Brake "Bite" - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Brake "Bite"

Between track days and some really hard runs through twisty roads, e.g. a full top to bottom run at deals gap, which is ESPECIALLY hard on the brakes, my right forearm is toast by the time I get to the other end. I thought this was just how it was with brakes, but then I had the liberty of riding a 2017 gsxr-1000R which needed about 1/4 the pull force to achieve the same amount of brake. Could probably loop the bike with my pinky. That's how I like it.

So I have to ask, is there any way to increase the "bite" on the brakes for the 919? A little more longevity would be cool too, the last set of OEM ones lasted about 5k miles before they were about to grind on metal. I've tried EBC's varient of the OEM pads, and they feel exactly the same.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-29-2018, 02:57 AM
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Thatís interesting. When I first rode my 919 (coming from an old GL500 as my only other bike) it felt like I was stopping a spaceship, the brake seemed that good, but as I got used to it, it started feeling less powerful/sharp. Iíd like to see what the suggestions are too.


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post #3 of 14 Old 03-29-2018, 05:50 AM
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I changed brake pads, front and rear on my 919 last year, switching over to pads by Vesrah. The change in performance was astonishing. Both front and rear brakes now have excellent "bite" -- enough so that I have to remember which bike I'm on since no other of my bikes has this level of brake performance. I've not had them long enough to comment on pad wear and I should point out that front brake squeal shows up from time to time. However, I have no problem with squeal when it does show up.

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post #4 of 14 Old 03-29-2018, 09:31 AM
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Weird, I run stock pads and got 40,000 ish miles out of my fronts... including a few trackdays... Fresh fluid helps a lot, and I can easily lock up the front tire/stoppie if I want. I think lazy geometry and squishy forks make the 919 "feel" like the brakes are a lot worse, but I've never had any complaints.

That being said, pad variations make a huge difference in how brakes feel, and I went through a few sets on my race bike before I found one that did everything I like. I'd try throwing a couple different pads in and see how you like them, I run Vesrahs on my race bike and really like them to add to Trailing above

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-30-2018, 02:57 PM
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I've tried several different pads and ended up going back to OEM every time. Between commute, canyon carving, 2 up, long haul, and track days, never had an issue. On the occasional really hot track day, I'd get some brake fade towards the end of the day. Nothing that skipping 1 session to rest/hydrate couldn't fix. The lowest I ever got was about 14k miles with several track days, a couple of long hauls, and 12k miles of heavy commutes.

I suspect something is wrong with your brake fluid, master, lever, calipers/ rotors, or lines. Have you fully flushed out and bled your lines with dot4? Replace the lines to steel braided? Clean your calipers and make sure they are working freely and smoothly? Clean the rotor buttons? Clean the brake lever pivot and lube? Adjusted correctly? Check the diaphragm in the master cylinder to ensure no leakage, poor seal, or trapped air? Check the bleed screws to ensue no leaks or air getting through?

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-30-2018, 08:27 PM
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My initial thought was: How do you wear out a set of brake pads in 5000 miles?

My old 919 went over 20k, I'm pretty sure.

I'm good at tearing up all sorts of stuff. But I always get over 20,000 miles out of a set of front pads. The Super Duke went over 23,000 miles on the first set. They could have gone further. I replaced them with EBC. I've been happy with the EBCs so far. They feel at least as aggressive as the OEM pads. Not sure if I could do a one finger stoppie, but I'm certain that I could do a two finger stoppie.

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post #7 of 14 Old 03-30-2018, 11:04 PM
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Yeah I also thought 5000 miles was excessive. Is it possible your brakes get stuck slightly on. This might explain the wear and fad from too much heat.
Just a thought.

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-30-2018, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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My first set of pads were like halfway gone at 22k, then I got 11k out of the second set, had a tiny bit left. At 33k I changed the front tire and pads, now I still have the same front tire and the pads were done at 38,500 with nothing left on them. At 41k now and they're basically brand new still since pretty much all of those miles are highway miles. Winter =(
I'm not really all that concerned about the mileage. I can make em last if I want, but I can also get good pretty good gas mileage if I wanted...yuck.



What kind of difference do the stainless steel brake lines make?

