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Old 10-14-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
maxgs
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Narrow ID brake lines

Hey folks,
I'm interested in understanding the impact of using brake lines with a narrower ID. What does this do in terms of brake feel and performance? Who makes narrow ID lines?

-Curt
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:20 AM   #2
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I think your talking about the -1 lines. You will have alot more power but your fluid will overheat fairly easy one reason why I havent switched over to them yet. I rode Tony Rodios old track r6 once and was really impressed with the stopping power. But not sure if they would have the "feel" your looking for. For the track you might be interested in a four line kit. Two lines for each caliper?

Last edited by Prodigy; 10-14-2009 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxgs View Post
Hey folks,
I'm interested in understanding the impact of using brake lines with a narrower ID. What does this do in terms of brake feel and performance? Who makes narrow ID lines?
-Curt
Goodridge used to, not sure about now.
Tried on a race bike with castrol srf, rider preferred and went back to Hel lines
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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From another site, they are telling me a couple of things....

Smaller ID should result in a firmer lever and (2) the AMA guys are actually using -3 lines. That info is coming from an experienced track guy/racer on the West Coast, TripleStack.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigy View Post
I think your talking about the -1 lines. You will have alot more power but your fluid will overheat fairly easy one reason why I havent switched over to them yet. I rode Tony Rodios old track r6 once and was really impressed with the stopping power. But not sure if they would have the "feel" your looking for. For the track you might be interested in a four line kit. Two lines for each caliper?
Thanks, Joe. I've not heard of a four line set up. I've gone from the single line from the master to two lines... one per caliper.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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Curt - I'll tell you my 2 cents worth, and it'll cost you even less. Possible advantages might be:

Lighter if outside diameter were smaller as well.

Less stretch or swelling of brake lines during braking - resulting in less required movement of brake lever to achieve x amount of braking action (probably the most desired result). This is why we all put SS brake lines as opposed to the factory lines. Net result is a much firmer feel. It will not change the ultimate braking power.

In theory and in practice hydraulic fluid is not very compressible, however any entrained air in the system is, and I don't think we can ever ger it all out - 100.0000000 %. I believe the fluid while not very compressible is comressible some (more so than a metal piston - such as the ones in the m/c and the calipers), sooooo when you go to a smaller id brake line you have made the "fluid" portion of your brake system substantially smaller thus reducing the total percentage of the system that is subject to compression which results in the "mushy feel we all don't like in our brakes.

The way it was once explained to me is this: Any modern day sport bike brakes will lock the front tire at any speed, so we are not really looking for MORE braking power. We are trying to make it more controllable braking - feel - feedback - user friendly - whatever you want to call it.

Brake lines will not change the fluid mechanics of the caliper / mastercylinder combination.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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What upgrades do you have to your brakes, Curt?
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar View Post
Curt - I'll tell you my 2 cents worth, and it'll cost you even less. Possible advantages might be:

Lighter if outside diameter were smaller as well.

Less stretch or swelling of brake lines during braking - resulting in less required movement of brake lever to achieve x amount of braking action (probably the most desired result). This is why we all put SS brake lines as opposed to the factory lines. Net result is a much firmer feel. It will not change the ultimate braking power.

In theory and in practice hydraulic fluid is not very compressible, however any entrained air in the system is, and I don't think we can ever ger it all out - 100.0000000 %. I believe the fluid while not very compressible is comressible some (more so than a metal piston - such as the ones in the m/c and the calipers), sooooo when you go to a smaller id brake line you have made the "fluid" portion of your brake system substantially smaller thus reducing the total percentage of the system that is subject to compression which results in the "mushy feel we all don't like in our brakes.

The way it was once explained to me is this: Any modern day sport bike brakes will lock the front tire at any speed, so we are not really looking for MORE braking power. We are trying to make it more controllable braking - feel - feedback - user friendly - whatever you want to call it.

Brake lines will not change the fluid mechanics of the caliper / mastercylinder combination.
Thank you, Radar. That's an explanation I can understand. So, you are in agreement that a smaller ID line should result in a firmer feeling lever across a track day.

-Curt
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:22 AM   #9
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What upgrades do you have to your brakes, Curt?
Brembo RCS master (I run it on 19x20)
Brembo rotors
Stainless lines (I don't know which manufacturer, however)
Vesrah XX pads
Castrol SRF fluid

I get very good brake performance particularly given my rotundness, much better since switching from the Brembo 19x18. I don't need any more stopping power, I'm just looking for a specific lever feel. The lever is getting a bit soft at the end of the track day and I'm curious about how it might be improved.

Conceptually, I like the galfer superbike stainless lines with the fitting that eliminates the banjo at the caliper. I might tinker with those over the winter break.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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Thank you, Radar. That's an explanation I can understand. So, you are in agreement that a smaller ID line should result in a firmer feeling lever across a track day.

-Curt
Yes - I think the smaller ID lines (all things being equal - quality / material / etc.) would result in a firmer, more positive feel.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #11
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PM inbound, Curt.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #12
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That softness is caused from heat and if your using normal ID lines going smaller will not help this. Check to see if your Castrol SRF fluid is dot 5 im pretty sure its still dot 4....

