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Discussion Starter #1
(This is probably too much information but please see if you can answer my question at the end.)

I recently rebuilt the right front brake caliper to fix a leaking problem. A long test drive of about three hours showed everything from that was working great.

Then we were leaving on a motorcycle trip earlier this week when it was 100+ degrees and the afternoon traffic on the interstate turned to stop and go. The temperature gauge started going higher and higher. Then the engine was responding poorly, the throttle was "weird," and my brake lever and pedal felt mushy. I got off the freeway, let the bike cool down a little, then returned the five miles back home on surface streets. Cancelled that trip and took the car instead.

After reading about the 2005 Goldwing cooling fans shutting off at 15 mph and bug accumulations gumming up the radiators, I thoroughly cleaned the radiators today and took it for a test drive in the same kind of traffic as before. This time I was watching events very closely to see what happened.

Even though today was only about 85 degrees, the temperature gauge began to rise after a while of slow, stop and go. So much for my cleaning the radiators to fix things! But then I noticed again the bad engine response and "weird" throttle. I realized that what was causing the issues were my brakes felt like they were "on" and got progressively more "on" as the engine temperature went higher. If I pulled in the clutch while still moving, the bike acted like I pushed on the brakes! The hotter the engine, the more the brakes grabbed. The braking was causing the engine to work harder and exacerbating the overheating! My throttle "weirdness" was actually a jump in RPM when I pulled in the clutch accompanied by an immediate slow down from the brakes.

I pulled out of traffic and it felt like the brakes were on the whole time. I couldn't even get going in 1st gear to get down the exit ramp. After sitting on the road shoulder to allow some cooling, the brakes released some and I got going off the freeway and onto surface streets without traffic. I watched the temp carefully and the bike handled better as the temp went down and was fine by the time I was home.

From my observations, as the engine temperature went higher, the brakes were engaging more and more without my control. I stewed about this for a couple of hours wondering how the engine temperature could be affecting the brakes. As I thought about the braking system, I felt the front brake line should be completely independent of the engine temperature. But the position of the rear brake fluid container on the right side of the engine could subject it to engine heat.

Could my problem be caused by me overfilling the rear brake fluid container after I bled my brakes? I was thinking about drawing down the brake fluid level and trying again but the bad traffic is over for the day.
 

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The first thing to do is get your brakes working properly first. Take it for another test ride and the next time the brakes began to lock up, center stand the bike in neutral, and see if you can turn the rear tire by hand. My guess is that your rear caliper is locking up. Honda had 3 recalls on this issue. Take your VIN and plug it into the web page below to see if there are any open recalls on your Wing.

For a list of recalls and bulletins go to my web page below > printed material > recalls and bulletins. See SB#20, 22, and 24.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

Your lack of power, as wells a high temp gauge reading can be caused from brake lock up.
 

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Air in the system. Bleeding the linked brake system properly is complicated and many points where air can remain trapped. Air expands a LOT when it it gets hot and applies pressure just like applying the brake lever(s).
 
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Coolant temperature rise in stop-and-go traffic is somewhat normal for a Goldwing 1800, especially 2001-2005 years. If/when the needle gets to the red zone, it is time to pull over, stop and idle which will allow the fans to run continuously until the coolant temperature comes down. To keep it running as cool as possible during those situations, keep RPM at minimum and avoid slipping the clutch.










The brake lockup is a separate problem, but probably contributed to engine heating by increasing the load on the engine while airflow was insufficient.
 

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Overfull master cylinders could possibly be causing your brakes to drag.
Since you recently rebuilt the front right caliper it might be a good idea to try touching the right rotor after a couple miles to see how hot it might be, while your at it check how hot all 3 rotors might be.
At 80-100 degrees it’s pretty easy to raise the temperature gauge on a 2005 GL1800 when moving slow.
 

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Overfull master cylinders could possibly be causing your brakes to drag.
Since you recently rebuilt the front right caliper it might be a good idea to try touching the right rotor after a couple miles to see how hot it might be, while your at it check how hot all 3 rotors might be.
At 80-100 degrees it’s pretty easy to raise the temperature gauge on a 2005 GL1800 when moving slow.
If you are going to touch the rotor to check temp i would spit on the finger you use first, those rotors can be very hot. Better would be an infrared thermometer.
 

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I didn’t read your entire book, but too much fluid in either master reservoir can cause brakes to lock and or drag when getting them hot. Brake fluid expands when hot

Red is correct. Another thing that can cause heat to apply the brakes is a blocked off return port in either master cylinder, because this will prevent the brake fluid from being able to return to the reservoir when it heats up and expands, so instead it applies the brakes. An improperly installed or aftermarket brake lever can also cause this problem if the brake lever does not fully return when released, because this blocks the return port. I believe the secondary master cylinder on the left front brake caliper can do the same thing if it is sticking, and this is what the recall was about.

