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As Aero52 pointed out a few days ago, DOT is looking into rear brake issues on MY 2012-2020 Ducati's.

In general terms they are looking into, "Inconsistent braking, extended stopping distance and unexpected soft rear brake pedal when applying the brakes."

Specifics are in the DOT document here.

I emailed the investigator, who replied with the following details for anyone who has had these issues and is interested in contributing to the investigation:

The absolute best way to help is to have your constituents file a complaint through File a Vehicle Safety Complaint | Safercar.gov | NHTSA This gives me the ability to call these consumers back while having the capacity to confirm their issue by the identifying VIN supplied (this is important for the investigative process).

Please help if you can. I'm sure it will be appreciated.
 

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Great information, now a sticky.
 

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Interesting... I always found it odd that the rear brake on my nearly 20 year old Tiger is FAR better than my much newer and 2x more expensive Multistrada.
 

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Old Fast Guy
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The rear brake on the Multi has a larger required adjustment clearance (free play) than you would think before the lever contacts the master cyl piston. The reason is that the two components are mounted on different hard points. That means one is attached to the frame and the other is attached to the engine. When the engine is cold the clearance is max and should be adjusted cold. When the engine heats up, the clearance closes to minimum.

If you set the clearance cold, all is well, but the rider thinks the pedal has too much travel, so they “tighten up” the clearance to where it feels right. Then when the engine gets hot, the clearance really closes up causing the rear brake to drag. Depending on what feel the rider likes, the brake drag may be very slight causing the rear disk and caliper to run a hotter causing the rear brake to feel weird and fade. If adjusted a little tighter the rear brake drags enough to destroy the pads, caliper, disk, and if ignored long enough, the wheel.

It all starts when the service manual adjustment specs are ignored.
 

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The rear brake on the Multi has a larger required adjustment clearance (free play) than you would think before the lever contacts the master cyl piston. The reason is that the two components are mounted on different hard points. That means one is attached to the frame and the other is attached to the engine. When the engine is cold the clearance is max and should be adjusted cold. When the engine heats up, the clearance closes to minimum.

If you set the clearance cold, all is well, but the rider thinks the pedal has too much travel, so they “tighten up” the clearance to where it feels right. Then when the engine gets hot, the clearance really closes up causing the rear brake to drag. Depending on what feel the rider likes, the brake drag may be very slight causing the rear disk and caliper to run a hotter causing the rear brake to feel weird and fade. If adjusted a little tighter the rear brake drags enough to destroy the pads, caliper, disk, and if ignored long enough, the wheel.

It all starts when the service manual adjustment specs are ignored.
Interesting but I’m confident that is not the case on mine personally. I’ve ridden a lot of brand new multistradas and all their rear brakes are crap. Conversely I rode a BMW 1800 the other day and the rear was so strong and easy to engage I had to be careful to not lock it up. What a pleasure that was.
 

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Interesting but I’m confident that is not the case on mine personally. I’ve ridden a lot of brand new multistradas and all their rear brakes are crap. Conversely I rode a BMW 1800 the other day and the rear was so strong and easy to engage I had to be careful to not lock it up. What a pleasure that was.
For the record BMW uses linked brakes on the rear of most of their larger bikes (my 2017 S1000R had linked braking on the rear brake pedal as well)
 
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Old Fast Guy
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Personally, I suggest those who rely on a "strong" rear brake should remove the rear brake pedal and learn to use the most powerful brake on the bike, the front...
 

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Seriously, folks. If you want results, post the issues on the NHTSA site. The culmination of posts may result in a recall...
 

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As opposed to, "Have Mr. So n So come to this web site to read". That is NOT gonna happen. Make your official posts/complaints to the NHTSA .
 

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I'm following this post with interest, having a 2014 1200 GT with a non existent rear brake. I was always of the understanding the catalytic converter heated the rear brake master cylinder and this caused the extremely bad performance of the brake fluid so the break went way completely in the worst cases. I thought this was clearly understood last time I looked at this forum on this matter. Bad Ducati design pure and simple. Apparently losing the cat and installing a pipe system like, for example, the QD dual system fixed the rear brake issue as no cat to heat the oil. I personally never got 'round to it but other on this forum swear by the 'fix'. Anyway, the 1260 was supposed to be 'better' but I am not sure on that. I would ask you all if anybody knows if the V4 has this problem licked yet, given I'm seriously considering getting a V4. Anybody know please?
 

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The cat being a problem is more of an opinion imo :). I’ve seen shit brakes on the same MY multistrada that are decatted. So there’s more to it than that.
 

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The cat being a problem is more of an opinion imo :). I’ve seen shit brakes on the same MY multistrada that are decatted. So there’s more to it than that.
Thanks shorton, I'm open to any ideas on this. Sort of stood to reason that REALLY HOT oil so close just above the cat would be an issue somehow - wouldn't surprise me either way. Ya know, I can recall back before I bought mine new in 2014 that anyone coming onto this site damning the rear brake was given a REALLY hard time - I'm talkin' swearing, name calling, threats . . . there seemed some really significant turf protection going on. I've been away from the site for a fair while so imagine my surprise upon returning and finding people actually speaking respectfully about this in serious tones. I just worry it may be too late for a retrofix at Ducati's expense . . . once upon a time they tried to convince owners they were imagining it and, anyway, you should never need to use the rear brake! Wonder why they fitted one then!? Always worked a treat on my Jap bikes :)
 
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Thanks shorton, I'm open to any ideas on this. Sort of stood to reason that REALLY hot thick metal so close just directly UNDER the master cyl would be an issue somehow - wouldn't surprise me either way. Ya know, I can recall back before I bought mine new in 2014 that anyone coming onto this site damning the rear brake was given a REALLY hard time - I'm talkin' swearing, name calling, threats . . . there seemed some really significant turf protection going on. I've been away from the site for a fair while so imagine my surprise upon returning and finding people actually speaking respectfully about this in serious tones. I just worry it may be too late for a retrofix at Ducati's expense . . . once upon a time they tried to convince owners they were imagining it and, anyway, you should never need to use the rear brake! Wonder why they fitted one then!? Always worked a treat on my Jap bikes :)
 

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Agree. Never once have I head anyone say about a Ducati multistrada of any year, “that rear brake is great”. For whatever reason I don’t think it’s designed to do much in the first place. It should be easy and sensitive to use, with the ability to engage abs at will if desired. Alas, it’s not even close to that. And I’ve got what I consider a good one. That is mine works, albeit poorly, but I believe it is working as designed. Poorly.
 

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Agree. Never once have I head anyone say about a Ducati multistrada of any year, “that rear brake is great”. For whatever reason I don’t think it’s designed to do much in the first place. It should be easy and sensitive to use, with the ability to engage abs at will if desired. Alas, it’s not even close to that. And I’ve got what I consider a good one. That is mine works, albeit poorly, but I believe it is working as designed. Poorly.
Hmmm, I agree with all that. I can say that I'll certainly be picky on any test ride of the V4 when the time comes. After a lifetime of top quality everything on my Jap bikes it was a big leap of faith buying a new 1200 in 2014. Some Ducati reviews had really scared me with quality control issues through the decades. I knew nothing about Ducatis prior about 2012. I only have low mileage (or k's as we say downunder) and I have to say the only two issues at all have been this questionable brake and the clutch reservoir pissing oil all over my left side on a long ride once. Something to do with the way they're filled at the factory but easily fixed. I do, happily, feel comfortable considering another Ducati buy but I'll be fussier reading the reviews and the test ride - may ask for an 'extended' test ride for a few hours to REALLY get to know it. Looks like a bahnstormer from the initial reviews! :)
 
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