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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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Discussion Starter #1
I still find it strange that noone seems to know what causes brake shudder. I would like to know if it's specific to the rotors that came on the bikes. I have found that there are different thickness rotors that came as OEM on different years and models. For example the rotors on my S2R are 4mm thick, the 999 are 4.5mm and my ST3S are 5mm. I believe earlier years of ST3/4's came with one of the thinner rotors and wonder if those are more prone to the shudder. As an example my '07 ST3S with 24k miles and my friends '05 ST4S with 60k miles have never once had this problem. Both of ours have the 5mm thick rotors.

For those of you that have suffered the shudder problem, what are the thickness of your rotors?
 

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The shudder seems to happen on all OME Brembo "Gold Series" 10 button rotors, abs or not, ST fitted or not, Ducati fitted or not. I am convinced there are 2 primary culprits: 1) Overly and inconsitently tight rotor buttons, ie some are tghter than others and they are all too tight; 2) OME brake pads, ie the material transfer to the rotor and the excessive amount of dust falling onto the rotors buttons makes them tigher yet. You will read that many times owners have gone with different aftermarket rotors and the shudder returned so it's not simply the rotors IMHO. Others clean their rotor buttons and that helps for a while. Some swap pads and that helps for a whle too. In my case, I swapped pads, and lossened my rotor buttons and have not had the shudder/judder problems *to the degree* I had before, wherein the whole top ferring would violently vibrate under hardish braking. I would say that since I loosened my rotor buttons, ie I changed pads before that, my shudder/judder problem is 95% resolved. The rest I attribute to "the system." YMM and invariably will V. :)
 

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For me, both Ducatis, it was with the 5MM snowflake rotors. I put a set of the snowflakes on my SS and had the problem right away. I had an occasional problem with the ST. In both cases, switching to full floating rotor buttons completely cured the problem. I feel the problem is with the rotor buttons "sticking" on some, particularly the snowflakes, Brembo rotors.

Last season, I picked up a set of very low miles Brembo rotors off a 998 (star rotors, I’ve heard them called). They are much lighter than the older snowflakes as they only have 9 rotor buttons and the steel is cut so there is very little extra material other than what touches the pad. Also they are 4.5MM. I use them with Ferodo Platinum pads. I have a few thousand miles on them now. No problems at all. Why? I think fewer, or less prone to sticking, rotor buttons.

Although I seem to have had problems with 5MM rotors and no problems with 4.5MM rotors, I do not believe rotor thickness plays a part here, unless the thicker rotors do something to cause the buttons to become stuck. I really think the primary cause of the problem is those buttons.
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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Discussion Starter #4
But there doesn't seem to be much consistency to each ones theory. Like I said, Jackflash and I have never had even a slight case of judders. On both our bikes the buttons are so tight that can not be turned even jamming a screw driver handle into the hole. We have both used stock(several sets for him) and several sets of EBC HH pads. He has also used others but I'm not sure what. There doesn't seem to be a definite common cause.

Edit: just remembered, his son recently bought a 2000 ST4 with about 6k miles on it. Original pads and no shudder.
 

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But there doesn't seem to be much consistency to each ones theory. Like I said, Jackflash and I have never had even a slight case of judders. On both our bikes the buttons are so tight that can not be turned even jamming a screw driver handle into the hole. We have both used stock(several sets for him) and several sets of EBC HH pads. He has also used others but I'm not sure what. There doesn't seem to be a definite common cause.

Edit: just remembered, his son recently bought a 2000 ST4 with about 6k miles on it. Original pads and no shudder.
Well, you may be on to something with that. On both sets of snowflakes I had, I could move the blade by hand with a little effort. Enough so that if they got sticky, the blades could kept out of alignment with the carrier causing the judder.

The 2000 ST4 would have come with the older "Swiss cheese" rotors or maybe the newer steel carrier 4.5MM rotors. Haven’t heard much about either of those having a problem.
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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Discussion Starter #6
Just do you know that I know what it feels like, a few years ago I rented a ST3 while on vacation in Italy. It shook so bad under braking it would blur my vision. It was scary! It even scared my wife who was with me.
 

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My SS was like that when I put those snow flakes on it, along with a set of EBC HH pads. Very bad. I went back to the stock pads right away and it was better. The cure only came with the button mod.

I agree, it's hard to pin this down to one cause. It may very well be a different causes giving similar symptoms. In my case, it was the buttons that cured it.

I guess it could have been out of true rotor carriers, where the buttons masked the problem. I am fairly certain the steel blades were not warped at all.
 

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But there doesn't seem to be much consistency to each ones theory. Like I said, Jackflash and I have never had even a slight case of judders. On both our bikes the buttons are so tight that can not be turned even jamming a screw driver handle into the hole. We have both used stock(several sets for him) and several sets of EBC HH pads. He has also used others but I'm not sure what. There doesn't seem to be a definite common cause.

