Any C-ABS Gurus out there? - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-15-2013, 3:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Bought a brand new 2012 CBR 1000rr ABS to replace a ducati which I became sick of servicing. I'm not sure if that was such a good idea!

I actually love the CBR, but am having nothing but trouble with the C-ABS brakes!

Since the day I got the bike I noticed that occasionally when I pulled the front brake lever it would go all the way to the grip with virtually no braking whatsoever! It seemed to happen mostly when I feathered the front brake, partially released it, and then reapplied it. A quick search on the 'net told me that I was not alone.

The bike went back to the dealer who had no experience whatsoever with C-ABS. They first tried to bleed the front brakes, and when this didn't help, they called up Honda who told them to bleed the complete system twice. This took 8 hours of labor! They said they "think its fixed" and told me if I wasn't happy, Honda had authorized replacing the "valve unit".

Apparently, Honda told the dealer that the lever should go to the exact same place each and every time it is pulled - no matter what the situation is (ie feathering). All reviews of the C-ABS that I can find by "expert reviewers" indicate that they can "barely tell the difference between C-ABS and non ABS CBR's" I'm sure they would notice the inconsistent amount of pull in mine.

Since I got the bike back I have noticed that while there is remarkable improvement, there is still a small increase in the lever movement distance after feathering. What I'm wondering is: Is this a "normal" feature of Honda's "combined ABS" system, or is there something still wrong with the brakes. I hate to monkey with things if they are working as they are supposed to, but don't want to miss an opportunity to replace the components while on warranty if they are defective.

Can anyone please tell me if this phenomenon is simply a "quirk" of the design of Honda's C-ABS system, or is there actually something wrong with my setup that could be fixed by replacing components?

Thanks is advance for your help, and please don't reply with: "this is why I avoid ABS - too much electronics to go wrong" I've already figured that part out myself.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-15-2013, 6:02 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Nah - the lever should feel the same as a normal braking system. The user isn't supposed to know it's there at all - EVER.

There's a thread on this forum from someone who had the same issues - can't find it though. Maybe someone else can post the link?

Quote:
but don't want to miss an opportunity to replace the components while on warranty if they are defective.
The issue's been reported, so even if it's past a year before it's fixed, they should still deal with it.

If the bike isn't braking properly, you don't start by rebuilding the engine.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-15-2013, 6:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

you might be referring to this post:

https://www.fireblades.org/forums/gen...s-problem.html


Doesn't sound like he ever found a resolution to the problem.

I have to say, it's very irritating. I can't believe that the Honda dealers have no clue how to deal with ABS brake problems. Honda Tech doesn't seem to be all that helpful either.

The fact that I have a system that will "usually" help me stop faster and avoid an accident, but occasionally will totally fail and leave me with no brakes at all isn't very reassuring!
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Does the problem occour when you're going slower than 7 kmh? There's a little difference in brake pressure point when the ABS is on, (when it's off it's about 1 cm closer to the handlebar). When you first experience this it's a bit scary, especially when rolling slowly (slower than 7 kmh) in a traffic jam and someone in front of you stops... you should adjust the lever so that the pressure point feels safe while rolling slowly .

HTH
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 2:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzdacat View Post
Does the problem occour when you're going slower than 7 kmh? There's a little difference in brake pressure point when the ABS is on, (when it's off it's about 1 cm closer to the handlebar). When you first experience this it's a bit scary, especially when rolling slowly (slower than 7 kmh) in a traffic jam and someone in front of you stops... you should adjust the lever so that the pressure point feels safe while rolling slowly .