Dot 5 is not hydroscopic so it doesnt absorb water. It will not damage you painted parts and will not corrode the inside of steel brake lines and aluminum brake pots. I have never had an issue with brake seals as yet. But it will not mix with dot 3 or 4. So you will need to change out your brake lines to make for a clean flush. You need to use stainless lines anyways because your stock lines swell when applied so brakes seem always spongy. Boiling temp is 500 degrees and the new dot 4's have a 590 but their wet boiling another words when they start absorbing water makes dot 5 better. Since it doesnt absorb water. On track days bleed a little fluid to insure no water is is system. Water goes to the lowest point in your system. Water will look milky instead of bright blue. Bleed till bright blue. Excellent for bikes in long term storage. No abs systems tho! So safe you can wipe on tires or rubber moldings/parts to restore the new look of rubberand avoid dry rotting.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:45 AM   #13
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Castrol SRF is still DOT 4. However, it's silicon ester based which makes it highly non-hygroscopic. It is also not compatible with other fluids, so I had to go through the whole flush process before switching to it.

Good info, Joe. Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #14
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What we saw with a lot of the racers running the smaller lines was an increase in fade. They'd come off the track after a hard session with no lever.
They'd bleed the brakes and it would come back, only to have it fade again.

They swapped back to the regular lines and the issue went away.

A smaller diameter line means a smaller "column" of fluid to remove heat from the calipers. Less heat removal = more brake fade.
That's my experience, YMMV.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:30 PM   #15
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Interesting, Patrick. Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:22 PM   #16
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:30 AM   #17
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Curt here is you some more reading - this link clearly explains why Dot 5 is not what you want for sportbike use:http://www.sportbikesolutions.com/mo...es/brake-fluid

This link has some interesting stuff - go to the bottom to get to what applies the most to this talk:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fade


Here's an explanation of the most common cause of fluid fade:
Brake Doctor - Fluid Fade
Fluid fade is caused by heat induced boiling of the brake fluid in the calipers. This produces bubbles in the brake system. Since bubbles are compressible, this makes for a soft spongy lever. In worse cases, the lever can come all the way back to the grip without slowing the bike.

The major cause of fluid fade is absorbed atmospheric water in the brake fluid. DOT4 Brake fluid has a tremendous affinity for absorbing water from the atmosphere, especially at high temperatures and under humid conditions. Brake fluid can absorb atmospheric water just by sitting in the brake system of your bike. A container of brake fluid sitting open can literally go bad from water absorption in an hour on a hot humid day. It is important to keep your fluid in a tightly sealed container, keeping the cap on at all times except when pouring fluid out!

Fluid fade can be avoided by running a higher grade racing type brake fluid and most importantly frequent changes of brake fluid. Regularly changing the fluid is the most important thing you can do to avoid fluid fade - change your brake fluid every 3 months and fit braided brake hoses and you will have superb brakes
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:28 AM   #18
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Curt here is you some more reading - this link clearly explains why Dot 5 is not what you want for sportbike use:http://www.sportbikesolutions.com/mo...es/brake-fluid

This link has some interesting stuff - go to the bottom to get to what applies the most to this talk:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fade


Here's an explanation of the most common cause of fluid fade:
Brake Doctor - Fluid Fade
Fluid fade is caused by heat induced boiling of the brake fluid in the calipers. This produces bubbles in the brake system. Since bubbles are compressible, this makes for a soft spongy lever. In worse cases, the lever can come all the way back to the grip without slowing the bike.

The major cause of fluid fade is absorbed atmospheric water in the brake fluid. DOT4 Brake fluid has a tremendous affinity for absorbing water from the atmosphere, especially at high temperatures and under humid conditions. Brake fluid can absorb atmospheric water just by sitting in the brake system of your bike. A container of brake fluid sitting open can literally go bad from water absorption in an hour on a hot humid day. It is important to keep your fluid in a tightly sealed container, keeping the cap on at all times except when pouring fluid out!

Fluid fade can be avoided by running a higher grade racing type brake fluid and most importantly frequent changes of brake fluid. Regularly changing the fluid is the most important thing you can do to avoid fluid fade - change your brake fluid every 3 months and fit braided brake hoses and you will have superb brakes
Radar,
I did a multi-page post on this topic a while back. Castrol SRF is not DOT5. It is, arguably, the best racing brake fluid available and is highly non-hygroscopic. I still change it at regular interviews, however.

-Curt
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:47 AM   #19
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I know that the fluid you are using is correct - one of the suggestions during this thread was to SWITCH to dot 5. I still think smaller ID lines would be worth trying, as you may have read the entrained moisture in our climate may necessitate very frequent fluid changes.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:06 AM   #20
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The stock brakes should be purdy darn good on your 08, of course U are a little heavier than me so tha prolly makes a sligh difference, the brakes on my 1098 are the very best I have ever felt, bike or car, regardless of $$ spent
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