GSXR Front Calipers on a DL - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 50 Old 08-23-2009, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
Dr. M's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
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GSXR Front Calipers on a DL

I found a ratty set of calipers for cheap on eBay. I ordered a seal and piston rebuild kit from Ron Ayers. I got the brackets, Galfer HH pads, and Galfer braided hoses from SV Racing (here on the board).

Once I got the calipers, I set about tearing them down and cleaning them. I used compressed air to drive the old pistons out of the bores. A T-40 torx head is needed to take out the caliper bolts that divide the calipers into halves. I headed to my local Fastenal store to get new stainless cap head bolts for replacements. All 8 capscrews needed for the calipers totaled about $5 which is the price Suzuki wants for one of their fancy torx head screws that will rust. I also replaced the screws that hold the brake pad shield over the top of the caliper.

I drilled the caliper mounting bolts for safety wire so there would never be any threadlocker to chase out of the threads in the future.

When cleaning the calipers for rebuild, it is wise to take a dental pick and make sure the upper side of both seal grooves in each bore is clean, pay particular attention to the upper seal. Lots of junk hides just out of sight and needs to be cleaned out before reassembly. I also use a cheap Harbor Freight stainless steel brush to scrub off any residue or junk from the calipers. I probably went through 6 cans of cheap spray brake cleaner as well. Per my father's teaching, I wash all parts in denatured alcohol to remove any chance for oil from my skin fouling things up (who knows if this is really necessary, but it sure smells good!). Once washed, I dunked the seals in fresh DOT4 brake fluid. I smeared a layer of fresh fluid on the inside of the bore and then put in the seals. Next, dip the new pistons in fluid and carefully press them into the bores.

Then I sprayed everything with brake cleaner and set about masking up the machined surfaces that cannot be painted. It takes about 20 minutes per caliper half at my speed working with painters tape and a fine razor knife. I threaded old bolts into holes, made tape "funnels" to fit into others, and then hung the calipers for painting. I used Duplicolor red brake caliper spray paint (about $7 a can at most auto parts stores). Don't believe the coverage listed on the can's label, it took me nearly two cans, giving each part three coatings.

To reveal the "Tokico" text wasn't too tricky as I have access to one of those Chinese mill/lathe combo machines. I mounted a 2" diameter surface sander to the mill and blocked up the caliper half on the cross-slide. I was able to sand off the paint without hitting any other part of the caliper. You could do this on a drill press. I doubt I could have done this by hand (I tried mocking up a piece of sandpaper on a flat bench, but I couldn't hold the caliper steady enough to push it across the paper without rocking over and scratching the sides).

Once the paint had set, I reassembled the calipers, remembering the new o-ring that goes between the halves prior to tightening the screws to 24 n-m.

I removed the old calipers and hoses, making sure to drain the system before disconnecting the lines so fluid wouldn't get on the paint. One of those hand squeezed vacuum pumps works great for this. I put the new brackets onto the forks and used medium strength thread-locker and tightened those bolts to ~26 n-m (whatever the factory manual recommended). Then I mounted the calipers and safety wired the bolts for ease of future removal for tire changes.

The hardest part was getting the dual Galfer banjo fittings to seal at the master cylinder! Galfer recommends 17-25 ft-lbs, and even at 25 ft-lbs torque, my system leaked. I had to hand tighten the system to probably twice that amount to get everything to seal. I had no problems with the banjo fittings sealing at the calipers. It took a while to get all the air pumped and sucked out of the new calipers, but after a bit I was able to get a very firm brake lever.

I took the bike out for a spin to bed in the pads. I forgot how HH pads sound on ventilated rotors, but that familiar "WHIRR" sound lets you know you have some serious brakes. By the third firm stop I was doing stoppies and compressing the front fork to within 1" of the lower triple clamp.

This job took me two weekends of cleaning, painting, and assembling (after I ordered and received all the parts). I don't work too fast, so others may do this more quickly. I also replaced the rear pads with HH compound, but I haven't done the rear brake line conversion to braided yet. My DL1000 now stops like my 600 track bike.

I'd rate this job as a full 4 beers out of a six-pack and not for the true beginner. If you have been turning the wrenches on your bike for a while, you should be able to tackle it.

Here's a picture of the final installation:


Last edited by Dr. M; 08-23-2009 at 08:10 PM.
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post #2 of 50 Old 08-23-2009, 08:43 PM
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Damn Dude...those look SEXY!!!

If I get a set of Ebay much for you to do a set just like that for me...bolts drilled and all???

post #3 of 50 Old 08-23-2009, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Omaha, NE
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Oh oh.

Don't know for sure, but I suspect the stainless bolts holding the calipers together have a lower tensile strength than the steel bolts. Might check with your source (if they can tell you). Clearly, these bolts are under a bunch of stress, and stretching them would be a bad thing. If nothing else, keep a close eye on them.
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post #4 of 50 Old 08-24-2009, 12:44 AM
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Take a picture of more of the bike and the painted calipers. Looks good up close. I'm itching to to this after riding a couple demo with nice front brakes.