Also I feel like I should point out the fact that the 919's brakes aren't bad by any measure. I rode a new zx9r, new gsx-s, and some other bikes and they all felt roughly the same. It was just the Gsx-r1000r that was out of this world. Was curious about what was different about that bike that made the brakes have so much power.

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-31-2018, 03:19 AM
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With old rubber brake lines, part of the force that you apply at the lever goes towards expanding the rubber brake lines, rather than making the brake piston move. In return, brake lever feels rubbery. Old rubber brake lines lack the feel and response of stainless steel branded lines. When they're new, some rubber lines aren't even too bad. But time takes its toll on rubber. You wouldn't ride on 12 year old tires, would you? The newest 919s are 12 years old already.

SS brake lines are reasonably cheap and easy to install your self. It was one of the few things a 919 actually NEEDS to have done. I put SS lines on my little 599 years ago. That bike has brakes that are just a good as the Brembos on my Super Duke.

But why you're going thru pads like they are made of chalk, makes no sense. Your pads must be dragging. You're the first guy I've ever heard of that changes front pads faster than front tires. I guess anything is possible.

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post #10 of 14 Old 03-31-2018, 08:27 AM
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Rubber to SS will have a bit of effect, but I would look at the pads and the rotor for most of your gains. Don't forget that a full cleaning of the brakes includes those funny looking hallow rivets that allow the rotor to float. There's a video on YT on how to clean them, but basically your shoot them with brake cleaner and then insert a bolt-nut and tighten them up until they spin free.

I was going to mention that you can also swap out the Master Cylinder. I would only do this AFTER you've made sure all the other parts are in good working order.

The reason for this is the ratio of the lever itself. It has a fixed pivot point, that determines the force needed. Basically, you'd give up distance for force. So you'd get a different pivot point with a different MC and then a longer lever. SS lines, new pads, fresh rotors, soft tires, proper air pressure... All these things add up.

A different pivot point with a longer lever that's adjustable could do the trick.

IDK if anyone as an offset or adjustable pivot built into the lever, but it wouldn't be that hard to do. Just make a smaller hole for the thru bolt, then offset it with a cam and you'd have an adjustable rate brake lever.

Add on an extend or adjustable length brake lever and you'd have a fully customizable system.

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post #11 of 14 Old 03-31-2018, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
My first set of pads were like halfway gone at 22k, then I got 11k out of the second set, had a tiny bit left. At 33k I changed the front tire and pads, now I still have the same front tire and the pads were done at 38,500 with nothing left on them. At 41k now and they're basically brand new still since pretty much all of those miles are highway miles. Winter =(
I'm not really all that concerned about the mileage. I can make em last if I want, but I can also get good pretty good gas mileage if I wanted...yuck.



What kind of difference do the stainless steel brake lines make?

Also I feel like I should point out the fact that the 919's brakes aren't bad by any measure. I rode a new zx9r, new gsx-s, and some other bikes and they all felt roughly the same. It was just the Gsx-r1000r that was out of this world. Was curious about what was different about that bike that made the brakes have so much power.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-31-2018, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post

Also I feel like I should point out the fact that the 919's brakes aren't bad by any measure. I rode a new zx9r, new gsx-s, and some other bikes and they all felt roughly the same. It was just the Gsx-r1000r that was out of this world. Was curious about what was different about that bike that made the brakes have so much power.
Good point, and I have my 07 GSX-R750 to compare to.
Consider the 919 is 80 to 100 # heavier than a supersport, and has much smaller rotors, and the 919 braking power is quite good.
Not only that, not lost on me is how much one uses them as compared to how much brake is on the bike.
I found in the Beginner and Intermediate track day groups, more than one rider was fearful cum incapable of even beginning to use the available braking power. It seemed to me, right or wrong, said riders were also spooked by slower turn approaches from high speeds.

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post #13 of 14 Old 04-04-2018, 01:48 PM
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brakes just slow you down...
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-30-2019, 04:44 AM
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Another vote for Vesrah JL pads.

When I re-organised my front end around a KTM WP fork, I also switched to Brembo calipers on custom Metalgear discs from Australia. In the process, I lost the great feel I had had with the 34/32 Nissin calipers [and GSXR 19mm master cylinder].

The Vesrah pads were slow to bed in, but now that they have, excellent feel from the first squeeze of the lever. Very happy.

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