Question about 2002 Suzuki VL 1500 Intruder LC

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Brake failure rear brake failure vl 1500, this has happened on a three occassions over say 4000ks,first noticed on step decline when rear brake applied pedal goes to the floor (so to speak) not spongy, will remain with no rear brake for sometime say hour or so then will return to normal operation ??..

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  • zzbear Jan 01, 2009

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I would check the master cylinder mounting to see if something is loose that might allow the brake pedal to move without activating the piston. If everything looks and feels tight I would remove the rear wheel and inspect the brake pads and caliper closely. If nothing seems amiss yet I would rebuild the brake caliper, the kit is very simple. Make sure to clean everything well and inspect the brake pistons for burrs that may be interfering with normal operation.

Could your pads be a little tight on the rear wheel, causing your rear brake to heat up and boiling the brake fluid? If you can raise the rear wheel in the air and turn it there should be little resistance while in neutral. Some slight rubbing of the pads on the disc is normal but if the wheel comes to a stop quickly when given a gentle spin they may be rubbing too much and the caliper needs to be rebuilt.

Posted on Jan 01, 2009

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Common problem in most of this model including mine and several others that I know of. Simply a design fault the factory has no answer for and a very scary one at that.

Posted on Feb 05, 2010

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Suzuki intruders are built to last try just changing the brake fluid,the cheapest things should be tried before expensive rip downs

Posted on Apr 22, 2009

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Sounds like air in the systems,bleed the air line ,if that does not do it the master cyclinder seals could be bad

Posted on Jul 02, 2009

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After reading your description, two ideas come to mind. If you have bench tested your master cylinder and it does not leak down. You have checked all fittings, lines, and master cylinder for leaks, and there are none. Then would suspect an issue with the rear brake caliper. You mentioned that you replaced the rear rotor due to it warping. I am curious to know why it warped? Raise the rear wheel off of the ground and spin the wheel. It should spin freely. Then apply and release the brake, to that wheel (a few times). After releasing the brakes, spin the wheel again. Does the wheel still spin freely? If it doesn't then I would check the brake pedal (see if it is releasing freely or binding), check the brake lines (see if there are and defects, flat spots, or kinks), and check the rear brake caliper (do all the cylinders retract with little resistance?) If the wheel does spin freely then I would check to see if you are using the correct type of brake fluid. Most bikes will require you to use DOT 4 or 5 brake fluid. If you substitute for a cheaper grade, it will affect the braking system. It may sound silly but I would double check that you are not accidentally resting you foot on the brake pedal. If that was happening, it would cause the brakes to fade. I hope that helps but If you have other details or question, let me know.

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Hello Dale, this is an easy job on your bike. Use a flat head screw driver and remove the brake pad cover...it will pop off.
Remove the hairpin type clips off of the ends of the brake pad pins.... Use pliers & pull the brake pad pins out from the front of the rear brake caliper....Clean the rear brake caliper's piston with brake cleaner. Use a rag and wipe it clean...Reinsert the old brake pads into the caliper. Place a pry bar between the brake pads, then push the inner piston into the caliper body, this will allow room to install new pads.... Remove the old brake pads...Coat the brake pad pins and the new brake pads metal back plates with high-temperature grease.

Slip the new brake pads into the rear brake caliper, then push the brake pad pins halfway into the caliper. Slip the spring clips into place between the brake pads and the brake pad pins. Push the brake pad pins completely through the rear brake caliper. Push the hairpin clips back into the brake pad pin tips. Snap the brake pad cover onto the top of the rear brake caliper....

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1 Answer

Rear breaks do not work, I push down on the pedal and nothing. I opened the zurk and fluid is pumping through the master cylinderfluid level within rang, has dot 5 fluid. Could it just be I need new break...


You could simply have air in the system. First, look on the top of your rear brake master cylinder reservior. It should tell you which brake fluid to use in your system. DO NOT MIX DOT 5 WITH EITHER DOT 4OR DOT 3. They are incompatible and will form into little balls of gummy mess in your master cylinder. Fill the master cylinder to the top and temporarily put top back on the reservior

Now, you must do this procedure EXACTLY in this manner. Fist depress the foot brake pedal. Second, open the bleeder valve and allow any air and brake fluid to escape. Third, close bleeder valve. Fourth, release brake pedal. Do this proceedure about three times and then check the brake fluid level. Do not allow the master cylinder reservior to run dry during the proceedure. Continue until you no longer get air out of the system, only brake fluid.

By this time, you should have a full brake pedal even if your pads are totally shot. If not, your master cylinder is in need of a rebuild.

To check your brake pads, look at the rear caliper and you'll see two bolts in it. Remove these bolts and lift the caliper off the brake caliper bracket. Notice the position of the pads and how the anti-rattle hardware is positioned in the caliper bracket. Once you can remember how the stuff goes in there, remove one of the pads and have a look. If they need replacing do so. Make sure that you put the pads in with the fiber side facing the rotor. If the rotor is scored from metal to metal contact, it will have to be replaced as well or the brakes will lock up the rear wheel when you apply the brakes.

If you replace your pads, you must get the piston back into the caliper all the way in order to be able to get it back on the brake caliper bracket. First, you'll have to remove a little of the brake fluid in the reservior. Then, using either a C-clamp or a large pair of slip joint pliers compress the piston all the way back into it's bore. Use rags or thin pieces of wood to protect the paint and finish on the caliper.

Once the piston is fully compressed, carefully slide the caliper back down onto the bracket without disturbing the pads. Reinstall the bolts and torque to 35 foot pounds. Push the pedal and release it until you get a full firm pedal. Test the brakes before you ride the bike.

Failure to service the brakes correctly can cause serious injury or death. Do this job correctly or have some else do it for you.

Good Luck
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