Rapid Brake Pad Wear - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 24-Feb-2008, 10:22 AM (682) Thread Starter
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Rapid Brake Pad Wear

I recently brought my '07 GS in to the dealer for warranty replacement of the wheels. The spoked wheels some GS's were sold with did not accomodate tire pressure monitoring sensors, so BMW sold me the bike "with" TPM and replaced the original wheels with new retrofitted replacements later.

So this was covered under warranty, but I got a call from the dealer while I was out at work, and they needed my permission to replace the rear brake pads and rotor. By 4,300 miles one of the brake pads had worn all the way down and scraped into the rotor. I wanted to see it for myself because I couldn't believe that at such low milage the pad was finished. I told them to go ahead and save the old parts for me. It wasn't just a scratch in the rotor, it needed to be replaced. I managed to talk the dealer into dropping some of the "carefully calculated" repair time, because they already had the wheel off the bike when they replaced the rotor and pads.

I'm appalled the the pads wore out so quick! I've been riding on city streets and freeways with no excess load, and I never ride the brake pedal. In fact, when I brake on my BMW I always use the hand brake first, rather than applying the hand and foot brakes evenly as I normally would on a bike. I leave distribution of load up to the partially-integrated ABS. (I'm glad to have an Italian street bike also, on which I don't lose the feel of the road and my responses as a rider. That said, I feel safe with the ABS on my BMW, riding wet roads, and I'm off the point.) I don't take my GS dirt bike riding, or on sandy beaches, or on anything but concrete and asphalt (yet), so sources of grit to my rear pads has been limited to urban street dirt splashed up from the road. We rarely get snow here at sea level, so no sand is put on the street.

The bottom line is my pads wore out quick without much cause. The dealer was unable to explain why some GS's get well over 12k on their original pads and others get less than 6k. The only explanation I got from the dealer was that since asbestos isn't used in brake pads anymore, they don't last as long. And that BMW has chosen to install "organic" pads on the motorbikes. When I got the call to give them permission for the work they DID NOT offer to install scintered pads. They just installed the same kind as had worn out so quickly. (Last time I looked in a mirror I did not look like a dairy cow.) I'll be doing the brake pad replacements on my bike from here on out. I feel fortunate to have a BMW Mortorrad mechanic whose gone independant nearby.

I found that someone else on the r1200gs.info forum had the same wear and rotor damage at 3k miles on his r-series motorbike and his dealer replaced pads and rotor under warranty. The general manager at the dealership in Seattle, where I bought my bike for upward of $20k, said that they consider it a regular wear-and-tear issue and that he was lucky they cought it at 3k miles on his GS. I changed the oil and filter myself, so they didn't catch the pad wear. It's too bad I didn't know how soft those stock pads were.

So, let this serve as a warning to check your brake pad wear as a part of every pre-ride inspection. And try wobbling the rear wheel to check the final drive.

Can anybody recommend where to get a good (and printed) maintenance manual for the '07 GS?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 24-Feb-2008, 11:58 AM (749)
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I was advised by the mechanic in a local dealership that I should clean the debris from the holes in the rear disc on a regular basis. He suggested that the build up of brake pad dust in the holes was a major contributing factor in accelerated rear brake pad wear.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 25-Feb-2008, 01:41 AM (320)
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This is a known problem on the GS. My first set wore out in less than 5,000 miles and was noted by the dealer when I took it in for an unrelated fault to be fixed.

I was braking as I did on previous bikes, i.e. front then rear but the GS has linked brakes so I guess the bike was automatically applying enough rear brake and by me using the pedal as well I was adding to the load. 99% of the time you can ignore the rear pedal. Just using the front lever gives both front and rear braking and means that the rear pads will at least get you from service to service with a bit of wear left over.

I reckon on changing the rear pads three times for every one time I change the front.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 21-Mar-2008, 01:40 AM (278)
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Thumbs up Brake Pads Technical

When one experiences a similar condition with a Sliding (Fist)Type Calliper on a Motor vehicle, where one brake pad wears faster than the other, the first thing to look for is free movement of the caliper. If the pads are not able to retract from the rotor quickly enough or at all, higher wear rates will be experienced. I would contend that at this milage perhaps a warranty issue could be raised.

For the record I am a Brake Technical Specialist Automotive, with twenty years in the trade.

Good luck
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 21-Mar-2008, 02:39 AM (319)
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I know that in some cases here, the dealer has replaced the pads and rotor under warrenty as a 'goodwill gesture'. It would be worthwhile trying your dealer to approach BMW with this in mind and also go armed with the knowledge that this is a common 'problem' for many owners.

I haven't had such problems thankfully. My rear pads were nearing the limits when the bike was due its 12k service. However, I'm still on the original front pads at just over 14k.

Go figure....
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 22-Mar-2008, 02:53 PM (829)
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I replaced my pads at the 12K service and they were toast. At 18K, they are half gone and the front ones are at ~ 50%.

My concern is the nearly $70 for a new set of OEM pads. I paid this, ONCE.

EBC has two sets of pads of differing material available. I may try the organic EBC's next time for ~$35/set.

I would suggest to everyone that every time they are down on their hands and knees washing or inspecting the bike to look at the rear pads. Obviously, a set of pads is cheaper than a set of pads plus the rotor.

Knoxville, TN
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 22-Mar-2008, 08:57 PM (081)
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Good info. I just bought mine several months and trying to learn all I can to be proactive about this bike.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 23-Mar-2008, 11:21 PM (181)
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Ferodo Brake Pads

I can recommend the Ferodo Brake Pads for the 1200GS part no: is FDB 2125 (Front) and FDB 2039 (Rear) your choice is for two varieties, off road or ST both are great. The Ferodo Discs are also great FMD 0082 (Front) and FMD 0407 (Rear), I have used them as a combination with success.
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