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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
4 Piston Brake Calipers Installed on ABS Bike, Pictures

Just finished installing as set of Tokico brake calipers on my '08 ABS and it works great, no problems that some have reported. I used a set of calipers from a 2003 GSXR 750 ($50), stock brake lines, HH rated brake pads ($42), DL1000 master cylinder($50) and SV Racing adapters ($75). The easiest way I found to install without getting to much air in the system was to install the master cylinder first. I removed the old master and keep the line pointed up to keep the brake fluid in the line. I filled the new master with brake fluid (dot4) then keeping my finger over the port worked the brake handle slowly to work out the air using my finger like a one way valve. Looking into the reservoir you can watch the ports for escaping air. Once the air is out refill then install the lid keeping your finger on the exist port at all times. Install the brake hose on the master quickly then bolt to the handle bars. I then slowly applied the master while opening the banjo bolt on the master to expel any trapped air. I did this until my handle firmed up. The key is to not stroke the piston in the master too quickly. Quick movements of the piston create small bubbles that are hard to remove. Once completed unbolt both caliper but don't remove the brake hoses. Install the SV Racing adapters and then new calipers leaving the bottom bolt out and the top bolt loose. This allows you to swing the calipers up to attach the brake hoses. Now working on one side unbolt the brake hose from the old caliper and transfer to the new. Then install the lower bolts and tighten everything up (use locktite on the bolts). I found the left side hose a tad tight but the steel end on the brake line has a small curve. I took a small rubber mallet and bent the line a touch to give me some slack. I then opened the calipers one at a time and allowed then to gravity bleed then followed up by pressure bleeding with the master cylinder.

I found the brake leaver was in the same position as the stock position and attribute this to using a DL1000 master. The DL1000 uses a larger piston and displaces more fluid for the larger calipers. My ABS brakes seem to work the same as before. Braking effort is reduce but not as much as I was anticipating. Still not sport bike brakes. I would say maybe 30-40% reduction in brake leaver effort but in fairness my stock calipers had HH pads installed. Maybe once the new brake pads wear in the effort will reduce further. I've only have about 50 mile since the work. Braking distances should be very similar, why wouldn't it be, just the brake effort at the leaver is less. Would I do this again. YES. The lighter brake leaver is a nice touch. So if you have a ABS bike and were nervous about doing the mod, don't be. For a total investment of $200-250 it's worth it.

Just a couple of pointers. Pick up low mileage, new looking calipers so you don't have to mess around rebuilding them. Flush them out with brake fluid. Carefully bend the left brake hose steel line off the caliper to give yourself a little slack (ABS bike only). Change the master first, bleed then the caliper. Less air means easier bleeding. Use locktite. If someone wants pictures let me know.

Here are the pictures I promised. Sorry but no pictures of the actual work.



DL1000 master is identical to the 650 other than piston size.




You can see the small curve in the brake line. This is after I tweaked it a bit to give the stock line some slack.


 

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Nice write-up, RB! I've done a similar mod, only I used a radial M/C off a GSX-R 750. Similar results but the 750 M/C isn't compatible with the factory hand guards. Just yesterday, I scored an '06 Wee M/C off fleabay and look forward to warmer hands while I await the rumored arrival of warmer weather here in the NW. :yesnod:

BTW, I'll have the radial M/C available once the 'new' one is installed and will post it here first. Interested parties contact me via PM.
 

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Sounds cool - Please post pictures...
 

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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
What did you end up paying for the '06 master? I looked for about 3 months before I found one at a reasonable price in good condition. Did you end up tweaking the left brake hose? Will post pics tonight.
 

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I was wondering if the 4 pot conversion would work on a ABS. My chief concern would be the larger volume of fluid moving around in the system. If the ABS system works by allowing fluid to 'release' from the calipers, would the additional volume cause issues?

*paging Greywolf to the white courtesy phone*
 

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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #6
My bike is ABS and the conversion works fine. Did you read my post? :confused:
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Hydraulic brakes work because brake fluid is not compressible. Volume doesn't matter.
 

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Off Wee-ing in the woods
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Hydraulic brakes work because brake fluid is not compressible. Volume doesn't matter.
From my own personal experience with the 4 pots on an ABS bike the ABS does work but the increased volume does seem to effect the speed at which the ABS responds compared to stock. I've had at least 2 instances where I thought the ABS should have kicked in earlier.

1 was while practicing emergency stop around the neighborhood when I was able to get the rear end off the ground momentarily.

