Let's find a new master cylinder! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Let's find a new master cylinder!

Ok, the stock 2007-2008 master cylinder for the Versys is the same master cylinder used by the KSF250 Mojave 4-wheeler.

This is an unacceptable piece of kit to me.

Surely there is some MC from some other bike which will bolt right in and pump that DOT 4 with some vigor.

So let's put our thinking caps on.
What specs do I need to look at? I don't know much about hydraulic mechanics, but I'm thinking that if it fits on the handlebars, puts the brake lever in a similar position, and has the same sized piston then it will work on the versys. The only gotcha I'm seeing is that the right side mirror is attached to the master cylinder so a replacement would also need to have the threaded hole to mount the mirror.

Also the hole for the mirror is to the right of the reservoir. I know some master cylinders which double as mirror mounts have that hole to the left of the reservoir, which would reduce the already limited view out of that mirror.

Anyway, I think im gonna spend some quality time peering through the online parts fiche and see if I can't find a likely candidate for replacing the cheap squirt gun we call a master cylinder.

Any hot tips would be welcome.
Shatrat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 09:19 PM
Super Moderator
 
Bear on a bicycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Converse, Tx
Posts: 4,695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Why not just get a unit from an '09?



Bear on a bicycle is offline  
post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
$270 new and I doubt any have landed in the salvage yard yet.

I'm kind of hoping to find a way to put on a CBR or GSXR master cylinder which I can dig up from a salvage yard or ebay for a couple of Jacksons as opposed to a couple of Benjamins.

Other than price, that's probably the most elegant solution.
Shatrat is offline  
 
post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 10:28 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Belmont, California
Posts: 775
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Post

I'm a guessin you have braided lines...Those would probably serve you better than a new master...But I can't tell ya how to spend your money, or time...

If I new what I was doing, I wouldn't still be working
contractor is offline  
post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I've already ordered the braided lines, hoping to have them on the bike in time for the ride up to the Indy GP.
I've read a couple posts that mentioned that they were a big improvement but the brakes were still not great.
With the stock configuration I can squeeze the brake lever back to the handlebar without straining. I mean it is shockingly easy to make that lever touch the grip. I don't ever want to be in an "Oh #$%&" situation and feel aluminum touch rubber.

I'm thinking we have good rotors, ok calipers, and a crappy master cylinder. If we upgraded the master cylinder to good, maybe we'd have a good all-round brake system.

Dash the pessimists, I haven't given up hope yet!
I've done some more reading and I think I am right about the piston diameter being the critical factor in master cylinder choice.
I think I need a slightly larger piston, to reduce the stroke length. I can supply the extra force needed, I've got big man-hands.
Shatrat is offline  
post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 07:55 AM
Member
 
Lukejt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Finksburg, Maryland
Posts: 429
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I think you might have air in the system. I'm not a fan of the front brake either, but it will for sure lock up before touching the bars. Fingers maybe.... I've got large hands too.
Lukejt is offline  
post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I suspect you're right.
I think once I've got my new brake lines and a good bleed done the brakes will be good.
What I'm really wanting is to find out how inexpensively I can go from Good -> Great.
I'm always really impressed by the Brembo brakes on my brothers bike and I'd like to see how close I can get to that.

There are lots of used radial master cylinders from wrecked sport bikes on ebay.
If I can get a used radial master cylinder and an aftermarket billet mirror mount for under 50 bucks I think that it is an experiment worth trying out.

What's the worst that can happen, it's only brakes.
Shatrat is offline  
post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 08:39 AM
Member
 
Lukejt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Finksburg, Maryland
Posts: 429
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I agree, worth checking into. I've got Brembos on the dirt bike and they are fantastic.
Lukejt is offline  
post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 09:28 AM
Member
 
El Tig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 1,444
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
I put my HEL braided lines on last week and can stop with one finger w/o using any rear brake....nice. I'm happy with it. You might find you'll be happy once you get those new lines. I had to rebleed them as initially the lever was coming back to the bar and that never happened before. Once done it was great. Let us know either way how it goes.

Ride To Live, Live To Ride....no, really!
El Tig is offline  
post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:40 AM
Member
 
potus2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NorthWest Arkansas
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
You have my interest. I have small man hands that have no difficulty squeezing the lever to the grip. Bleeding/flushing the system hasn't improved anything. For me it isn't a matter of making good brakes better, it's a matter of making crappy brakes decent. I intend to take it back to the dealer as a warranty job. (I bought my '08 in March)
Are you looking into the rear as well? I almost never touched the rear on my Bandit, but I've managed to lock up the rear on the Versys a half dozen times. A higher effort rear master would be a godsend.