But the first thing to do is what Red suggested, check to make sure you left an air gap at the top of both brake reservoirs and didn't overfill them. If that is ok, then begin inspecting the foot and hand levers and make sure they are fully releasing, and then check the secondary master cylinder.


Also, it would be helpful to know which brake is getting applied. I suspect it may be the rear, so see if you can isolate which one it is. Check the rotor for discoloration, which is evidence it has overheated. Knowing which brake is doing it will help isolate the cause.
 

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I had a similar situation with my 2013 M109R. While on a ride I found that the rear brake was not working. The pedal went all the way down. The rotor was tarnished from the heat and the pads were cooked. I removed the calipers and replaced the pads. A couple of rides later the same thing happened. This time I took the calipers and the master cylinder apart and cleaned everything. As I was putting the bike back together I remembered that even when the brakes appeared to be working well, I had no free play in the rear brake pedal. I adjusted the pedal to allow a small amount of free play and I haven't had the problem since. I don't know if any of this applies to a Gold Wing.
 

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I had a similar situation with my 2013 M109R. While on a ride I found that the rear brake was not working. The pedal went all the way down. The rotor was tarnished from the heat and the pads were cooked. I removed the calipers and replaced the pads. A couple of rides later the same thing happened. This time I took the calipers and the master cylinder apart and cleaned everything. As I was putting the bike back together I remembered that even when the brakes appeared to be working well, I had no free play in the rear brake pedal. I adjusted the pedal to allow a small amount of free play and I haven't had the problem since. I don't know if any of this applies to a Gold Wing.
That's a similar issue as Fred is referring to - the port in the master cylinder which feeds brake fluid into and back out of the system is simply a little hole and it's right by the edge of the main cup seal in the master cylinder, as soon as the brake pedal is pressed the seal passes over the port hole and closes it off. You've had the pedal slightly applying the brake so the port hole was closed. Anything which blocks off that port hole will prevent fluid returning to the master cylinder reservoir so it holds the brake on.

The theory of expanding air doesn't stand scrutiny because expanding air will simply push some brake fluid back into the reservoir. For a brake to hold on there has to be an obstruction somewhere preventing the release of fluid pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the ideas.

My cycle has apparently had the recall work done already.

Both front rotors and the single rear rotor were extremely hot after the unexpected brake engagement. My 2005 Goldwing applies both front and rear brakes using the pedal but only the front when using the lever (I think). This points to a problem with the rear brake system.

I removed a little brake fluid from the reservoir and rode yesterday without problems until the air temperatures climbed up to about 85 degrees. Without the engine temp gauge even rising past the halfway mark, I started to feel the brakes being applied. I pulled to the road shoulder. In neutral I couldn't even push the bike the brakes were on so much. Without waiting for a cool down, I opened the rear brake reservoir and removed a little more fluid. The bike would now move in neutral so I continued and got off at a close exit. At a gas station I removed brake fluid from both front and rear reservoirs down to the minimum fill lines then continued riding home without any incident.

Now I know the engine overheating is a result of the braking problem and not the other way around because my temperature gauge yesterday never rose much over the halfway mark during the unexpected braking. That's a relief.

This afternoon is getting hotter than yesterday so I'll try another ride today. If I don't have any problems, then I think the cause of the unexpected braking (in turn causing engine overheating) is due to me (a rookie) overfilling the reservoirs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No Joy! I took a test ride with temperatures about 92 degrees. It was fine until getting on the interstate and riding for a few miles. Then the brakes started dragging again. The rear brake pedal had no resistance and the front brake lever was tight as a drum. Got off the road and the brakes released after just a few minutes of cool down. Rode home on surface streets without a problem.

Another thing that can cause heat to apply the brakes is a blocked off return port in either master cylinder, because this will prevent the brake fluid from being able to return to the reservoir when it heats up and expands, so instead it applies the brakes.
I suppose the next step is to check the master cylinders and re-bleed the brake lines.
 

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....Then the brakes started dragging again. The rear brake pedal had no resistance and the front brake lever was tight as a drum......
I guess you need to start with the front brake, then. The master cylinder lid has to breathe too. There are two ports in the master cylinder, one right at the front edge of the main cup seal and one behind it.
First step for me would be to ride until there's brake binding then promptly crack open the union at the front master cylinder to see whether this releases the brake. If it does, it's a master cylinder issue, if not, the problem is elsewhere.
 

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Thanks for all the ideas.

My cycle has apparently had the recall work done already.

Both front rotors and the single rear rotor were extremely hot after the unexpected brake engagement. My 2005 Goldwing applies both front and rear brakes using the pedal but only the front when using the lever (I think). This points to a problem with the rear brake system.