2 was what felt like an actual front wheel lock under real world conditions. 45mph speed limit and light turned yellow as I was approaching. I was too far to make it, but too close to stop slowly. It was wet and I felt the front end dive to the left. I don't know if I was a full on wheel lock a tar snake or paint, but it surprised me regardless as I would have expected the ABS to kick in prior to the wheel moving laterally. I release and re-applied and all was good.

4 pot calipers with stock 07 M/C
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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ABS will not prevent a stoppie. The manual even warns of it.

ABS does not always prevent a wheel lock but automatically eases the brake when it happens to get traction back.

The stock ABS brakes act the same way. See the slow motion section of this video.

 

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Pat you are very much right on both accounts, but what I was describing were very noticeable changes from the stock calipers. The stoppies I was experiencing were not the type shown in the video. According to my wife who was riding behind me she could see an air between the rear tire and the ground. Upon reaching a stop I could also feel the rear end drop quite hard compared to the usual weight shift that happens after heavy braking.

This was my first clue that the ABS while still functioning was not reacting quite as the same as it did with the 2 pot calipers. It's also possible that the increase stopping power from the 4 pots in ables you to brake right up to the threshold of the ABS system
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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The difference was the extra stopping power. ABS does nothing to prevent a rear wheel lift. It doesn't even function when the front wheel is going under 3mph so you can get the rear wheel well up in the air and the end of the stop.
 

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Nice write up...

Now the real test I would love to see is a bike similarly setup with 4 pots vs 2 pots. For me when it comes to replacing / upgrading parts on my motorcycle I follow the same rules I follow with the car I rally.... until the stock part breaks use it until it does | there are noticable exception such as HID upgrades so don't bother point that one out anyone hehe :thumbup:

Still good to know this upgrade is possible with what appears to be little fuss
 

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Nice write up...

Now the real test I would love to see is a bike similarly setup with 4 pots vs 2 pots. For me when it comes to replacing / upgrading parts on my motorcycle I follow the same rules I follow with the car I rally.... until the stock part breaks use it until it does :thumbup:

Still good to know this upgrade is possible with what appears to be little fuss
I'm usually the same way, but the 4 pot upgrade is a vast improvement in stopping power and general brake feel compared to stock. Well worth the $80ish I spent to do it.
 

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What did you end up paying for the '06 master? I looked for about 3 months before I found one at a reasonable price in good condition. Did you end up tweaking the left brake hose? Will post pics tonight.
I gave $50 + shipping for mine. Seemed reasonable. The seller was asking $59.95. I did tweak the left hose a bit to create some slack. Didn't take much...
 

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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #15
I did a couple of 90kmph (55mph) stop tonight with ABS activation and without. Everything worked fine and braking was stronger with less applied to the lever. Without ABS activation (threshold braking) I was surprised at how quickly the brakes reacted and how strong the brakes felt. With ABS activation the brakes worked well and still very strong braking. I did noticed at the very end when the ABS activation quites (under 5mph), brakes grab and want to lock but this occurs when your almost stopped. I also tried the brakes on a gravel road at speed of about 30mph. At that speed I grabbed a handful of front brake and applied the rear hard. ABS activation was normal without any drama. Seemed to work exactly the same as before. The more I ride with this setup the more I like it. The brakes react very quickly when you want them to but are still easy to modulate. I do expect a shorter stopping distance because of how quickly the brakes come on.
 

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Just scored some 4 pot Nissin calipers off eBay. 2005 f4i with 5k miles. $82 with the Honda master. Will order the brackets soon
 

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Also, Is it necessary to change out the M/C or will the stock suffice?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Try it and see. Some owners feel the stock 2007+ M/C makes the lever too mushy and prefer the older one with the larger bore.
 

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I'm a bit on the fence after reading this: http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,11089.90.html

Interestingly, if M/C piston size is an issue, my set comes with the Nissan M/C from the F4i, which may work for the Wee. Based on the afformentioned thread, i'm wondering if the mod is safe to do with the ABS system.
 

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Pat you are very much right on both accounts,.............the increase stopping power from the 4 pots in ables you to brake right up to the threshold of the ABS system

:) Hi, You are right in your observation that the 4 Piston Brake Calipers have increased your stopping power and you are now easily able to brake right up to the point of threshold braking. Your brakes are working well based on your comments.

Most bikes with good brakes, abs or not, will lift the rear wheel slightly for a moment when the brakes are applied with progressive force. This is a function of the weight and traction transferring forward. Not to worry at all.

Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
Blair
 
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