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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 2007 ST3 that had about 2,360 miles on it.
When I picked it up it was raining pretty hard so I did not give it a long ride (as I should have).
Anyway, since bringing it home (about 650+ miles) I have put about 150 miles on it.
The rear brake is almost useless.
Even if you stand on the pedal (literally) it will not lock up the wheel and actually only slows down the bike gradually.
The rotor doesn't look damaged or scored.
I suspect that the previous owner might have been a 'brake rider' and glazed the pads.
But before I spend time and effort I would like to know how good the rear brakes on an ST3 are supposed to be.
I expect rear (as well as front) brake to be able to lock up the wheel and give me consistent feedback.
Are the ST3 rear brakes normally considered powerful for their application?
Thanks
James
 

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That's normal. The feel of the rear does get a lot better as it beds in, and a lock up can happen, though one wil still need to push down hard on the pedal. Some ST riders have suggested it may be engineerd that way to "avoid" lock ups, and I agree and prefer it that way. I use my rear regularly, and find it works fine now that I've broken it in. Every time I've slid the rear, it's stayed in line. :) YMMV.
 

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Generally, the rear brakes on 1990 and on DUCs are pretty weak. But you should be able to make the rear lock if you really stand on the rear brake pedal.

The assumption here is that Ducati does not want people laying machines down for over braking in the rear...
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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Cant agree that they need to be poor.
The pad material can make a difference (I found EBC to be good) but also adjusting the pushrod into the cylinder so that you eliminate any free-play brings the brake back into full use.
I had the exact same problem , and as I like to use the brake at slow speeds , to avoid unsettling stability , felt it was unacceptable but a little bit of careful fettling with the bike on its main stand resolved the problem.
 

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Still needs a life.
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...... The assumption here is that Ducati does not want people laying machines down for over braking in the rear...
That has been my belief. "They" say you are supposed to do 70-80% of your braking with the front brake and IMHO, Ducati has engineered that into the bike. I like the fact that the rear wheel will not slide out during hard braking.
 

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I've had a few nasty rear-wheel lock under emergency-type braking, so I don't really think it's weak. The back end really gets light under hard braking though, so I'm not sure if that was due to my changing to aftermarket pads or just harder braking combined with an inattentive foot. Either way, I don't think it's excessively weak, I'm pretty sure I could lock it up if I stomped on it such as if I was covering it and surprised in traffic. Which is a pretty good reason not to cover it, IMO.
 

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Umm, I'm going to go aout on a limb here, and disagree with most of the previous replies:

The rear brake, when working properly, will lock up the rear tire with deliberate, hard pressure to the pedal. I have the ABS version, and have activated it several times. After one such time (when a car pulled in front of me), the rear brake went completely soft on subsequent uses (much like you describe).

I found that I had to bleed it and cycle the ABS several times, as there was an air pocket somewhere in the line that the hard use and ABS cycles had found, which caused the rear brake to become basically useless. After careful bleeding (with a vacuum pump), then riding, standing on the rear brake at times to engage the ABS, and then re-bleeding, it works incredibly well now.

I can haul the bike to a stop with just the rear brake (if I wanted to), and can definitely engage the ABS at my whim. I suspect those who complain that it isn't effective don't have theirs in correct working order.

Additionally, I am also able to lock up the rear tire on my 750 Monster (same rear brake minus the ABS) at will as well. It locks easier, I suspect due to the lighter weight of the bike and different tires.
 

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it's interesting to see people defend a poor design as for the benefit of the unskilled rider. It's entirely possible that it's true, but in the spirit of occam's razor, I'm inclined to believe it's just a poor design; nothing more, nothing less.

Also, the rear brake is a nice thing to use riding two up. It prevents the nose from diving as much and keeps the passenger's weight from bearing down on the driver so much. I imagine it can be improved with different pads, but I haven't gotten that far on mine yet.
 

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On another note with the same theme, when I mounted Sato rear sets including the adjustable ratio rear brake lever on my SBK I ended up with more rear brake than I initialy wanted. Now I can back it in at will. Previously it had the same usless brake function that my ST3 and M750 have.
 

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I had my rear brake go south on me but it had nothing to do with pads or air. My rear master cylinder corroded to the point of locking up the piston. This happened when the bike was only about 2 1/2 years old. All I can think is the boot must have been installed with the drain hole turned up causing it to hold moisture.
 

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Both of my duc's will work the rear brake just fine. The ST takes a bit more pressure, but works fine, except for moaning (unless that's my female pillion rider).
 

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it's interesting to see people defend a poor design as for the benefit of the unskilled rider. It's entirely possible that it's true, but in the spirit of occam's razor, I'm inclined to believe it's just a poor design; nothing more, nothing less.
So a good design in your opinion is one that locks up easily? The spirt of Occam's Razor you invoke can easily be turned on its head. I'm inclined to think it's a purposeful design, because one that locks too easily shows no foresight as to the extenuating possibilities of getting the bike sliding sideways: not pleasant. :( Most manufacturers know they are not selling to GP riders, so why would you assume that a good design is one that locks up easily, unless modulated by seasoned riders?

