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Discussion Starter #1
While I've seen quite a few comments from folk saying they're planning to do this, I haven't seen any report back from someone who's actually done it.

My feeling is that the R3's rear brake is fine, but the front brake is annoyingly weak. You really have to pull pretty hard to achieve pseudo lock-up (I have ABS) on a good tar surface. I am therefore interested in improvement options.

To my logic, braided hoses will not change the lever pressure (and hence brake fluid pressure) required for lock-up, but they will change the hand energy (integral of force over lever travel distance) (apologies to the non-mathematical riders) required to get to wheel lock-up, which will change the perception of how hard you need to pull the lever. Braided lines also therefore improve the "feel" and control of the braking since less energy goes into flexing the hose (which has a fair bit of hysteresis).

Again, to my logic, the only ways in principle to reduce the brake lever force required is to:
1) increase the pressure surface area of the calliper pots by having:
a) bigger pots or
b) more pots (e.g. 3 pots on a disk or 2 disks with two pots on each)
2) decrease the pressure surface area of the master cylinder in the lever assembly.
I'm guessing that the Brembo options may achieve 1a or 2 or both of these tricks.

So, for me, the million dollar question is: "Will just replacing the stock front hose with a good braided hose make a terrific improvement, or will additional, significantly more expensive upgrades be required?"

Any hard experience with braided hose additions to the R3 or other bikes out there?
 

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While I've seen quite a few comments from folk saying they're planning to do this, I haven't seen any report back from someone who's actually done it.

My feeling is that the R3's rear brake is fine, but the front brake is annoyingly weak. You really have to pull pretty hard to achieve pseudo lock-up (I have ABS) on a good tar surface. I am therefore interested in improvement options.

To my logic, braided hoses will not change the lever pressure (and hence brake fluid pressure) required for lock-up, but they will change the hand energy (integral of force over lever travel distance) (apologies to the non-mathematical riders) required to get to wheel lock-up, which will change the perception of how hard you need to pull the lever. Braided lines also therefore improve the "feel" and control of the braking since less energy goes into flexing the hose (which has a fair bit of hysteresis).

Again, to my logic, the only ways in principle to reduce the brake lever force required is to:
1) increase the pressure surface area of the calliper pots by having:
a) bigger pots or
b) more pots (e.g. 3 pots on a disk or 2 disks with two pots on each)
2) decrease the pressure surface area of the master cylinder in the lever assembly.
I'm guessing that the Brembo options may achieve 1a or 2 or both of these tricks.

So, for me, the million dollar question is: "Will just replacing the stock front hose with a good braided hose make a terrific improvement, or will additional, significantly more expensive upgrades be required?"

Any hard experience with braided hose additions to the R3 or other bikes out there?
Math is ubiquitous. For example: If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving the dog only two of them.

Scroll down in this thread to see photos of installed Spiegler hoses on an R3 and comments about how effective they are.


http://www.r3-forums.com/forum/753-yamaha-r3-garage-build-area/6737-track-bike-build-thread.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks "FangShui". I messaged "Contrails" and asked him to post a nice assessment for us. Holding thumbs...
 

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One of the first things I did to mine - brake feel is improved and you can lock the front (non-ABS) if you grab a handful. As delivered the front was mushier than I'd prefer - There was a bubble stuck in the line somewhere and it took forever to work it loose - once thoroughly bled, performance improved quite a bit. Braided lines just made adequate better.
 

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My findings are the same as Stirz. Feel is much better with the new lines. If you have squishy fronts, I would definitely first try to re-bleed them to make sure there's no air in there. If that doesn't do anything, braided lines would be my next stop. If that doesn't do it, maybe more aggressive pads? You really don't need anything beyond that for this bike.

All I know is that when I first got the bike, it felt like it had no braking power, but now it feels great since I put the lines in and re-bled the system.
 

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I will be doing it before my next track day test, but since that isn't until early September, I haven't been in a hurry :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the responses. I think "Contrails" gave good advice to first try bleeding the brakes before buying new hoses.

The other thought I had this weekend was: "Am I 100% sure that the original hoses are not in fact steel braided under their skin?" I might give my Yamaha shop a call just to verify this. Apologies if this sounds insulting to anyone.
 

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If money permits, heavier springs and braided lines allowed me to be so much more confident in braking. Since I'm a novice, I ended up braking harder than I should be into turns
 

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Thanks for all the responses. I think "Contrails" gave good advice to first try bleeding the brakes before buying new hoses.

The other thought I had this weekend was: "Am I 100% sure that the original hoses are not in fact steel braided under their skin?" I might give my Yamaha shop a call just to verify this. Apologies if this sounds insulting to anyone.
They are very much rubber. There are some hard parts, but the flexible parts are rubber tubing.
 

