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Winter Warrior
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132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Noticed on the way to work today that my front brake sinks all the way to the throttle and there's no grab at all on the front wheel. Sucks that I'm out in the desert with a long ride home ahead of me. Any suggestions on quick fixes, things to look for? The brake fluid looks to be at the correct level, but I had the shop replace my forks seals last week. They said they didnt do anything but unbolt the front caliper, but they'd take a look at it next week. But that doesnt help me right now :p
 

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Noticed on the way to work today that my front brake sinks all the way to the throttle and there's no grab at all on the front wheel. Sucks that I'm out in the desert with a long ride home ahead of me. Any suggestions on quick fixes, things to look for? The brake fluid looks to be at the correct level, but I had the shop replace my forks seals last week. They said they didnt do anything but unbolt the front caliper, but they'd take a look at it next week. But that doesnt help me right now :p
Seems air entered your brake system,during service in the shop.:mad:
You have to bleed the system. I.m sure that is the problem,otherwise there has to be a leak ,and I suppose you would have seen something like that!.
Not an easy job to bleed the system when your,e on your way.
Just take it easy on your way home and let the shop correct there mistake.

Goodluck AD:)
 

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Politicians' Nightmare
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1,871 Posts
You can bleed the front brake without a bleed kit, but it's a hassle and you will need brake fluid and something to keep the expelled fluid from getting onto the brake pads or the tire. Fill the fluid reservoir to the top, put hand pressure on the brake lever and while doing that carefully loosen the bleed screw just enough to let some air and fluid escape and when the lever reaches the bottom of its travel. DO NOT RELEASE THE LEVER UNTIL YOU HAVE TIGHTENED THE BLEED SCREW. You will need to refill the fluid reservoir after each cycle. You will need to do this each time until no more air is expelled from the bleed screw, and it's difficult to see the air, so it's best to do this lots of times until the lever firms up while squeezed when the bleed screw is closed, and to be safe do it a few more times. Good luck!
 

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Winter Warrior
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132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can bleed the front brake without a bleed kit, but it's a hassle and you will need brake fluid and something to keep the expelled fluid from getting onto the brake pads or the tire. Fill the fluid reservoir to the top, put hand pressure on the brake lever and while doing that carefully loosen the bleed screw just enough to let some air and fluid escape and when the lever reaches the bottom of its travel. DO NOT RELEASE THE LEVER UNTIL YOU HAVE TIGHTENED THE BLEED SCREW. You will need to refill the fluid reservoir after each cycle. You will need to do this each time until no more air is expelled from the bleed screw, and it's difficult to see the air, so it's best to do this lots of times until the lever firms up while squeezed when the bleed screw is closed, and to be safe do it a few more times. Good luck!
So, I am assuming the bleed screw is on the caliper. Can I get to it without unbolting the caliper?
 

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Politicians' Nightmare
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1,871 Posts
Bleed screw is on the caliper, right next to the hydraulic hose towards the fork tube. It has a small removable round rubber boot on it to keep dust out. Do not unbolt the caliper - the screw is very accessible as is. Kawi calls for DOT 4 brake fluid.
 

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Winter Warrior
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132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to you, Hot Cruiser, I just found the problem. The caliper isnt even bolted to the bike! The bottom bolt is gone, the top bolt is loose, and the caliper isnt even close to being around the rotor. Scooby Doo and the gang are pinning this one on the shop! Im hoping to find something in my bikes tool bag that will let me tighten the top bolt up enough to make it home.
 

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Politicians' Nightmare
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1,871 Posts
Wow! - Such stupidity by the shop, could have caused you to crash! Glad that you found the problem. I hope that you get home safely. I would file a complaint about the shop with your state bureau of automotive repair, attorney general, or other appropriate agency, and also Kawasaki. And I would make them repair the system to Kawi specs. Good luck, and be safe!
 

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900 LT
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1,135 Posts
Thanks to you, Hot Cruiser, I just found the problem. The caliper isnt even bolted to the bike! The bottom bolt is gone, the top bolt is loose, and the caliper isnt even close to being around the rotor. Scooby Doo and the gang are pinning this one on the shop! Im hoping to find something in my bikes tool bag that will let me tighten the top bolt up enough to make it home.

I knew there was a reason NO ONE had ever worked on any of my bikes but me in the last 30 years.
 

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Registered
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711 Posts
Wow! - Such stupidity by the shop, could have caused you to crash! Glad that you found the problem. I hope that you get home safely. I would file a complaint about the shop with your state bureau of automotive repair, attorney general, or other appropriate agency, and also Kawasaki. And I would make them repair the system to Kawi specs. Good luck, and be safe!
Might be time to find another shop.. sounds like they didnt even do a test ride after the work was done..
 

