Brake Upgrades

Randy Grein randygrein at
Wed Oct 31 22:46:17 PDT 2007

Get a tennis ball. Squeeze it a million times. (grin)

Seriously, I'm old school and the brakes are so much better than what  
we had 20 years ago it's not funny. I get 2 finger brakies with  
little effort on the stock setup, but everyone wants more. There are  
a few things you can do:

Move the MC inboard. Seriously, this is a cheap, free upgrade. As you  
move your finger contact towards the end of the lever you can  
increase leverage by 30-50% over where most people grab.
Make sure the brakes are bled, retract OK, etc. The wheel should spin  
freely 2-4 revolutions from a single good, strong hand flick. If  
you've ever dumped brake fluid on the rotors or calipers use brake  
cleaner to clean the rotors and replace the pads.
If you're still having trouble with lever travel you may need to seat  
the calipers properly. With the bike on front and rear stands loosen  
the caliper bolts, spin the tire and tap the brake lever a few times.  
Hold it while tightening the calipers back up. This seems to allow  
the brakes to float to the optimum alignment with the rotors, and has  
always solved excessive lever travel for me.
Replace the pads with ones that have a higher CF (coefficient of  
friction). I would suggest the EBC kit pads, but those are only for  
racing. I think Galfer or Ferodo have something for you, but you will  
have to compare the CF, don't just buy pads assuming.
If that's still not enough you can replace the whole front end. A  
common enough swap, this will give you bigger rotors and calipers.  
GSXR 600 is a common upgrade, but you will need to get replacement  
Randy Grein, WMRRA #41

On Oct 31, 2007, at 8:03 PM, David and Sumudini Guyer wrote:

> I have the '02 SV650S.  I think I'd like to find out some ideas of  
> how to
> upgrade the front brakes so that I get more feel and control, and  
> perhaps
> power.
> I've started to get to the point that I realize the transition from  
> strong
> braking to trail or no brakes as you tip over into a turn is fairly  
> critical
> and important to your cornering speed.  Feel of the brakes goes a  
> long way
> to keeping you from just unloading the brake giving you that "going  
> away"
> feeling.
> So, other than stainless steel brake lines, which I have already,  
> are there
> ways to upgrade the feel and/or power of the brakes... would a new  
> lever do
> it, or a new "radial" master cylinder... could I get and bolt on  
> GSXR600
> calipers...  how do you guys do it, if at all???
> Thanks in advance :-)

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