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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2013 DL650 adventure. I bought it in 2014 (leftover got a good price) last year I changed the brake pads because I found the brakes to be soft. Now I took the bike for the first time since fall and again I found it still soft. So now I am thinking the brake pads are fine and the problem is with the bike having ABS BRAKES which I never had before. So my question is can I turn this off or not and is their any side affects from doing it. How many have done it and was braking improved? Thank you for your help.

PS DON'T REALLY FEEL SAFE WITH ABS.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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ABS has nothing to do with the feel. The only time ABS has any effect on the braking is around lock up. The brakes are softer than what you may be used to because the bike is a dual sport and sport or touring brakes would be too easy to lock up off road. The calipers can be replaced with sport bike calipers and caliper conversion mounts if you think it is important enough to get a lighter feel, that is unless "soft" actually means you have an air bubble in the system.
 

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I'd try a brake bleed if they feel soft. My 2013 feels great to me but it's my first bike so what do I know?��
 

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What brake pads did you use? I just put in EBC HH Sintered brake pads and they make quite a nice difference. The OEM brake pads would definitely feel soft in comparison.
 

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While upgrading the brake pads can considerably improve the initial bite and feel of the brakes, there is only so much they can do. If there is a point on the new DL 650 that really needs improvement ( imo ) it is the front brakes. ABS has absolutely NOTHING to do with what you describe as soft brakes. Be glad you have it. It is there only when needed, most don't even practice hard, panic styles stops and have no idea how much confidence ABS can give in those situations.

Take some time and drain, refill, and properly bleed the front brakes. Bike is old enough that it will be good for it anyway. That will take care of any bubbles of air in the system. Those WILL give a very soft feel! If no improvement....

Beyond that the only answer is to buy the brake calipers, caliper brackets, pads from the appropriate sport bikes and fit them to your V STrom. Some like to add the master cylinder for complete upgrade.
 

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I have a 2013 DL650A (w/ABS), and the brakes are definitely softer than my Triumph Sprint, but they stop me just fine. I was surprised by a car a couple of days ago (my fault), and grabbed too much brake. The ABS kicked in because the front was obviously starting to lock up, even on dry, clean pavement.

Clearly, if the ABS is kicking in, then I have enough braking power.
 

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Try a set of EBC HH sintered pads. I believe you will like them.

Mind, you will get what you ask for (more initial bite, more powerful overall brake effect), so be careful what you ask for (ie: you would do well to practice occasionally after they're broken in).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you I did do a brake pad up grade. What I should have mentioned is I was in fourth gear and applied the brakes but in order to get slowed down quicker I down shifted quickly. To me if it were an emergency those brakes should have done way better job I think I will change the brake fluid I see Doc has a video on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Try a set of EBC HH sintered pads. I believe you will like them.

Mind, you will get what you ask for (more initial bite, more powerful overall brake effect), so be careful what you ask for (ie: you would do well to practice occasionally after they're broken in).
Yes I did this soon after I got the bike I did my research and choose these. Guess I should have done the fluid then.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a 2013 DL650A (w/ABS), and the brakes are definitely softer than my Triumph Sprint, but they stop me just fine. I was surprised by a car a couple of days ago (my fault), and grabbed too much brake. The ABS kicked in because the front was obviously starting to lock up, even on dry, clean pavement.

Clearly, if the ABS is kicking in, then I have enough braking power.
Mine does not so brake bleed job is next.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While upgrading the brake pads can considerably improve the initial bite and feel of the brakes, there is only so much they can do. If there is a point on the new DL 650 that really needs improvement ( imo ) it is the front brakes. ABS has absolutely NOTHING to do with what you describe as soft brakes. Be glad you have it. It is there only when needed, most don't even practice hard, panic styles stops and have no idea how much confidence ABS can give in those situations.

Take some time and drain, refill, and properly bleed the front brakes. Bike is old enough that it will be good for it anyway. That will take care of any bubbles of air in the system. Those WILL give a very soft feel! If no improvement....

Beyond that the only answer is to buy the brake calipers, caliper brackets, pads from the appropriate sport bikes and fit them to your V STrom. Some like to add the master cylinder for complete upgrade.
You are right most people do not practice this I do especially after a long hard winter here in the northeast. I did up grade the pads last year so I will do the brake fluid and see how that works.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Try a set of EBC HH sintered pads. I believe you will like them.

Mind, you will get what you ask for (more initial bite, more powerful overall brake effect), so be careful what you ask for (ie: you would do well to practice occasionally after they're broken in).
I sure did and it helped but I need to bleed the brakes see how that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What brake pads did you use? I just put in EBC HH Sintered brake pads and they make quite a nice difference. The OEM brake pads would definitely feel soft in comparison.

Got them best in the market.
 

