Mushy rear brake on new XR650R

During the inaugural 40 mile ride on the BRP, I noted a distinct lack of rear braking power. I thought it might be due to pedal position, since it seemed really low, and I had to adjust the shifter because it was in an anatomically impossible location.

It was difficult if not impossible to lock the rear end on a downhill (I don't normally slide down, but I wanted to see how powerful the brakes were).

At home, I bled the rear brake completely with new DOT 4 fluid, and was surprised to find no air at all. I thought the pads might be glazed or oiled up, but they were fine. When I looked at the back of the right pad, there was brake fluid on it.

Three questions:

1. Anyone else with a bum rear caliper from the factory?

2. Is the "normal" braking power of the rear caliper sufficient, or is it normally mushy/inadequate?

3. Has anyone had to upgrade to stainless steel lines to remove the flex, and does replacing the factory pads (with what look like anti-squeal pads on them) help?



2003 XR650R eibach springs

2001 KTM 520 SX (for sale!)

Looking for newer CR500R

It was difficult if not impossible to lock the rear end on a downhill

When I'm going downhill, it's hard to keep the back end from locking up...The bikes new, you can always bring it back for warranty. The rear brakes are pretty good for a bike this heavy.

Stock pads have worked well for me. Recommend you replace your contaminated pads, spray brake cleaner on your disc and then practice panic stopping (in the dirt)to see how the rear brake feels.

SImon520, Are you saying that your Caliper is leakin? That would surely explain the soft rear brake! Your gonna have to get that fixed anyway so do that before you try spending on other stuff. Get the dealer to replace the wet brake pad under warranty as well so you can try it all stock and working. Then after its working correctly you can decide whether you need to buy extra crap. I believe you will be surprised as to how well it actually works especially compared to how it is now. I'm sure most things extra or aftermarket may be somewhat better than stock but justifying the cost is up to you, your budget and, your needs based on riding style.

Hope you get it solved and don't have to spend much!


I've always felt mine stopped great. Never had any problems with the brakes, they lock up pretty easily. I like the brakes alot, I can really creep down some pretty steep stuff. :)

I cut my pads because the rear was too touchy! :) I almost never touch my rear brake on a downhill. Your weight transfer is to the front, so you can use more front before it locks up, and when you lock the rear you loose control! Put the SS line on the front which inmproves feel and your rear will become more powerful because of the increased weight transfer.

Like my riding buddy says (in your favorite Indian accent like APU from the Simpsons)

"Let your bike flow like water, otherwise it is like driving an elephant through a snowstorm"

Just my $.02

I took it back to the shop where I bought it new. Guy in the service department looks at me kinda funny when I tell him what happened, and how I think it's a bum caliper, since it hasn't been right from the get-go.

Tells me, without even looking at the bike, that he doesn't think it's a warranty issue. "Brakes are a wear item," he chides me. Rather than choking the living S*&T out of him, which is what he deserved, I cruised right into the owner's office and said hello.

Of course he remembered me, since I'd bought the bike about 10 days ago and he'd been the salesperson.

Bottom line- new caliper on the way- "Brakes are a wear item" boy is not allowed to touch bike and owner will do repairs himself.


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