What to do about soft brakes? - Sportbikes.net
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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What to do about soft brakes?

I've got an '05 R6, and i thought everything was fine and peachy... until i rode my friends '07 R6. Went to grab the brakes and about got thrown off the bike (well, not literally, but that is a good comparison of the difference). His brakes grab so much harder than mine do. was there a change in the design of the calipers or pads or something between the years?
I have taken mine to the local yamaha dealer and had everything checked out. he adjusted the brakes a little, so they're better, but they're still soft.

what else can i do? i'm guessing my options are... (in no particular order)
1. new pads? maybe that would help although they're supposed to be fine.
2. buy '07 or '08 calipers off a wrecked bike and install them on mine. would that fix the problem?
3. braided steel lines? are my brake lines bulging THAT much???
4. a set of aftermarket calipers? what brands??? lookin on kneedraggers i saw a set from both Beringer and Brembo. although nice, the brembos are way outta my price range. the beringers are out of it too, but closer than the brembos.

if i went with different calipers (used, or aftermarket) would it be smart to upgrade the rotor to one of those "wave" rotors, or whatever the name is for them.

just lookin for info so when i have the money for workin on my bike i know what to order.

thanks

Aaron
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Last edited by newbaa; 01-25-2008 at 02:18 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 04:52 AM
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I had a simular problem on a gsxr750 and put on some ss brakelines and upgraded the pads and there was a significant improvement.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 08:23 AM
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SS lines and new race pads will help. You may want to try bleeding the brakes first. This may help:
There is always a small air bubble traped in the master cylinder even after bleeding. To remedy this you must remove master cylinder from handle bars and hold vertical while gently squeezing lever until all of the air bubbles stop. This may take about a minute. The air bubble will come out the master cylinder and into the reservoir through the reservoir hole.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 01:16 PM
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Sometimes it's just a matter of bleeding and adding new fluid. It depends. Start with the easy less expensive stuff and move on one at a time

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 01:46 PM
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sh*t i posted before I was ready.

I put on Performance Friction brake pads and switched to the Super Blue brake fluid and couldn't believe the difference.
One of my buddies and I switched bikes one night (he has a 07 zx10) and mine is a 2002 R1. The first thing he said to me when he took his helmet off was, " man, what did you do to these brakes? They are GREAT!!!!"

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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yeah, i bought the bike used, so i don't know the full maintenance history on it. i've put amsoil in it... should probably go through and change out the rest of the fluids.
by ss brake lines, i'm assuming you mean stainless steel braided lines?
and is it really necessary to get the "dual braided front lines with new dual line master cylinder"? or is the single braided line going to be enough?
and i know there's probably tens or hundreds of companies, but how bout some recommendations for brake pads?

Aaron
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 08:50 AM
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the stock brakes are really good. good enough to do stoppies with one finger all day.

you should not have a spongy/soft brake feel. I'm 100% certain, the previous owner didn't bleed them fully/correctly.

pads will make more of a difference than ss lines. ss lines are a waste of money for a street bike IMO. they work, but not like everyone raves. some guys just get lines and never get pads, THEY don't know what they are missing.

and I've always used Valvoline's synthetic fluid,(can get at any autoparts store) I have never experienced any brake fade. and I ride the same track as my friend that complains about his brake fade, (uses motul) and he is slower than me

Last edited by serpentracer; 01-26-2008 at 09:00 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:02 AM
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Yeah, change your fluid and REALLY bleed them, and change out the pads.

Your lines are going to be at least decent. Stainless does work a little better, but spongy feeling has nothing to do with the lines, normally.

The calipers are the same on the 05-07 R6 as far as I know. The 05 R6 has the radial brakes, it was the only year of the old bodystyle that got them, and I'm pretty sure they were unchanged for the redesign.

Wave rotors will not do jack in this circumstance.

Also- a dual line MC is a waste of money. I didn't even know they made such a thing. Thats silly.

Get some nice sintered HH pads and some synthetic brake fluid and make sure to get the air of there. You NEED to take the whole system off the bike to do it proper, though. It's easy for air to get caught in the MC, and also if you have the brake line setup where you have a line going to one caliper, then a double banjo bolt with a line from there to the other caliper, air gets trapped in the top of that line sometimes.

If you have a "Y" connection before the calipers it's usually not as big of a deal, though.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serpentracer View Post
you should not have a spongy/soft brake feel. I'm 100% certain, the previous owner didn't bleed them fully/correctly.

well the previous owner maybe didn't bleed them correctly, but i would hope that the local yamaha dealer would. i took it in there not long after i got the bike and had them do a check on the fluids, and i had them adjust the brakes. i don't know, maybe they didn't bleed the lines, but i would think that that would be something that they would do.

but new brake fluid and new pads look like the way to go. and maybe the braided lines, but not a necessity.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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was just reading through my online manual/service schedule thingy and came across this

"Every two years replace the internal components of the brake master cylinders and calipers, and change the brake fluid."

how critical is that? i know they put information like that in there for a reason, but do i need to rebuild my mc and calipers now too seeing as how my bike is 3 years old? i've never done it, but i'm not scared to try. i mean, i'm taking auto mechanics so i have access to anything i'd need.


and what's the capacity of the brake system? is a 12 oz bottle enough or do i need more than that?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:09 PM
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they probably didn't bleed the brakes unless you paid for it specifically.. and there is no "adjustment" of the brakes. the only thing you can do with them is adjust the lever position for you liking. but it has no affect on the brake performance.

a 12oz bottle is plenty.
my bike is an 03 and I've never changed anything internally with the brakes. yamaha doesn't sell the master cylinder parts seperate. you have to buy the whole thing. the brakes on the R6 and R1 has always been one of yamaha's strong points. so something is definetely wrong with yours. I say bleed them yourself. you are a mechanic, it's easy anyway.

just to be on the safe side, inspect all of your factory lines. you never know, one of them could be bad and expanding or something.
if you have the money buy the lines too. don't worry about the rear lines or pads. it's over powered as is.

Last edited by serpentracer; 01-26-2008 at 09:17 PM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the input everyone. appreciate it.

Aaron
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 02:42 AM
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I'm surprised Yamaha recommends rebuilding the master cylinders and calipers every 2 years. That seems like over-kill. Replace the brake fluid every 2 years especially if it's getting at all dark in color. If you're unsure how to do it, a good independent shop will do it including bleeding the brakes for about $25.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayOSV View Post
I'm surprised Yamaha recommends rebuilding the master cylinders and calipers every 2 years. That seems like over-kill. Replace the brake fluid every 2 years especially if it's getting at all dark in color. If you're unsure how to do it, a good independent shop will do it including bleeding the brakes for about $25.
eh, i'll learn how to bleed the brakes. plus i'm taking auto mechanics right now, so i'm gonna have to do it sometime. might as well start doing it on my own stuff.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 01:21 AM
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i was bleeding/flushing my brakes every 3k miles or so...it would start to change and actually get kinda dark...its not a bad idea to keep them flushed if you are a hard braker...look at your rotors...is there any black scoring or any darkening anywhere...if you or the previous owner boiled your fluid...that may be some of your problem if not all of it...

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