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
potus2012 is offline  
post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:40 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hillsburrito
Posts: 1,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatrat View Post
Ok, the stock 2007-2008 master cylinder for the Versys is the same master cylinder used by the KSF250 Mojave 4-wheeler.

This is an unacceptable piece of kit to me.

Surely there is some MC from some other bike which will bolt right in and pump that DOT 4 with some vigor.

So let's put our thinking caps on.
What specs do I need to look at? I don't know much about hydraulic mechanics, but I'm thinking that if it fits on the handlebars, puts the brake lever in a similar position, and has the same sized piston then it will work on the versys. The only gotcha I'm seeing is that the right side mirror is attached to the master cylinder so a replacement would also need to have the threaded hole to mount the mirror.


Any hot tips would be welcome.

Read what you wrote again and think about it. Why is the MC unacceptable? What is the criteria you outlined for replacement? What makes you think that this replacement will be any better?

Let me reword it - You want to replace the MC because it is shared with another Kawasaki model that happens to be a quad. The reasons for this replacement seem to be only cosmetic, as this is the only criteria outlined for the replacement, you are not looking for different size piston to improve performance.

Seems like it's going to be an expensive trial and error process to me without understanding what you are after better.

Gustavo


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Gustavo is offline  
post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 01:23 PM
Member
 
Pegasus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Peters, MO
Posts: 464
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Before the Versys I had a EX650R Ninja. Same brakesÖthey sucked. I was determined to find a fix and finally settled on a Beringer master cylinder, Spiegler stainless steel braided brake lines, and EBC double-H sintered brake pads. Costly, but to me the results were worth it. The stock brakes felt wooden, no feel, and required way too much effort for my normal two finger braking style. After the upgrade they are the best brakes I have ever had on any bike (as it ought to be for over $1000.00). I didnít arrive at this configuration all at once. First I upgraded the brake pads, much much better, but not good enough yet so next was the steel braided lines. This didnít result in any noticeably improvement. I attribute this to the fact that while I may occasional take a fast sprint in the twisties, I donít race and incountered no emergency braking scenarios that might have exerted enough force to expand rubber brake lines. The versys has a 18mm piston. When I purchased the Beringer master cylinder a 21mm piston was recommended. Although skeptical, I took their advice and am more than happy, two fingers is all you want to use and now I can tell exactly how much pressure is required and modify it easily. I think the cheapest approach would be to replace the brake pads first and see if this helps out enough, it might surprise you. I would guess that this change alone would satisfy a great number of riders. If this doesnít do it for you then I would definitely look for an appropriate master cylinder with a 21mm piston. Simply replacing the current master cylinder with another one with the same piston size and leverage of similar design (i.e. normal cheap no miniature bearings in the pivots, machined from billet, etc.) wonít change anything. Also, if you do find a replacement master cylinder that you want to try, you may have to also replace the clutch side as well if you want to keep the same levers.
Pegasus is offline  
post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 01:54 PM
Member
 
gti20vturbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 926
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Gee glad I have an 09.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
gti20vturbo is offline  
post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 04:50 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SE Mich.
Posts: 1,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus View Post
Before the Versys I had a EX650R Ninja. Same brakesÖthey sucked. I was determined to find a fix and finally settled on a Beringer master cylinder, Spiegler stainless steel braided brake lines, and EBC double-H sintered brake pads. Costly, but to me the results were worth it. The stock brakes felt wooden, no feel, and required way too much effort for my normal two finger braking style. After the upgrade they are the best brakes I have ever had on any bike (as it ought to be for over $1000.00). I didnít arrive at this configuration all at once. First I upgraded the brake pads, much much better, but not good enough yet so next was the steel braided lines. This didnít result in any noticeably improvement. I attribute this to the fact that while I may occasional take a fast sprint in the twisties, I donít race and incountered no emergency braking scenarios that might have exerted enough force to expand rubber brake lines. The versys has a 18mm piston. When I purchased the Beringer master cylinder a 21mm piston was recommended. Although skeptical, I took their advice and am more than happy, two fingers is all you want to use and now I can tell exactly how much pressure is required and modify it easily. I think the cheapest approach would be to replace the brake pads first and see if this helps out enough, it might surprise you. I would guess that this change alone would satisfy a great number of riders. If this doesnít do it for you then I would definitely look for an appropriate master cylinder with a 21mm piston. Simply replacing the current master cylinder with another one with the same piston size and leverage of similar design (i.e. normal cheap no miniature bearings in the pivots, machined from billet, etc.) wonít change anything. Also, if you do find a replacement master cylinder that you want to try, you may have to also replace the clutch side as well if you want to keep the same levers.
I think that I know now, because you said that the 08 has an 18mm master. The 09 has a 14mm bore. It looks like Kawi figured out that the 08 required too much lever effort, so they switched to a 14, which will solve the problem. A smaller bore master will apply more pressure at the pads than a larger one with an equal lever effort. (Hydraulics 101).

