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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not here to argue whether you should disable your ABS system or not. But, if you want to, or NEED to (my situation for safety reasons), this was the easiest way to have your bike resort to the default brakes and bi-pass the ABS (for free and little work).

The reason I had to do this, was because I had complete ABS modulator failure. When I stepped on the foot brake, all I got was solid pressure and a rapid pulsating from my brake pedal; along with complete brake failure on rear brake, it also caused my front left caliper to drag for the first 1 mile until the system would realize it wasn't working properly and automatically disable the ABS. The problem was that a mile down the road with a dragging front caliper and little to no brakes made for a super sketchy ride. What I needed to do was have the ABS shut off as soon as I started riding it so I would have brakes and not have to wait for the automatic ABS override to kick in.

There is no ABS fuse (2015+) that I am aware of. But, if you go under your right quarter panel you can find your ABS module system. To the left of the system you will see a big power connector that connects the ABS to power but also to the brains of the bike. It is the biggest plug that connects directly into the ABS module and you cant miss it. Disconnect it, zip tie it up, and tape off the ends to avoid moisture and your bike will resort immediately to the brakes most of us grew up with. The only thing that it will affect is your ABS light will remain on.

My ABS has saved me multiple times, but has also almost gotten me killed multiple times since it began to fail. I only did this because I was on a 1,000 mile ride and needed my brakes to work reliably to continue the ride, get me home, and ride the bike to the shop to repair my ABS. I did about 1500 miles with the above set up and had no issues. I just wanted to put this out to anyone that is having ABS issues with their 2015+ and can do this at least to have reliable brakes until they replace their modulator. Harley built a s*&% modulator and that is why some of us got that letter in the mail saying we should "change brake fluid every two years, and o yea... Harley is the only ones that can electronically bleed them for 150.00 bucks" (I have literally never flushed fluid unless changing calipers). The old system never had an issue with that but the new modulator is garbage and instead of them fixing the modulator, they want you to flush fluid. No other ABS system on the market (car or bike) has this issue.

I cant post the link that explains the ABS failure much better than I can (I don't have enough posts), but, I am sure many others will have the same issue soon and if you want it just message me and I can send it to you.

I couldn't find anything on disabling a 2015+ ABS (because there is no fuse to pull) across the internet and after talking to a tech and trying it out and it working flawlessly, I figured I would put this out there...

Cheers!
 

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Do you know what caused the failure? Also, I don't know what dealership is charging $200 to bleed the system but they are charging too much. I've see $100-$125 from numerous dealers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yea my bad, typo... on the calipers. But, a system that is "sealed" no way in hell needs to be flushed every 2 years unless you park it in a swimming pool...
 

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Yea my bad, typo... on the calipers. But, a system that is "sealed" no way in hell needs to be flushed every 2 years unless you park it in a swimming pool...
I don't agree but that's just me. The maintenance interval on the brakes is very well explained in the owners manual and service manual and I really don't see your point completely in bashing the MOCO for this. If you don't like flushing the brake fluid every 2 years or 50k miles then just buy another brand bike. Oh wait... they have service intervals too so never mind :wink:.

Seriously though, if they didn't tell everyone this up front in many places I could see getting upset with them but you know what you are getting right up front and if you don't agree with it then move on to another bike.


One question though, I've never heard that the ABS module is the place where moisture can get in, can you explain how this happens? I really want to know.

RGKen-
 

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I'm not here to argue whether you should disable your ABS system or not. But, if you want to, or NEED to (my situation for safety reasons), this was the easiest way to have your bike resort to the default brakes and bi-pass the ABS (for free and little work).
...
I couldn't find anything on disabling a 2015+ ABS (because there is no fuse to pull) across the internet and after talking to a tech and trying it out and it working flawlessly, I figured I would put this out there...

Cheers!
i'm assuming you have a 2015???
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't agree but that's just me. The maintenance interval on the brakes is very well explained in the owners manual and service manual and I really don't see your point completely in bashing the MOCO for this. If you don't like flushing the brake fluid every 2 years or 50k miles then just buy another brand bike. Oh wait... they have service intervals too so never mind :wink:.

Seriously though, if they didn't tell everyone this up front in many places I could see getting upset with them but you know what you are getting right up front and if you don't agree with it then move on to another bike.


One question though, I've never heard that the ABS module is the place where moisture can get in, can you explain how this happens? I really want to know.