Edit: just remembered, his son recently bought a 2000 ST4 with about 6k miles on it. Original pads and no shudder.
That's why my last sentence was "YMM and invariably will V" :) I too could not indentify with what others who were reporting the shudder were talking about, and then it came on at, IIRC, approx 18K miles, and it came on hard. :eek: I was always able to spin my buttons "clean" as part of brake PM and that kept things at bay for a long while, but then it started. It may have been the build up of pad material on the rotors, or perhaps some type of pad statification issue, or who knows what, but spining/cleaning the buttons didn't help. It was then that I noticed that even after they were all equally clean, some were much harder to spin than others, and thought that would simulate a warped rotor, if one button can move more then the next few or vice versa. But before that, I swapped pads to EBC and that helped, a lot. I then loosened my buttons, rather than buy floaters, and that pretty much reduced the judder by 80% immediately, and since then, it got even better to where it is now which I attribute to the different pads "cleaning up" the rotors. The little shudder that is left I can live with. :) As mentioned, YMM and invariably will V. :)
 

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My 05 had it terribly when i purchased it last year with 7000 miles on her. I cleaned the rotors, got Galfer pads from Motowheels, bedded them in the way i have for years.

It's 90% better, but if i havent been hard enough on the brakes it comes back a little. A few really hard stops and it's gone.

Ill be doing either TPO/Motowheels buttons in the next month or 2.
 

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Mr Leakered
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Mike,

Mine are the 4mm rotors. They are straight, true, and somewhere around 58,000mi old.

I've found shuddering/pulsing caused by three separate issues: the spring plates on the calipers not allowing the pads to back off the rotors, a loose head bearing (I still have the tapered bearing kit on the shelf), and lately, a failing wheel bearing. Each of these issues, separated by thousands of miles, has caused shuddering or pulsing. The issues went way quickly after each fix.

One area I need to test is at the end of an off ramp that I see daily, there is a huge mismatch at a concrete joint. Before I replaced the wheel bearings, I used to get one helluva shudder when going over it while on the brakes (with the new Carbone Lorraine pads). Way worse than the lighter pulsing caused by pad material build up. I need a dry day with no cars at the intersection to test it with the new wheel bearings.

The CL pads are nothing short of brilliant every place else. No shuddering or pulsing no matter how hard I get on them.

I've wanted to try TPOs buttons for a while now. I just have a hard time spending $140 on an occasional problem. I do find the original rotor buttons to be inconsistent when left alone. Some will turn easily, some will not. After a hit of brake cleaner and some twisting, they all move with the same amount of feel.

Have a good one.
 

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We need to take into account the combination of 2 vs1 pin calipers and 40mm vs 65(?)mm, among the other variants.
 

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We need to take into account the combination of 2 vs1 pin calipers and 40mm vs 65(?)mm, among the other variants.
*AFAIK*, all Brembo Gold Series calipers fitted to Ducati *ST* bikes are the 2 pin type, from 1998(7) to 2007.
 

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what's a Fly N Fink?
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04 ST4$ 27k miles no major shudder

A bit of minor on occasion, but nothing that worries me.
 

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*AFAIK*, all Brembo Gold Series calipers fitted to Ducati *ST* bikes are the 2 pin type, from 1998(7) to 2007.
I was referring to the fact that same specs rotors ie 320mm with 10mm offset with I pin caliper fitted in the 916 and others, have not produced any or very little judder, against the ST series where we have seen reports that if not all, at least most of them have had this effect.
 

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I have Brembo Gold Series rotors and have a shudder at medium to hard braking, most apparent in the left rotor (when riding). This could be due to a warped rotor, pad buildup, or dirty/sticking pins. It's not really bad enough for me to feel it needs an exact diagnosis, but braking seems a bit diminished (still well within safe braking parameters).
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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I have the feeling it is down to the individual usage of the rider. There are so many variables of braking and type of trip , wet v dry (i.e. some dont go out in the wet) frequency of maintenance etc that perhaps it would be easier to describe a common usage casuing the problem than a inherrent technical problem ?
 

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Brake Shudder Survey -

My 2005 ST3 front brake shudders.
Wife's 2005 ST3 front brake shudders.
A 2004 ST3 I know of front brake shudders.
Friend's 2002 ST4S front brake shudders.

I am not sure about the ST4S rotor thickness is but ST3 are the stock brakes with 4mm rotors.

These machines are used in any odd or unusual way - regular sport touring with four different riders.

I have tried replacing pads, cleaning rotors and freeing the buttons. These actions seem to reduce the problem but not eliminate it.

Sad that such a fundamental fault spoils what should be a quality braking system. Hope someone eventualy figures out an easy/inexpensive fix.
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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I ust say that if I had brake shudder that I could not eradicate I would sell the bike.
I had it on my '02 bike when we went to the Alps a few years back and it was awful on the tight frequent mountain passes , virtually unusable and if I had been on a multi cylinder or two-stroke it would have been impossible.
On that bike I had the rotors blasted with walnut shell and spent a hour or so cleaning and freeing-up the buttons and the problem was gone.
The discs then ran out of thickness (5mm OEM) so had to replace them and got a deal on some Galfers which transferred to my current bike before sale and I have had no issues with them apart from pad material which I do not favour but will run with for a while until they need replacing.
 
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