F800 GT Front Brake Question - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    ccwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Just a few days ago I bought a 2014 F800 GT from an out-of-state dealer. Still waiting for it to be delivered. Please allow me to offer a brief biography before coming to the question. I've ridden motorcycles for more than sixty years. Road raced in the sixties, both solo and sidecar. Won a national championship with the sidecar in '66. All this in the way of saying I believe I am a competent rider.

    A few months ago, I thought I wanted to buy an 1150 RT. Found a nice one, a red 2004 with the dual spark heads from a private party about a six-hour's drive from home. Planned to buy it and ride it home. I took it for a short ride, to get familiar with the controls before setting out in the traffic. Riding away from the curb on a quiet residential street, I made a U-turn, went down the street and around the corner, and went to make another U-turn. About three-quarters of the way through the turn I touched the front brake and in the blink of an eye, I was on the ground.

    I didn't think I applied much brake, certainly not enough to lock the wheel. However, there was a period in the early 2000s when BMW thought it was a good plan to add a servo to the brakes. Who in the world needs power brakes on a motorcycle? I assumed this was the reason for my very low-speed crash. After regaining my composure, I continued riding around these quiet streets. Stopped at an intersection, and again touching the front brake found myself on the ground. The end of this story is I declined to buy the bike and went back home with an injured foot from having it smashed twice under this 600-pound motorcycle.

    A few years ago I had a Yamaha FZ750 (20 valve four) with a four pot double disc front brake similar to the BMW. I didn't have any problems, although it would stop very quickly when necessary. So I am at loss to explain why I had this troubling experience with the 1150 RT, except to think it was the servo brakes being overly sensitive.

    For those in this group, my question is do you find the F800 front brake to be extraordinarily sensitive? Over the years, I become dependent on the front brake of any motorcycle I've ridden, and I've had more than forty of all kinds because this is the way one stops, I've always thought, safely.

    This habit of depending on the front brake stems from my days as a motorcycle mechanic in the early sixties. In those days, every motorcycle manufacturer had their own ideas about where to put the gear shift and rear brake, unlike the current situation where control positions are standardized. However, they all had the front brake lever on the right side handlebar. In order to survive test rides on whatever bike I had repaired, I became always reliant on the front brake.

    Looking forward to riding the F800 GT, but just slightly apprehensive about the front brake's sensitivity.

    James Sadilek

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
    In the garage: 1972 BMW R60/5 - 1983 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim - 2014 F800 GT
     

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  4. #2
    Daboo's Avatar
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    You'll find you use the front brake almost exclusively on the F800GT. The weight bias is toward the front and most of the effective braking happens there, not the rear. In fact, the rear will turn on the ABS very easily.

    I have over 64K on my 2014 GT and haven't had an issue at all.

    Chris
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    i've put a little under 2k miles on my GT since i bought it last april - imo, the best front brakes on any of the bikes i've owned - powerful but very controllable stops -
    '13 F800GT
    '93 DR350S 

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  8. #4
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I think you'll find the GT's specs to be pretty impressive. Or at least I do. Compare them with bigger bikes like the R1200RT. You'll find the brakes and tires are the same size, I think.

    I just did a quick comparo with the S1000R. The front brakes are the same size. The rear brakes are larger on the GT. Granted, I'm sure the braking system is technically more sophisticated, but it doesn't look like BMW cheaped out on parts.

    Here's a general observation to think about. I feel like most people feel the bike is underpowered and not "exciting". I laugh at that. I think what it is, is the bike is so well designed, nothing stands out...but it performs so well, you don't realize it.

    Shortly after I bought mine, I was riding along and saw two state patrol cars parked on the side of the road. The speed limit, was 55 mph. I thought I was doing about 60 when I looked down at my speedometer to see what I was doing before slowing down. I was doing 90...in a 55...and had no indication I was going that fast. It is that good at what it does.

    If something were to happen to mine, I'd just look for another. It's that good.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    The brakes on the GT are very efficient and not over-sensitive but with good feel. They are more efficient than on my Kawasaki Versys 650, but the brakes on the Versys are a bit wooden though good enough.
    I use the rear brake for slow maneuvres generally, otherwise, front brake balanced with just a little rear. I too find the rear ABS cuts in quite easily.

