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Old 12-05-2011, 08:02 AM   #31
disston
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It's not really something I came up with on my own, Jim. The subject of steel braided hoses, especially for brakes has been around for sometime. I think they have gotten better but I don't think the latest steel braided hoses can correct for one, probably a couple, of inherent faults. The first problem is that I can't see the rubber, there's rubber under the steel braid. It will usually crack and show it's age so I can change it except with steel braided hose. Steel hose can look as good as the day it was installed but the rubber inside can be rotten and ready to fracture. It would be nice if it leaked first and gave me a chance to see the problem, it might, but it doesn't have to leak very slow, it can go pretty fast. Second problem was mentioned by a long time mechanic that I respect. I've never seen this myself but he said that the rubber can break away, erode, on the inside and a loose piece of rubber can block the flow of fluid pressure.Supposedly this would happen also after the rubber shows some signs of deterioration but the signs can not be seen under the steel.

So what is the advantage of steel braided hose? Does it last longer? How would I know? Is it proof against abrasion, more durable? I don't think this is called for. And the number one reason given for steel braided hose is that it is more rigid therefore giving a firmer feel to the brake action. I personally think that is a waste of effort and concern. I don't see the little bit of improvement in feel is translated into any improvement in brake action.

That's how I personally feel about the subject. Oh, there is probably one other big advantage of the after market steel braided lines. I don't have the figures but I bet they cost less than stock BMW rubber lines.

Charlie
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:21 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by disston View Post
It's not really something I came up with on my own, Jim. The subject of steel braided hoses, especially for brakes has been around for sometime. I think they have gotten better but I don't think the latest steel braided hoses can correct for one, probably a couple, of inherent faults. The first problem is that I can't see the rubber, there's rubber under the steel braid. It will usually crack and show it's age so I can change it except with steel braided hose. Steel hose can look as good as the day it was installed but the rubber inside can be rotten and ready to fracture. It would be nice if it leaked first and gave me a chance to see the problem, it might, but it doesn't have to leak very slow, it can go pretty fast. Second problem was mentioned by a long time mechanic that I respect. I've never seen this myself but he said that the rubber can break away, erode, on the inside and a loose piece of rubber can block the flow of fluid pressure.Supposedly this would happen also after the rubber shows some signs of deterioration but the signs can not be seen under the steel.

So what is the advantage of steel braided hose? Does it last longer? How would I know? Is it proof against abrasion, more durable? I don't think this is called for. And the number one reason given for steel braided hose is that it is more rigid therefore giving a firmer feel to the brake action. I personally think that is a waste of effort and concern. I don't see the little bit of improvement in feel is translated into any improvement in brake action.

That's how I personally feel about the subject. Oh, there is probably one other big advantage of the after market steel braided lines. I don't have the figures but I bet they cost less than stock BMW rubber lines.

Charlie

Well put and something to think about. Conventional wisdom isn't always wisdom.

One benefit of stainless lines is that it's easy to roll your own using Earls fittings (although I've only done this with oil lines). But that really isn't that big of a deal.

I'm sure that another benefit is that they generate a good bit of sales from folks who are retiring their stock lines "just because".
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:51 AM   #33
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Actually did I say "I'm against" the steel lines? If I did amend that to "I'm not all that hot for" steel braided lines.

Charlie
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:41 PM   #34
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Stainless braided brake hose has no rubber inside it; it's a teflon extrusion. The hose itself will probably last forever, but the fittings (Hose ends) may eventually fail, simply due to metal fatigue-just as the stock hose ends can. If you never experienced the difference between rubber hoses-particularly in a system with as much rubber hose as a BMW twin-disc-and braided stainless, you owe it to yourself to feel it.

I'll admit a commercial interest here-but I wouldn't sell them if I didn't believe in them.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #35
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Stainless braided brake hose has no rubber inside it; it's a teflon extrusion. The hose itself will probably last forever, but the fittings (Hose ends) may eventually fail, simply due to metal fatigue-just as the stock hose ends can. If you never experienced the difference between rubber hoses-particularly in a system with as much rubber hose as a BMW twin-disc-and braided stainless, you owe it to yourself to feel it.