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Biking Old Timer
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445 Posts
Sure is a shame when you pay shop rates and get amatuer results from the mechanic. After being a mechanic for part of my working life I wonder what has become of taking pride in doing a good job. Its especially sickening when someone is trusting you with their life by letting you work on their motorcycle. No offense to anyone, but I really take issue with some of the lower quality trade schools that are turning out todays service techs. Some of those folks are extremely competent, most are not an they just might cause more problems than they ever fix.
Ride 'em safe Boys and Girls.
 

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1,558 Posts
Holy crap. I'd take some pics of how you found it, then go back and really raise some stink. Man they really owe you big on that deal, but if they offered you a free oil change would you take it?? I dont know, would they maybe "forget" to tighten the drain plug. Now whos to say they did a good and correct job on the fork seals? I wounder if that job was done correct you know? Thats what I would be saying to them.
 

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Crazy Old Guy
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1,189 Posts
Sure is a shame when you pay shop rates and get amatuer results from the mechanic. . . . No offense to anyone, but I really take issue with some of the lower quality trade schools that are turning out todays service techs. Some of those folks are extremely competent, most are not an they just might cause more problems than they ever fix.
Ride 'em safe Boys and Girls.
Unfortunately most techs are paid on commission and everything revolves around 'billed hours'. If the book states a job pays 1.5 hours, that is what you get no matter how long it takes. If you are fast, you make more. Most 'techs' are not fast, but they hurry and are sloppy!

I have been an auto tech/shop owner for 35 years and it's not only the techs and shop owners, but the buying public and lack of knowledge of all things mechanical! Why do techs make less than they did 30 years ago?? Wierd how you spend $35K for a tech school for a $30K per year job.

No respect = poor job performance = poor job output.
No money = poor job performance & "I don't care" attitude!

(climbs down off soapbox)

Now the rider in me states-I don't trust the moto techs either. I work on my own bike and only use the dealer for dyno runs and tire changes.
 

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Raodie I know what you mean. I was a mechanic in a garage at a service station, you know the place where you use to go to get gas and someon pumped it for you. Anyways I worked as a mechanic at this garage. I started @ $10 per billed hour and that was back in about 77. Eventually as skills improved my boss bumped me to 13 before I left. I joined the service and became an aircraft mechanic. I retired in 96 and around 2005 or so was working part time at the local Dodge dealer. Mostly I did the "crap" work the other techs didnt want to fool with. But I adheared to the one philosiphy I learned in the service. If a job is worth doing, its worth doing right no matter how long it takes. And the other is you better do the job right because it may be your butt in the seat @ 30,000 ft riding that thing somewhere. No time to say "let me check that real quick" then.
 

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900 LT
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1,135 Posts
Unfortunately most techs are paid on commission and everything revolves around 'billed hours'. If the book states a job pays 1.5 hours, that is what you get no matter how long it takes. If you are fast, you make more. Most 'techs' are not fast, but they hurry and are sloppy!

I have been an auto tech/shop owner for 35 years and it's not only the techs and shop owners, but the buying public and lack of knowledge of all things mechanical! Why do techs make less than they did 30 years ago?? Wierd how you spend $35K for a tech school for a $30K per year job.

No respect = poor job performance = poor job output.
No money = poor job performance & "I don't care" attitude!

(climbs down off soapbox)

Now the rider in me states-I don't trust the moto techs either. I work on my own bike and only use the dealer for dyno runs and tire changes.

where can i find a tech for 35k a year, my lead tech makes 1700 a week.
 

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Crazy Old Guy
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1,189 Posts
where can i find a tech for 35k a year, my lead tech makes 1700 a week.
The average technician pay is $35K per year, as it was in 1982. There are some that make more, but not enough to bring the average up very much.

I took a temporary job last summer as lead tech and shop foreman for a local chain and was 'making' $750 per week! Note that I said temporary . . . Three years ago, I was making $2000 per week for the same position. Too many 'gifts' walking out the door when the shops are checking everything for free, the techs suffer.
 

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2007 900 Classic
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2,517 Posts
I would have a polite conversation with the owner of the shop.
Not me I would have been on the phone before I left work and make them send a truck to pick me and the bike up or atleast a mechanic with the parts needed to fix on the spot. "If they refused i might just have to drive the bike through the front door of the shop and say oops my brake failed because your #%(# forgot to put it back on correctly, now look your carelessness totaled my bike. My lawyer will be contacting yours." Or something of that nature.
 
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