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Transforming the Performance of the Front Brakes


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I've never been happy with the front brakes on this bike, in fact I would say they are the worst brakes I've ever experienced on a motorcycle, absolutely no stopping power,  absolutely no feel, as well as being spongy.

Replacing the front brake line with a steel braided line does very little to improve the brakes except remove the sponginess and to get rid of that ugly loop. The brakes still suck, go ride a KTM and it will become depressingly obvious how crap the brakes are.

 

After thinking about it quite a bit I have discovered the issue with the brakes.

Today I ordered one of these babies

 

78002_EXC_2014_BRAKES_1024.jpg

 

I wasn't sure how extreme to go, so when in doubt I usually go all out. This sucker produces over 3x the braking force over stock. I could have went with twice the braking force but bugger it, I want more.

 

I should have everything in the next couple of weeks, I'll let ya know how it goes with an update.

Edited by Positron007
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I've never been happy with the front brakes on this bike, in fact I would say they are the worst brakes I've ever experienced on a motorcycle, absolutely no stopping power, absolutely no feel, as well as being spongy.

Lol. You want bad brakes, my last bike was a 1979 XL250s with drums front and rear..... The LRP brakes were an Astounding in comparison to that. I loved that bike, but Highway driving was terrifying because of them. I am interested in following this progress though... Never stop improving.

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What is the piston size in that caliper?  I have been looking for a 12mm.

Smaller than that.

You also have to take into consideration the centre to centre distance between hinge of the lever and the centre of the piston, I measured the stock unit at around 25mm, and according to the Honda Manual the piston size is around 12.7mm.

You want to go at least 11mm on the piston and smaller on the centre to centre distance to get a decent improvement.

Once it has been tested I'll let you know if I have nailed it perfectly first time or I went too extreme.

By the way, my mate was taking my bike off the trailer and he said, what the hell is wrong with your brakes, they feel like wood. Thats what happens when you replace the brake line with a steel braided one, they go from being spongy to wood with still no stopping power, and no feel or feedback.

This should be a bloody nice upgrade for not a lot of money if all goes to plan.

Edited by Positron007
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12.7 mm is the equivalent to 1/2", which is the size on my XL and many other Hondas.  I want to go to 12mm to get just a little more pressure at the calipers, albeit with a little more travel at the lever.  your point of the lever to piston ratio relates to the too. 

 

Often times too the wooden feel at the brakes can be attributed to having too large of a master cylinder piston in relation to the caliper. You would have poor stopping power and feedback too in that case.  I think you are doing the right thing looking for smaller.

 

The braided lines will amplify that feeling for sure.  I have already made that step with some satisfaction, no loss of power and feel just less line flex.

 

I have scoured the web to find a listing of brake master cylinders by size to kind of pick and choose my upgrade theories, but haven't found one yet.  I too want to play with piston size but not spend too much learning.  Ihad hoped to be able to choose from a variety of bikes and buy a used one from eBay but no luck there without a chart.

 

I have also looked online for 12mm calipers often to find that the advertised 12mm is actually 12.7mm, which is what I already have.

 

I did find several articles online that detail how to calculate the master to caliper ratio you have and compare to your proposed change.  Some even had a chart so the math was already done for you, though the formula is simple enough if the chart doesn't match your bike.

 

Dave

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Yeah I know exactly the problem hence the reason that I am the first person doing this on the crf250l

I've already done all the calcs and made my selection

Once I have tested it out. I'll give a long winded explanation about the choices with calculations if that is what people are interested in

Edited by Positron007
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