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California Scientific
4011 Seaport Blvd
West Sacramento, CA 95691
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800-284-8112
916-372-6800

Motorcycle Brakes, Hydraulics and Footpegs

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Brakes

Do ABS brakes really work? A reprint of an article from MotorcycleConsumer News. I must admit that, like many experienced riders, I have a prejudice against ABS - I think I can stop a bike faster than a computer can. However, this article makes a pretty compelling case that in wet or sandy conditions, I'm just wrong. Thanks to Sam Ulbing for this link.

Brake pads come in a few formulations. Generally, sintered pads will give you better performance at a higher price. Some companies make different formulations of pads for the front and rear. Some sintered pads offer greatly increased braking performance at the price of much grabbier and more sensitive brakes - the EBC pads I put on my ST1300 really stop the bike, but in the winter I find myself locking up the wheels a couple times a month in poor road conditions. I don't have ABS, note my prejudice.

EBC Sintered Brake pads CalSportBike

Ferodo Brake pads Rev limiter racing 831-336-3306

SBS Brake pads Accessory Warehouse


Hydraulics

Braided Steel Brake Lines
Braided steel brake lines are popular with many people. The braided steel is there only for protection from heat and impact - it adds nothing to the braking performance. However, the hydraulic lines inside the braided steel are of higher quality than the factory parts, and typically offer better braking feel.

Spec 2
Spiegler

checkmarkbrake bleeding kit
MityVac Brake Bleeding Kit. About $60 at Northern Tool, J.C.Whitney, or 1888fastlap.com

Change your Clutch or Brake Fluid

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Caution: DOT 3 and 4 brake fluid will strip paint. Be careful, don't drip, put a cover on the tank.

Required supplies:

  1. Using a couple three paper towels or a rag, soak up the fluid in your handlebar reservoir and empty it out. Discard the paper towels.
  2. Fill the reservoir to the top (over filled) with clean fluid. Place the appropriate wrench (8mm?) on the bleed valve for the clutch, likely just above the shift lever (remember, I haven't done this on my ST yet). Place the vinyl tubing on the bleed valve, and drop the open end of the tubing into your jar / bottle.
  3. Open the bleed valve. Pull the clutch lever in to the handgrip. Hold the level in. Close the bleed valve. Release the lever.
  4. Repeat step (4) until the fluid coming out the bleed valve is clean and clear. Every 10-15 pulls, check the fluid level in the reservoir and add more as necessary.
  5. Move the handlebars as necessary so that the top of the fluid in the reservoir is level with the ground. Fill the reservoir to the top of the "full" line. Close everything up, you're done.

Footpegs

You can change out your passenger footpegs for floorboards, a change which will be much appreciated by many of your SOs.


Passenger Floor Boards from J.C.Whitney. Made by Emgo, said to pop right on. $60. Or, get a used pair off of a junked Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, or Yamaha touring bike.


HAC Passenger Floor Boards about $150.

Cleated footpegs for dual-sport bikes:

IMS Footpegs
IMS Footpegs, about $80 at any motorcycle shop. Photo by Verle Nelson.

Fastway Cleated Footpegs Fastway Cleated Footpegs
Fastway Cleated Footpegs,About $100.