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When upgrades go wrong... (almost)

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by GhettoNinja, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. After wanting to do it for a long time I finally upgraded my front brake line on my 250 Ninja to a braided line. I replaced the fluid and pads with EBC sport pads at the same time.

    Next day I go out to re-learn emergency stops with the new brakes (because the bike will be different under brakes after the mod and wanted to get used to it).

    So went to my secret industrial spot with nice straight flat section and low traffic. Few stops from 60 and I was impressed with the difference. So I upped the speed a bit and started picking markers such as signs to see how quick the bike would pull up. Pulled up in about 15 metres from around 60 which I was impressed with. So then went a bit faster and got on the anchors fairly hard from around 80.

    Obviously I was a bit overzelous with the lever because I managed to lock the front wheel at about 60Ks which made an interesting and somewhat concerning noise (screeching tyre) and caused the bike to flap around a bit not unlike a tank slapper.

    I got off the brakes in a hurry (only front no rear) and she came good thank christ. So yeah I ended up learning a lesson (painlessly this time).

    So anyway just for any other Ninja riders that do this mod be careful of how much more power they have. I'd pulled on the brakes with the same pressure that previously I could on the bike with no problems so you need to adjust your technique a bit.

  2. Sounds like a worthwhile mod, if you don't mind, how much did the brake lines/pads cost all up?
  3. Cost around 140 not including fluid. Around 70 for the EBC sintered pads and 70 for the Venhill braided line.

  4. So...it didn't "go wrong", so much as it "worked exactly as one would expect it to"? It's just that you didn't realise how much better it would be.
  5. Yeah that's it. As I explained to a mate, the bike didn't do anything I didn't tell it to do.

    The wrong part wasn't the upgrade but me almost eating pavement.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Well done Captain Pedantic :rolleyes:
  7. And now you know what a locked front feels like. Which is good. That's part of the reason for practicing braking imo, not just to stop quicker but also to get used to how everything feels in that situation. You don't want to experience it for the first time in a real oh shit situation.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Sounds like the real problem here was simply not understanding how to bed in brakes properly. All pads are going to be somewhat ineffective the first couple of times you use them, then bite a lot more aggressively once the pad surface has worn to match that of the rotor.

    Of course changing the fluid can have a big impact too, if the old fluid is well past the point it should have been changed. But if the fluid is fresh fitting braided lines alone has very little effect on braking performance (but a big effect on braking "feel").
  9. #9 GhettoNinja, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
    Just so you know I rode with the changed brakes on the night before and performed quite a few stops to get them "bedded in" somewhat prior to the brake testing the following day.

    I could see that initially not all of the pad was contacting the rotor but by the second ride I think it's fair to say that it was.

    Anyways, you might be right, there might be better ways to bed in a set of brakes than locking the front doing 60 ;)
  10. Yes but sintered pads require hard braking repeated over a short period of time to properly bed in, since they need to get up above a certain temperature to drive off the volatiles and cure the resins used in their manufacture. The process will take even longer if you're using fresh pads with old rotors.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Sounds like you know your brakes. I might have to go do some research myself now on what sintered pads are all about.
  12. jd knows all :D
  13. My brother used to be an engineer with a major brake pad manufacturer, and I used to read a lot of the technical/trade journals he subscribed to.

    There are some good guides to bedding in brakes on the internet, but also some very bad ones. What it really comes down to though is gradually increasing the temp in the pads. So a bit of gentle braking to get the pads warm, then a series of almost-stops from gradually increasing speeds. Obviously if you have to come to a complete stop then you should, but it's best to avoid leaving the pads pressed against the rotor when stationary for any longer than absolutely necessary since this traps heat and can cause the pads to overheat, or potentially damage the rotors (especially if they're also new). What you're trying to do is create a thin film of sintered metal pad material on the face of the rotor, so that braking becomes between two layers of friction material rather than a layer of friction material and a layer of cast iron.
  14. Nice. Good to have that kind of knowledge in the family.
  15. Stock baby ninjas are very forgiving and flattering all round, I got a huge surprise when I upgraded and just about flung myself over the bars.
  16. When you say upgraded do you mean the Ninja or you upgraded to a different bike?

    I agree about Ninja being forgiving. God knows I've given mine all sorts of dumb inputs over the past 12 months... However the rear suspension in the 08-12 model leaves a bit to be desired... it's set hard as a rock from factory. I changed mine to a different shock and the bike is way more forgiving of road imperfections now. There's some seriously bad roads around Sydney and it used to tramline a lot
  17. #17 mattb, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
    It's certainly wise, as you have been OP, to test out and get used to the brakes whenever you upgrade to something superior. After years of '70s and early '80s bikes I had my only mis-hap on a motorcycle, when I bought a Hornet 600. An SUV pulled out on me and instinctively I did the four finger haul as I had always done - as had always been necessary - and the next instant I was on the ground.

    That reminds me. I'm off now to fit a new cable to the front drum on the Bullet. To make the brake work I have to squeeze so hard that it starts to hurt on an extended ride. Need to find a way to stop the rear from going from nothing to locked up, also.
  18. New bike, so a lot was different. And better.

    I found the suspension a little soft from stock and I only weigh 72kg and I had the pre load firmed up a smidge.
  19. Ok gotcha.

    I'm looking to probably upgrade in the next 4 months so as you found I'm keen to see what a higher spec and more adjustable suspension can do for me.

    At the moment an ZX-7R is looking like a worthy contender.