Handbrake makes sudden stops


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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Reno380
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Motorcycle: 2008 Honda Goldwing 1800

Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »



I just bought my 08 gl1800 and the brakes grab randomly when using the front brake handle, never with foot. I'm talking about when i slow down then get ready to stop the bike suddenly stops on a dime and wants to spit out 9 cents change. Bike was serviced with 2 new tires, oil change, front and rear brakes, brake fluid change, air filter and new spark plugs. Seems like the plunger at the brake handle sticks, not sure if that is the problem. The mechanic that did the work is a Honda certified 10 year mechanic. Brake fluid is ok, not overfilled.
Any ideas why the wing randomly wants to stop suddenly? enough to lift me from the seat, I'm 236lbs, not easy to lift me. ADV must be working as front dips very little then levels off quickly
Thanks, Reno in Florida


farmer148
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by farmer148 »

It could be something with the hydraulic brake system but my first thoughts are something wrong with the brake pads. Whatever it is I would be getting it checked out before driving it anymore. If that happens when you are stopping on some gravel or anything that makes the road surface less than ideal you will be on your side sliding down the road.
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Andy Cote
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Andy Cote »

Reno380 wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:34 pm I just bought my 08 gl1800 and the brakes grab randomly when using the front brake handle, never with foot. I'm talking about when i slow down then get ready to stop the bike suddenly stops on a dime and wants to spit out 9 cents change. Bike was serviced with 2 new tires, oil change, front and rear brakes, brake fluid change, air filter and new spark plugs. Seems like the plunger at the brake handle sticks, not sure if that is the problem. The mechanic that did the work is a Honda certified 10 year mechanic. Brake fluid is ok, not overfilled.
Any ideas why the wing randomly wants to stop suddenly? enough to lift me from the seat, I'm 236lbs, not easy to lift me. ADV must be working as front dips very little then levels off quickly
Thanks, Reno in Florida
How long have you owned the bike? Miles on bike? Miles you have done on this bike? This certified mechanic service you refer to, was the bike doing this before the service or is this new and coincident? Was correct brake fluid used? What brand pads were installed. What brand tires? Tire pressures? Have you checked with a Honda dealer to see if the brake recall(s) have been done? Your biking experience?

A few thoughts, in no specific order.

Obviously if this is new and coincident with some type of maintenance, then there is a high likelihood of a relationship. All those actions need to be rechecked before anything else, and regardless of mechanic's experience. I had my auto mechanic chasing an issue on my car once only to find his first thought was exactly right but the brand new part form NAPA was bad right out of the box.

Brakes were not properly bled. It happens even to the best motorcycle mechanics. The GL1800 has a couple "tricks of the trade" and needs a mechanic that has specific experience.

The brake recall deals with brakes staying on when the pedal/lever is released. Free at any Honda dealer if not done yet but will require bleeding the system (again).

Metallic pads can be quite grabby until one is used to them. OEM pads are smoother.

Honda requires a specific DOT brake fluid which can NOT be mixed with other fluid. Even if "flushed," if the wrong fluid was used, it can cause problems now or later.

Proper technique is to approach a stop with smooth pressure on both pedal and lever then release the lever before stopping. Ten feet, 20 feet, 15 mph, 12 seconds, really not as important as the technique and the habit of doing it. There is still front wheel braking by the pedal as the Goldwing has linked brakes. Reapply the hand brake after stopping if you need to put your right foot down. But you should not be using the hand brake at the instant of a stop.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

I bought this wing from a local wholesaler of different bikes, have not removed the pads, but I can lightly touch the handbrake and you can immediately feel the brakes grabbing. I will try and bleed them and see if that helps. Thanks!
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Andy Cote
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Andy Cote »

So the work was done before you took possession.

Suspicious of the work that was done. A quick flip leads me to think quick maintenance and low cost parts.

Contact a local Honda dealer with the VIN and make sure there are no open recalls.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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Andy Cote
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Andy Cote »

Do you have the service manual and the Honda bleeding sequence and the special tricks? suggest you check this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=31532
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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tamathumper
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by tamathumper »

Is the hand brake lever smooth as silk, or is it "grabby"?

I couldn't stop the bike gracefully with the front brakes until I took the lever pivot screw out, cleaned off the crud, and gave it a light coat of lithium grease.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

Tamathumper, takes a bit of pulling on handle to get the brakes to engage, like it's sticky. All my years of riding I always use one or two fingers on the handbrake and I do use foot pedal too, but I noticed that this year wing front and rear brakes work same so sometimes I don't use foot, my right foot had a compound fracture from being hit by a DD in a cage and is now clubbed and hard to press the foot pedal, I have not modified the foot brake pedal yet like my other 2 bikes since the wreck (2002 Daytona BW). I think maybe I will try your suggestion first then move on to bleeding if that doesn't work
Last edited by Reno380 on Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

Tamathumper, takes a bit of pulling on handle to get the brakes to engage, like it's sticky. All my years of riding I always use one or two fingers on the handbrake and I do use foot pedal too, but I noticed that this year wing front and rear brakes work same so sometimes I don't use foot, my right foot had a compound fracture from being hit by a DD in a cage and is now clubbed and hard to press the foot pedal, I have not modified the foot brake pedal yet like my other 2 bikes since the wreck (2002 Daytona BW). I think maybe I will try your suggestion first then move on to bleeding if that doesn't work.
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

Andy Cote wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:08 pm Do you have the service manual and the Honda bleeding sequence and the special tricks? suggest you check this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=31532
I have a clymer and the official service manual that reminds me of war and peace novels it's so thick, came in a 3 or 4 ring binder.
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

Andy Cote wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:57 pm So the work was done before you took possession.

