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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to Ducati's and I test rode a 2008 S4RS today with low miles. Everything about the bike was awesome...except for the rear brake. At first I thought the pedal needed to be adjusted, like maybe it was at weird angle. But then I got up to about 15-20 mph and pushed the rear brake pedal as far down as I could and it barely slowed the bike down at all. MY question is, is that normal? The front brakes felt super strong. I would expect more from Brembo brakes.

After the test ride, the owner stated that all Ducati bikes with single sided swing arms have weak rear brakes? I find that hard to believe. Can someone help me? Please tell me the rear brake can be improved?
 

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The biggest issue here is that to bleed the brake properly you have to remove the caliper, turn it right side up or use a vacuum bleed on it.

With the bleed screw facing down the air can not escape in the line or caliper. Physics 101.

With a proper bleed it will work just fine especially with the rear brake on your model. I have the wimpy Brembo on my S2R800 and can lock the rear wheel easy.

The excuses given ceases to amaze me. I'm afraid for America.

tt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, so having the rear brakes not working on an S4RS is not normal? I want to buy this bike, but I want to make sure the brakes can be fixed. How do I proceed with the seller? Have him get the bike repaired first?
 

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If it's the bike you want do it yourself. That model is the bad boy of Monsters. It wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. There are always things that need attention on a used bike.

It's just time and brake fluid. If you can't do it then have him take it to the dealer for a proper bleed.

Is the fluid low in the reservoir?

tt
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, the fluid did not seem to be low. Don't know when the last time it was flushed. Bike only has 5200 miles.
 

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Low miles for sure. I've looked in Texas for one as the prices are more reasonable. Left Coast prices are insane, won't pay it.

Should change every two years. I'm sure it will need some love.

tt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, everything here in Ca is expensive :( So you don't think it would be anything more involved like the master cylinder?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you have to take the rear wheel off to remove the caliper?
 

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Yep, everything here in Ca is expensive :( So you don't think it would be anything more involved like the master cylinder?
Hard to say. If the rear caliper has not been off it could be or just a good bleed. I would bet it needs a bleed. I've never had a bad MC unless it was a 20 plus year old Honda or something.

If you like the bike, get a good price for it then buy it. Remember, Service is expensive so anything you can do yourself is a plus.

tt
 

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Install EBC HH pads and the brake will work. I have a new Monster 821 and couldn't believe how weak the rear brake was. The Ducati dealer's service manager told me the same thing; "Ducati's don't have very good rear brakes." The HH pads made a huge difference. Now the bike has a good rear brake. The stock pads were made by Toshiba. Really.
 

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OK, flame resistant suit on so here goes.

You probably need to adjust your technique.

Ducati (and "sport" bike) rear brakes in general suck. There is a reason for this................when you apply the brakes, weight is transferred to the front wheel (hence the 320mm rotors and 4p calipers) and the rear gets light. On a Harley or Goldwing, not so much of an issue due to the long wheelbase and heavy weight. On a short/light bike it's easy to lock the rear wheel under braking. Even a later 620/650/S2R800 with 300mm rotors and 2p calipers has enough brakes to stop the bike with the rear wheel off the ground (which it will be if your braking hard enough from speed) multiple times without fading. You go into a corner a little hotter than you planned on Monster and try to scrub speed with your right foot....... your ass at best will be sliding across the pavement or riding off the road, more likely you are going to get tossed over the top and get to ride in the ambulance to the local hospital.

Back in the day when I was racing it was common practice to put the rear pads in a mill and remove a vertical strip from the middle consisting of 30-40% of the pad material just to ensure we didn't lock the rear wheel at a bad time. The rear was used to hold the bike still on the starting line, arrest an out of control wheelie, or get the rear to step out to tighten a turn if you had balls big enough.....no me BTW. A practice I still use to this day. I will never wear out a set of brake pads on I bike I own.............and I know, never say never.

Find a nice clean straight road and practice braking with just the front end until you can come to a stop and have the rear wheel fall back to the ground. I know it sounds nuts and irresponsible but having that skill might keep you from sliding across the pavement or worse yet getting launched across the high-side in an emergency. These things will damn near detach your retinas if you have the skill to use the brakes properly.
 

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You're advice is well taken. I'm not a great rider by any means. That said I like to use the rear brake in traffic; for some reason it seems a lot steadier and smoother to come to a stop with the rear brake. L.A. traffic by the way. I plan to get rider training too.
 

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The biggest issue here is that to bleed the brake properly you have to remove the caliper, turn it right side up or use a vacuum bleed on it.

With the bleed screw facing down the air can not escape in the line or caliper. Physics 101.

With a proper bleed it will work just fine especially with the rear brake on your model. I have the wimpy Brembo on my S2R800 and can lock the rear wheel easy.

The excuses given ceases to amaze me. I'm afraid for America.

tt
LOL OUCH!

OK, flame resistant suit on so here goes.

You probably need to adjust your technique.

Ducati (and "sport" bike) rear brakes in general suck. There is a reason for this................when you apply the brakes, weight is transferred to the front wheel (hence the 320mm rotors and 4p calipers) and the rear gets light. On a Harley or Goldwing, not so much of an issue due to the long wheelbase and heavy weight. On a short/light bike it's easy to lock the rear wheel under braking. Even a later 620/650/S2R800 with 300mm rotors and 2p calipers has enough brakes to stop the bike with the rear wheel off the ground (which it will be if your braking hard enough from speed) multiple times without fading. You go into a corner a little hotter than you planned on Monster and try to scrub speed with your right foot....... your ass at best will be sliding across the pavement or riding off the road, more likely you are going to get tossed over the top and get to ride in the ambulance to the local hospital.

Back in the day when I was racing it was common practice to put the rear pads in a mill and remove a vertical strip from the middle consisting of 30-40% of the pad material just to ensure we didn't lock the rear wheel at a bad time. The rear was used to hold the bike still on the starting line, arrest an out of control wheelie, or get the rear to step out to tighten a turn if you had balls big enough.....no me BTW. A practice I still use to this day. I will never wear out a set of brake pads on I bike I own.............and I know, never say never.

Find a nice clean straight road and practice braking with just the front end until you can come to a stop and have the rear wheel fall back to the ground. I know it sounds nuts and irresponsible but having that skill might keep you from sliding across the pavement or worse yet getting launched across the high-side in an emergency. These things will damn near detach your retinas if you have the skill to use the brakes properly.

You guys are merciless LOL but you know what...I agree with you both. Like TT said, before dropping a dime on upgraded pads and whatnot I would make sure that the brakes are bled properly first. That's one way to save some money (I'm all about saving money), properly bled brakes can make a world of difference.

Then like bshinn said, practice your braking because these bikes are a different type of Monster (HA! see what I did there?!). I transitioned from an R1 to a Monster and let me tell you like night and day. I thought I had this braking business down but nope! I don't know about DUCATIs having poor rear brake performance and all that. But, my S2R1k is on point, specially the rear. I have not locked the rear but I do use it a bit more that I am used to when coming to a light and I want to give my right hand a quick rest. The rear brake is dependable and the front brake says STOP when I call upon it! :p
 

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I'm NOT "politically correct" either. I will not follow "what others think I should say" or "you can't say" and "how I should think".

I will hang on to the little bit of America we still have. Annoy a Liberal, think for yourself.

tt
 
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