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Nothing like pulling the brake for the first time and grabbing a great big handful of nothing happens!

Those who've done it, do you think the steel line is enough? I don't doubt it will be an improvement, but should I plan to budget more for brakes?

My dealer said he's thinking of either putting on a different caliper with more pistons, if he can find one that fits his R3, or swapping the forks from an FZ-07 so he can go to dual front disks. Really it's my only complaint about the bike so far - bike this heavy should have dual disks IMO. (The bouncity suspension I expect from a stock bike. ;) )
 

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Read about every other post about this. I don't think more pistons is going to help. After re-bleeding, getting steel lines, and making sure the pads are bedded, the brakes seem fine (even on the track). And I haven't even put my sintered pads in yet. I think step one is to really make sure the pads are bedded, then go from there. Personally, I think the steel lines are the key to not feeling squishy.
 

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Agreed. The stock pads feel useless at first, they need time to bed in, which takes longer than usual because the bike is so light and doesn't go that fast. Not like bedding in pads on a gsxr1000000...

Steel break lines are a huge improvement, and if you want more, get some better pads like the Vesrah RJLs which are like $57. So far these improvements with properly bed-in pads have been more than enough stopping power even for the racers.
 

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Nothing like pulling the brake for the first time and grabbing a great big handful of nothing happens!

Those who've done it, do you think the steel line is enough? I don't doubt it will be an improvement, but should I plan to budget more for brakes?

My dealer said he's thinking of either putting on a different caliper with more pistons, if he can find one that fits his R3, or swapping the forks from an FZ-07 so he can go to dual front disks. Really it's my only complaint about the bike so far - bike this heavy should have dual disks IMO. (The bouncity suspension I expect from a stock bike. ;) )
If you literally have nothing, then you need to bleed the system.

Two of the best things to do for brake system upgrade are better pads, and braided lines. If you want to go all out, get an aftermarket master cylinder like a Brembo or Accossato and high performance brake fluid. The fluid really won't help much on the street, unless you do a lot of heavy braking. For street riding the latter two are really overkill.
 

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"Nothing" was hyperbole. I didn't crash after all! I know what air in the line feels like and that isn't it. (Though others' reports here of air in their lines is pretty disturbing. That should NOT happen. Reminds me of the '91 Sportsters with their inadequately torqued crankshaft nut, except for way more dangerous.)

Just really not enough brake for the bike, as it comes off the assembly line, is all. Got my steel line ordered today!
 

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Like others have mentioned, burnishing the brakes really makes them more effective. Mine took @ 700 mi (street riding) before they felt good. But I have no complaints about the stock brakes now.
 

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Got my brake line on, just have about 120 miles on it. It's not an enormous difference, but definitely noticeable. I'd say, on the light braking end, now one finger is enough for feathering force where before I'd need at least two; and on the other end, with the stock brake line it took full panic braking force just to come to a normal stop, where now I have something in reserve if I should need to panic brake; and now I have enough braking power to really notice the lack of damping in the forks. :cool:

I've got almost 700 miles on the bike now. If the pads don't come in a little better soon, I'll probably be swapping them out too.
 

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I figured out where the "bubble" likes to hang out after a couple of iterations of different length brake lines - each time it took me a while to get the thing bled - it was kinda irritating actually. Turns out (at least in my case) that the position of the MC makes a big difference in getting the lines bled properly.

When you bleed your lines, make sure that the handlebars are turned to the far left. If the reservoir is tilted to the right, "bubbleitis" seems to occur. So, when you get 90% done with your brake bleed, turn the bars to the left and even lean the bike (with some help) to the left. That last bubble will pop up into the MC reservoir. Then all is well.

Looking for an EBC brake pad stock number - anyone seen these yet?
 

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I figured out where the "bubble" likes to hang out after a couple of iterations of different length brake lines - each time it took me a while to get the thing bled - it was kinda irritating actually. Turns out (at least in my case) that the position of the MC makes a big difference in getting the lines bled properly.

When you bleed your lines, make sure that the handlebars are turned to the far left. If the reservoir is tilted to the right, "bubbleitis" seems to occur. So, when you get 90% done with your brake bleed, turn the bars to the left and even lean the bike (with some help) to the left. That last bubble will pop up into the MC reservoir. Then all is well.

Looking for an EBC brake pad stock number - anyone seen these yet?
SportBikeTrackGear has a video on bleeding for the R3. In it, Brian Van gives a tip about using tie wraps to hold the front brake lever in, after you're finished bleeding and have a "good lever", to allow any tiny bubbles to rise into the master cylinder.

I left mine like that overnight after installing Spiegler lines and the brakes seem fine. Much better than stock. No squish.

I'm waiting for Galfer pads to be available from Hard Racing. Should make it even better.
 
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