StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
2015 DL650
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After riding a buddies KTM 1090, the brakes on my Wee seem lacking. The brembo brakes were amazing on the KTM, and got me thinking if my next project should be a full upgrade of the brakes. I did expect the brembo brakes to be superior, I just didn't expect there to be such a noticeable difference.

For the Strommers that have done the full/ partial upgrade to master cylinder, 4-pot calipers, and braided SS lines, did you find that the upgrade was worth it? Or maybe if the master cylinder upgrade alone would provide enough benefit.

I should add that I have already swapped out the front pads with the EBC double-sintered pads.

Thanks in advance for the insight
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
No need for the master cylinder. No need for the braided stainless lines. But both would make incremental improvement.

I installed the 4 piston calipers on my 2012 DL 650. It now has decent brakes. Before doing this it was "pull the front brake lever damn near to the grip for maximum effort stopping"!

Buying the 4 piston calipers and brackets is worth ALL the money and effort. It is that much of an improvement.

I had HH pads on the stock calipers.

There are some who have done this conversion and were less than completely satisfied. I will tell you that I think they never got all the air out of the system. That isn't easy. Too me a few days to get it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,941 Posts
Agreed you can make the brakes better on the DL650 but go in knowing they will only be better and not comparable to high end systems.

Keep in mind the old saying "no mater how much you polish a turd in the end its still a turd".
 

·
2015 DL650
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Keep in mind the old saying "no mater how much you polish a turd in the end its still a turd".
??? very well said.

I dont expect to match the KTM braking prowess, but now that I know the brakes are underperforming getting up to par has become my next project.


For those that dont want to upgrade your brakes, keep away from expensive bikes with really good braking systems ?
 

·
2015 DL650
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Realshelby, thanks for your insight. Appreciate you sharing

I am pondering an experiment. Adding the calipers, taking some braking distance measures. Then adding the master cylinder, taking some additional braking distant measures. It wont be scientific enough for the an article in the Journal of Medicine, but would be entertaining to read while sipping a beer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,941 Posts
A master cylinder is matched to the caliper/s. Adding a larger M/C will make the brakes feel wooden and will take more effort to stop. Add to small of a M/C and other problems arise.

As for getting air of the system, reverse bleeding is the only way to go. My Guzzi T3 with linked brakes has broken mortals trying to bleed them. When I totally rebuilt the braking brake system I was worried after hearing all the horror stories. Pints and pints of brake fluid, vacuum bleeders and hours of time. Well in 20 minutes using the reverse bleed method I had the entire system bled and all tools and put away.
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
Richland Rick at adventuretech.biz was going to make the caliper brackets available. I would check with him first.

Changing the master cylinder is more complicated than it seems. Giving up your factory mirror mount for instance. Then there is the sizing. While it seems the 4 piston caliper would NEED a bigger displacement master cylinder, that isn't necessarily true. The stock calipers have much larger pistons, so the amount of fluid needed to apply pressure isn't all that different. The 4 piston calipers work better in part due to EVEN pressures across the pads as well as a bit more force. Again, bleeding the system after installing 4 piston calipers seems to be where you are either happy or not so much. Reverse bleeding is something I would certainly try next time. I went through two quart bottles of fluid getting mine right! I think the problem is getting air out at the master cylinder hose junction.

Stainless steel hoses would probably help even more. I am happy enough with mine as they are. Two fingers on the lever and you can give the front tire all it can handle. Stainless braided hoses would increase feel and response I believe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,266 Posts
I guess I'm spoiled by never having had good brakes on all the Beemers I've had. The brakes on my 04 Wee seem fine. They seem a bit better with stock pads and a fluid change.
I guess like horsepower, if you've never had it you don't miss it.
Maybe I under ride my sight line and don't need panic stopping power?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,906 Posts
I did caliper swaps on both my Stroms and definitely support that change.
Just did the brake line swap on my buddies 1000 after adding risers and while improved he still wants calipers after riding mine.
On top of the better braking it just has a better feel when braking.
I will eventually upgrade the lines down the road!
Mike
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
I guess I'm spoiled by never having had good brakes on all the Beemers I've had. The brakes on my 04 Wee seem fine. They seem a bit better with stock pads and a fluid change.
I guess like horsepower, if you've never had it you don't miss it.
Maybe I under ride my sight line and don't need panic stopping power?
Good brakes are not just on high end bikes. That is why I bitch about the V stroms having less than average brakes ( except for the gen 2 DL 1000 ). You can make light of it, but really good brakes are a difference maker when in a dangerous situation. Sight line or not, there are dangers that appear no matter where your sight line is!
 

·
2015 DL650
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the excellent input on the 4-pot calipers and reverse bleeding.