HTH
Actually it happens at any speed. It's especially noticeable when in city traffic at 30 - 60 K, but can happen on the highway, or anywhere. I'm beginning to think that this is just the way C-ABS operates
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 2:46 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

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Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
Actually it happens at any speed. It's especially noticeable when in city traffic at 30 - 60 K, but can happen on the highway, or anywhere. I'm beginning to think that this is just the way C-ABS operates
You're right, if it happens at any speed (above 7 kmh) it probably has something to do with how the ABS works. Do you use the frontbrake alone or both brakes? What I found out (but can't really prove or even demonstrate) is that if I only use the front brake in an emergency situation the bike definetely is slowing down but the braking could be much harder (for my taste)... if I use both brakes (or conciously pull the frontbrake slower... but who can do that in an emergency situation? I know I can't) it's a whole different story though, then the ABS works real good.. which is why I trained myself to use both brakes now every time.

Uli (aka fritzdacat, 2009 SC59 ABS)
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 3:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzdacat View Post
You're right, if it happens at any speed (above 7 kmh) it probably has something to do with how the ABS works. Do you use the frontbrake alone or both brakes? What I found out (but can't really prove or even demonstrate) is that if I only use the front brake in an emergency situation the bike definetely is slowing down but the braking could be much harder (for my taste)... if I use both brakes (or conciously pull the frontbrake slower... but who can do that in an emergency situation? I know I can't) it's a whole different story though, then the ABS works real good.. which is why I trained myself to use both brakes now every time.

Uli (aka fritzdacat, 2009 SC59 ABS)
Actually, I almost always use both brakes (mostly front and a bit of rear) While trying to troubleshoot this issue I'm having, I thought that it might be due to my use of the rear brake, so I started using only the front. This didn't seem to make much difference on the "softening" of the brakes while "feathering" in traffic issue.

I haven't had much of a chance to ride (due to bad weather) since the dealer bled my whole system twice. I plan to ride as much as I can on the weekend to try to delineate the exact nature of the problem.

To the dealer's credit, they just called me today (Saturday!) to see how the brakes were working. I was very surprised, and impressed. They seem genuinely concerned about my plight. They are all riders themselves, and none of them would want these brake issues in their ride. They are doing tons of research to try to find out how the brake system actually works so that they are better able to diagnose problems like the one's that I'm having.

It's just frustrating. I shouldn't have to waste so much of my time reading and posting just to find out if my brakes are actually working properly. I can tell you, I never once had to wonder about my Ducati's brakes (Brembos) They were phenomenal - in ALL situations. Now the engine..........that's another story.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 4:17 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
Actually, I almost always use both brakes (mostly front and a bit of rear) While trying to troubleshoot this issue I'm having, I thought that it might be due to my use of the rear brake, so I started using only the front. This didn't seem to make much difference on the "softening" of the brakes while "feathering" in traffic issue.

I haven't had much of a chance to ride (due to bad weather) since the dealer bled my whole system twice. I plan to ride as much as I can on the weekend to try to delineate the exact nature of the problem.

To the dealer's credit, they just called me today (Saturday!) to see how the brakes were working. I was very surprised, and impressed. They seem genuinely concerned about my plight. They are all riders themselves, and none of them would want these brake issues in their ride. They are doing tons of research to try to find out how the brake system actually works so that they are better able to diagnose problems like the one's that I'm having.

It's just frustrating. I shouldn't have to waste so much of my time reading and posting just to find out if my brakes are actually working properly. I can tell you, I never once had to wonder about my Ducati's brakes (Brembos) They were phenomenal - in ALL situations. Now the engine..........that's another story.
You know, you could turn off the ABS altogether in order to find out if it's a problem with bubbles in the brakefluid or if it's the electronics... there's a fuse under the seat, if you remove it the ABS-light is always on and the brakes function like "normal" brakes (like in the 2008 SC59 for example). Wouldn't try it on a rainy day though
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 4:55 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesia View Post

It's just frustrating. I shouldn't have to waste so much of my time reading and posting just to find out if my brakes are actually working properly. I can tell you, I never once had to wonder about my Ducati's brakes (Brembos) They were phenomenal - in ALL situations. Now the engine..........that's another story.
I'd rather be worrying about lack of power than lack of brakes.