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    Nice introduction.

    Yes the Servo/Linked brakes made U turns on the R1150RT "interesting". I found that it significantly improved when I swapped brake pads all round to be of the same manufacturer. (No idea why the PO had miss matched pads installed). Wouldn't buy another however after the servo failed, fortunately at low speed, even after following service schedule. In my opinion the only certainty of buying one now with a working Servo is that it will fail shortly and need some work to repair or remove. An earlier R1100RT with no servo i.e. earlier ABS setup was a better bike as far as I was concerned.

    Brakes on the F8GT are well matched to both the bikes performance, and its intended audience but not exceptional. Also has enough technology on board to help those who miss judge hazards.

    Hope that you enjoy your new bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalesman View Post
    The brakes on the GT are very efficient and not over-sensitive but with good feel......
    I use the rear brake for slow maneuvers generally, otherwise, front brake balanced with just a little rear. I too find the rear ABS cuts in quite easily.
    +1
    Sundog 

  12. #8
    Ware, Herts, UK Pat H is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    I'm on an older F800S but the same brakes as the GT.
    The front is very good and does provide the best braking but both front and back play a part.
    The back helps lower the bike but you ease of as you apply more to the front.
    In the slippery and wet/ice then the front is forgone as you rely on the rear.
    So its important to use both just balance the distribution based on the conditions.
    And remember the ABS only works above 4MPH so you can lock the wheels and lose control at very slow speeds.
    Flame red F800s as of Nov 2006. Watch for me around North London.


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  13. #9
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    Um...use of the front brake, on any bike, at low speeds while turning will put you on the ground. Brake use is "situational," i.e., you use the front brake almost exclusively at higher speeds and to scrub speed. The rear brake is used almost exclusively at very low speeds, and even helps turning when you "drag" it thru a U-turn.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig. 

  14. #10
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    Agree about the use of rear brake when doing a u turn in general, but be aware that the R1150RT had iABS i.e. it had linked brakes as well as servo assistance and ABS. You'd have to try it to believe how quickly you'd pull up when it worked, and quickly you'd need a change of under garments when it didn't.

    No idea why it had this level of complexity, only BMW would know. Personally I was happier after I removed it and reverted to a conventional system. Only drawback was loss of ABS.





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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxerBits View Post
    ........ i.e. it had linked brakes as well as servo assistance and ABS.....
    Never new they had linked brakes. Have ridden a Moto Guzzi with a very crude linked brake system, twin disc on the front and single disc rear. Front brake lever operated one front disc the foot brake operated rear disc and remaining front disc, I couldn't see the point.

    I'm another who thinks the front brake is very good on the GT but I've never tried to perform a U turn using it. Rear brake only in those situations for me.
    In the Garage 2013 BMW F800 GT,1994 BMW R80 RT,1986 BMW R80 GS,1999 Yamaha SR125
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post

    Looking forward to riding the F800 GT, but just slightly apprehensive about the front brake's sensitivity.

    James Sadilek
    Returned to biking about 20 years ago with Honda NTV650 after 40 year break. Manoeuvering slowly in a busy bike park, I grabbed front brake and down I went. No damage but much embarrassment! Since then, I keep well away from front brake in very slow manoeuvrers on any bike and have had no more incidents.
    Keep the above in mind and you should be fine. I am on second GT and find brakes excellent. On an earlier ST, the ABS could be a bit scary but no problems on GT's.
    P.S.
    You have posted this in F800 S & ST forum. There is a separate forum for GT which you may find useful https://f800riders.org/forum/forumdi...0GT-Discussion

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris f View Post
    ...You have posted this in F800 S & ST forum. There is a separate forum for GT which you may find useful https://f800riders.org/forum/forumdi...0GT-Discussion
    Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't catch it.

    So now it is in the "GT" area.

    Chris
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  20. #14
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    The problem with the servo brakes of the 1150RT is that the front brakes are coupled to the rear brake. So, when you apply the rear brake in slow corners, the servo system will also apply the front brakes. The result is obvious... I had the same issue when riding a friend's R1150RT. Fortunately, he warned me beforehand so I was prepared. However, I could just manage to hold the RT upright...

