So where do I start troubleshooting?

Are ya having a problem with your rig? We'll try to help. Share your tech tips and experiences here. Dr. Billy Glaser, author of the "Unofficial 750 Ural Service Manual" site myural.com, is moderating this section.
Forum rules
Here is the place for you to ask questions about or share your experiences about servicing or repairing your Ural or Dnepr. Please post topics concering modifications or accesories in the "Modifications and Acessories" section. Please post oil related questions in the "Oil Threads" section.
Post Reply
User avatar
codemonkey001
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:00 pm
Location: Bloomington, IL

So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by codemonkey001 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:17 pm

This morning on the way in to work I noticed the front brakes on my 2007 were really hard to pull. Didn't think much of it. On the way home, despite the great weather, the bike seemed kind of sluggish. When I got to a stoplight, something smelled hot.

Getting ready to pull into my neighborhood, went to apply the front brakes and the lever moved freely. No front brakes whatsoever. Came to a stop in front of my house, the disk was super hot to the touch but the wheel still seemed to move freely (enough). Can't tell if there's anything in the reservoir or not - it's really dark and I was in a hurry to get in.

What's my checklist on diagnosing/solving this?
2007 Patrol - Starbug
2015 Royal Enfield Classic 500 -Rocinante

BloNo Illinois

User avatar
codemonkey001
Party Member
Party Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:00 pm
Location: Bloomington, IL

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by codemonkey001 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:52 pm

Update: I'm not a bright boy. Put on Hippo Hands back in December, hadn't even looked at the brake fluid reservoir since then. Funny how hydraulics don't work without fluid. Braking restored; will order some new pads and see how much damage I did riding the brakes for four miles.
2007 Patrol - Starbug
2015 Royal Enfield Classic 500 -Rocinante

BloNo Illinois

hotflash44
Order of Suvarov
Order of Suvarov
Posts: 4677
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by hotflash44 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:21 pm

dont beat your self to bad, we all have a brain freeze once in a while,gets worst as you age by the way. :cheers:
2016 gear up asphalt grey, name Seryy Medved ,Air America CIA circa 1967/8 Vung Tau Viet Nam USS Tutuila ARG-4 (AND JUST A TOUCH OF AGENT ORANGE!)

User avatar
Eric N
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:26 pm
Location: Westminster, Colorado

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by Eric N » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:14 pm

Brake reservoirs tend to be sized to match the pad wear. If full with new pads, it should still have adequate fluid once the pads are worn out.

Unless you're burning through pads in just a couple months, find the source of your leak.
2018 Gear Up 825cc
2013 Retro Solo
2001 Patrol - Sold

User avatar
wooden nickel
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 2391
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:55 pm
Location: Louisville, KY 40216

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by wooden nickel » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:17 pm

Codemonkey,
Make sure your Hippo Hands aren't slightly pushing your brake lever, especially at speed. I had to make wire frames for my Hippo Hands to keep my levers clear.
I may not be good, but I'm slow.
Nick
2014 M70 Retros, the sports car of Urals.

User avatar
Wildhorse Cafe
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 2076
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:28 pm
Location: King City, California

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:29 pm

Brake Pistons can corrode and become frozen or stuck. I replaced the complete brake caliper on my '06 when this happened to me. A braver man would have tried to just clean them up. But I'm not that brave. :foilhead:
2011 Patrol, The Higgs Bison Super Collider, formally known as, the Orange and Silver Pumpkin Coach.

2013 Black Retro, Chernaya Krasota, formally known as, my name is nobody.

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
pray the road is long , full of adventure, full of knowledge
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage

C.P. Cavafy

Donbmw
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:47 pm
Location: Monroe, Louisiana, 71203

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by Donbmw » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:44 pm

I had my front brake do the same for me. The pads were just about worn out and the brake puck wasn’t going back. Cleaned around the pucks and replaced the pads no issues so far.
2015 Patrol, 1980 R65, 1982 R65 bought new, 1975 R 90/6, 1959TR3 Triumph

Don

User avatar
ReCycled
Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
Posts: 2466
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Broomall, PA

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by ReCycled » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:18 am

wooden nickel wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:17 pm
Codemonkey,
Make sure your Hippo Hands aren't slightly pushing your brake lever, especially at speed. I had to make wire frames for my Hippo Hands to keep my levers clear.
x2
David B.
'07 Ural Twourist