I'll admit a commercial interest here-but I wouldn't sell them if I didn't believe in them.
+1 Steel braided teflon lines last just about "forever". WAY longer than rubber lines. That is for sure in my experience. I wouldn't run a bike without them. They make a big difference. Personally, I have always used Earls. They claim to have invented steel braided teflon lines. Earls uses the same brand fittings that everyone else does that I have seen. Goodson (?) I believe? Some of the "guru's have been against them in the past. I don't know about now since they come on stock bikes all the time.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:33 PM   #36
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You're the 2nd person I've seen with the K forks on an airhead, but the 1st person I've seen using the standard spoke wheels. Very jealous of your immensely improved handling and braking.
All Monolever airheads come stock with what are basically K bike forks.

Improving brakes? IMO, you need two pot Brembo's. Some claim that ATE's work as well as Brembo's but that is not even close to reality IMO. There are a lot of very good reasons why most all bikes do not have calipers designed to pivot on on a very short arc in order to mate with a flat surface. You can go with '81-'84 forks, Monolever forks, or K bike forks which basically are Monolever forks. Spokes? Personally I would rather have mags but I insist on tubeless tires for safety. That being said, I have never cared for BMW snowflakes or 19" front wheels for that matter. All my own airheads have had 18" wheels. If I did run spokes, they would be BMW cross spoke tubeless. I have damn near been killed by tube type flats enough for one lifetime. With tubes the air almost always leaves your tire in a nano second and, if you don't have a still brand new tire with a relatively still stiff sidewall, your tire collapses down onto the rim almost instantly and that is when your bike starts fish tailing like a mofo. You are in for a ride!

I am a big AVON fan and I still run Avon race tires on my airheads but that is just because they no longer make the tires that I use to love. RoadRiders make my bike weave BADLY. I have heard others say the same and yet others that don't. I have gone from badly weaving RoadRiders to Avon race tires and the weave instantly disappears and then back to a new set of RoadRiders and the Weave instantly reappears until I take them off and put SuperVenoms back on. That is unfortunately my experience with Avon's new AM26's. You do have to be going pretty fast for the RoadRiders to start showing problems whether in a straight line or the curves. Even just a RoadRider on back with a "race only" SuperVenom up front will make my bike weave noticeably.

supershaft screwed with this post 12-07-2011 at 03:46 PM
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:47 PM   #37
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All Monolever airheads come stock with what are basically K bike forks.
...except the G/S and ST, but they're always the exception.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:19 PM   #38
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Yes I did get my attitude regarding brake lines from a certain Guru. Not important really. I'll have to rethink this one.

Just like everything else I think I've got figured out.

Charlie
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:06 PM   #39
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...except the G/S and ST, but they're always the exception.
But important ones! Especially since the G/S was the first Monolever. I remember guys looking at that in our dealership when the G/S first came out and swearing that the wheel would break off. No joke! I would ask them if car and truck wheels broke off. Not very often is the answer.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:54 PM   #40
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Yes I did get my attitude regarding brake lines from a certain Guru. Not important really. I'll have to rethink this one.

Just like everything else I think I've got figured out.

Charlie
Just when I think I have the answer, the question seems to change!
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:00 PM   #41
disston
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Hey Fishkens,

Did you get that? It's OK to use steel braided brake lines again. I just want to make sure because you were really concerned about this.

Charlie
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:57 AM   #42
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Any room for a few contrary opinions?

My brake guy makes and proof tests lines, and takes great delight in demonstrating on his proof testing machine that the rubber hoses available to him today are stiffer than SS braided teflon lines.

Rubber hoses have improved a lot since they started fitting them 80 years ago.

If you doubt this next time you pass a open cut mine pop in and have a look at what is on the high pressure hydraulics on the 350 ton excavator that is bulking out the hole - it wont be teflon braided.