RGKen-
https://www.fixmyhog.com/post/shop-abs-modulator-failure/ there is your explanation bub
 

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Truthfully, I am just here to help people get there bike's brakes to work in a bind and not debate opinions (I could care less about yours).... I literally just joined this forum so when some poor sob is searching how to unlock his rear and front caliper to ride, this will pop up... Cheers.
 

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If this were such a big issue there would have already been widespread hate across the internet about it. Harley riders can't wait to get on the WWW and blast the MoCo when they have an issue and this is just not one that is widespread, or at least I have just missed it. Instead I have seen more threads about transmission fluid migrating into the primary on the new M8 than I have seen on this ABS module issue. I also take anything I read from "FixMyHog" with a grain of salt. Not at all saying your wrong about this but I don't believe it is as big of an issue if one follows the suggested maintenance. I have actually gone more than 3 years and 65k miles without a brake flush with no issue. Won't do it again because I don't think it's worth chancing it. There are some indy's that have an aftermarket computer tool that can flush an ABS system and they are usually much cheaper than the dealer. With all this being said, I really wish we could bleed our on brake fluid like we used to but you just can get all the old fluid out without the computer to pulsate the ABS module. Anyway, sorry that I did rub you the wrong way but sometimes hearing an opposing opinion may be helpful in some ways but maybe not. Ride safe! Bub! :wink:
 

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Truthfully, I am just here to help people get there bike's brakes to work in a bind and not debate opinions (I could care less about yours).... I literally just joined this forum so when some poor sob is searching how to unlock his rear and front caliper to ride, this will pop up... Cheers.
i appreciate you sharing the information.

i asked about the model year because the recall, equipment failure, (whatever) was supposedly for older bikes before 2010 and the "problem" did not apply to the '15+ model years. the MOCO's fix apparently was to change to a synthetic DOT 4 fluid. i realize that the system is not mfd by harley, but IMO HD should put pressure on the mfr. to get the damned things fixed.

if it were my bike, i'd be pissed, too, and my dealer's service manager would get an earful.
a 3-year-old bike should not put the rider in that amount of jeopardy.
 

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Ok.... So I've done some research and found out some very useful information. I contacted a couple of very respected indy mechanics that I know and both gave me the same answer to my question. My question was "Is there a known widespread issue with HD's ABS module? Both, without knowing that I had talked to someone else, answered basically the same way. They said that what Harley and independent mechanics found out is that MOST Harley riders don't ride their bike often enough or hard enough and do not engage their ABS often enough or at all and the fluid just sits in the module. After a long period of time and through several hot-cold cycles, the old fluid in the ABS module will build up moisture because it's not being cycled. I asked them if they believed that moisture was getting in from the outside and they both said NO. This whole thing can be avoided and you can continue to ride with a perfectly functioning ABS if you follow the manufacturers recommended service intervals and by even activating your ABS every couple of weeks or so to make sure fluid does not sit in the module. Even in the comments section of the FixMyHog article that the OP posted above they say just that! If you think about it, you could go practice some of the drills you learned in the BRC and that will have you use the ABS. You never can get too much practice.

Now one other bit of information that I learned... There is a way to flush your own breaks without the computer program.

-Take your bike out for a short ride and active your ABS 3 or 4 good times to move fluid through the system. (By doing this you just put fluid that has been circulating through the system all this time into the ABS module and pushed the fluid that has been sitting in the module out.)

-Come back and thoroughly bleed your brake system the conventional way. (Brand new fluid is now in the system except for the ABS module.)

-Take the bike out for another ride and activate the ABS 3 or 4 times. (You have just put brand new fluid into the ABS module but the small amount of older circulated fluid is pushed out of the module and into the lines.)


-At this point you can do 1 of 2 things; you can do nothing and live with the small amount of the older circulated fluid in the system. (Even HD doesn't have you re-bleed the system after you activate the pistons in the module when using Digital Tech.) Or you can re-bleed the system to ensure that you have brand new fluid throughout. If you have a vacuum bleeder it's not that big of a deal.

The OP did a great job at giving a solution to a problem that can occur if you ever have it happen to you for whatever reason. I was never challenging that part of it. My curiosity was with the accusation that there was widespread issue with the ABS module itself. I am also one that feels that even though I don't like to have to do certain things I still do them when it is not only recommended by the manufacturer of the product but paramount to safety.





***To Ranger08boy, It was never my intention to put you on the defensive and start any kind of hard feelings. Unfortunately this is what happens all too often on the internet these days when you can only type so much and what gets typed may have a completely different meaning when it is read by someone else. I'm sure that if we were talking to one another all of this would go much better. If we run across one another while out riding in this great country I would loved to buy you a beer, or beverage of your choice.
 
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