User avatar
jaybird
Order of Suvarov
Order of Suvarov
Posts: 3065
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:41 am
Location: The foothills of the Forked River Mountains, West Barnegat NJ (Do It In The Pines!) 08005

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by jaybird » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:38 pm

I copied this from the new Hippo Hands website, I thought I saw a similar blurb in regard to Vetter's Hippo Hands but couldn't find it.
I don't know which you have but it applies to both;
All motorcycle hand covers should be mounted over hand guards, brush guards or lever guards to support the hand cover and prevent blow-back onto your levers.
It only takes a small amount of pressure to cause the brake to drag or ruin the throw out bearing. Most likely you boiled away your brake fluid, hopefully it didn't ruin the calliper and rotor.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
2008 Enfield Bullet 500
1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

User avatar
Mr Wazzock
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:22 pm
Location: Boston, UK
Contact:

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by Mr Wazzock » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:37 pm

Eric N wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:14 pm
Brake reservoirs tend to be sized to match the pad wear. If full with new pads, it should still have adequate fluid once the pads are worn out.

Unless you're burning through pads in just a couple months, find the source of your leak.
Image this
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

User avatar
Mr Wazzock
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:22 pm
Location: Boston, UK
Contact:

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by Mr Wazzock » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:46 pm

Wildhorse Cafe wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:29 pm
Brake Pistons can corrode and become frozen or stuck. I replaced the complete brake caliper on my '06 when this happened to me. A braver man would have tried to just clean them up. But I'm not that brave. :foilhead:
Image this

For possibly the quadzillionth time of mentioning it, :D this is why I greased all my caliper pistons with Brembo grease (safe for seals). I had pistons seize on another bike, and for same reason, pistons are bare steel and not protected from dirt ingress and corrosion. I managed to rescue those, and they also got greased. :D

PS: also check the pads are evenly worn, if not, (i.e. thinner at one end than the other [usually the back edge is thinner]) can cause pistons to bind, symptom is, a bit of more than normal slack in the brake lever movement that frequently needs "pumping up a bit" to get it back to normal. Guess how I know. :D

I agree the hippo hands could be a problem, pressing on the lever, I've never used them I have rigid hand guards.

HTH
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

User avatar
jaybird
Order of Suvarov
Order of Suvarov
Posts: 3065
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:41 am
Location: The foothills of the Forked River Mountains, West Barnegat NJ (Do It In The Pines!) 08005

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by jaybird » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:27 pm

pistons are bare steel and not protected from dirt ingress and corrosion.
That can be even more of a problem if you run off road. I had caliper pistons seize from very fine silt, I cleaned them up and put caliper back together, I'm still on my original caliper and seals= Gear Up.

I didn't know there was a Brembo grease, I might be reluctant to use it in off road conditions, I'd be afraid it would attract dust/dirt.

Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
2008 Enfield Bullet 500
1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

User avatar
Mr Wazzock
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Hero of the Soviet Union - 2020
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:22 pm
Location: Boston, UK
Contact:

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by Mr Wazzock » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:08 pm

It undoubtedly will, but hopefully the dirt will stay on the outside of the grease. If you see what I mean. :D

I think these calipers are not "fit and forget", I think you have to take the pads out occasionally and have a look inside, maybe "exercising" the pistons to make sure they're still free and moving, have a clean up, regrease, whatever's necessary. I guess offroad will make this more of a chore, but I expect it already does anyway for other things. Air filter for example. :D
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

User avatar
jaybird
Order of Suvarov
Order of Suvarov
Posts: 3065
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:41 am
Location: The foothills of the Forked River Mountains, West Barnegat NJ (Do It In The Pines!) 08005

Re: So where do I start troubleshooting?

Post by jaybird » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:02 pm

When I change my brake pads, I blow out/off any loose dirt and lubricate the piston seals with brake fluid before pushing them back into the caliper.
I think that is why I've never had to rebuild the caliper, I'm still on the same seals after over 110,000 Kilometers.
I learned that trick from an old mechanic I used to work with, now I'm getting to be the old guy!

Happy trails,
Jaybird
2005 Gear-Up, Mr. Nat_ural 108,000+ Kilometers and counting
2013 Retro, Black beauty, AKA Lucky "13"
1995 Olive Tourist
1975 Enfield Diesel Bullet
2008 Enfield Bullet 500
1974 BMW R 75/6
Etc.

Post Reply