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Just took Cloud 9 in for new brakes after our 3356 mile jaunt through the Co and UT mountains. The pedal travel was a little long, and I thought it was "time". I had asked that both fronts and the rear pads be changed out. The shop owner called a couple of hours later with his report and a few questions.

* Left front pads were all but gone.
* Right front and rear pads looked hardly touched

Bike has ~26K miles on the OEM pads, and I was feeling quite a bit of pedal travel and less so on the lever (obviously). I asked that he skip changing out the rears and go ahead and change both set of fronts, which he did (EBC-HH), along with a DOT4 Brake Fluid transfusion.

My Questions:
1) How long should OEM pads last (discounting diverse riding styles, of course)?
2) Is something amiss with the proportioning valve on the front/rear of the linked brakes? Heavy wear on left front, not so much on the rear?
3) Would towing a trailer 2-up account for the heavier wear on the LF?

Inquiring minds want to know.........thanks for the input!
 

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It isn't unusual for OEM pads to last over 30,000 miles on a GL1800. The PC valves were a problem on some of them, but you would know quick enough if it went bad.
 

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Thanks for the input, Eddie. I have heard of "gently used" OEM brakes going as much as 50K miles. By "PC Valve" did you mean some kind of Pollution Control Valve, or is it something to do with the brakes?

What is of concern to me, is that the LF is shot after ~26K miles and everything else appears to be hunky dory, and should go another 25K miles with ease. Just a set of bad pads maybe?

Hmmmm.......I need to dig a little deeper here.
 

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Maybe there's a brake fairy that already changed out your other two. :ROFL: I wouldn't know, but that is definitely something I would look into a little deeper.
 

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Im going to guess by the wear you have posted that you use the rear brake more than the front. I have a friend who never touches the brake pedal!!! The Left front is linked to the rear and because of this wears quickest. I usually apply both front and rear brakes, and still the Left front wears fastest. Braking is al in technique and we all have techniques we are comfortable with, learned or taught.

Corventure Dave
 

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You are using the rear brake more so than the front, or you are a heavy foot instead of a heavy hand...

As stated above the way it is linked you will wear the left out sooner than the right front pads.

26k miles is plenty for pads.

I usually change mine every 2nd set of tires no matter if there is life left in the pads or not. Mine usually last about 18-20k miles and they are close to the wear indicators. I just use the rear when standing still.

JW
 

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If the left front pads were worn out, they were obviously doing all the work. I would check to see if the right side brake caliper was operating properly. Could be a siezed caliper or the caliper mounting pins were siezed. I could understand if both fronts were worn out and not the back but not left side verses the right.
 

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Ah! It all seems to make sense now. You're right on a couple of points. I usually rely on the "rear" brake for routine braking, since when Golden Girl and I are out on our long trips, we're pulling the trailer. For more robust braking, I'll use both. For "spirited" riding I'll use the front almost exclusively.

In any event, I have learned something important from my friends here. Thanks!
 
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