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Since I had already replaced the brake lines and pads the MC was the next logical bit. Calipers are so damn expensive that I think my next upgrade will be the front forks. There is still quite a bit of dive in the front end. It is a pretty good suspension for a bike for that price, but it could definitely be improved.
 

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My V is a Euro model 2008 ABS and I don't like the feel of the brake lever. In fact, after a day of aggressive riding, my right hand hurts - from braking! I haven't had these issues with my old bike, and neither with an 2009 US non-ABS model. I thought the ABS made the difference, but apparently, Kawa didn't change the brake cylinder for nothing. THANK YOU for the hint, I will see to it if the Euro models had the same changes.

I don't really like riders telling others what (not) to do with their bikes, i.e. riding style. The V is not a "commuter bike" per se.
 

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I would just offer that after having worked in a bike shop and bled many brake systems that the cause of the long throw of the lever is often air in the system. When you did the bleed with the vacuum tool after changing the bowl you obviously removed enough air to provide a solid feel to the brakes. I don't know if you ever used the tool on the old MC and even if you did it might have taken several attempts to get the air out of those split lines.
brakes.


This.

It was air, not the reservoir. Good job with bleeding it; it's amazing to me how many bikes have to be rebled. Plus, far too many people ignore the full-fluid swap every 2 years or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
This.

It was air, not the reservoir. Good job with bleeding it; it's amazing to me how many bikes have to be rebled. Plus, far too many people ignore the full-fluid swap every 2 years or so.
For the SECOND time I'll post this:
No air in the system. The improvement I got is in "feel", and to me, that's important.

It was NOT 'spongy' - it just didn't work as well as my '09's brakes, so I upgraded. :goodidea:
 

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Kawasaki changed the MC for more than aesthetics. Probably saw the comments of bike testers about the poor front brakes. As for SS lines and better pads than stock? You can have your exhaust mods or fancy paint but I'll spend extra money for better brakes any day of the week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I know several of you have also upgraded your PRE-'09 brakes to the new master cylinder (front brake reservoir), and I want to ask you to comment about WHETHER or not you feel it was worthwhile; and HOW much it improved your sense of the brakes on your '08 or earlier V.

I'm asking this as a result of several posts from others indicating their feeling that it's either "air in the lines" or "just in our minds" and not necessary.

:thanx:
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I know several of you have also upgraded your PRE-'09 brakes to the new master cylinder (front brake reservoir), and I want to ask you to comment about WHETHER or not you feel it was worthwhile; and HOW much it improved your sense of the brakes on your '08 or earlier V.

I'm asking this as a result of several posts from others indicating their feeling that it's either "air in the lines" or "just in our minds" and not necessary.

:thanx:
In answer to this post - I feel it was DEFINITELY a worthwhile mod, and that it improved the feel on my '08 by 100%. :clap:
 

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I know several of you have also upgraded your PRE-'09 brakes to the new master cylinder (front brake reservoir), and I want to ask you to comment about WHETHER or not you feel it was worthwhile; and HOW much it improved your sense of the brakes on your '08 or earlier V.

I'm asking this as a result of several posts from others indicating their feeling that it's either "air in the lines" or "just in our minds" and not necessary.

:thanx:
I spent approxmately $105 upgrading the master cylinder and feel that it was money well spent.

When applying the front brake initial bite is improved, along with a more firm feel of the lever and less lever travel. And this is after installing braided brake hoses.

I did not have air in the brake lines. The lines were properly bled 2 times before I performed the upgrade.

My opinion is that the stock front brakes are merely adequate. Performing the upgrade has been an improvement and I am pleased with the results.
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread, But I have 40 years of experience. :p Actually it's a bit more, I've been road racing for the last 12 years. Brakes are very important to me. I trail brake a LOT. Bought an 09 Versys yesterday, the brakes are terrible, no feel, with lots of effort to stop. Found myself leaving lots of room in front of me since I didn't think I could stop as fast as I should be able to on a motorcycle. I'll bleed them/replace the fluid, de glaze the pads and see what that does for me. I'm thinking I'll be swapping MC's and caliper though before long. Especially since I have a few race spared and an extra Brembo MC in the shed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Hey - IF you want to experience REALLY poor, I can sell you a master cylinder from an '08....

:goodluck:
 

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Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge. I've just did the same to upgrade mine Versys front breaks. I should say that you are absolutely right. I can break now with two fingers on the lever. It is enough to move the lever for 15mm and it breaks hard.

