xrl front brake sensitivity

Went out the other day and flip-flopped the bike through some single track. Dropped it a couple of times on each side -- drops, though, not crashes. Today I noticed that the front brake has zero play once I start the bike and get going. (Seems to be a little before it's running, if that matters). A finger's worth of pressure can send the front end into a dive.

I've disassembled the lever mechanism and done a thorough visual check. No bends, cracks or breaks anywhere. No leaks or damage to the master cylinder. The brake line runs above the handguard, but there's no pressure on the line and no change when I remove the guard. Can't see any damage or bend in the rotor or caliper. Pads are fine.

Any insight and/or advice appreciated. I'm a noob to this forum, to the XR650L (couple thousand miles, 80% off road, in the last few months), and to dirt riding after a 25-year hiatus, so forgive me if I'm overlooking the obvious.

You describe that the touchiness only happens when you start the bike and get going...so, it must have something to do with the front wheel spinning (rotor and caliper) - engine running or not shouldn't matter. Can you get the front wheel off the ground and spin it? Look for anything weird, like a bent rotor or something. Maybe the caliper/pads are hanging up a bit and not releasing - you could also take the front caliper and pads off and clean everything. Maybe give the brakes a good bleeding, too?

I have a Braking front rotor with unknown pads and my front brake can be grabby until it has some ride time on it. Even then it still bites hard unless it has some heat built up. Provided there are no mechanical issues, something you can do is get a shorter brake lever so you have to squeeze harder for the same brake response.

Are your front pads stock?

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