    The GT braking system is very different, no coupled brakes. Most stopping power is at the front, as is the case for almost all modern bikes.

    2013 F800GT Valencia Orange 

  21. #15
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    Thank you to all who took the time to respond to my concern about the F800 GT front brake. To those who advised not to use the front brake when turning at low speed, I understand. While I agree that front braking in this situation is unwise, the second time the 1150RT (with the servo brakes) put me on the ground, I wasn't turning, just stopping at an intersection.

    Over the past several weeks since this incident, I've gone over it in my mind, trying to understand why I used the front brake in this situation. Yesterday, while on my bicycle, which in an attempt to remain healthy, I spend more time on these days than on the motorcycle, I realized that on the bicycle, the right-hand lever is the rear brake, and that is the one that I use when making a low-speed turn on the bicycle.

    Perhaps, this is the answer. In the meantime, I await the big blue semi from Haul Bikes to deposit the F800 GT in my driveway.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
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  23. #16
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    Not teaching any one to suck eggs.

    Just a thought, about front brakes: 15 years ago the front brakes (disk) on many bikes were on or off so to get any bite you pulled it in all the way.
    nowadays you use two fingers to gently squeeze the front brakes till you feel a light pressure and modulate as required and only in an emergency situation would you use a full pull.

    When I occasionally ride an older bike I have to remind myself that the front brake is old school before I set off.
    "The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.” Robert M. Pirsig 

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post
    Yesterday, while on my bicycle, which in an attempt to remain healthy, I spend more time on these days than on the motorcycle, I realized that on the bicycle, the right-hand lever is the rear brake, and that is the one that I use when making a low-speed turn on the bicycle..
    Unlike many countries,in UK, the right hand lever on bicycles is FRONT brake. Came as a surprise 2 years ago when I first pulled left lever on a rented bicycle in Spain expecting a bit of rear brake!

  26. #18
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    Ha ha, so very true Chris. Front brake on the right side in the UK. When I was in my teens I was lucky enough to have two motorbikes. A BSA Bushman and a Yamaha LT90. The BSA had the rear brake pedal on the left side, gears on the right. I used to ride the bikes alternately - was sometimes interesting in emergency stop conditions. I've had one ST and two GTs. The ST had softer forks though so dived quite a bit under heavy front braking. Recently I rode a 750 GS and that bike had so much front brake dive it thought it was a submarine. The GT, at least for me has good feel to the front brake and just enough fork dive to let me know what the front wheel is up to. The R1150RT I once had always felt wooden at the front with its Telelever suspension and whining servo brakes. The bikes I rode in the 70's had cable actuated front drum brakes - better not comment on their stopping power.
    18 F800GT 

  27. #19
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    Straying a bit off-topic, actually in my experience, cable operated drum brakes can work very well if they are the double leading shoe variety. My'72 R60/5 has a double leading shoe front brake; I've never found it to be inadequate. Certainly, more hand pressure is required to achieve the same stopping power than it would take on the four-pot double-disc Brembo. Ultimately, the disc brakes will outperform the drum brakes because of the tendency for drum brakes to fade as they heat.

    In the early sixties, we began converting Triumph front brakes to double-leading. It was a fairly easy conversion. When road racing a 350 Triumph twin, I could always hold full throttle farther into the end of the high-speed straight away, knowing that I could stop more quickly with the double leading front brake than my competitors. No to say that my brakes were superior to the brakes of the other bikes (often 305 Honda OHC twins), but that I was perhaps more willing to engage in really hard braking than others. Having the ability to stop quickly is at least as valuable on the race track as being able to accelerate quickly.

    At 100 mph it was possible to hear the front tire howling under hard braking with the double-leading shoe drum brake.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
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    The trouble with double-leading-shoe brakes is that they would not prevent you from rolling backwards down a hill. They only seemed to work in one direction. You did not want that type of brake on both wheels.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  29. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post
    ... At 100 mph it was possible to hear the front tire howling under hard braking with the double-leading shoe drum brake.
    Think it's safe to say that you know what you're doing when it comes to getting the best out of your bikes. Personally, I'd not have the spherical's to even attempt that.

