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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the middle of doing this. This video is helpful. My front brakes all of a sudden two days
ago got squishy. ABS is a little different.

 

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If you've never bleed your brakes they need to be done any way. I live in a fairly humid area year around and bleed mine annually now.
For some reason twice in that time I've felt what you described. A bit softer, requiring more lever travel although still more then enough to quickly stop the bike. The first time I was close to home and immediately returned there and bleed the system. Fixed The Second time I was mid trip in a group and rode on. In less then 5 miles it was gone the one thing I've noticed but cant prove and am not blaming because I didnt track it was that I had actuated the front ABS a somewhat short time before. I'm waiting for the next time I activate it and will track that

As for bleeding the system I love and use a clear hose so I can clearly see what's coming out.
I only bleed from the bottom because what I'm after is a near complete fluid exchange.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looks like the reason my front brake lever went squishy all of a sudden while riding two days ago, is there is a break or crack in the front brake line, 3 inch or higher from the caliper. I pulled back the black soft rubber sheath around the brake line and it is wet under there with brake fluid. I assume pulling the line is pretty easy?
 

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CB, don't you have a 2019 N1K ??

If you do, then I would be telling the Dealer and/or Kawasaki HQ that there is a potential safety hazard with you newist bike and that they would be held responsible in the event of an accident due to brake line failure.

The front brake hose, from the ABS pump to each caliper is a single "3 pipe" assembly. You can't just replace the hose on one side.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ya, taking it off now. Ya, 2 days ago I'm coming up to a stop, and I only have about 20%
pressure left in the brake handle. When I get it off, will do a closer inspection. But the sudden
loss of braking pressure sure indicates some kinda significant leak/rupture, and not some slowly developing air inleakage over time.

developing
 

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Bob, that's not a normal problem, at all. The line is easy enough to change, but original lines are expensive. Do you think something hit it? I have two spare sets of stock lines, but my bike is not abs. I would send them to you, no charge, if they fit.

If it ends up to where you have to buy the lines (no warranty) I really liked working with Core Moto. If they dont have a pre made set of lines , for the specific bike, their custom line set is a work of art.

I bought some of the clear vinyl tubing. The stuff we use for bleeding brakes. I used that to decide on the length I wanted. Then you tell them what fittings you want at each end.

My order was something like, "235mm, center of fitting to center of fitting...oh yea, and about those fittings, let's use the upper fitting for the Ducati 1198sp and the lower fitting for the gsxr 1000, 2014 model." Nothing too crazy, right?

I had them in under 1 week. Impressive as the shop is in Florida, and I'm in Utah. I've bought lines before from Galfer and Speigler. Both sets were ok, but the Core Moto lines are far higher quality. Better fittings, too.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, the lines do not come off easy after all. The upper line goes down to a block, that is under the steering head. I'm gonna button it back up, and try to bleed system one more time. The dealer I bought it from in Oregon won't be open till Tues. I'll tell him I had a compete brake failure, in that I could not have done any kind of emergency braking, with only about 20% pressure from the brake handle. When I bled the system yesterday, the pressure I got in the brake handle was the same weak pressure I got when I had the failure on the road. I thought I saw fluid under the sheath on the right front brake line, above the caliper, but hard to tell. I don't see any cut on the sheath, so I suspect a small rupture maybe in the line itself. Don't know. Probably gonna have to send it down to Salem Or. The dealer up here could look at it, but he has a 6 week backlog. I'll have the Oregone dealer and my dealer talk on the phone. After all, this could be a major Kawasaki safety issue, that they want to look at ASAP. I hope Kawasaki monitors these posts!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It could be that part of a brake line is bulging out, but not rupturing, thus giving me the 80% less brake pressure when I squeeze the brake handle.
 

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You mentioned that you found brake fluid under the soft rubber sheath, so there is a leak somewhere. It is possible that it is just a pin-hole leak which still provides some braking perssure.

It is also possible that the nut holding the pipe to the ABS pump is loose or cracked and is now leaking fluid.

A bulge will reduce brake pressure but will not leak brake fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You mentioned that you found brake fluid under the soft rubber sheath, so there is a leak somewhere. It is possible that it is just a pin-hole leak which still provides some braking perssure.

It is also possible that the nut holding the pipe to the ABS pump is loose or cracked and is now leaking fluid.

A bulge will reduce brake pressure but will not leak brake fluid.
I saw some wetness under the end of the sheath, and I cut the sheath about a inch from the end, peeled it back, and saw some wet. But the wet may also be brake fluid that got there when I was bleeding the system. It was a little messy. After I lost brakes while riding, I got home, and saw no indication of leakage anywhere. And, I might add, I took the bike out the next day, to make sure it was still doing it, and it was, with the same pressure in the handle, about 80% less. So at this point, the bulging hose scenario is my best bet, but hoping to get the bike to the dealer, and have them look into it themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
CB, don't you have a 2019 N1K ??

If you do, then I would be telling the Dealer and/or Kawasaki HQ that there is a potential safety hazard with you newist bike and that they would be held responsible in the event of an accident due to brake line failure.

The front brake hose, from the ABS pump to each caliper is a single "3 pipe" assembly. You can't just replace the hose on one side.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm also suspecting the master cyclinder. When I was pumping the brake to bleed the system,
the fluid in the master cyclinder was going up, on one occassion. Fortunately the dealer I bought the bike from is open tomorrow!
 

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I had problems with my stock master cylinder. I replaced it, but they are very easy to rebuild. I'm sure the dealer will take care of that, but if you have to do it, yourself, it's no big deal.
 

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Bob, no clue how this will play out for you but hope the best. Question can you pull the lever to the grip? And does the pressure bleed off?

I personally had a good experience with Kawasaki over a rear brake line. It broke where the hard line section comes off the banjo bolt on the rear master cylinder.
I had purchased the extended warranty and figured it would be covered under that. Kawasaki America (they made sure to say that for some reason) choose to cover the cost as long as they could have the hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bob, no clue how this will play out for you but hope the best. Question can you pull the lever to the grip? And does the pressure bleed off?

I personally had a good experience with Kawasaki over a rear brake line. It broke where the hard line section comes off the banjo bolt on the rear master cylinder.
I had purchased the extended warranty and figured it would be covered under that. Kawasaki America (they made sure to say that for some reason) choose to cover the cost as long as they could have the hose.
I spoke with the dealer in Oregon I bought it from, but 7 hrs away, and they will not come and get it, (understandable). My dealer service dept opens tomorrow. No pressure in system now, since I pulled the lines, then rehooked them up. And filled it. But when the event ocurred, I could pull the brake lever almost all the way in, and the brakes would apply gently. Never tried to see if it would eventually go all the way to the throttle, but I suspect it would not, and maintain some pressure. That's why I'm thinking bulge in a line, or less likely a master cyclinder problem. All speculation now. Will be calling a lot of dealers tomorrow, who open on Tues.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I hope Kawasaki takes this seriously, as had I been in an emergency braking situation, when this problem occured, instead of coming to a stop sign from 45 mph, I may not be here to make these thread entries. When you have a new bike with 1700 miles on it, the brakes are not supposed to fail on you!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I checked with a dealer and he said there have been no recalls on this issue, but when do they announce a recall? After 10 or 20 or 30 people experience the problem? Odds are I'm not the first. Someone who does not read this chat room may have had it happen?
 
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