Kawasaki Versys Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!

I purchased my 2020 Versys 1000 SE LT+ brand new, had like 3 miles on it. From day one, I found the rear brake to require a lot of pedal effort to get it to noticeably grab the rear disc. By comparison, the front brakes on this bike are very strong, almost a bit too grabby if anything. Several thousand miles later, the rear brake still requires a good deal of effort to get it to effectively operate. On almost every other bike I've ever ridden, the rear brake grabs way more effectively. And yes, I am aware that the front brakes are supposed to do the majority of the work, in general. But still.

Owners of 2019 and up Versys 1000 bikes... have you found your rear brake to be pretty weak from the factory? Or might my bike have an issue? If so, what might the issue be?

There are no signs of the brake disc having been contaminated, but what I was going to do soon is remove the rear caliper and give the rear disc a heavy spray down with brake cleaner, also remove the brake pads and spray them down, too. Maybe even roughen up the pads with some sandpaper. Not sure if this will help, but it's easy enough to try. Who knows, maybe during the assembly of the bike some oil or wax got onto the rear disc / pads? Because that's exactly what it feels like. The rear brake just doesn't want to grab.

When I took the bike home when it was new, I was very careful about the break-in process and broke the brakes in very carefully. No fast, violent panic stops. No brake dragging. I severely doubt I had "glazed" the brakes. Again, never had any issues like this with any other bike I ever owned.

Because I am used to riding several other bikes regularly that have front and rear brake set-ups that are more properly balanced with each other, I find it almost slightly dangerous sometimes when I jump on my Versys for a quick, spirited ride. Even with careful modulation of the brakes, I will tend to "over-use" the front brake. Or, more accurately, I'll squeeze both front and rear somewhat "evenly", but the rear brake just doesn't grab enough and thus the front winds up doing "too much" of the work. I've nearly slid the front out a few times under heavy braking. This never happens to me on other bikes. The front brakes on the Versys 1000 indeed work very well.

Any input regarding this matter would be appreciated. Am I overlooking anything? Or does the late model Versys 1000 simply have an inherent weak rear brake behavior from the factory? I often ride Triumphs, Yamahas, KTMs, Indians, etc, on all those bikes, you can almost bring the bike to a reasonably quick halt with just the rear brake if you wanted to. On my Versys 1000, that would not be possible.

Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Greetings!

I purchased my 2020 Versys 1000 SE LT+ brand new, had like 3 miles on it. From day one, I found the rear brake to require a lot of pedal effort to get it to noticeably grab the rear disc. By comparison, the front brakes on this bike are very strong, almost a bit too grabby if anything. Several thousand miles later, the rear brake still requires a good deal of effort to get it to effectively operate. On almost every other bike I've ever ridden, the rear brake grabs way more effectively. And yes, I am aware that the front brakes are supposed to do the majority of the work, in general. But still.

Owners of 2019 and up Versys 1000 bikes... have you found your rear brake to be pretty weak from the factory? Or might my bike have an issue? If so, what might the issue be?

There are no signs of the brake disc having been contaminated, but what I was going to do soon is remove the rear caliper and give the rear disc a heavy spray down with brake cleaner, also remove the brake pads and spray them down, too. Maybe even roughen up the pads with some sandpaper. Not sure if this will help, but it's easy enough to try. Who knows, maybe during the assembly of the bike some oil or wax got onto the rear disc / pads? Because that's exactly what it feels like. The rear brake just doesn't want to grab.

When I took the bike home when it was new, I was very careful about the break-in process and broke the brakes in very carefully. No fast, violent panic stops. No brake dragging. I severely doubt I had "glazed" the brakes. Again, never had any issues like this with any other bike I ever owned.

Because I am used to riding several other bikes regularly that have front and rear brake set-ups that are more properly balanced with each other, I find it almost slightly dangerous sometimes when I jump on my Versys for a quick, spirited ride. Even with careful modulation of the brakes, I will tend to "over-use" the front brake. Or, more accurately, I'll squeeze both front and rear somewhat "evenly", but the rear brake just doesn't grab enough and thus the front winds up doing "too much" of the work. I've nearly slid the front out a few times under heavy braking. This never happens to me on other bikes. The front brakes on the Versys 1000 indeed work very well.

