DR650 FAQ - Brakes
I’ve been thinking about replacing my front brake line with a braided stainless line. Honestly though, I'm not sure why, it just seems like I’ve read that the braided line is better but can't find why.A:
Steel braided lines have a Teflon© tube as a core wrapped with a stainless steel wire braided exterior. The Teflon© tube wrapped with the stainless braid doesn't allow the brake lines to stretch under pressure like the stock rubber lines do. The benefit is a firmer brake lever with better feel because the energy that was going into stretching the stock lines now goes straight to the brakes.
The stock DR650 front brake is entirely substandard. Is there an easy fix to bring it up to a more modern performance?A:
The caliper is the same Nissin caliper design as is used on the RMZ450, CRF450, KXF450 and the YZF450. The extra 120 plus pounds of the DR over those bikes makes a huge difference in braking performance though. There are several methods to get the performance you need for the street without making the brake too sensitive on the dirt. Installing a set of racing pads will help, but the problem is they don’t last very long. A Galfer rotor (stock size) combined with their pads also makes a big difference. (We don't show these on the website, but can get them for you if you like!) The problem is that the Galfer set-up costs more than the oversize supermoto rotor kit that we recommend. (Click here if you would like to see our installation guide for the oversize roto kit.) You can also add a stainless steel brake line to make the brake even more effective. (Be sure to read above question about stainless steel brained lines.) Remember to drain your old brake fluid and add all new fresh and then thoroughly bleed your system for the utmost in performance.
My bike has been sitting for some time while I was taking care of the clutch. During that time the rear brake slowly stopped working. I want to say that it was getting squishy over the past few months, but now it seems to be totally gone. I haven't bled it yet, but is it possible something else went bad inside the master cylinder? When doing the clutch work, I removed the screws from the master cylinder and pressed the brake lever down very far while removing the clutch cover. Is it possible that I messed something up during that process? There is no brake fluid or leaks that I can see.A:
As a quick fix, push hard against the outside of the caliper – into the disc. This will push the piston into the caliper and force the fluid through the system back into the reservoir. Then work the pedal several times to pump up pressure and then repeat the process. Repeat this procedure three or four times. This cycling will allow air in the system to escape. I perform this little ritual on both the front and rear every once in a while. It keeps the brakes feeling nice and firm. Of course if your fluid is more than a year or two old it's time to flush it out anyway. I recently had the importance of this lesson driven home again. I was having fun blitzing down a twisty gravel forest road, brake sliding into the corners and powering out when my rear brake fluid overheated and I suddenly had no rear brakes! I managed to avoid running off the road and into the bushes, but I did have quite a scare. Old fluid has a much lower boiling point than fresh stuff.
I bought a cheap rotor on eBay for my spare rear wheel and now when I come to a stop, I can feel a little surge like the rotor is warped. I only feel this at slow speeds, anything under 5 mph. My question is, can I take it to an automotive brake shop and have them remove the high spot? Also, would some hard material brake pads eventually smooth out the high spot over time?A:
This rotor could be bent, warped or just have a hard spot that is causing the pulsing. Regardless, motorcycle rotors are typically ground flat rather than turned on a lathe like an automotive rotor. The work can be done on a 'Blanchard grinder' which has a rotating plate that the rotor is attached to and then run under a rotating grinding head. This is similar to the setup used to regrind automotive flywheels. Personally, I would only trust this to a shop that specializes in resurfacing motorcycle brake rotors. You can usually find an ad for this service in the back of a motorcycle magazine. We also carry EBC rear rotors if you just want to start fresh and easy.