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"KRS/GT" Technical Q&A K1200RS/GT Technical Questions/Answers

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  #1  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:00 PM
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How to: Front Brake Pads

It was time for that annual pain in the ass flush and replace the fluid and bleed the brakes. While I was at it I thought I'd take a look at the brake pads and see how much life was left in them, the fronts were marginal, but I thought I'd replace them, the rear pads, damn, I'm glad I looked, because before very long I would have had metal on metal, which is not good for anything. During the close look I also noticed that the right front fork seal was leaking, so I replaced that too. The pads, front and rear had a bit less than 12,000 miles on them as both were replaced at the same time. As there is an excellent how to on the rear pads already, this is my how to on the front pads. I sourced the pads from www.beemerboneyard.com, if anyone is curious.

By the way this is for US '02 models through the '04 models (some '05 in Europe too, I think). If your front calipers look like this, ('97- '01 models) then this how to may not be fully applicable,



Before I get there, and when I do the brake fluid flush I remove the tupperware as brake fluid and paint don't mix. In the process of removing all the plastic I realized there was a tip that I had missed over the years. When you remove the fairing nose panel you reveal the support for it, and there are two, "arms", for lack of a better term, to which the nose panel attach. The ends of those arms are a bit sharp and provide an opportunity to scratch the paint, and look like this,



In the tool kit I had noticed this plastic bit on the end of one of the tools, I finally figured out its purpose (only took me 10+ years )

,

and here's how you use it, to avoid scratching the paint,



Now for those brake pads. Initially, there is a retainer clip that has to be removed, it pulls out easily with a needle nose pliers,





then remove the retaining pin which has a # 30 torx head, here's a photo as removed, I cleaned it with a wire brush and a bit of steel wool to remove the detritus that had accumulated after near 12,000 miles before replacing it,



and after a bit of elbow grease,



when you reassemble everything the retaining clip, noted above, fits in the groove below the threads and after the "shoulder" that is also below the threads.

then remove the spring clip, it just lifts out, and here's a couple of photos, dirty and cleaned up a bit,





Next I compress the brake pistons into their bores, first using a slip joint pliers, and then a breaker bar. Before you do though, remove the cover for the front brake master cylinder, and I use a turkey baster to withdraw some of the brake fluid, because when you compress the brake pistons, fluid flows back up into the reservoir, and you want to avoid it overfilling and leaking. I use the brake pads in place to do this as there are two pistons on each side, and if one is compressed the other will slide out,



after that I use a breaker bar to compress the pistons the rest of the way. The bar is wide enough to cover both pistons,



and then you removed the used pads, this is a view of the caliper with the pads removed,



I measured the rotors with a micrometer and they were all within service limits which was nice to know. Also, when you are compressing the caliper pistons, if any of them stick, you've got a bigger problem that may require a rebuild or a new caliper. A sign of this is if one pad is worn much more than the adjacent pad. Fortunately the pads wore evenly and the pistons were not sticky or stuck.

Here's a view of the old and new pads. Generally I understand that its good practice not to allow the pads to wear thinner than the backing plate to which they are attached,



I also took a "Scotch Brite" pad, with some brake cleaner and wipe down the discs to get any debris on the rotors cleaned up.

I also use some anti-vibration or anti-squeal, "paste" on the backs of the pads, this is a personal choice but not really necessary, the stuff is like goo, let it set for a few minutes and it gets less slimy, and becomes tacky to the touch. Be careful and keep the stuff off of the pad material.



Before reassembling all the bits I spray the calipers and rotors down with an aerosol brake cleaner, and then its just a matter of putting everything back together. The new pads drop in easily (because you've compressed the caliper pistons), the spring clip goes in next, then you hold the flat end of the spring clip down and slip the pin in over it, and then tighten the pin, and if I remember correctly its 19 ft lbs of torque (I'll double check that and edit if necessary). And here's what it then looks like (note I cleaned up the extra "anti-squeal" paste with some brake clean and a tooth brush after assembly),



And just so you know, here's what the rear pads looked like compared to the new pads (note to self, check rear pads every 8,000 miles or so)



All in all a pretty simple job. Just remember to put the cover back on the fluid reservoir and give the brake lever a few squeezes Key off) to compress the new pads against the rotors before you decide to roll the bike around or ride off into the sunset.

After that it was onto the joy of flushing out the old brake fluid, replacing it with new (new DOT 4 only, in a previously unopened container) and then going through the process of bleeding the brakes, not much fun. Then a quick test ride around the block, the ABS warning lights shut off like they should, the brakes worked and all was good. Note that it takes a few miles, I've read as many as 300 - 500 miles for the new pads to fully bed in and wear evenly against the rotors so braking performance won't be optimal at first. And based upon my past experience I'll keep an eye on the rear fluid reservoir over those few hundred miles as in the past the fluid level in the reservoir has dropped following bleeding requiring a top off.

Hope this is useful!

Last edited by CJS350 : 09-17-2015 at 08:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2014, 02:12 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Craig:

Nice write up thanks for taking the time to explain and photograph.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:37 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Were those pump pliers resting in your driveway for years? I guess lawyers are good for something...
Before I remove the old shoes from the caliper, I usually remove some fluid from the reservoir and slide a flat screwdriver further down between the pads and twist it to cause the pads to push the pistons back in. You want to make sure they return squarely.

Nice job Craig! The m.red and silver 02 was my favorite RS.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:41 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

good write up, and applicable to lots of other Beemers too, same pads as in my 2011 K1300GT(only Fronts)

Oh yeah, and how things have changed, a reasonable tool kit, my K1300 came with a screwdriver and 2 Torx Keys
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:47 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

12,000 miles??? I just did a bunch of brake maintenance on my bike, 40,000 miles or so with the CLs non HH and they have less than half wear.Same with the rotors they show less than half wear at 62,000 miles.