    You must have had that Trumpet 350 set up like clockwork.

    Take care.



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    It's an interesting topic. Improved safety and efficiency but are we moving further and further away from the reason we all took up motorcycling? I sometimes wonder what a conversation between Lewis Hamilton and Juan Manuel Fangio might be like. In the 1950's, Fangio apparently drove his rally car for 10 hours through winding Alpine passes at an average speed of 100 mph. Could a modern racing driver do that without all the electronic aids?
    18 F800GT 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    The trouble with double-leading-shoe brakes is that they would not prevent you from rolling backwards down a hill. They only seemed to work in one direction. You did not want that type of brake on both wheels.
    True enough. There would be no point in having double leading shoes on the back wheel, as others have pointed out, it is easy to lock up the back wheel. Even a single pot disc brake is probably overkill on the back wheel, but I believe a disc brake is less expensive to manufacture than a drum brake. Certainly, there are fewer parts.
    __________________________________________________ _

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxerBits View Post
    Think it's safe to say that you know what you're doing when it comes to getting the best out of your bikes. Personally, I'd not have the spherical's to even attempt that.

    You must have had that Trumpet 350 set up like clockwork.

    Take care.
    Those were the days when it was possible for a privateer to build a competitive bike in the garage. The 350 had twin Bonneville carburetors, substantially modified intake ports, extensive valve train work, cams, tappets, push rods, valve guides, valve springs, Alloy retainers, etc., all in an effort to boost maximum rpm. In contrast to the larger Triumph twins, which had aluminum alloy rods, the 350 had steel rods and so would stay together at high rpm without blowing a rod. The shift point was 10,000 rpm; the power band was from 5,000 up. Under 5,000 it would hardly run because of being over carbureted.

    These days it would be very difficult to improve significantly on what comes from the factory. Consider, 800cc (48.8 cu. in.), putting out 90 horsepower. The 1959 Triumph Bonneville 650cc (39.6 cu. in.) was rated at 46 horsepower. At the time, an engine exceeding one bhp per cubic inch was rare. Now we have the F800 at almost 2 bhp per cubic inch. This along with much greater reliability.

    A 1960 Harley Davidson Big Twin, 74 cu. in. put out a whopping 60 Horsepower.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
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    I had no problem with the front brake on my 2016 F800GT. It stopped very nicely and I seldom used the rear brake - only in the wet and very hard stops. Prior to the F800GT I had a 2012 CBR600RR and a 2014 Kawasaki ZX6R 636 ABS. The BMW brakes were very similar and I never had any issues stopping with them. I did have a couple of times when stopping hard on very rough pavement where the ABS kicked in and I felt like the stopping distances were longer than might have been - again this was rare and I probably was a bit to fast for the stop I was trying to make. I know what you mean by "suddenly you were on the ground". Had that happen on my CBR once, turning onto a street at a stop sign, forgot and left it in 3rd gear. Took off gently and it started then abruptly stalled just as I was rolling - boom I'm on the ground! For low speed maneuvering I used the rear brake on the F800GT and have a lot of experience on slow gravel roads in campgrounds with no issues.

    IMO any bike that puts you on the ground twice is one to avoid. As for linked brakes they work just fine on my Kymco scooter I actually have fun with it seeing how quickly I can stop at a stop sign. Really practice for emergency stops and sometimes the rear slides a bit. Practice came in very handy the other day - turned off of a 4 land road onto another 4 lane road. I was going a descent speed not super fast but not slow as it was a turn lane not a 90 right. Just after the turn a lady pulled out fro an ATM right in front of me! I could see the deer in the headlight look on her face as she panicked and then hit the gas to clear out. For me it was hard on the brakes and easily stopped - would have stoped before I would have hit her if she had just stopped. I didn't have time to hit the horn, just react. Afterwards I thought, that is what I practice for!

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    The brakes on my F800GT work just fine. The only surprises I get are an occasional pulse of the rear brake pedal when the rear wheel hits a bump and unloads while I am braking - as the ABS sometimes senses the rear wheel is turning slower than the front.