If the bike isn't braking properly, you don't start by rebuilding the engine.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-12-2015, 5:25 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Hi amnesia, could you let me know if the bled of your bake system was the permanent fix?
I had same issue today. I was going very slowly during bike parade and when I want to stop I pulled the front brake lever and it would go all the way to the grip with virtually no braking, it was terrifying as it was downhill and I almost hit the guy in front of me as I could not stop. I am on sc59 2013. Thx

PS. Here is good video showing problem described above:

Last edited by therealwojciech; 07-12-2015 at 6:32 PM.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-06-2016, 7:45 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Hi All,

For the past 6 months I've been having a very similar braking issue. Sometimes when applying the brakes gently then squeezing the brakes hard the lever goes all the way to the grip with very little braking occurring. I've been told by 2 separate dealers that this problem is rare but known. Apparently it can happen when using after market levers which incorrectly hold the brakes on slightly, this can cause a failure in the system. The other is when the front power modulator has a fault which costs 1000 to repair. I was searching online to see if anyone else found another option and then found this post.

Anyone find the same solution?

Last edited by Snoopygee; 04-06-2016 at 8:16 PM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-31-2016, 2:27 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Same ABS problem here. Bought bike from new in 2010 & brakes/abs were fine until just over a year ago.

March 2015 - Started to notice intermittent excess travel on front brake lever & had to pump lever to feel resistance. Felt just like air in the system. ABS light would sometimes also come on but restarting the bike would solve this until getting home. Got the brakes bled by dealer & noticed only a slight improvement. 144

August 2015 - Same problem; spongy front brake, lack of resistance & excess lever travel. Honda advised the dealer to change the brake disks (said if they were slightly warped it could affect the ABS??), seal sets, brake pistons, pads, etc. 1230 inc service. Not much better.

February 2016 - Same problem. New front pads & 2nd hand front brake valve unit (could this have been a "modulator"?) fitted by dealer. 1020 inc service. No improvement.

Three months later & the problem is def. getting worse. The bike's fantastic apart from this serious problem. Like Snoopygee, I'm really hoping for an honest straight-talking Fireblade/Honda specialist to say what's required to finally sort this out. Not expecting a cheap fix but I'll be grateful for some good advice.

Can anyone help?
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-25-2016, 2:35 PM
 
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Sorry to suddenly bring this up again and I apologise that this is my first post BUT... Has anyone actually solved it? honda UK are telling me I can't remove the system by law (insurance purposes) and after reading all the threads i can't see any genuine fix. Or - has anyone taken on honda and won. They pretty much told me outright today that there is NO fault, and I pretty much better have a good lawyer if I were to take them to court. Something tells me they've had people try and fail. All I'm asking is the bike works as intended. So far I've got zero confidence, and a partner who refuses to get back on it. ANY help would be totally awesome. Thanks folks
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-26-2016, 1:10 PM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
Actually, I almost always use both brakes (mostly front and a bit of rear) While trying to troubleshoot this issue I'm having, I thought that it might be due to my use of the rear brake, so I started using only the front. This didn't seem to make much difference on the "softening" of the brakes while "feathering" in traffic issue.
I don't know if it's the same system, but my wife had a 2013 CBR250r with C-ABS. From reading the manual the system employs a little rear brake when the front lever is applied and applies no front brake when the rear is applied. This is going from memory, as we sold the bike a couple months ago never having a whimper of trouble from the bike.

Have you done the obvious and checked the true of the rotors and pad thickness? I would also go the extra step and remove the front wheel and reinstall using a shop manual's procedure and torque wrench. It happens and I've done it myself on a different bike but when the tightening procedure is done out of order, the front isn't lined up correctly. IIRC, there is a sensor on the front wheel which controls ABS action. There's also a YouTube of Dave Moss doing a front wheel installation where he explains how to correctly install a front wheel and how to get it wrong. Check it out.


Sorry you all are having this issue.

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post #15 of 15 Old 10-27-2016, 6:00 AM
 
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Re: Any C-ABS Gurus out there?

Try this thread


Help.. Bleeding C-ABS system | 1000RR - The CBR1000RR Fireblade Forum
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