Some of you know that I went to Tim many times over the last few months, for various jobs and I was generally pleased with his work. Well, not this time. Not at all.
When I replaced my tyres the guy at FWR noticed that one of the pads in my left hand caliper was much more worn than the other. It was pretty clear that the pistons on one side of the caliper were seized/lazy (Tim cleaned both calipers the last time I replaced my pads, but that’s another matter). I went to him, he cleaned them again, said that the pistons on one side of the caliper were lazy and that he would take the calipers apart and do a deep cleaning when I come back with new brake pads (the pad operated by the working pistons was completely worn out by this point).
I bought new pads and the following week I went back to him. As I had some problems with the rear brakes as well, Tim decided to deal with them first, so he took the caliper apart, cleaned it, replaced the fluid and bled the brakes. The wheel did stop when he applied the brakes, so I was happy. Had no idea, at that time, that the rear brake was now very spongy.
Anyway, going back to the front brakes: this time the lazy pistons that he cleaned the previous week were completely seized. He tried to take the caliper apart but couldn’t (broke one of his tools in the process). As it happens in the shop next door a newer Busa than mine was being stripped for parts. I bought the two front calipers. They were pretty clean, so Tim fitted them to my bike and bled the system, but the brakes were really spongy. Let the wasting of time and money begin!
Tim said we should flush the system and replace the fluid. I went along, even though the brake fluid was new (he replaced it a couple of months or so ago). Surely enough, replacing the fluid didn’t change a thing: the brakes were as spongy as before! Next he suggested taking the new calipers apart and clean them (even though he said they were clean just minutes before). Taking them apart revealed they were indeed clean, but we decided to give them a deep clean anyway. Needless to say that didn’t change anything: the brakes were just as spongy as before.
Next he suggested replacing the master cylinder. Even though it was working just fine on my way to him, he wanted to rule out all the usual culprits. No surprises when he finished: the brakes were just as spongy as the very first time! No improvements whatsoever!
Then he started talking about braided lines, Brembo master cylinder and other things. I told him I didn’t need BETTER brakes, I needed WORKING brakes!
So after spending time and money on useless operations (replacing brake fluid, deep cleaning the new calipers, replacing the master cylinder) I left his shop with spongy-as-hell brakes. I can easily touch the throttle grip with the brake level; one or two finger braking is no longer possible, due to the lever travel required; as for the rear brakes, they are unusable now, due to the pedal travel required.
Assuming the impossible happened (two master cylinders were faulty, even though mine was working just fine on my way to the garage), how come the rear brakes have the exact same problem? Did the rear master cylinder break as well, all of a sudden?
Now I have to find a mechanic who knows how to bleed brakes. Any recommendations?