Suspicious of the work that was done. A quick flip leads me to think quick maintenance and low cost parts.

Contact a local Honda dealer with the VIN and make sure there are no open recalls.

VIN: 1HFSC47L08A705822
Year: 2008 Make: Honda Motorcycle Model: Gold Wing Audio/Comfort/Navi/ABS
Number of Open Recalls: 0

Guess recall wise I'm good
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

Try cleaning your front brake rotors with BrakeClean (red can). Sometimes road grime can make brakes grab.
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tamathumper
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by tamathumper »

Reno380 wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:42 pm Tamathumper, takes a bit of pulling on handle to get the brakes to engage, like it's sticky. All my years of riding I always use one or two fingers on the handbrake and I do use foot pedal too, but I noticed that this year wing front and rear brakes work same so sometimes I don't use foot, my right foot had a compound fracture from being hit by a DD in a cage and is now clubbed and hard to press the foot pedal, I have not modified the foot brake pedal yet like my other 2 bikes since the wreck (2002 Daytona BW). I think maybe I will try your suggestion first then move on to bleeding if that doesn't work.
If it's sticky then it's definitely time to clean the pivot screw and check it for wear. Mine would travel a bit, then catch, and I'd apply more pressure to get over the hump and it would suddenly release and the front brakes would grab. Made me tip the bike over one time, in the dark, going the wrong way down a highway off ramp in Sacramento. Long story!
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Andy Cote
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Andy Cote »

Continued indications of an improperly accomplished brake job.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

tamathumper wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:01 am
Reno380 wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:42 pm Tamathumper, takes a bit of pulling on handle to get the brakes to engage, like it's sticky. All my years of riding I always use one or two fingers on the handbrake and I do use foot pedal too, but I noticed that this year wing front and rear brakes work same so sometimes I don't use foot, my right foot had a compound fracture from being hit by a DD in a cage and is now clubbed and hard to press the foot pedal, I have not modified the foot brake pedal yet like my other 2 bikes since the wreck (2002 Daytona BW). I think maybe I will try your suggestion first then move on to bleeding if that doesn't work.
If it's sticky then it's definitely time to clean the pivot screw and check it for wear. Mine would travel a bit, then catch, and I'd apply more pressure to get over the hump and it would suddenly release and the front brakes would grab. Made me tip the bike over one time, in the dark, going the wrong way down a highway off ramp in Sacramento. Long story!
That is a much better description of what I experience with this. Is there anything specific about cleaning this pivot bolt?
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Ghostman
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Ghostman »

I would also look at the pins that the calipers float on when braking. Maybe theyre dried out grease on them.
https://pbase.com/fredharmon/brakepads
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tamathumper
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by tamathumper »

Reno380 wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:21 am
tamathumper wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:01 am
Reno380 wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:42 pm Tamathumper, takes a bit of pulling on handle to get the brakes to engage, like it's sticky. All my years of riding I always use one or two fingers on the handbrake and I do use foot pedal too, but I noticed that this year wing front and rear brakes work same so sometimes I don't use foot, my right foot had a compound fracture from being hit by a DD in a cage and is now clubbed and hard to press the foot pedal, I have not modified the foot brake pedal yet like my other 2 bikes since the wreck (2002 Daytona BW). I think maybe I will try your suggestion first then move on to bleeding if that doesn't work.
If it's sticky then it's definitely time to clean the pivot screw and check it for wear. Mine would travel a bit, then catch, and I'd apply more pressure to get over the hump and it would suddenly release and the front brakes would grab. Made me tip the bike over one time, in the dark, going the wrong way down a highway off ramp in Sacramento. Long story!
That is a much better description of what I experience with this. Is there anything specific about cleaning this pivot bolt?
It's a 5-minute job, tops. Take out the pivot screw, IIRC it's a large standard head with a long shoulder (the pivot part) and threads on the bottom.

Check it for crud, clean it up, and make sure it's still nice and round, then look at the hole and bushing on the brake lever. Same thing, check for crud and any wear or out of round condition. The bushing is really cheap if you need to replace it.

Apply a light coat of your favorite lubricant, reassemble, and give it a squeeze.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
Reno380
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Reno380 »

Tamathumper, that is what it apparently was, now I need to relearn these brakes lol, I was so used to the way the handle has been that now I need to use less pressure, but not suddenly stopping. Thank you!!!!

Reno
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

Reno380 wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:55 pm Tamathumper, that is what it apparently was, now I need to relearn these brakes lol, I was so used to the way the handle has been that now I need to use less pressure, but not suddenly stopping. Thank you!!!!

Reno
If your brake lever needed service, then your clutch lever probably needs serviced too. Remove it, cleaned, inspected, and lubed it too. If the brass bushing that pushes on the rod is galled, the lever and bushing will probably need replaced. If your Wing is a 2-whl one, be sure to service the side stand too. With the levers off, don't forget to inspect the rubber boots at the back of each m/c. They should be no tears in the rubber boots. With the levers off, look in with a flash light. If you have chrome levers, it is best to get rid of those and go back to OEM ones.
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Andy Cote
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by Andy Cote »

Sorry to repeat myself but if the pins were dirty, I am suspect of the entire brake job and by extension all of the claimed maintenance work. If a Honda certified mechanic with 10 years experience did not do that right, I wouldn't trust any of his/her work. Just sayin'

Agree with Greg. Go and check EVERYTHING!
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tamathumper
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Re: Handbrake makes sudden stops

Post by tamathumper »

Reno380 wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:55 pm Tamathumper, that is what it apparently was, now I need to relearn these brakes lol, I was so used to the way the handle has been that now I need to use less pressure, but not suddenly stopping. Thank you!!!!

Reno
Happy to help, and glad that you solved your problem.


'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2
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