The only one thing I'd like to add is that "half moon piece" with mirror mounting screw part number is 43034-1163 (there are two kind of the 43034 available on partzilla actually)
Thank you one more time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge. ...Thank you one more time.
Glad that thread helped you - EVERY time I ride BIG RED (my '08) I'm GLAD I made that master-cylinder mod!
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
:thumbdown:When I added my '09 Versys, November 2010, to my '08, it took very little time to notice that the '09 has better brakes! By the end of my winter break in AZ early April, I'd pretty much concluded that the difference, and the improvement, resided in the '09's front brake master cylinder, so I made plans to address that when I returned to AZ this October. :goodidea:

To quantify the difference: on the '08 the front brake lever comes quite close to the bars to get effective braking (although it WILL lock the front wheel...!), while the '09 has good braking in the first few degrees of lever movement with no need to get close to the bars. On the early Versys, the reservoir is basically 'boxed' shaped, while on '09 and later ones it is 'oblong' or roughly, 'egg-shaped', so I assume that Ma Kawasaki noticed the need and made the appropriate modifications, and the different shape somehow indicates the changes.

First attempt I made was to put an ad. in our "WANTED" forum, trying to see whether anyone had a 'surplus' one. Nothing much happened till Weljo2001 suggested I look at E-bay and added links to some that were on there. One happened to be for a brake-reservoir off an '09 Ninja 650, so I did a little research which led me to see that the Ninja and Versys share the same master-cylinder, but the mirror mounts differently. :huh: MORE research showed that they were the same EXCEPT for the 'half-moon' piece that attaches the reservoir to the bars, part number 43034 on this page from Bike Bandit:
http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmotorcycles/2009-kawasaki-kle650a9f-versys/o/m18855#sch637936
which they list at $30.47.

I contacted the seller that Weljo had sent me the link for (THIS forum is an incredible GEM! :thumb: ), and bought the '09 Ninja reservoir, complete, for $42 delivered. Then, before ordering part # 43034 on the 'net, I phoned my Kawi dealer who quoted me just below $19, so I ordered it there. :D

Picked it up a few days ago, then down to Harbor Freight to buy a vacuum brake bleeder Model 92474, for $24 with my 20%-off coupon :yeahsmile: , and some DOT4 brake fluid.

Today, I draped the tank to protect it from brake fluid, and got busy. Probably took me 30 minutes and the reservoir swap was done, then another 15 and it was 'bled', so I went for a 20 mile ride to check it out. 👏

Works perfectly, WAY-Y-Y better than it had, just the same as on my '09! :eek:penarms:

So, my conclusion is - IF you have an early model Versys and want better brakes, find an '09 or later Versys or Ninja 650 reservoir (COMPLETE with the lever, as they ARE different :nono: !), and change it out.

For those with 'early' model Vs who aren't sure of the value of this mod, try to find someone with an '09 or later one (or EVEN a Ninja 650...) and do a bike-swap for a few miles, concentrating on front brake performance. For LESS than 100 bucks - you CAN'T BEAT IT! :exactly:

(I would have added pics except for the picture upload problem a bunch of us have noted!)
And here's a pic of the new master cylinder on my '08.

PB130997 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr
 

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Hello everyone, i just install on my Versys 08' master cylinder from 15 year model version. I noticed the symbols on the reservoir like 1/2(on my 08') and 14 (on 15' year). Maybe it's inch Visually the newer version has lower diameter of MC if look at it from left side. But i don't know what is difference between calipers between 08 year and newer version.
Afterall i check the brakes on the road and i can't activate ABS when fully compressed the brake lever. But last time i drive bike last yea, so i can't compare how it works. But there was a feeling that the brake hoses are expanding at full compression of the brake lever. Did somebody change them on the reinforced with good result?
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Look at my pic on "Post 54", and take note of the stainless brake lines I installed.
 

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it is not the shape of the MC but different piston size. The newer models come with 14mm MC, while the old one was 15mm, far too wooden. I believe that even better would be 12.7mm, like the one from Vulcan S. Then the braking would be effortless, but there will be more travel in the lever, so it is a matter of preference. I fitted it on Tiger 800 which has the same set up as the Versys, and now the braking is much better. Even better would be fitting 15mm Brembo radial MC (in Brembo the size of MC does not fully correspond to the Axial Mc).

In my Versys, I basically changed everything fitted Brembo radial callipers and radial mc. The brakes are now fantastic, but one has to spend quite a bit of $. I also fitted forks from Versys 1000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Yes i saw it, but how can you describe the result? What improvement did you get? Enough to repeat it?
By changing the 'master cylinder' the "FEEL" was greatly improved. Then when I put the SS brake-lines on, feel was again greatly improved, and the rear brakes became MUCH easier to modulate, much more sensitive.

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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By changing the 'master cylinder' the "FEEL" was greatly improved. Then when I put the SS brake-lines on, feel was again greatly improved, and the rear brakes became MUCH easier to modulate, much more sensitive.
Ok, thank you, i made an order for this SS brake-lines. As i see my Versys 08 with new MC from 15' year began stop faster then before.

But i don't understand what mean 1/2 on my old reservoir. If the inner diameter is larger then there should be 15 or smth like that. On newer one it's 14. And if you look at reservoir where the MC located you'll see that it's lower on new one. I thought it's the size of MC printed on reservoir. But now i have some doubts.
 
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