10 Duc Streetfighter S (black)
09 Versys
00 KLR
67 Triumph Bonneville TT Special
USN 1959-65
ttpete is offline  
post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 05:55 PM
Member
 
potus2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NorthWest Arkansas
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
I think that I know now, because you said that the 08 has an 18mm master. The 09 has a 14mm bore. It looks like Kawi figured out that the 08 required too much lever effort, so they switched to a 14, which will solve the problem. A smaller bore master will apply more pressure at the pads than a larger one with an equal lever effort. (Hydraulics 101).
OK, now I need some help from a smarter man (or woman) than me. I can already easily pull the lever to the grip with one finger. So if I were to go to the '09 with a smaller bore it would actually make my problem worse, right? I'd have to use even less effort and pull the lever back even further (not that there's any room for that) to stop. So then I need to find a master cylinder with a larger bore, correct?
(sorry to hijack this thread away from the original poster, but I believe we're looking for the same solutions)

Back Off! I'm Already Riding Way Beyond My Abilities.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
potus2012 is offline  
post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 09:28 PM
Member
 
Pretbek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 739
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by potus2012 View Post
I can already easily pull the lever to the grip with one finger.
That, my friend, is called a malfunction. Most likely air in your brake lines. This needs to be fixed at your earliest convenience, or right now, whichever comes first.

If your brakes were functioning properly, with unliked master cylinder and all, you will not be able to pull the brake handle against the grip at all and CERTAINLY not with one finger!
Pretbek is offline  
post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 12:14 AM
Member
 
Lukejt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Finksburg, Maryland
Posts: 429
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, no way should you be able to do that with one finger. Check for leaks and bleed until it's right.
Lukejt is offline  
post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Let me reword it - You want to replace the MC because it is shared with another Kawasaki model that happens to be a quad. The reasons for this replacement seem to be only cosmetic, as this is the only criteria outlined for the replacement, you are not looking for different size piston to improve performance.
My major complaint is too much stroke. If new brake lines and a thorough bleed aren't enough to remedy this, then a new master cylinder will. Stroke is inversely proportional to piston size.

I have trouble believing that the 09 MC is 14mm, that's pretty tiny and a full 4mm smaller than the OEM Master Cylinder at 18mm (according to Pegasus).

Anyway, from some of the posts in this thread I think perhaps all will be well after installing the new brake lines. If it isn't, a used ZX6R master cylinder would be cheaper than 90% of the farkles we do to these bikes.
Shatrat is offline  
post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 08:02 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Wish I could try an 08 to see how it compares to my 09.

When I first bought the bike I couldn't figure out why all the complaints about the front brakes. They aren't the best but they seemed good enough, when I found out it had a different MC I figured maybe that's the difference.

When it comes to braking on the V MY main complaints are way too much fork dive, and a pretty much a useless back brake

fitz

"One day last week I was riding my bike, I can't remember exactly what day it was, maybe Tuesday, around 3:00pm or was it 4:00pm, not sure but I think it was 3:00pm when I noticed the fuel gauge started blinking, you know the last bar on the bike telling you need to get gas, so I looked for the next gas station, right down the road was two gas stations an Exxon and a BP, both had exactly the same price, so I couldn't decide, so I just picked one, after filling up I continued on my way." --fitz
fitz is offline  
post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 08:51 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Probably a pointless comparison, but I measured at the bend of the lever how much travel till I would consider "hard" braking and it came out to about 3/4 of an inch.

Also, when trying to stop quickly the amount of force I have to apply to the lever I don't feel it's the lines or the master cylinder that are the limiting factors but rather the brakes themselves.

I've never noticed THAT much difference when replacing brake lines on my bikes, so when people say they made a "big improvement" I tend to be skeptical. But enough people on here say it so maybe it's enough of an improvement to really help their V, or part of it is the fact they've rebleed their lines

fitz

"One day last week I was riding my bike, I can't remember exactly what day it was, maybe Tuesday, around 3:00pm or was it 4:00pm, not sure but I think it was 3:00pm when I noticed the fuel gauge started blinking, you know the last bar on the bike telling you need to get gas, so I looked for the next gas station, right down the road was two gas stations an Exxon and a BP, both had exactly the same price, so I couldn't decide, so I just picked one, after filling up I continued on my way." --fitz
fitz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Versys Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome