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Posting this mostly so others are aware if they see these issues. I lost my brakes while riding. The action was the opposite of a piston/cup failure in the master cylinder (which happened on my old bike but came on more slowly). In that case, you squeeze the handle fully and get no braking action. With the ABS Unit failure, you cannot squeeze the handle and get no braking action. No warning, no indicator, no clue this is what had happened. Just started mid ride. Scary to say the least.

At first I thought it was simply the "handle issue". I ride a lot in rain since coming east; see a lot more of it than in California. So every three months, when it starts to cause problems, I take the handles off and lightly sand down the piston head, brake handle where it contacts the piston head, and the screw holding the handle. Clean everything out. Then I lightly grease everything and put it back together (using dry grease now after giving up on lithium white and black, silicon, graphite, etc). Did that but it did not fix the issue. Still could not squeeze the handle. Hmmm.

So decided it had been awhile since I flushed the brake lines. Fluid was more honey colored than not. When trying to flush, I could not pull more than a teaspoon out of each front brake at the wheel. Double Hmmm.

Removed the top hose from the Master Cylinder and the handle freed up and easily got liquid squirting out when depressing the handle. Even with the hose off at the top, could not draw fluid out the bottom. Triple Hmmm.

Took the bike to a former Suzuki dealer and they basically did the same things and came to the same conclusion I did (i.e. threw their hands up). So I took it to a Suzuki dealer.

They took off all the hoses and blew air through them all. There were no kinks in any hoses (metal or rubber) or any evidence of any failure, wear or other detrimental condition with them. That left the ABS Hydraulic Unit as the likely source. They had hooked up to the harness and cycled the unit but it did not free up and unblock the line. Their Hydraulic Unit part cost to me was $1600. Suzuki website is $1200. But most places do not have it available as it is. The repair shop foreman had been there 20+ years and never heard of a failure of the unit (granted, they have not been available on the bikes for that long). He also was surprised the failure mode was to close the line.

In the end, I decided to go with a used Hydraulic Unit (since they never seem to fail, right?). Once replaced, everything is perfectly fine. (note: getting the old metal hoses off the old unit is near impossible. Be ready to replace some of those lines as well. Luckily the used unit came with the three short metal hoses.)

This bike is a 2007 with only 30,000 miles. Most miles by me but my miles only since 2013 when I replaced my other Burg 650 after being hit (and not having ABS). Bike is garaged. Did have the cooling hoses start to bleed last summer and had to replace them; a first for me even with an aged bike. Attributed it to the east coast weather. Otherwise, this has been a solid and reliable bike like my last one.

So if you find your brake handle stuck so you cannot close it, and you have confirmed it is not simply the handle getting dirt, then be aware the ABS unit could be the failure point. And of course, always be aware it could fail at any point and so ride with the appropriate caution to avoid hard braking; where you can use engine braking and boots with good tread for that final stopping action ;)
 

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First failure of this unit I've heard of. Sounds like a good reason for me to continue my regular brake flush routine.
 

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I understand that it can happen, but it's nuts that we should all start watching our braking habits. I gave Suzuki money to take care of that for me.
 

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First failure of this unit I've heard of. Sounds like a good reason for me to continue my regular brake flush routine.
Same here, this is a first.
 

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Module Masters

ABS Failure on a Burg! :eek All the time I have lurked here have never heard of it. I had an ABS pump go in an R1200RT, unfortunately quite common on some beemers. I used modulemasters.com , guy named Tyler, rebuilt mine for about $400. Saved a lot of $ and a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty to boot. Much better than the $2800 BMW of N.A. wanted with only a 2 year warranty.

J
 

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ABS Failure on a Burg! :eek All the time I have lurked here have never heard of it. I had an ABS pump go in an R1200RT, unfortunately quite common on some beemers. I used modulemasters.com , guy named Tyler, rebuilt mine for about $400. Saved a lot of $ and a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty to boot. Much better than the $2800 BMW of N.A. wanted with only a 2 year warranty.

J

$2800.00 WOW ! I can rebuild my CVT for a lot less. Beemer parts prices are simply outrageous.
.
 

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First I've heard on a Burgman too. Seen several on cars (Hyundai has a recall on one model to flush out the fluid and if not replace the unit) but I can't recall ever hearing of a stuck valve preventing brake application, unusual.
 

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Sorry to hear that. Sounds a rare thing and you got the short straw.


A lot of Harley's had problems because the company used to use DOT 5 fluid (silicone)

DOT 5 doesn't play nice with ABS so they have changed it but people thought the higher number must be better and "I've always used it with no problems.
It messes up the ABS and seals.
(Not that many change their brake fluid every 2 years)
 

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I'm experiencing a similar issue. Without warning the handle will not pull in. Squeeze hard, nothing. As was said this really is a bit scary but in both cases safely managed. (OK, more than a bit scary - reinforces the lesson that 80% of your stopping power comes from the front brakes. Squeezing the rear brake as hard as you can while getting no "front brake action" really will get your attention.

The second time I was actually intending to park so I had a bit of time to "play". Squeeze, nothing. Squeeze harder, no movement of the handle at all. Look at the handle, nothing obviously blocking. Handle will move away from the actuator freely but cannot push the actuator. Finally on the fourth hard squeeze I got a bit of movement, and on the fifth squeeze it was normal.

I'm flushing the brakes today, but if it's the ABS unit this will not solve the problem and I'm in for a nasty surprise down the line.

I'll follow the procedure written up SurplusGadgets and see where that gets me. Maybe I'll be lucky.
 

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I'm experiencing a similar issue. Without warning the handle will not pull in. Squeeze hard, nothing. .....

I'll follow the procedure written up SurplusGadgets and see where that gets me. Maybe I'll be lucky.
As mentioned, for me, the handle getting grime where it contacts the master cylinder piston head exhibits a similar problem. Albeit not so dramatic, sudden, and complete a failure. So make sure to clean that well before zeroing in on the ABS unit. Also look for kinks in brake lines; or any other failure of the hose.

With that said, the age is right for your bike to maybe exhibit the same issue. Although I changed my brake fluid, it had gotten "honey" colored instead of being clear as when new.

I reported the issue to NHTSA. If more of you have it diagnosed to a failure of the ABS unit, report your issue also. NHTSA needs a substantial number of reported similar issues before they will open / expand an investigation. Maybe they can track it to a common manufacturer of the ABS Hydraulic Unit and not just a bike model. While the part is old now, and many do not likely follow the "recommended" frequency of flushing the brake fluid and changing the brake lines, the failure is so dramatic and sudden that a recall on a poor design may be called for due to safety.
 

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If brake fluid isn't changed regularly things are bound to start going wrong.

Old fluid is going to allow or even promote corrosion and oxidation inside the system.
 

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UPDATE: Flushed the brake lines and I'm embarrassed to say how easy it was using the Harbor Freight MightVac. With me on the bottom and my wife pumping the levers, it took all of about 20 minutes to do both. REALLY no excuse not to do this on a regular basis. Brake fluid was "strong tea" color - definitely should have been changed earlier. I did see a very small flake or two when it flushed. While flushing I had "good flow" so I think the ABS unit can be removed from immediate consideration.

Rode about 400 miles and it "froze" hard again. Fortunately I was slowing down to park so it was a "non-emergency", again. However I realize I can't continue to press my good fortune.

I don't think (not changing my brake fluid more often is proof of that! :) that it's the handle because it will free up - eventually. My focus is on the brake cylinders and, again, with minimal TLC other than changing pads a piston getting stuck seems likely.

I have minimal free time so I think I'll just replace both cylinders. Dealer wants $100/hour to troubleshoot and as it's an intermittent problem if they muck with it for 2 hours I suspect I've paid for the new cylinders. however special order, Week plus and $190 each. Alternative is I'll take mine off and take them into the dealership to rebuild them. Couple of days and a lot cheaper.
 

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I understand that it can happen, but it's nuts that we should all start watching our braking habits. I gave Suzuki money to take care of that for me.
And therein lies the issue with using technology to solve a skills problem (this is not a dig at you Mike). You see it also with "autopilot" in cars, TPMS (people not bothering to look at their tires because TPMS light doesn't tell them to) and the reliance on GPS to keep you from driving into a lake or avoid going way out of your way because your common sense and basic brain activity has been replaced with dependency. ****, you see it at the register when a person can't make change because you gave them a quarter with the $20 bill for an order that was $10.25 and they just punched in $20.

I even had a girl tell me, "It's ok if I text at red light - person behind me will just honk when it turns green."

The use of technology to improve lives as fine, but it is not a panacea and it does have the side effect of removing human skills and intelligence from active use, for far, far too many people. People are losing their ability to determine, independently, "do these inputs make sense?" It's no wonder why they're such easy prey for those ready to take advantage of them.

An ABS is supposed to be designed as a failsafe system - meaning that if it breaks, it should just stop working and not prevent the underlying brake system from working as it would without ABS. If yours is NOT doing this, that would be a real issue. Hopefully the issue is there a problem with the actual brake system, not an ABS with a design fault.

One thing is for sure. If you don't have ABS, it's not going to be an issue for you.
 

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Anything designed by man can fail and do so in a way that was not intended. I don't know that we can use that as a rational for not taking advantage of technological advances that make riding safer. By using that logic we should not use hydraulic brake at all. Yes they stop better but a piston can stick in a caliper and you would not be able to squeeze the brake lever. Best to go back to mechanical brakes. And those hydraulic suspensions that give you better control. Those are just a crutch too. If you can't handle a hard tail you shouldn't be riding.
 

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One thing is for sure. If you don't have ABS, it's not going to be an issue for you.

This is "for sure" too, if you don't have ABS, they're not going to save you from going down, skid, etc.:wink
 

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Anything designed by man can fail and do so in a way that was not intended.
...and when it does, a design fault is revealed.

I don't know that we can use that as a rational for not taking advantage of technological advances...
world of difference between taking advantage and developing a dependency.

...that make riding safer. By using that logic we should not use hydraulic brake at all.
By that logic, better to ban motorcycles entirely, since people can be safer without them.
 

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This is "for sure" too, if you don't have ABS, they're not going to save you from going down, skid, etc.:wink
Yep. Better know how to save yourself (;

Which does back to my point. No matter what you drive or what is has, you should be in the habit of "watching our braking habits", rather than depending on the machine to do it for you. As Buffalo points out, machines can and do fail.
 

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. As Buffalo points out, machines can and do fail.[/QUOTE]


Very true, but in a panic stop, it seems that a human is much more apt to fail but could be wrong.
My last fiancee claimed I was wrong all of the time which is the reason I replaced her with a dog. :lovestory: Granted, something missing but the little character thinks I'm great all of the time.
 
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