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February 15th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #1
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Front brake - lever travel

I have an 05 FE450e with about 30 hours on it.

When I first got her I noticed the brake lever felt a bit spongier than the jap bike I was used to,.. but overlooked it because i was so in love with everything else about the bike.

A couple of rides ago, the lever was pulling right into the bars to stop, so I gave the brakes a bleed, which was a mild improvement, however I'm finding the lever is pulling right up to the bar again to make the brakes work. I have tried bleeding them again but with no joy. I cant see any leaks, and the pads don't appear to have too much wear. I asked at a local bike shop, and they advised that that's a problem with thos KTM brakes, and advised me to fit a master cylinder from a Jap bike?

I like to ride with just two fingers on the brake lever, but cannot do this as I don't get enough travel.


Anyone tell wether this is normal, or if there is a problem that I'm overlooking here?

Cheers
Andy
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February 15th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

the front brakes should feel as a Jap bike at the lever.Try bleeding from the bottom up.ie ...with a syringe introduce the brake fluid into the wheel cylinder and slowly fill until the level in the master cylinder is correct...this method is very effective in purging air from the system....good luck!
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February 15th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

Andy,

The 3 late model KTM's I have owned have all had spongy front brakes that especially suffered during long decents. Yep, right back to the fingers (all three). The other day I rode with a friend that was on my old 200exc that definitely had this issue when I rode it but he managed to try a different bleeding technique that turned out feeling better than it was before even although he still had to adjust all the play out. I will find out what he did to achieve this better result once he gets out of the hospital from last Sundays ride (ribs, collar bone breakage).
I am much more pleased with the brake travel and feel on my 05 FE450 which I have no idea what the improvement is unless it's all in how well the brake is bled. It must be in the bleeding--I hope.
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February 15th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

adjust the lever further away from the bars. you will reach a sweet spot and then when the lever is too far away you get a wooden feel to it.

regards

Taffy
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February 16th, 2006, 04:14 AM   #5
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

I had the same problem with mine but what I did was tap the line from the bottom up with a wrench to try to dislodge any bubbles. Then I took a zipty and held the lever in over night. This helped cure mine of the sponginess.
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February 16th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

most foolproof way to bleed out troublesome bubbles is to remove the caliper, loosen the clamped hose, swing it so that it and the hose are above the master cylinder. bleed it there and the bubbles will find their way out.
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February 16th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

Thanks for all the input guys, I have now solved the problem.

I did the "banjo bolt" modification as shown on this thread on the KTM site:

http://ktmtalk.com/index.php?showtopic= ... 0bolt&st=0


I'm not sure wether it was the banjo mod that fixed it, or the fact that in doing the modification I disconnected and drained the brake hose, and then reverse bled using a syringe, then followed with a normal bleed, but now it is back to how it used to be. but not really as good as I would like.
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February 16th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #8
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Re: Front brake - lever travel

I would assume you are using brand new fluid?

Stuff that has layed around for a while will absorb H2o and be no good.

Cleaning the caliper may help as well as the pistons have a tendency to form a ridge of dirt around them.

Just some final thoughts.
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