I removed a little brake fluid from the reservoir and rode yesterday without problems until the air temperatures climbed up to about 85 degrees. Without the engine temp gauge even rising past the halfway mark, I started to feel the brakes being applied. I pulled to the road shoulder. In neutral I couldn't even push the bike the brakes were on so much. Without waiting for a cool down, I opened the rear brake reservoir and removed a little more fluid. The bike would now move in neutral so I continued and got off at a close exit. At a gas station I removed brake fluid from both front and rear reservoirs down to the minimum fill lines then continued riding home without any incident.

Now I know the engine overheating is a result of the braking problem and not the other way around because my temperature gauge yesterday never rose much over the halfway mark during the unexpected braking. That's a relief.

This afternoon is getting hotter than yesterday so I'll try another ride today. If I don't have any problems, then I think the cause of the unexpected braking (in turn causing engine overheating) is due to me (a rookie) overfilling the reservoirs.
No, the "linked" braking system on your Wing doesn't work as you assume. Applying the rear brake pedal applys some front brake pressure and applying front brake activates the rear brake some. I believe each caliper has three pistons. Front brake application will push two of each (4 total) front caliper pistons and one (center) on the rear (5 pistons pressured total). Rear brake application pushes two rear pistons and one in each front caliper (2) four pistons total.
I haven't found a tech diagram (haven't looked/searched much) on this forum but it's been dealt with a lot on the Honda ST owner's forum. Air in this system, in addition to other suggestions, can make for pressure build up and not just excessive fluid level(s). The Honda/Nissin linked system is very complicated. There are many check valves and at least one proportioning valve. The bleed procedure has to be done in the correct order and method once air gets in the system.
This link ( https://www.st-owners.com/forums/threads/st1300-getting-all-the-air-out-of-the-brake-system.156754/ ) obviously pertains to the ST1300, but many of the components are same/similar. The bleed procedure will be different for the Wing with placement of components different, but it shows how many places air can be trapped and never find the way out and cause the system to pressurize.
 

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Did you use DOT 4 brake fluid?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for clarifying how the front and rear brakes interact.

Yes, I am using DOT 4 brake fluid.

I'm leaving on a car trip and won't be able to get back to this for a week. Maybe by then I'll forget how mad I am at the brake system!
 

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I just did a VIN check and found the brake dragging problem, mine is incomplete so Ill be heading to the dealer.

Here is Honda's fix

"HONDA WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE YOUR MOTORCYCLE'S SECONDARY MASTER CYLINDER AND REAR BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER AT NO COST TO YOU. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA MOTORCYCLE CUSTOMER SERVICE AT AT 1-866-784-1870. HONDA'S NUMBER FOR THIS RECALL IS JV6."
 

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Thanks for clarifying how the front and rear brakes interact.

Yes, I am using DOT 4 brake fluid.

I'm leaving on a car trip and won't be able to get back to this for a week. Maybe by then I'll forget how mad I am at the brake system!

Here are a couple diagrams that will help.




 

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No Joy! I took a test ride with temperatures about 92 degrees. It was fine until getting on the interstate and riding for a few miles. Then the brakes started dragging again. The rear brake pedal had no resistance and the front brake lever was tight as a drum. Got off the road and the brakes released after just a few minutes of cool down. Rode home on surface streets without a problem.



I suppose the next step is to check the master cylinders and re-bleed the brake lines.

If the front brakes felt tight, then I would suspect that they are the ones that are sticking. I'd probably start with the one that you said you rebuilt the caliper on. Something probably didn't get put together properly and is causing it to drag or it is not releasing properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
If the front brakes felt tight, I'd probably start with the one that you said you rebuilt the caliper on. Something probably didn't get put together properly and is causing it to drag or it is not releasing properly.
I got back into the brake problem today. After removing the right front caliper from the fork and rotor, I experimented with compressing the brake cylinders back into the caliper then using the brake pedal and lever to press them back out. I found that the rear brake cylinder would move both ways without a problem. But the two cylinders controlled by the front brake lever would not compress into the caliper until I opened the bleed valve slightly. With the valve open (and gushing fluid), the cylinders moved fine. I closed the bleed valve and cleaned up my mess.

Then I went to the fluid reservoir for the front brake and opened it up to the air. Still the same problem. So I loosened the "banjo" bolt slightly and placed towels to collect any brake fluid. With the bolt loose, the cylinders would move back into the caliper while fluid came out around the bolt. With the banjo bolt again tightened and the lever pumped, the cylinders where again held out against the rotor.

Shouldn't the lever and reservoir accept the brake fluid coming back from the caliper so the brake pads release? Mine appears to act as a one-way valve.

What should I try next? (I've got Fred's DVDs in case there is an episode you want to refer me to.)
 
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