Any input regarding this matter would be appreciated. Am I overlooking anything? Or does the late model Versys 1000 simply have an inherent weak rear brake behavior from the factory? I often ride Triumphs, Yamahas, KTMs, Indians, etc, on all those bikes, you can almost bring the bike to a reasonably quick halt with just the rear brake if you wanted to. On my Versys 1000, that would not be possible.

Thank you.
I never thought about that on my 2019 V1K but I paid more attention to the rear brake performance on the way home last night and yes, it does feel weak in comparison to the front brake. Having said that, it's probably a good thing - for me. I use my front brakes much more than the rear as the weight transfer during braking makes the front wheel more effective for stopping.
One thing I did find on my V1K (purchased new from the factory) was the default preload on the front fork was way too low. Going from memory here but I think there is a total of 15, 360 degree turns, and the factory setting was at 5 turns in. This resulted in a significant front dive under heavy breaking. After tightening the preload to 10 or 11 the bike definitely felt more balanced under heavy breaking and cornering.
Finally, this is my first bike I owned with ABS. It has saved my bacon multiple times. One time I was braking heavy and ran over a small patch of fine gravel/sand and the ABS kicked in. At the time I thought I lost my brakes - such a weird feeling, but then the breaking resumed after I was past the gravel. That is a perfect example of where I probably would have slid out without ABS. The point is, as I learned, ABS is really great and does help keep the "rubber side down".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Mine is also garbage as well. Try upgrading to steel braided lines that might help as well... I did that for my front brakes and it definitely made a big difference but my bike is also 2012 much older.
 

·
Registered
2016 Versys 1000 CBF1000 VFR800
Joined
·
199 Posts
My '16 was weak also..... the pedal travel is a tad too much IMHO, and I did adjust mine up about 1/4". Much better....
The fronts are nothing to write home about either, even with a fresh bleed. Front end dive makes you think it's worse..... I swapped out to EBC pads and much better. Just did the same to the rears, not yet tested.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Well… The rear brake has a single 2-piston caliper as opposed to the dual caliper setup on the front with 4 pistons per caliper. So basic logic says that’s the rears can produce perhaps only 25% of the force that the fronts produce. The fronts have 8 pistons total compared to 2.

Ideally you should be using the both braking systems together in unison. But one way to test the rears, is to use only the rears during the last 5-10 feet as you approach a stop. In other words, use both brakes together as you are stopping, but near the end of the stop (less than 5 mph), release the fronts and only use the rear to finish the stop. If the rear caliper is working correctly the bike will stop nicely using only the rear.

This technique also facilitates a smooth stop as it releases the compression on the front fork and gives you a well balanced stopping position. Your foot remains on the rear brake, and you are in 1st gear ready to leave the intersection quickly should the need arise.

Happy Holidays and safe and fun riding to all :cool:
 

·
Registered
2016 Versys 1000 CBF1000 VFR800
Joined
·
199 Posts
I just moved my rear pedal up anther 1/4", but have not test ridden. To get the firmest pedal, a fresh bleed wouldn't hurt every year. I am leaning to believe the rear master cylinder should be of a slightly larger bore, but don't know what we have and what's available to replace it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
A weaker rear brake can be a good thing. The last thing you want is a rear brake that grabs quickly and with too much force. It was really bad back in the days of drum brakes. Lots of bikes got laid down from locked rear wheels. I prefer a mediocre rear brake and a very strong front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
A weaker rear brake can be a good thing. The last thing you want is a rear brake that grabs quickly and with too much force. It was really bad back in the days of drum brakes. Lots of bikes got laid down from locked rear wheels. I prefer a mediocre rear brake and a very strong front.
Drum brakes, tube tires, and really bad suspension. I can’t believe I’m still alive :ROFLMAO:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top