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Front Brake sucks. Suggestions for improvement?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thlillyr, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. thlillyr

    thlillyr XS400 Addict

    So got a seca 400 and the front brake blows compared to newer bikes. I know apples and orangers whatever. The mechanic said that thats just the way they are. They don't bite that hard when you squeze the brake lever. I'd like to know what people have done to improve on this and weather it can be done at a resonable price.
  2. HoughMade

    HoughMade XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    The first step is to make sure it is working like new. Sand the disk with 120 grit sandpaper and replace the pads with good ones. They harden over time. Flush out the brake fluid and possibly replace the brake hoses. The get spongy over time.
  3. Travis

    Travis Staff Member Staff Member

    Yep! what HoughMade said. New pads and lines make sure the rotor is clean and not glazed over. Make sure your fork seals are in good shape first so you don't leak fork oil all over your new pads. Once that oil hits your pads, they are contaminated and should be thrown out.

    Also while you're at it, you should fully clean the master cylinder and caliper and replace the rubber parts and pistons if necessary. After all of that, the brakes will probably get much better but will never be as good as any modern bike. They should still stop you pretty damn quick though.... you just won't be doing any two finger stoppies.
  4. redratbike

    redratbike XS400 Addict

    fit an Aprilia 320mm disc and make a bracket to fit a modern caliper..renew your master cylinder with the $30 newbie i found on ebay and your stop on a sixpence (dime)
  5. volcomskater77

    volcomskater77 XS400 Chopophile Top Contributor

    get rid of it? lol run with no front brake. youll look BAD ASS. lol
  6. Daddio

    Daddio XS400 Addict

    HoughMade and Travis nailed it. New brake lines are a required item if you even think their old. You have to think off the limited volume of fluid and if those hoses deflect only 10% you are losing a ton of pressure to the pistons.
    My guess though is air in the line. It is common and will have the same effect as old lines. You should also check the pistons which push your pads; are they moving freely?
    Cheapest way to start is with sandpaper and brake fluid. Sand the rotor, sand the pads, remove all the fluid and refill it. I am sure youtube has several videos on how to bleed brakes so I won't cover that. But I will say that it is better to contaminate a little more fluid making sure there are no bubbles left than than quitting early.
    I would still recommend replacing the lines at the same time, but if cash is a problem start here.
  7. I heard the metal braided brake lines can increase the braking power a lot and I was considering using them. Has anyone heard anything on this rumour?
  8. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

    not a rumour, the braid doesn't deflect like rubber so all the effort goes into pushing the brake piston
  9. Pawl

    Pawl Arctic chop & bob

    I've also found that tapping the lines lightly with a wrench from the caliper, on up between pumping the lever brings lots of air bubbles up into the resivoir.
  10. Daddio

    Daddio XS400 Addict

    Very true. Steel braided lines walls do not deflect like rubber does so the pressure is consistant through the calipers stroke. The only negative is sudden failure as a visual inspection cannot tell you the condition of the lines.
  11. Thanks drewpy and daddi ill try them out. great tip paul i'll also have to try that when I change the lines
  12. dO-bOy

    dO-bOy Woohooo!

    where does one acquire steel braided lines?
  13. volcomskater77

    volcomskater77 XS400 Chopophile Top Contributor

    auto parts store. a good one. not pep boys. they might have it, but probably not
  14. I saw some on amazon for around $25 each
  15. lhaolpa

    lhaolpa XS400 Junkie

    Acetone will clean foreign material[brake fluid,oil,grease]from the pads and disc.The system is the same basic concept as the brakes on your car or truck,and the same procedures apply.You can resurface the disc using sand paper or steel wool and clean with brake cleaner or acetone. lha
  16. Travis

    Travis Staff Member Staff Member

    I like cyclebrakes.com

    I've used them a few times. Just call them and tell them exactly what you need as far as line length, color, bango angles, and bango bolt sizes. You might just be able to tell them it's for a XS400 and they might know what you need.
  17. mookie

    mookie recycler

  18. thlillyr

    thlillyr XS400 Addict

    fantastic thanks for all the great advice.
  19. thlillyr

    thlillyr XS400 Addict

    Awesome. Thanks for all of the advice guys. I'm thinking an Aprilla rotor with some new lines and pads. Now if only cycle brakes will answer my emails.

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