    The The servo brakes on the BMW bikes is one of the issues that prevented me from buying a BMW for several years - I kept reading about owners who had problems with them. I understand there is a company that makes a kit to eliminate the servo and change the bike over to a standard braking system. I also saw a lot of used bikes for sale that had brake warning lights on permanently.......something was wrong with the ABS system and the owners never got it repaired.

    My Honda ST1100 and NT700 had linked brakes, and they worked fine and I never noticed the braking system being different. The front calipers used 3 of the pistons for the hand brake.....and 1 piston was linked to the brake pedal.

    On my bicycles the very first thing I do when I get home is swap the hand brake levers left/right so the front brake is on the right..........you can't unlearn 55 years of motorcycle riding experience just because the bike doesn't have a motor. I wonder if new riders who started out on bicycles with poor brakes can unlearn the tendency to grab a handful of brake and learn to operate the lever gracefully.......bicycle brakes are pretty pathetic in comparison to motorcycle brakes.

  34. #26
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    My GT was delivered by Haul Bikes, too. Great experience for me...they did good.

    GT's front brake is impressive. I know, having once had to apply heavy braking on the front to avoid a crash. Did a stoppie, even with the ABS. Won't deliberately repeat that experience, but good to know the brakes work so well.

  35. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpin View Post
    On my bicycles the very first thing I do when I get home is swap the hand brake levers left/right so the front brake is on the right..........you can't unlearn 55 years of motorcycle riding experience just because the bike doesn't have a motor. I wonder if new riders who started out on bicycles with poor brakes can unlearn the tendency to grab a handful of brake and learn to operate the lever gracefully.......bicycle brakes are pretty pathetic in comparison to motorcycle brakes.
    Disk brakes on bicycles are a huge improvement, road bike has has them, not quite like a motorcycle. In the wet the difference is more like brakes and no brakes Have a couple of emergency stops (car pulled out) and brakes were great. LOL years ago almost rear ended a car in the rain because the rim brakes were just a little better than dragging my feet - I wasn't going fast either.

  36. #28
    Ware, Herts, UK Pat H is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpin View Post
    The brakes on my F800GT work just fine. The only surprises I get are an occasional pulse of the rear brake pedal when the rear wheel hits a bump and unloads while I am braking - as the ABS sometimes senses the rear wheel is turning slower than the front.

    The The servo brakes on the BMW bikes is one of the issues that prevented me from buying a BMW for several years - I kept reading about owners who had problems with them. I understand there is a company that makes a kit to eliminate the servo and change the bike over to a standard braking system. I also saw a lot of used bikes for sale that had brake warning lights on permanently.......something was wrong with the ABS system and the owners never got it repaired.

    My Honda ST1100 and NT700 had linked brakes, and they worked fine and I never noticed the braking system being different. The front calipers used 3 of the pistons for the hand brake.....and 1 piston was linked to the brake pedal.

    On my bicycles the very first thing I do when I get home is swap the hand brake levers left/right so the front brake is on the right..........you can't unlearn 55 years of motorcycle riding experience just because the bike doesn't have a motor. I wonder if new riders who started out on bicycles with poor brakes can unlearn the tendency to grab a handful of brake and learn to operate the lever gracefully.......bicycle brakes are pretty pathetic in comparison to motorcycle brakes.
    I wonder if that's a US thing? Here in the UK push bikes have the front brake on the right same as motorbikes.
    Flame red F800s as of Nov 2006. Watch for me around North London.


    Don't miss the F800 Garage Door Opener Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C-Bxifv2Pk 

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    @Pat H: No, it isnt. Germany has left side levers for front brakes on all bicycles I ever rode, be that MTB, racer or run of the mill tourer. Same goes for Denmark and the Netherlands. I fondly remember my first time yanking hard to see what would happen on both brakes on my first MTB - on a cobblestone road.
    It still surprises me how hardy we are growing up. What would probably break a bone today hardly left a scratch back then.

    I actually wouldn't change my brakes over to a more motorcycle friendly setup either, muscle memory seems to recognize which one I'm on without any problems.

