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Help With Installing Steel Brake Lines

Old 01-21-2007, 08:02 AM
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Help With Installing Steel Brake Lines

I just bought a "bright yellow" low-mileage Hawk yesterday and rode it home. Just had it's 16K full service by previous owner. What a blast to ride!!! I've been riding in-line fours most of my life and the V-twin IS so different and way more FUN to ride!! got to love the way the engine brakes before turns as opposed to the in-line four "coasting".....Anyway, I suspect everyone has the same feeling about the stock front "spongy" brake feel. I'm ordering a front SS Rusell brake line kit to install and wanted to get input on the best way (and least confusing) to install SS lines on the front brakes of the Hawk. It has brand new HH sintered EBC's up front...just need to get back that "FIRM" brake handle feel for my own peace of mind. Thanks for the help/suggestions. Any other pointers on maintenance, quirks, whatever, etc. are most appreciated also. LOVE MY NEW BIKE!!! Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:24 AM
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first off welcome, new hh pads take up to 250 miles to seat to the rotors could this be part of the problem? also many people have upgraded to 6 pot gsxr calipers but they are very hard to find hope this helps. the s/s lines for the hawk are a two line system using a long banjo bolt at the master cyl. then one line goes to each caliper elimenating the tee under the steering stem. I ordered the goodridge lines for mine they were a little mor but have a clear vinyl sleeve to protect the bike from rubbing
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sprhawk neil View Post
first off welcome, new hh pads take up to 250 miles to seat to the rotors could this be part of the problem? also many people have upgraded to 6 pot gsxr calipers but they are very hard to find hope this helps. the s/s lines for the hawk are a two line system using a long banjo bolt at the master cyl. then one line goes to each caliper elimenating the tee under the steering stem. I ordered the goodridge lines for mine they were a little mor but have a clear vinyl sleeve to protect the bike from rubbing
For what its worth the Vesrah Sintered Pads are Race ready out of the package and require Zero Seat in miles. I have them on multiple bikes and they "Rock" from the get go.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:26 AM
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Welcome & good luck w/ your brake mod.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gpz4jp View Post
I just bought a "bright yellow" low-mileage Hawk yesterday and rode it home. Just had it's 16K full service by previous owner. What a blast to ride!!! I've been riding in-line fours most of my life and the V-twin IS so different and way more FUN to ride!! got to love the way the engine brakes before turns as opposed to the in-line four "coasting".....Anyway, I suspect everyone has the same feeling about the stock front "spongy" brake feel. I'm ordering a front SS Rusell brake line kit to install and wanted to get input on the best way (and least confusing) to install SS lines on the front brakes of the Hawk. It has brand new HH sintered EBC's up front...just need to get back that "FIRM" brake handle feel for my own peace of mind. Thanks for the help/suggestions. Any other pointers on maintenance, quirks, whatever, etc. are most appreciated also. LOVE MY NEW BIKE!!! Thanks again.
Welcome to the world of V-Twins. YOu may ride a in-line again but you will never go back.

As far as installing your new SS Lines, hopefully you purchased the set that runs from your calipers all the way to the Master cylinder as oppossed to the way the stock lines run, which is from each caliper to a central bloack on the lower Triple Tree and then a single line up to the Master Cylinders.

First off Brake Fluid eats paint, so cover and protect painted surfices as needed, especially the fairing, tank, and fender.
Removed the old lines and bid them goodbye.
The new lines should come with new seal washers, one each side of each banjo bolt. Oh go back to the trash can and cut the little rubber budhing off of the old lines that goes thru the bracket on each side of the cailper. Use a Razor blade and cut it off and place on new lines.

Route both line same as the stock setup and make sure they are not causing any kind of steering issue.

You should get a new banjo bolt that is longer than the stock one for the master cylinder as you will be mounting two lines up top instead of one. You will also use three seal washers. One in between the the brake line banjo's and one each on the outside of the banjo's. mount them with the new bolt and just snug tighten them to start with.

Put fluid in and start the bleed / Gravity feed process untill you get no air out of the calipers bleeders. Tip - I use Fish Tank vaccum pump hose on each bleeded to see the air bubbles and to route fluid down to a can in the floor. YOu can also use one of the Mighty Vac hand tools (Harbour Freight) if you have one.

After you feel like you have all the air our of the system down low. Put a wrench on the Banjo Bolt up top and wrap it in a rag. Then pump up the system with the lever and carefully loosen the bolt up to to let air that has collected there get out. The reason for having to do this is the Banjo is the highest point in the entire system and air settles there

YOu can also let the system self bleed occasionally by pumping up the lever and use some Zip-Ties or a bungie cord to hold the lever against the throotle grip over night.

A quote from Water Boy

"You can doit"
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
YOu can also let the system self bleed occasionally by pumping up the lever and use some Zip-Ties or a bungie cord to hold the lever against the throotle grip over night.
Wouldn't the brake fluid absorb the air overnight, with the bleeder still being open? That would plummet the boiling point of the brake fluid...
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:10 PM
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Water will reduce the boiling point. Air will not.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:16 PM
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so is loosening the banjo bolt required or just if the lever still feels spongy?
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Man View Post
Wouldn't the brake fluid absorb the air overnight, with the bleeder still being open? That would plummet the boiling point of the brake fluid...
You don't leave the bleeder open, you just pump up the system and hold the pressure overnight with zip-ties and the pressure will force the air to the top where it will vent on its own. works great and is an old racer trick
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sprhawk neil View Post
so is loosening the banjo bolt required or just if the lever still feels spongy?
Just if the lever is spongy
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:13 PM
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Help With Installing Steel Brake Lines

I just worked on my front brakes for the first time and can vouch for bleeding air through the banjo bolt. I have SS lines and bled the brakes through the caliper's bleeder valves the conventional way and no matter what the brakes were squishy. I then read about putting a rag under the banjo bolt, hold the brake lever in, loosen the banjo, let the air out and tighten, release the lever, repeat until firm. I was surprised at the number of air bubbles. Good luck.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Chitownson View Post
I just worked on my front brakes for the first time and can vouch for bleeding air through the banjo bolt. I have SS lines and bled the brakes through the caliper's bleeder valves the conventional way and no matter what the brakes were squishy. I then read about putting a rag under the banjo bolt, hold the brake lever in, loosen the banjo, let the air out and tighten, release the lever, repeat until firm. I was surprised at the number of air bubbles. Good luck.
Yep, just take a look the Banjo bolt up top is the highest point for pressurized fluid (excluding the resevoir) and air can easily get trapped there and goes no where.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:16 PM
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Installing SS Brake Lines

Thanks guys. I'll be sure to see that the SS lines go from the caliper directly to the master cylinder. Good point. Bleeding tricks also very helpful. I let you all know how it worked out. Thanks again to all for the help!!!
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkrider View Post
Water will reduce the boiling point. Air will not.
I will crawl back into my hole now, as I was thinking of the standard DOT3 brake fluid used in cars. Sorry if I mislead anyone.
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