Also, the rear brake is a nice thing to use riding two up. It prevents the nose from diving as much and keeps the passenger's weight from bearing down on the driver so much. I imagine it can be improved with different pads, but I haven't gotten that far on mine yet.
Who above stated he doesn't use the rear brake? The fact that it settles the chassis is a given. I said mine works well, and I use it regularly and have locked it up. Did you read my post?

I have news for you: some riders of some bikes will not flush/bleed their rear brakes regularly in part to keep them soft, or lower the pedal height, or change pads etc in order to regain control of a too touchy rear brake. Yes, it is utterly possible if not likely that it was designed that way,....for more rider control. It does take time to bed in; before that, it feels wooden, I agree.
 

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+1 on EBC HH brake pads & bleeding the brakes with good quality fluid (I use synthetic.) With the steel braided brake lines, my back brakes work great.
 

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New Duc Noob sez what?

I just took ownership of a well serviced '06 ST3S-ABS. Fantastical bike.
Traded my R1200GS for it.

I'm pretty much a long time Beemer owner, (I also have a KTM 950 Adventure), and not a big brake user. Normally I depend on engine braking to get me thru the turns using minimal front brakes. In fact, I use the rear in combination with the front to settle the suspension on the GS.

On my first ride over Angeles Crest last weekend, I realized the rear brake on the ST3 is barely usable/functional.
The PO had complained and had the dealer bleed the rear brake and it made minor improvement.

For me being a trail braker into corners, this lack of rear is tending to make me use more front than I'm use to, which in turn make the bike stand up, really making it hard to hold a line and turn the bike.

I'd like to get some insight from Ducati riders on this.
And a note, the KTM is much easier and quicker through the same (tight) turns when I'm riding it. The GS was way easier as well.
 

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Don’t discount the influence of liability attorneys on design.
 

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Both of my duc's will work the rear brake just fine. The ST takes a bit more pressure, but works fine, except for moaning (unless that's my female pillion rider).
If you hear some groaning, check your rear wheel bearings. Mine was groaning when on the rear brake, then the bearing puked its guts out.


I find my rear brake weak, but effective. I can lock the rear wheel, but it takes deliberate effort, as I believe it should. I use my front and rear for 90% of the stops that I do. The other 10% are either done with just the rear or front. I have also found that the rear loses some effectiveness if not used and takes some time to get that effectiveness back. It may seem illogical, but that works for me as it is at least predicable.

What is really fun is how much more effective our front brakes get when heated. They go from nice, mellow, and very effective brakes when cold or warm, to absolute stop monsters when hot.

BTW, the Suzuki GZ250 that I used during my MSF class had what I'd call an over effective rear brake, a drum brake nonetheless. Light pressure and no front would get it close to lock up. It was much more effective than my old ZR-7 or the ST and zero feel. So, a slight bit more pressure and it would start sliding. That felt quite odd for what was a beginners bike.

Have a good one.
 

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Mr Leakered
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Don’t discount the influence of liability attorneys on design.
I would tend to agree with that if these were not parts bin SBK items. We are basically running with 916 leftovers. So, I would argue that there is less liability wrapped into the design than just simple intended function. Of course, that is just my guess.

Have a good one.
 

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Must add my comments regarding the rear brake. My first ride on an '06 ST3 after being off bikes for 3 or 4 years bewildered me. Great motor, great handling and WHAT, no rear brake? What the heck's wrong with this bike? After years of mostly BMW's, my first Ducati experience was a real disappointment. As it happened, the local Ducati hot shoe was in the store at the time, and I asked him to ride the bike. He came back after a 20 minute ride, all smiles and just gushing about the bike. I asked him about the ineffective rear brake, and he looked at me like I was on crack saying "Rear brake? Ducati's don't have rear brakes". Long story short, I passed on the Duc and bought a Beemer. Fast forward 6 months and I found the need to revisit the ST3, this time in SoCal. Came off of a 2005 VFR with linked ABS brakes and test rode the ST3. Same impression as before; great bike except for the rear brake. This time however, I bought the bike. A month later, I swapped out the rear pads to EBC and lo and behold,a rear brake that is reasonably powerful and controllable. In short, I don't buy the supposition that Ducati is so concerned with someone inadvertently locking the brake that they intentionally made it ineffective. Like so many other compromises that Ducati makes, just add this one to the list.
 

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Mr Leakered
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Yes. It does improve with pads. It isn't close to night and day though. ;)

We know the master is 11mm and the caliper is a two piston 32mm or 34mm (ST4 and ST2/ST3, respectively). Of course, the brake lever dimensions affect the effort as does the 245mm rotor. Although, that rotor is a bit larger than the typcial 220mm rotor.

Does any one know what other rear brakes use?

I just looked through my ZR-7 SM and found nothing but rotor diameters.

Have a good one.
 

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Before changing out pads try bedding them in with 6 or 10 consecutive hard stops from 60mph using the rear brake only. Stay alert for rear locking (and being rear ended by cagers :eek: ) after the first few cycles.
 
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