Brakes!
#1
Having read all there was to read on here and elsewhere about the brakes before I got the bike, I wasn't surprised at how utterly hopeless the front brake is on Godzilla - scary stuff when used to the good (but not exotic) brakes on my Fazer :o

Now I've ridden her a bit, puckered up a few times, and done my first off-roading diving into the verge, I thought it was time to do what can be done to improve matters without getting silly - new seals, oem pads, hel hose, bandit master cylinder seems to be the accepted formula. Ordered the bits, and took the caliper off.

I think I may have found why the brakes were quite so awful! Both pistons more or less seized thanks to a lack of dust seals, sliders seized due to one boot being holed and both being "greased" (glued) with copper grease - doh!

Not a pretty sight:
[Image: IMG-20201011-180125.jpg]

Got a bit confused with part numbers - the bike's a '96, so should be a T, but the caliper is earlier, might need to check the chassis number if I can find a database. Having seen the (incorrectly ordered) T pads I can see why those calipers are an improvement, much more friction surface. As the highwaymen at Suzuki want £11.00 for one slider boot I decided to get an aftermarket rebuild kit from these folks. It looks good quality, I'll post again about fit, etc when I get to that point - bit of wire brushing to do first!
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#2
The bandit mc's piston is to big. It gives a firm lever but no increase in braking force, less I'd say. Try yourself and see but I'd rebuild your own.
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#3
Bit confusing with the caliper as there were two types in the UK and also another one in Europe.
Whatever you do, don`t use non OE seals or dust seals or you will end up without any brakes at all as I did in France when I tried to do it on the cheap, and the seal failed after a couple of weeks. If you want to use cheap rubber boots it`s not so critical but use proper caliper grease with them.
I`ve found the main problem is crud building up behind the dust seal causing it to bind and I find I have to replace them every year. Probably due to road salt in the winter.
Having experimented for many years I`ve eventually found a reasonable braking system at last.
Change the disc to a genuine Brembo, which is less than £90.
Use genuine Tokico pads from the GPZ series from the 80s and 90s as they are identical to the SR43 only sintered and stop really well. Also there are lots of dealers clearing old stock  on Ebay so you will get them cheap. I`ve also used Brembo sintered which are brilliant but effing expensive.
Agree that there is less feel with the Bandit m/c but you get a span adjustable lever which is necessary if you have hand like a shovel like me and can only brake with two fingers
If you give me your chassis number I`ll tell you the year.
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#4
Really weird, I wrote an update to this last week, but it has disappeared. Here goes again...


Apologies for the radio silence, things have been a bit hectic Confused Nothing worse than people posting questions, then not coming back!

Thanks for all the info Bob, much appreciated - I'll pm you my chassis number rather than putting it on the open forum.

Cleaned up the caliper, gave it a lick of paint and rebuilt with the kit I bought. I'll keep a close eye on the seals, as I did use the ones in the kit. I'll get an OE set so I have them when you inevitably turn out to be right.

[Image: IMG-20201017-131622.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20201017-131605.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20201018-134731.jpg]

OE Pads fitted, and HEL braided hose. The hose is about 100-150mm too long I think, I had to give it a turn round the fork tube between the triple trees, which still allows plenty for the fork to fully extend. I might order a custom length one if I'm in a fussy mood.

I tried the new hose and rebuilt caliper with the old (EBC) pads first, to see what difference the rebuild and hose make, and it's certainly worthwhile if your old hoses are 24 years old! Not sure how much difference there is to new rubber ones. The new pads are the standard ones for the bike, unfortunately I'd already ordered them by the time you said to get the GPZ ones. Again they are a marked improvement over the ancient EBC pads, though they may take a little while to bed in properly as the disc is slightly uneven. I haven't changed the disc as there is still loads of life in it, and I have to prioritise funds, but I may come back on this decision.

I have the bandit mc here (with a nice matching adjustable clutch lever) but I'm going to hang on to it until I'm ready to refurb the bars, the current mc has firmed up nicely with the work done so far (I'm no longer cutting off my own fingers under braking), we'll see how things develop with the pads bedded in.

In short, I haven't done things quite right in one go, but I'm getting there - I'm now getting to experience the diving under braking that I'd only heard about till now Tongue
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#5
I`m sure the improvements you have made will make a huge difference after seeing the awful mess you were using before.
If you have fitted OE Tokico pads, then they are pretty good.
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#6
What is the Hel braided hose like how did it compare to the OEM one? Does it have the right grommets and protective sleeve for where it can rub up near the handlebars? Looks like you did a great job on that caliper! ?
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#7
(19-11-2020, 10:29 AM)GrahamW Wrote: What is the Hel braided hose like how did it compare to the OEM one?  Does it have the right grommets and protective sleeve for where it can rub up near the handlebars?  Looks like you did a great job on that caliper! ?

Personally I wouldn't buy HEL's "off the shelf" DR hose for the DR again, it's just too long* to be neat. I would also have liked both ends offset, it would have been neater. And no, no sleeving anywhere, not that it actually touches anywhere where there will be movement. Next time I'll take the time to take my own measurements and order a custom one - in my experience of HEL that only costs pennies more than the stock items.

The OEM is two rubber sections with some steel pipe in between, whereas this is just a single braided line straight through, so completely different. Hard to tell how much of an improvement it is, the caliper was so far gone that most improvement has to have come from there. I'd be fairly sure that new oem hoses would be just as good, if they've been stored correctly.

Thanks, I'm pretty pleased with the caliper too, it was actually in amazing nick under all the paint and grime, only the seal beds needed any real attention Smile



*or my springs are too saggy!
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#8
Cheers, I might end up getting a new hose eventually as mine is a but old now.
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