  38. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat H View Post
    I wonder if that's a US thing? Here in the UK push bikes have the front brake on the right same as motorbikes.
    It's to do with which side of the road you drive/ride. The theory is that if you are going to cross on coming traffic to make a turn ie turn right in the UK (drive on left) or a left for most other places (drive on the right) your non signaling hand should operate the rear brake. So in the UK you would signal with your right arm and brake with left rear brake. Should you skid whilst braking and lock the rear wheel you are far less likely to end up on the floor than if you should skid using the front brake which as we all know dumps you on two wheels very fast. The general idea is that if you skid whilst signal a turn the far more serious front wheel skid will occur on the nearside not in the middle of the road hopefully giving any following traffic more of a chance to avoid the rider on the floor. Not sure as I totally agree with the concept but that is my understanding.
    In the Garage 2013 BMW F800 GT,1994 BMW R80 RT,1986 BMW R80 GS,1999 Yamaha SR125
    Sorley missed Honda TLR200
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGD109 View Post
    It's to do with which side of the road you drive/ride. The theory is that if you are going to cross on coming traffic to make a turn ie turn right in the UK (drive on left) or a left for most other places (drive on the right) your non signaling hand should operate the rear brake. So in the UK you would signal with your right arm and brake with left rear brake. Should you skid whilst braking and lock the rear wheel you are far less likely to end up on the floor than if you should skid using the front brake which as we all know dumps you on two wheels very fast. The general idea is that if you skid whilst signal a turn the far more serious front wheel skid will occur on the nearside not in the middle of the road hopefully giving any following traffic more of a chance to avoid the rider on the floor. Not sure as I totally agree with the concept but that is my understanding.
    Read that as well after a little Google search, not sure if it's an urban myth or not to be honest. The cycle's we hired on the Ile de Re a few years back had right front brake leavers even though France drive in RHS of the road like most of Europe.




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    I'm curious how you settled up with the owner of the 1150 for the damage to the bike.
    2013 BMW F800GT, 2013 Triumph Bonneville, 2017 Honda CTX700D DCT 

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxerBits View Post
    Read that as well after a little Google search, not sure if it's an urban myth or not to be honest. The cycle's we hired on the Ile de Re a few years back had right front brake leavers even though France drive in RHS of the road like most of Europe.
    I was told a few years ago by my local bike shop owner. He was adamant he could not sell a new bike with left front brake even a custom build as daft as it sounds he could swap it around as a separate job after it had been sold but as new leaving the shop must be right front brake. I knew the guy over 30 years no reason to doubt him.

    Which dispelled a myth I'd been labouring under for decades. Back in the 80s I was a keen cyclist and did a fair bit of racing. We all copied our continental heroes who used left front. At that time I assumed bikes the world over were right front same as a motorbike makes sense. We wrongly assumed left front was a pro cyclist thing because at that time the brake of choice for any self respecting clubman was a Campagnolo Record and with the way it's made the cable run has a more gently radius if run from the left lever and therefore a more efficient brake:-



    Compare with GB brake opposite way around larger radius from right lever:-



    Never dawned on us the brakes were made to offer best cable run for their home market
    In the Garage 2013 BMW F800 GT,1994 BMW R80 RT,1986 BMW R80 GS,1999 Yamaha SR125
    Sorley missed Honda TLR200
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  42. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbo View Post
    I'm curious how you settled up with the owner of the 1150 for the damage to the bike.
    The significant damage was to my foot and ankle. It all happened so unexpectedly, that my foot was trapped under the bike. There was no damage to the bike. I gave the owner an agreed upon amount for him letting me out of my promising to buy the bike and then backing out. It was an amicable parting.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
    In the garage: 1972 BMW R60/5 - 1983 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim - 2014 F800 GT
     

  43. #35
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    Fair enough.

    Don't doubt you on the set-up requirements for new cycles sold in UK or the preference of some of the racing pros. Was just curious that what we hired in France, where they drive on the right, had the same brake lever configuration as we have in the UK where we drive on the left i.e. it's at odds with the hand signal idea.


    Ride safely whatever.








