Gen 1 Brake Upgrade Path - Page 2 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #11 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
you are right on the swelling of the stock lines and the benefits of the SS lines but they only affect feel and lever effort/travel.....well unless you can bottom the piston or lever before locking up the brakes.

Iíll take it on faith that the Gen1 brakes are under performers ... if you canít lock up the brakes with the stock setup then it may be because all the riderís effort isnít getting to the caliper. That swelling of the brake line is force that could be applied at the caliper.

Iíve had many motorcycles and the first brake component I change is always the brake line. I always use SS lines because I want all my effort/force to be applied at the caliper to squeeze those pads in to the rotor. Itís only after making that change will I consider using newer pads with more grip - even if it wears the rotor. If the rotor wears then Iíll consider a rotor replacement and/or caliper replacement. I try to make these changes incrementally so I can feel the difference and know what/how the changes affect the braking system.

If the Gen1 brakes are really that bad that itís unsafe to ride, I get that replacing the caliper and rotor is required, but Iíd still include SS lines. I really want all the force I apply with my hand to stopping that wheel. Might be a personal preference as I also prefer a two finger grip unless I really need a full hand for an emergency stop.


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post #12 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 01:03 PM
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Yes, I also use SS lines to improve feel, modulation, etc. ....I did use the SS lines on the stock brakes before the other upgrades and it felt better but still had minimal braking power.

Dave
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
Yes, I also use SS lines to improve feel, modulation, etc. ....I did use the SS lines on the stock brakes before the other upgrades and it felt better but still had minimal braking power.

You know, thatís actually scary to think about. Would the wheel lock below 25 mph? The drum brakes Iíve had in motorcycles would do that. So just trying to put it in perspective.

Iím also assuming pads were okay material? Rotor not too hard of a material? Just average organic pads and mild steel rotors.



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post #14 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILove2Ride2Wheels View Post
You know, that’s actually scary to think about. Would the wheel lock below 25 mph? The drum brakes I’ve had in motorcycles would do that. So just trying to put it in perspective.

I’m also assuming pads were okay material? Rotor not too hard of a material? Just average organic pads and mild steel rotors.



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Neither of my KLR's would lock the brake on dry pavement even with knobbies (don't remember the exact speed I tried). Both had good rotors/fluid/pads and changing the pads didn't do much. I'm guessing that the combo of 400+ lbs, small diameter rotor and tiny friction surface was the primary cause.

True story; my son is a very experienced offroad rider/racer who's been riding since he was 5 y/o.... but he had to go through the same procedure as the rest of us when getting his street bike licence. He took the 2000 KLR for the test and one of the road test items was to come to a complete emergency stop when the instructor dropped his hand....then they'd measure the result and it had to be under some minimum distance. The first two times he tried the back wheel locked up - so I told him to just pretend to use the rear brake but only use the front as no matter how hard he squeezes it it wouldn't lock up.....sure enough, panic stop with the front brake only and no skidding so the instructor was happy!

Cheers,
Dave
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 10:49 PM
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Ok, those are scary brakes. Iím happy I have a Gen2 as the brakes work very well for me. Guess Iím going to have to try a panic stop instead of just my normal hard braking and see what it does.

I cruise at 80 on the highway as thatís the average speed most cars go as well. I might go a few mph more if traffic doesnít provide sufficient safe distances between vehicles - meaning theyíll crawl up my rear - and get into better lane positions.

I do ride my motorcycles - all of them that Iíve owned - hard. Just as if I stole it. So I do push them to their limits at times. Street limits I should specify as Iím not a long time off road rider. I need to find out just what my brake limits are. Not just my basic testing, but serious panic stops. I might really need to know that some day.


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post #16 of 21 Old 11-14-2019, 05:41 AM
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You DO have steel-wrapped front brake hose, don't you, ILove2? That modification alone increases your brake modulation control. Caliper response will be crisper, and . . . in a braking situation, an instant of response time translates to increased safety distance.

And . . . I'd CERTAINLY expect you to have an oversize (320 mm diameter, stock is only 280 mm) front brake rotor (such parts appear available for Generation 2s), for obvious geometric/physical reasons.

And . . what BRAKE PADS will you use? Coefficients of friction, perhaps resistance to fade, vary.

Otherwise . . . 80 mph on crowded southern California freeways . . . these suggestions may save you accident and injury. Yet, your bike, your risk!

Brake improvement rates higher than micro-polished transmission gears on my priority list, but . . . that's probably just ME!