2003 V - ASV C5 Levers, Univ. Solex bars, grip heaters, ktm mirrors, c.stand, SW Mo Engine grds,Two Bros, PC3, Garmin, Givi 460, tank bag, F. Extenda, BackOff, Super Brace, Elka Shock, Race Tech Gold. AWD/Mr.Ed's Moto seat mod. Dumonde Tech Racing Oil, Spider grips, Contour.

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post #5 of 50 Old 08-24-2009, 02:08 AM Sponsor
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Thumbs up SV Racing Parts, Brake Caliper Adapter Brackets

Great job on the calipers, Looks hot with the Black SV Racing Parts, Brake Caliper Adapter Brackets on your bike,

As long as you have the 10mm bolts through the forks, good and snug with the Red Loctite, and have the 8mm bolts holding the Calipers good and snug with blue loctite you are good to go,

I have guys using these in extremely high stress racing applications with absolutely zero issues,

I see you went ahead and used the safety wire. That will prevent the bolts from backing out and loosening up as well,

Let me know how the finish holds up, Lots of Stromtroopers would love to be able to refinish a set of calipers that well,

For anyone else looking to do the upgrade, I just made up a batch of 49 sets of Brake Caliper Adapter Brackets and Back Plates,

Email if you are interested, [email protected]

Enjoy the ride, and best regards,
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post #6 of 50 Old 08-24-2009, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
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I will keep an eye on the bolts. BTW, Pointe Products, Inc. offers chrome plated metric grade 12.9 socket head fasteners. I ordered a set for the calipers and will replace them once the new ones are here. $1.19 each bolt which is very reasonable and the shipping was $9. They take PayPal, so it was an easy order. The stainless bolts have a tensile strength of ~102,000 psi and the grade 12.9 is ~170,000 psi so I will be adding some safety factor when I upgrade.

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post #7 of 50 Old 08-27-2009, 10:20 PM
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Do the caliper kits come as a full set to do one complete caliper? Part #59100-29830? I mounted and bread my calipers, now I'll put the originals back on and rebuild the GSXR calipers, both calipers dragging. I should know better. Oh well, what else was I going to do on a Thursday night.

Art in Edmonton
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post #8 of 50 Old 08-29-2009, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
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Originally Posted by acormier7 View Post
Do the caliper kits come as a full set to do one complete caliper? Part #59100-29830?.
You need two kits... not cheap, but it will be worth it.

I would apply air to the calipers before disassembly so you can try to drive all the pistons out at the same time. Well, at least that's my theory. I pulled the calipers apart into two halves and then applied air. One piston always pops out first leaving you to tug on the other one with a vice grip or pliers. That's why I bought the full kit (pistons and seals) cause I couldn't save the old pistons. Perhaps if the two halves are still together, the pistons will drive out and meet in the middle with both sides still barely seated. Then pulling them out the rest of the way might be easy?? Well, we can dream, can't we?

Also, check the upper side of the seal grooves with a dental pick to make sure the grooves are completely clean of all dirt and gook (a very scientific term). Also clean the o-ring indentation on both sides of the caliper halves (where the fluid goes from the outside half to the inside half) as solidified brake fluid and oxidation products need to be cleaned out from there as well. I wish I had taken more pictures, hopefully my description is good enough.

Buy plenty of cans of brake-clean. I hate to say it, but the chlorinated stuff appeared to work better (but isn't so good on the environment).


Last edited by Dr. M; 08-29-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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post #9 of 50 Old 08-29-2009, 03:50 PM
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After riding my new to me '06 FJR I have figured out that the Wee's brakes just aren't doing it for me (already have HH pads and SS lines).

I just ordered a set of Blair's brackets and HH pads, now I'm searching Ebay for a set of calipers!!!!! Any leads on any good deals?? All I've seen so far are in $75 range, any better deals out there?

BTW, if you have a chance give Blair some buisness, prices are competitive, shipping reasonable and service is 110%.

Roger ('14 Tenere ES, COG 5903)
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post #10 of 50 Old 08-30-2009, 09:52 AM
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Man. Dr. M, this looks awesome. Super nice job.

DL650K5, Race Tech Forks, Scotts Stabilizer, SuperBrace, Staintune Exhaust, GSXR Calipers, Fastway EVO III Pegs, Givi Crash Bars, Motoagora Bellypan, TouraTech Rad Guard, Givi E21 / E41 Cases, Givi E52 Topcase, Cortech SuperMini Tankbag, Suzuki Euro Screen / Givi Touring Screen, Madstad Bracket, Kaoko Throttle Lock, Suzuki Heated Grips & Handguards, Dual PowerLet Outlets, Pat Walsh Dash Shelf, V1 Radar Locator, Garmin Zumo 550.
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