Need better brakes - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Need better brakes

Before I got the V, I rode a 88 Honda 650 GT Hawk. That bike had a single disk on the front with a two piston caliper. The stopping power from it was very good. With two fingers I could stop far better than the V with it's twin disks. Stoppies were no problem with enough control to do them in the rain. I have replaced the lines with stainless, helped a little. But for a total right now panic slam your eyes into the faceshield stop, forget it. I need help. Could it be as simple as a different brake pad? Do I need to try a different master cylinder to put more fluid to the brakes?


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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 02:03 PM
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I find the brakes completely adequate, but to each his own.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 02:21 PM
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You need to ride a KLR to put things in perpective!

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 02:32 PM
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Braided lines improve feel, but better pads will improve stopping power. I have read of others putting more aggressive brake pads on with significantly improved results. I think EBC might be the preference, but others can contribute their experience. The stock brake hardware is good enough as is.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 02:37 PM
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Let me get this straight; you want front brakes so good
that the back wheel comes off the ground in the rain?

OK...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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On my Hawk, two fingers were all you needed. Very progressive, right up to the point of total lockup. Even in the rain I could unweight the rear tire and still mantain control. With the V I need all four on the lever to get hard braking done and the feel is wooden. Would like more bite with less effort.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 04:57 PM
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My Vesrah (Japan) sintered metal front brake pads ($30 per side) offer a good improvement over stock. Front right: VD-435JL, front left: VD-352JL (rear: VD-434JL) as listed for Ninja 650R. Some have upgraded to EBC pads.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ghlight=vesrah
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 05:25 PM
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Last Summer I had a deer come from out of the woods and onto the highway while I was cruising at 70 mph. I stomped on the rear brake and hit the front brake at the same time. I slowed down really quick and didn't hit the deer. I did here tires squeeling behind me though from the car behind me. I was lucky that the driver wasn't riding my ass or I might have got rear ended. When that deer crossed the highway my only concern was slowing down really quick. To me, the Versys will slow down really quick.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 07:52 PM
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While I agree, most of the time the brakes are fine, but for me, the rear locks & slides too easy. I've had to grab a handful & step hard on the rear for sudden slow downs/stops quite a few times. Of course, I know this so I ride accordingly. I can see where some improvement would be good, but I wouldn't say the brakes are bad.


(Do I sound like a politician??)



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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 09:58 PM
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I did the EBC HH pads - they grab a lot better but I think you're still up against a 2-pot caliper.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 11:35 PM
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I think the amount of travel in the front forks has alot to do with the braking performance. The forks compress much more than they do on a Hawk. But...
I have owned and ridden a Hawk GT for the last 15 years and it has a braided line with good pads. And there is no way it stops better than the Vs.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 07:11 AM
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David Hough (Proficient Motorcycling) holds that even
'panic' stopping is essentially a two-stage maneuver.
Due to the weight transfer and subsequent flattening
of the front tire patch under load, his technique is to
first compress the front fork with a moderate pull,
then apply full pressure to achieve maximum stopping
in the shortest distance. David inisists there is no way
to be good at this without regular practice, which I
assume means everyone, whether or not they have
installed braided lines or aftermarket pads. The few
practice sessions I've done so far have convinced
me that my years of experience can still stand
improvement. Imagine that.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 05:22 PM
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It's funny how one persons "good brakes" are so different from anothers...I'm on the side that the V needs improvement...the brakes that I'm used to, on my triumph are that much better. squeeze the lever with the other hand pinching the stock brake lines and you can feel the expansion...I want that force going to the pads, not expanding the lines.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 06:00 PM
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I guess it just depends on what you came from...I am a new rider and wish the V brakes had more feel. The back brake is really easy to lock and you can't really feel that it is locked. I think that my biggest problem with the front bracks is the practice things mentioned earlier. I just don't have the confidence that they aren't going to lock. I have already switched to SS lines, but was waiting to hear what effect new pads would have. Anyone thought about new calipers?

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 05:27 PM
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Spiderman,

I totally agree!
traded my 06 KLR in on my 09 Versys.
love the brakes, but engine braking is much more enjoyable,
even more so with the Two Brothers Growl.
don't really use the brakes to often.
except for the "Oh ****" moments.
and they grab just fine.

Last edited by bschmitty2009; 03-12-2009 at 05:34 PM.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 01:59 PM
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The front compresses a ton, or dives under heavy breaking. A hit on the rear break at that time does seem to lock it up rather easily. I have had 2 oh ****e moments in traffic with stupid folks that got me sliding the rear.

I work on stopping in a church parking lot close to my house and I know I have a lot more to learn. One of the comments above, about hit the front and get some compression and then bear down makes sense, but I don't have that emergency control yet. However, it should make the rear a bit less light and enable greater breaking from there as well.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 01:00 PM
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I am not satisfied for rear brake in the V. After to read a lot of forums, I bought Frentubo braided lines and before next weekend I will install them on V.
With braided lines will get better feel and power.
After installation I will report my experience .

Please correct errors in my posts if my english is no good

Bye

Nobody thinks that something is so easy like who is totally unable to do it.

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Ex Aprilia Pegaso 96 Blue
Ex Suzuki DR 350 91

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt. Versuvius View Post
I find the brakes completely adequate, but to each his own.
Yeah I can lock the fronts up any time so not sure why it needs to be better.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:42 PM
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Coming from a CBR 600 RR, and although I love the new V, the V brakes are not great. I mean OK yeah I routinely practice panic stops and today with a few rain drops on the road I locked up the front into a mini power slide. The brakes provide plenty of "stopping power" but what they completely lack is feel. I NEVER locked the front of my CBR because the feedback was much better. Although braided lines may help in the feel deparment, new pads can't make that much difference. If money were no object I would attach Brembo's to replace the cheap 2 caliper sliding pin cheapos.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:54 PM
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I just switched to Vesrah sintered metal front brake pads before first ride on new V, and they feel great. I was running at maximum front preload last year to reduce dive and bottoming out tendency... Front end now feels pretty good at 3 turns away from max preload (12 turns in) and 7/8 turn out on rebound damping, with Motul's semi-synthetic SAE 15W fork oil, instead of original SAE 10W. I expect even better braking response with Motul's synthetic DOT 5.1 brake fluid. (silicone based DOT 5 is NOT compatible.)

Last edited by invader; 05-23-2009 at 10:58 PM.
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