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If you can't lock the wheel, something is wrong with the brake or you are weaker than a 69 year old retired desk jockey. Downshifting takes your focus off the brakes and is ineffective in emergency braking, Just focus on the braking.
 

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I have a 2013 DL650 adventure....So now I am thinking the brake pads are fine and the problem is with the bike having ABS BRAKES which I never had before.
PS DON'T REALLY FEEL SAFE WITH ABS.
Hi Stromger -

I know this is probably a silly question but I thought I'd make sure you're talking about the front brakes being too soft?

If it's the rear then I'll point out that on pavement, you want to do at least 80% of your braking with the front. The rear is pretty meager on the V-Strom and most other bikes for a reason.

I mention this because a few people I work with ride cruisers and they tend to use lots of rear brake (and yes, they seem to crash a bit more than you'd expect due to locking up the rear).

There was a time not that long ago when road racers never used the rear. (I know that's changed in the last 15-20 years.)

To quote Kevin Swantz (former Suzuki GP world champ) when asked what he thought about the trend of using the rear brake to steer the bike on corner entry, he said "I don't know, I've only tried it twice and crashed both times".
 

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I would suggest there is a middle ground between replacing pads/bleeding lines and complete caliper and system upgrade. Consider just upgrading the brake lines.

I'd always considered the braking performance on my elderly, non-ABS wee to be anemic. I couldn't lock up the back brake and the front was soft and juddery. Last year I did a complete replacement of the brake lines and pads with Galfer stainless steel lines and Galfer pads. I'm sure Spiegel or Hel lines would have similar effect. The difference was night and day. All of a sudden I had smooth, easily modulated brakes, front and back, and the back could be locked if I felt the need.
 

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Skip the caliper upgrade and go with braided stainless steel lines.

The caliper upgrade and stainless lines are redundant. The calipers will not increase your stopping ability, but will help with feel. However, braided stainless steel lines do that as well and are both cheaper and easier to do.

The stock brake lines expand and contract as pressure is applied. By comparison, the braided stainless lines do not expand and contract nearly as much and provide a good firm feel.

You can get them in many brands and from many companies. We have the braided stainless steel sets with clear vinyl coating at the lowest price we are allowed to advertise.

Braided Stainless Brake Lines - AdventureTech, LLC.
 

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My take on this:

assuming:

there is nothing wrong with your brakes, ie, no air in system, your brake hose is in good condition, pads are of a hi friction rating and fully serviceable. S/S lines are only really good for very aggressive rider or when OEM lines are no longer in good serviceable condition. I doubt it along would achieve a noticeable improvement for touring ride with next to new brake. Any improvement will have more to do the bleeding associated with installation than product itself.
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then what you describe as "soft" maybe to do with the design of master cylinder - K7 and later wee/glee has a relatively small bore as a ratio of brake caliper bore - benefit of this system is reduced lever pressure require to brake, but a longer travel. The system is perfectly suited to those who prefer 4 finger brake. Some argue this system is best suited for dual sport riding situation (as opposed to road racer).


pre 2014 Dl1000 and k4-k6 Wee use a MC with a larger bore, resulting in shorter lever travel but greater hand pressure require to generate the same total braking force compare to your setup. I have this setup for a while on my old Wee. I have no experience of the current 1000, but by what i hear is a lot better than the Wee & Glee.


But if like me, you are used to 2 finger brake on sports bike and modulate your braking gently with short lever travel and minimal pressure required, then you might want to upgrade your MC to a radial design - it essentially increases the mechanical leverage for the same given MC bore size (caliper still the same obviously). I have fond memories of the fireblade in that respect.

Radial MC setup when compare to your current system, allows you to have a shorter lever travel as well the same low or lower hand pressure required to achieve on a given amount of attenuation.

Most people interpret this as a "firmer" brake.

A popular after market choice is Nissin Radial MC for just over $200US. You can spend an extra $100+ on top of that and get a really nice Brembo radial MC. Blair from SV Racing sell such a system to troopers here.


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thats my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I would suggest there is a middle ground between replacing pads/bleeding lines and complete caliper and system upgrade. Consider just upgrading the brake lines.

I'd always considered the braking performance on my elderly, non-ABS wee to be anemic. I couldn't lock up the back brake and the front was soft and juddery. Last year I did a complete replacement of the brake lines and pads with Galfer stainless steel lines and Galfer pads. I'm sure Spiegel or Hel lines would have similar effect. The difference was night and day. All of a sudden I had smooth, easily modulated brakes, front and back, and the back could be locked if I felt the need.
Thanks KZdon
I see you you have non abs wee, I have abs ( I and my parts guy at the dealership can't figure out why they added this the bike was fine without it ) getting stainless steel brake lines will be my next step if I am not happy with the brake bleed job.
 
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