I will start my hunt for some 4-pot calipers.
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
ebay seems to be about the best all around source for calipers. If you can, find a set off a newer bike. That way there is less chance of needing a rebuild. Rebuild parts, at least OEM parts, are VERY expensive for these!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
I guess I'm spoiled by never having had good brakes on all the Beemers I've had. The brakes on my 04 Wee seem fine. They seem a bit better with stock pads and a fluid change.
I guess like horsepower, if you've never had it you don't miss it.
Maybe I under ride my sight line and don't need panic stopping power?
Good brakes are not just on high end bikes. That is why I bitch about the V stroms having less than average brakes ( except for the gen 2 DL 1000 ). You can make light of it, but really good brakes are a difference maker when in a dangerous situation. Sight line or not, there are dangers that appear no matter where your sight line is!
I'm with notacop on this one, although realshelby has a good point.
I remember when brakes were cable operated drums, and forks were spaghetti noodles. Today's bikes, although infinitely better, could still stand some improvement in some areas.
If the abs activates, that means the wheel was at the point of locking up. If you can lock up the wheel, I don't understand how the brakes can be better. This may be an oversimplification, so I will welcome a better explaination.
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,356 Posts
If the abs activates, that means the wheel was at the point of locking up. If you can lock up the wheel, I don't understand how the brakes can be better. This may be an oversimplification, so I will welcome a better explaination.
What happens before ABS activates? Too much is made of ABS and that it is an automatic limiter of braking. ABS is a limit to OVERBRAKING. At least it is in real world situations.

Leading up to that is what can make the difference in stopping in time or not stopping in time. This is where better brakes make the difference.

I have on all three of the V Stroms I have owned and ridden tested maximum force braking. With stock brakes and pad, loaded up with good tires and on concrete surfaces where I like to test my bikes, I could pull the brake lever all the way to the grip and the bike not always lock the front wheel or stop at what I called max effort. Which is right before the tire slides or the rear wheel comes off the ground. I may have had the lever adjusted closer to the bar than some, but at any rate you had to grab a LOT of brake just trying to get it to slow hard. HH pads will improve not only how much lever you have to use, but how rapid the brakes reach high force.

Which brings me to the subject that makes high end brakes better, safer, and confidence inspiring. You might think your stock brakes act quickly. But it takes time to pull the lever a long distance and even then it seems like it takes a moment for the brakes to really bite into the rotors and slow the wheel. Brake force is simply work being done by the friction of the pads on the rotor. As the tire slows down, it is easier for the brakes to lock or further slow the tire. In other words your stock brakes might lock the front wheel or activate ABS at 20 mph easily. Yet at higher speeds it seems like the lever is at the grip and still not enough. This 1/2 to 3/4 of a second seems trivial. 60 mph is 88 feet per second. 1/2 second is 44 feet before you are even really braking hard.

With dual rotors and radial mounted Brembo calipers my BMW RT bites so hard initially that you only use 2 fingers to modulate braking. The instant you engage the brakes they have the ability to apply a great deal of force to the rotors. Part of this is due to their size of components, but a major difference is that the components don't flex and waste braking power. If you could see how much your stock caliper housings flex under max brake pressure it might surprise you! This initial high braking force slows the front wheel almost immediately. You also have enough brake force to load the front tire past maximum traction....almost instantly.

The difference in this immediate, high force braking could easily mean you are at maximum braking 1 or more seconds before a stock V STrom system allows. I practice "panic stops" at lower speed. This distance before the bike is actually at maximum stopping effort seems like forever when you get back on the V STrom.

The 4 piston caliper upgrade cuts this initial braking lag at least in half if not more compared to a stock V Strom brake setup. Plus it gives a lot better feel of the brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
I'm with notacop on this one, although realshelby has a good point.
I remember when brakes were cable operated drums, and forks were spaghetti noodles. Today's bikes, although infinitely better, could still stand some improvement in some areas.
If the abs activates, that means the wheel was at the point of locking up. If you can lock up the wheel, I don't understand how the brakes can be better. This may be an oversimplification, so I will welcome a better explaination.
I can understand why one would would draw that conclusion. (we had similar starting points) However, modern really good brakes obviously give you extra braking power. Your question focuses in on why do you need it. The answer is that with more power you can dial in more "slowing" at a greater rate than (and before) you resort to triggering the ABS. You might think of it as being the opposite to having a snatchy low-end throttle response. Sure you can just open the throttle in a single twist to wide open and bang up against the traction control but it is not near as fast and controlled as a well mixed fuel system.

Great brakes show up when, for example, you are in a turn and the radius closes up suddenly. Being able to add more slowing without the damn bike trying to stand up is worth many dollars compared to quarts of adrenaline. Even on a straight line during your commute. Two of the cager-genius-class get tangled up and the highway turns into a yard sale. Great brakes matter.

I have a V2 with the new brakes. I have a SV650 with hoses and pads, etc and from time to time swap with a buddy for his Wee. Yes, I can adjust to the brakes on the other bikes. But should I have to ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
I guess I'm spoiled by never having had good brakes on all the Beemers I've had. The brakes on my 04 Wee seem fine. They seem a bit better with stock pads and a fluid change.
I guess like horsepower, if you've never had it you don't miss it.
Maybe I under ride my sight line and don't need panic stopping power?
I am with you. I have had bikes with better brakes, but due to their power and potential speed they needed them. Riding my DL 650, mostly with me and the wife, I have never found the brakes unable to stop the bike in a reasonable distance. I don't think the DL650 is intended to be a racing bike or a high performance street machine that requires a high end braking system. But then maybe its all because we enjoy riding the beautiful back road of Kentucky and don't get in a big hurry. Sit back and enjoy the ride....the stock brakes are fine.

Maybe if you want KTM or Ducati level braking, suspension, handling, etc. it might be better to just buy one of them and get all of that stuff stock and be done with it. The Suzuki is an "affordable" bike that does the majority of what a far more expensive bike can do but at half the cost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Big B and notacop

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
"...I could pull the brake lever all the way to the grip and the bike not always lock the front wheel or stop at what I called max effort..."

40 years of riding and I can't recall having that happen (with disc(s) on the front).
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top