively) newer development so there are not a lot of large trees. Of course, everyone had 4 days to clean up the mess so I'm sure it looked a lot worse on Monday! Heading up to Cedar Rapids later today to check on my Mother's house...I know they have a lot more damage and are still without power.. Looking forward to 2021!
 
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