ďYou better put down that gun. You got two ways to go, put it down or use it. Even if you tie me, youíre gonna be dead.Ē "John Russell" (Paul Newman), Hombre

Last edited by Damocles; 11-14-2019 at 06:06 AM.
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post #17 of 21 Old 11-14-2019, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
You DO have steel-wrapped front brake hose, don't you
Yes. Both front and rear have Gafler SS lines. Gafler pads too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
And . . . I'd CERTAINLY expect you to have an oversize (320 mm diameter, stock is only 280 mm) front brake rotor (such parts appear available for Generation 2s), for obvious geometric/physical reasons.
Stock rotors though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Otherwise . . . 80 mph on crowded southern California freeways . . . these suggestions may save you accident and injury. Yet, your bike, your risk!
This is quite true, however, I have to say currently the brakes are performing quite well. With my street tires on it and the 19Ē front wheel it performs as well as any of my previous BMWs so far as stopping power goes. Although I do miss ABS a bit when I think about riding in the rain.

Keep in mind that the 110/90, or is it a 110/80, tire has a larger contact patch than the 90/90 21Ē tire. Particularly with nobbies on it. I havenít performed a full brake test with this configuration.

Nor have I tested it fully loaded. Just me - 190 pound rider - with my street setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Brake improvement rates higher than micro-polished transmission gears on my priority list, but . . . that's probably just ME!

No, I canít say itís just you. And a 320mm rotor in the front will be in the picture I suspect when I decide to add luggage to it next year. Just so much money to spend on it this year.

Plus, Iíll need to buy two sets of rotors as I have a spare set I swap for the dirt.

Iím not sure about a caliper swap though. Iíve assumed I have a stock caliper, but really donít know. The PO painted the rotors red. Iíll have to look for a part number to figure it out. Assuming I can find them on the calipers. What I can say though is it stops quickly with the street configuration. I have no complaints or worries with just me on it.


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post #18 of 21 Old 11-14-2019, 02:15 PM
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So, you'll use your 19" wheel, instead of your 21" wheel, off-road?

You've asked for advice on your build, ILove2; my advice would be for a 21" wheel off-road, but . . . you're the rider!

ďYou better put down that gun. You got two ways to go, put it down or use it. Even if you tie me, youíre gonna be dead.Ē "John Russell" (Paul Newman), Hombre
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-14-2019, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
So, you'll use your 19" wheel, instead of your 21" wheel, off-road?



You've asked for advice on your build, ILove2; my advice would be for a 21" wheel off-road, but . . . you're the rider!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
So, you'll use your 19" wheel, instead of your 21" wheel, off-road?



You've asked for advice on your build, ILove2; my advice would be for a 21" wheel off-road, but . . . you're the rider!

Sure. I do that now with the Anakee 3 tires on it. I ride it in dirt roads, gravel roads, and even an occasional hard surface fire road or trail. Not soft dirt or sand though.

The 21Ē wheel is only going to be used 20% of the time. Maybe 30% if Iím lucky. Most of my riding is on the street. Iíll swap wheels when itís time for that vacation time or three day weekend trip. Even my first tires - the ones I bought not the ones that came on my eBay spares - are street capable. The are TCK80 and from what I hear have great grip. Lousy mileage, but grip well.

I donít ride the same with the 21Ē wheel as I do with the 20Ē wheel. Iíll still probably put a larger rotor on both wheels for added braking capacity, but only feel I might need it for a loaded ride.

I really am pretty happy with the current street setup. Youíve got me wondering though if the PO already replaced he caliper or not and you have me wondering if the additional stopping capacity of a 320 mm rotor might make me even happier, but I donít feel an immediate need to replace it.

If I had a Gen1 though, Iíd do it in a heartbeat. Iím convinced the Gen1 braking needs all the help it can get. FWIW, Iím also understanding why wider front wheels for the front are desired too. A stock 21Ē wheel is pretty narrow and has a smaller contact patch than a wider 21Ē wheel and the larger the contact patch the better you can use what braking capacity you have ... to the limit of that capacity.


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post #20 of 21 Old 11-14-2019, 08:24 PM
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I'll bet that it is impossible to find a DOT approved 20" tire.

"I donít ride the same with the 21Ē wheel as I do with the 20Ē wheel. Iíll still probably put a larger rotor on both wheels for added braking capacity, but only feel I might need it for a loaded ride."

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

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