How to improve front brakes on Yamaha's

(This is a continuation of something started over in the pro-racing forum)

I don't know how to do this, I am asking...

I am a longtime Yamaha rider and have had a KTM for the past year and a half. One thing significantly better on the KTM is the front brake. Comparatively speaking, the yamaha front brake is very weak.

There is a discussion on another forum about this and it was recommended to use the Honda caliper. I countered with the fact that they are both twin piston Nissin units, so what's the difference. It was suggested to me that the shorter brake like and the fact that the Honda caliper brake line is on the top instead of the bottom gives it more instant pressure.

It was also suggested that you could shim the plunger on the yamaha brake setup, but wouldn't this simply cause the front brake to drag?

What does everyone do. I can never really do one finger braking on my yamaha's because the brake isn't good enough like it is on the Yamaha. And before you ask... yes, I've rebuilt the brake cylinder, caliper and have swapped to braided lines with no difference.

What does everyone do?

changethe master cylinder

(This is a continuation of something started over in the pro-racing forum)

I don't know how to do this, I am asking...

I am a longtime Yamaha rider and have had a KTM for the past year and a half. One thing significantly better on the KTM is the front brake. Comparatively speaking, the yamaha front brake is very weak.

There is a discussion on another forum about this and it was recommended to use the Honda caliper. I countered with the fact that they are both twin piston Nissin units, so what's the difference. It was suggested to me that the shorter brake like and the fact that the Honda caliper brake line is on the top instead of the bottom gives it more instant pressure.

It was also suggested that you could shim the plunger on the yamaha brake setup, but wouldn't this simply cause the front brake to drag?

What does everyone do. I can never really do one finger braking on my yamaha's because the brake isn't good enough like it is on the Yamaha. And before you ask... yes, I've rebuilt the brake cylinder, caliper and have swapped to braided lines with no difference.

What does everyone do?

On your WR go out and pull the lever, notice the free play at the beginning of the lever pull? Its not totally free but there isnt much stopping power to be had through about the first 1/4, maybe a little less of the pull, but you should notice it has a mushy feeling. Now walk over to your KTM and I bet it has pressure instantly! The Honda MC takes care of this, so does shimming the plunger. There was a thread a while back of a Yami member that did this.

My quote from the pro forum,

"The Honda cylinder itself builds pressure right off the bat unlike the Yamaha MC. If you pull the Yamaha lever you will notice that it doesnt build significant pressure until about 1/4 of the pull is complete (guys have shimmed the plunger in the Yamaha MC to cure this). If you then pull the Honda MC you will notice that there is instant pressure. Instant pressure = effortless 1 finger braking unlike with the Yamaha set up. The line positioning of the Honda MC is also lower and direct. Honda pads are also a direct swap to the Yamaha caliper and YES they are also that much better when looking for better breaking on a budget.

Your correct about the line positioning on the caliper, the Honda line mounts higher. Less chance of trapped air and less distance to push the fluid. Ingenious design. Ive been experimenting for years with these parts to see what yields the best results.

"

I think the pads, MC and line make 99.9 percent of the improvement. The reason guys replace the caliper is because its usually easier and cheaper to buy the whole set up rather than buy it piece by piece.

Ive done this on every YZ Ive owned, and currently own. Yamaha stuff is then sold for no loss or a small profit. Win Win situation.

Edited by BDubb106

On your WR go out and pull the lever, notice the free play at the beginning of the lever pull? Its not totally free but there isnt much stopping power to be had through about the first 1/4, maybe a little less of the pull, but you should notice it has a mushy feeling. Now walk over to your KTM and I bet it has pressure instantly! The Honda MC takes care of this, so does shimming the plunger. There was a thread a while back of a Yami member that did this.

I hear ya on this... I am going to try to figure out a way to shim the plunger. Don't know how yet, but I will figure something out to see if it will make a difference.

Im trying to find the thread for ya. I cant remember if it was the plunger that was shimmed or if it was the lever mechanism that was shimmed.

Get rid of the KTM, and you won't notice this anymore!!!!!! Ha.

Get rid of the KTM, and you won't notice this anymore!!!!!! Ha.

Funny you should say that. I think both my WR and my KTM will be up for sale soon so that I can buy either the new KTM or new WR

When I owned a KTM, I was taught a little trick that drastically improved there front brake, and now I use it on the WR too. The night before a big ride/race, zip tie the front brake lever back as far as you can, and leave it for the night. In the morning, your front brake will be improved, sometimes quite impressivelly too!!! My guess is that this allows any trapped air in the brake line an escape up thru the plunger/piston, which then improves your braking efficiency. Give it a try!!!

Maniac

The length of the line doesn't make a bit of difference. You are moving the same amount of fluid from the master to the caliper if the line is 4" or 4'. Now if the line expands or you have air in it, then you will have an issue.

My wr250 has an 11mm bore master cylinder. I bought a crf 450 setup for my 150, and it also has an 11mm master. The 150 had a 1/2" bore master which I put on my wr and it helped out some. My drz uses the same caliper as the crf and wr but has a 1/2" bore master. Food for thought.

They are all Nissin masters and calipers. I measure the pistons in the crf caliper and it was the exact same as the wr. The crf, wr, and drz all uses the same pad.

Edited by gots_a_sol

Go with some EBC Sintered HH Pads. They make a huge difference.

The zip tie trick works.

For some reason it gets all the air out.

Grip harder, wimps.

Force yourself to ride one finger and you will adapt soon

I bought Gary Semics Practice Manual. I picked up some good stuff on how to use the front brake. Main thing was to ride with one finger touching it at all times. I used to steer with the rear wheel/brake, now I "scrub" a little speed with a light pull of front brake on entry of corners. My corner entry and exit is quicker.

I bought Gary Semics Practice Manual. I picked up some good stuff on how to use the front brake. Main thing was to ride with one finger touching it at all times. I used to steer with the rear wheel/brake, now I "scrub" a little speed with a light pull of front brake on entry of corners. My corner entry and exit is quicker.

Gary Semics is a genius, but riding with one finger on a WR will do little more than put a cramp in that finger. Its not going to stop the bike very well. You need two fingers... unless of course you do something to make the brake better.

I have zero problems doing it and also do the same with clutch. I have the levers set close to level. Now when I to do a full pull, I use two finger, but that doesn't last long, back to finger resting and ready for some small "scrub" pulls. If you do it right it really sets the front end during entry.

same as Bandit9 here...

I have zero problems doing it and also do the same with clutch. I have the levers set close to level. Now when I to do a full pull, I use two finger, but that doesn't last long, back to finger resting and ready for some small "scrub" pulls. If you do it right it really sets the front end during entry.

same as Bandit9 here...

I can't/won't deny that 1 finger scrubbing is possible. But when I originally started this post, I was referring to using 1 finger to aggressively stop the bike. That is where I am not so comfortable.

I can't/won't deny that 1 finger scrubbing is possible. But when I originally started this post, I was referring to using 1 finger to aggressively stop the bike. That is where I am not so comfortable.

your not alone!

I can almost do a stoppie one finger... Keep practicing it will come

I can't do 1 finger stoppies. I use 2 for hard braking.

I found the brakes on KTM's too touchy. Strong yes, too strong sometimes.

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