I was a fan of Avon tires too but when they went from $230- a pair to $370- overnight here in Oz I changed to IRC Durotours which I find just as good if not better.
They come in the right sizes and work fine at the origonal pressures the forks and shocks were designed to work with.
They stick well, have a nice rounded profile , so stability and turn in is good , and in Oz they are half the price of the Avons.

IMHO The trick with the Ate calipers is getting them really free on the pins, so that a good hard squeeze of the lever aligns them, just like it says in the 75/7 riders handbook. Dont know when the nonsense of setting them up with a string line/chalk came in.

If your undertank M/C is working properly going to a handlebar M/C will be a retrograde step unless you go to a very small M/C - remember the lever on the undertank M/C has about a 3 to 1 leverage on the piston.

With twin Ates a 11 mm handlebar M/C gives good power and feel, with minimal lever movement. If you know how to bleed brakes, of course.

Problem with the Ates is getting decent pads.
A large part of the improvement with modern disks comes from the fact that modern pads are designed to work with them, but these compounds are hard to find in Ate pads, so you dont get the full benifit from the disk swap.

There isnt a lot wrong with the OEM shocks, unless you compare them to the big buck Ohlins.
Until recently the damper units alone were available from Motobins or Motorworks, at a sensible price.
If you need replacements the Ikons have stood the test of time, but they are are not worth fitting if your existing shocks work OK and you just want an upgrade.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:03 AM   #43
disston
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Originally Posted by Beemerboff View Post
Any room for a few contrary opinions?

My brake guy makes and proof tests lines, and takes great delight in demonstrating on his proof testing machine that the rubber hoses available to him today are stiffer than SS braided teflon lines.

Rubber hoses have improved a lot since they started fitting them 80 years ago.

If you doubt this next time you pass a open cut mine pop in and have a look at what is on the high pressure hydraulics on the 350 ton excavator that is bulking out the hole - it wont be teflon braided.

I was a fan of Avon tires too but when they went from $230- a pair to $370- overnight here in Oz I changed to IRC Durotours which I find just as good if not better.
They come in the right sizes and work fine at the origonal pressures the forks and shocks were designed to work with.
They stick well, have a nice rounded profile , so stability and turn in is good , and in Oz they are half the price of the Avons.

IMHO The trick with the Ate calipers is getting them really free on the pins, so that a good hard squeeze of the lever aligns them, just like it says in the 75/7 riders handbook. Dont know when the nonsense of setting them up with a string line/chalk came in.

If your undertank M/C is working properly going to a handlebar M/C will be a retrograde step unless you go to a very small M/C - remember the lever on the undertank M/C has about a 3 to 1 leverage on the piston.

With twin Ates a 11 mm handlebar M/C gives good power and feel, with minimal lever movement. If you know how to bleed brakes, of course.

Problem with the Ates is getting decent pads.
A large part of the improvement with modern disks comes from the fact that modern pads are designed to work with them, but these compounds are hard to find in Ate pads, so you dont get the full benifit from the disk swap.

There isnt a lot wrong with the OEM shocks, unless you compare them to the big buck Ohlins.
Until recently the damper units alone were available from Motobins or Motorworks, at a sensible price.
If you need replacements the Ikons have stood the test of time, but they are are not worth fitting if your existing shocks work OK and you just want an upgrade.
It seems to be the never ending story. Room for everybody here. I think the best brakes out there might be on the bikes that have attention from their owners. I do appreciate that my under tank MC is correct again. I was not going to change it because of expense and trouble. Now you have dealt me another trump card for the OEM set up.

The idea of "really free" caliper pins is well expressed. I have always done this and have no trouble with alignment.

But an 11 mm MC on dual 40 mm Ates seems a bit extreme to me. Certainly makes the 13 mm not seem so bad tho.

Charlie
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #44
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Guzzi used the 11mm M/C with two twin 48 mm piston calipers without any problems, so it should work OK with two single 40mms.

The usual comment from folks who ride my /7 is-
"nice to ride one of these with front brakes that work- what have you done to it" .
But I have great difficulty convincing them that there is a 11mm M/C in there, as the lever movement is not noticably different to any other size cylinder, and probably less than most.
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