Piston cleaning? Mine always show dirt stuck on them where they extend out of the bores, I don't like pushing that back in there against the internal seals. But that's the dirt/dust from up here, has salt in it and sticks like crazy.

Rusty brake pins....I am trying something I just bought. Won't know for a year or so if it is good. If not I'll put SS pins everywhere, they are available in England.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:15 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbegin@burton
12,000 miles??? I just did a bunch of brake maintenance on my bike, 40,000 miles or so with the CLs non HH and they have less than half wear.Same with the rotors they show less than half wear at 62,000 miles.
...
....

Pierre, you are correct about the FRONT pads mileage - these should do at least 50,000 miles. Believe it or not, I did 80,000 miles (130,000 KM) with the original set.

The 12,000 miles that Craig posted is valid for the REAR pads - these do not last long. My average for the rear pads is 18,000 miles over usage of 4 sets.

But... I weight only 125 lbs, not a lot of city driving and ride mainly solo, so your mileage may vary.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:24 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbegin@burton
12,000 miles???

Well, the front pads could have gone a bit further, but I was in there anyway so I changed them out. Hopefully using the same pads you purchased I'll get a bit more mileage out of the fronts - my experience with the rears, 12 - 14,000 miles is what should be expected.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:35 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

The main difference on the front for the '98 -' 01 is that the pads must go in from the bottom and I believe the pin has no threads, they must be tapped out with small punch or drift. I just did all this with mine, and replaced those pins with new because mine were SOOOOO corroded my efforts to buff them up was a total waste of time. So, we pull the caliper, remove the pin, drop the pads and then reverse the process. I spent a fair bit of time cleaning my pistons as well since they were really ugly, then forced them totally in to ensure good action. Now it is time to replace my last piece of brake line and bleed them. (All my hoses have failed in the recent past, except the one to the left caliper, I have the new one sitting on the seat.)

Pad wear is so dependant upon your riding/braking style and types of roads and rides you do. When I do lots of twisties with exuberance, I tend to go through the fronts much faster, track days really take a toll as well. With normal - ie: long distance riding with only moderate hooliganism - my pads easily last 35,000 miles. 18,000 was the worst on this bike, for me. I have replaced the rear pads twice. Once at about 60,000 and then at about 120,000 miles, and they could have gone longer....but then, mine are not linked and I do little two up riding.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:28 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJS350
Well, the front pads could have gone a bit further, but I was in there anyway so I changed them out. Hopefully using the same pads you purchased I'll get a bit more mileage out of the fronts - my experience with the rears, 12 - 14,000 miles is what should be expected.

Interesting...my rears have the same milleage as the front. Knowing that they wear faster I bought an extra set. Still with the spare parts after 40,000. Rears are 2/3 down so will need replacement in??? Next tire change probably, I like meat on my pads so won't wait until they are really down.

I wished I could do that with the car....third set of pads/rotors in 40,000. Just did the fronts last week I'll let the corrosion finish off the rears until it gets warm enough to do that outside.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:50 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Thanks Craig for taking the time to post your instructions and pics.
I'll see about starting up a fund to buy you new pliers
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:03 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Thanks Craig! I just made this a sticky.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:57 PM
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Post Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Quote:
then tighten the pin, and if I remember correctly its 19 ft lbs of torque

The Clymer manual says 7 N-m (~5 ft-lb or 62 in-lb).

See page 499, 2006 edition.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:24 AM
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Exclamation Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

BTW, my OEM on-board tool kit does not have a torx wrench that fits the pin.

So if your pads are getting thin, you need to carry an extra set and the correct torx wrench on a trip or replace before departure.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:24 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

CJ... Thanks for the write up, pictures were great. Just got finished with the job. Went exactly as described..
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:58 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Great writeup.
I am adding for those K12/13 that want to swap rotors.
The K12 has one piece rotors and wave washers under the mounting bolts to allow for heat expansion. The K13 has an equivalent wave washer riveted onto the rotors. The rivet has a face on both sides. This makes the K13 rotors sit 0.1" further out as the wheels are the same.
This is allowed for by different caliper mounts which are milled a bit more on the K13. That's an easy way to tell the calipers apart - measure the mounting bosses on the caliper. K12 is about 0.70" and the K13 about 0.60".
If you want to change to K13 rotors on your K12, get the K13 calipers as well.
If you want to change your K13 to K12 style rotors you need to shim them out.
I know of no way to make the K12 calipers work with K13 rotors
BMW no longer sells the K12 rotors so all rotor replacements from a dealer will be the K13 setup.
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:55 PM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

While rotors are likely swappable between the K12S and K13S, it is highly unlikely those rotors will fit on the K1200RS...they have different part numbers and different prices ($355 for the RS vs $385 for the S), and having had both, I seem to remember them being a bit different in size, though I never tried swapping or laying them side by side. The S rotor is listed as a 320-5 mm in the Fiche, while the RS rotors are listed as 305 - 5 mm in the BMW Shop Manual. So, same thickness but 15 mm or <0.5" difference in outer circumference. That would be a 7.5 mm or 1/4" difference at the outer edge in the caliper.
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:39 AM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Sea Gull,
I don't know about the RS, but have a K12s and K13s in my garage and stand by my post. The riveted rotor on the K13s will not directly swap with the non riveted K12s rotors.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:43 AM
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Re: How to: Front Brake Pads

Do believe that this original posting is for the "real Brick Motored K" ...NOT the JapMW " slanted/wet clutch K"...so the brakes will be different, and owners ought to be advised of those differences....
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