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    Just because this thread seems to be drifting from the op - where would coaster brakes fit on this spectrum? or regen braking for ev's? do Zero bikes have regen? :p

  45. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37monkey View Post
    Just because this thread seems to be drifting from the op - where would coaster brakes fit on this spectrum? or regen braking for ev's? do Zero bikes have regen? :p
    Yes. Zero motorcycles have regen, which can be adjusted by the rider via a custom setting. However, the maximum regen is not all that strong. Sort of like putting an F800 into third gear with the throttle closed. I have my Zero set to coast under closed throttle but with 100% regen when I barely touch the front brake lever. It is activated when the micro switch turns on the brake light, which happens before the front brake operates.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  47. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGD109 View Post
    It's to do with which side of the road you drive/ride. The theory is that if you are going to cross on coming traffic to make a turn ie turn right in the UK (drive on left) or a left for most other places (drive on the right) your non signaling hand should operate the rear brake. So in the UK you would signal with your right arm and brake with left rear brake. Should you skid whilst braking and lock the rear wheel you are far less likely to end up on the floor than if you should skid using the front brake which as we all know dumps you on two wheels very fast. The general idea is that if you skid whilst signal a turn the far more serious front wheel skid will occur on the nearside not in the middle of the road hopefully giving any following traffic more of a chance to avoid the rider on the floor. Not sure as I totally agree with the concept but that is my understanding.
    Here in the UK old brit bikes still had the front brake lever on the right. (Although the footbrake and foot gearchange are on the opposite sides to modern bikes.) However we could signal with our arms as thy also had friction screws that (properly adjusted) stopped the throttle from closing.

  48. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Ken View Post
    Here in the UK old brit bikes still had the front brake lever on the right. (Although the footbrake and foot gearchange are on the opposite sides to modern bikes.) However we could signal with our arms as thy also had friction screws that (properly adjusted) stopped the throttle from closing.
    Ooooops I just realised this thread is for pedal bikes, sorry to muddy the waters!

  49. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Ken View Post
    Ooooops I just realised this thread is for pedal bikes, sorry to muddy the waters!
    It wasn't originally.

    Here's the OP's original post...

    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post
    Just a few days ago I bought a 2014 F800 GT from an out-of-state dealer. Still waiting for it to be delivered. Please allow me to offer a brief biography before coming to the question. I've ridden motorcycles for more than sixty years. Road raced in the sixties, both solo and sidecar. Won a national championship with the sidecar in '66. All this in the way of saying I believe I am a competent rider.

    A few months ago, I thought I wanted to buy an 1150 RT. Found a nice one, a red 2004 with the dual spark heads from a private party about a six-hour's drive from home. Planned to buy it and ride it home. I took it for a short ride, to get familiar with the controls before setting out in the traffic. Riding away from the curb on a quiet residential street, I made a U-turn, went down the street and around the corner, and went to make another U-turn. About three-quarters of the way through the turn I touched the front brake and in the blink of an eye, I was on the ground.

    I didn't think I applied much brake, certainly not enough to lock the wheel. However, there was a period in the early 2000s when BMW thought it was a good plan to add a servo to the brakes. Who in the world needs power brakes on a motorcycle? I assumed this was the reason for my very low-speed crash. After regaining my composure, I continued riding around these quiet streets. Stopped at an intersection, and again touching the front brake found myself on the ground. The end of this story is I declined to buy the bike and went back home with an injured foot from having it smashed twice under this 600-pound motorcycle.

    A few years ago I had a Yamaha FZ750 (20 valve four) with a four pot double disc front brake similar to the BMW. I didn't have any problems, although it would stop very quickly when necessary. So I am at loss to explain why I had this troubling experience with the 1150 RT, except to think it was the servo brakes being overly sensitive.

    For those in this group, my question is do you find the F800 front brake to be extraordinarily sensitive? Over the years, I become dependent on the front brake of any motorcycle I've ridden, and I've had more than forty of all kinds because this is the way one stops, I've always thought, safely.

    This habit of depending on the front brake stems from my days as a motorcycle mechanic in the early sixties. In those days, every motorcycle manufacturer had their own ideas about where to put the gear shift and rear brake, unlike the current situation where control positions are standardized. However, they all had the front brake lever on the right side handlebar. In order to survive test rides on whatever bike I had repaired, I became always reliant on the front brake.

    Looking forward to riding the F800 GT, but just slightly apprehensive about the front brake's sensitivity.

    James Sadilek
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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