THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN…
Now that the Gixer’s making more power than stock (thanks to the SP Engineering can), and is therefore a tad faster, stopping with more alacrity is now even higher on the agenda. As you may already know, the Gixer’s brakes aren’t exactly the best on offer. They say ‘Brembo’ on the calipers, but they’re let down by both the master-cylinder and the OE brake pads.
When we were at SportsBike Of The Year, the Suzuki would last about three laps at flat out pace before the brakes gave up. Back off for a couple of laps and they’d come back for a bit, but the issues continue on the road too. I don’t have the longest fingers, so prefer to have the lever set a little closer to the bar. I also like to brake with two fingers, so having brakes that are effective at all points of lever travel is important to me. The current setup is fine for general riding, but having had a couple of emergency braking situations arise, they just aren’t up to task. The immediate problem is the first two inches of lever travel – nothing happens! So braking in a hurry, by the time powers starts building appreciably my fingers are then trapped, and braking power stops increasing.
I had a very similar issue with the Yamaha MT-10 last year, so am approaching the Suzuki’s problem in the same fashion. This means taking it step by step while trying to achieve the goal as cheaply as possible. So I’m turning to the same pads as I used last year, Brembo’s Road & Track SC items from Bike HPS.
I popped up to JHS Racing to see Mr James about a few things, and while there had the pads fitted. It’s a pretty simple pop-out, pop-in procedure for the pads, however, James noticed something at the same time. The rubber flange in the brake fluid had dislodged under, were pretty sure, the hard duress the brakes were put under at SBOTY. Added to that was the fact there was a lot of water condensation in there too, which really isn’t ideal!
So James replaced the brake fluid and bled the calipers and lines, as he thinks the OE fluid didn’t have a high enough boiling point (which was therefore exacerbating the fading issues), just to be sure and to try and help performance. Once riding away, I did my usual thing of completely forgetting I had brand new pads in and then having a mild bum-pump when I first came to stop! It always takes a few miles to bed pads in, and once they were I instantly realised that while things were actually noticeably better, unlike the quick-fix we managed on the Yamaha, the Suzuki may need another couple of bits before it’s perfect and just how I like it.
There’s no doubt the new pads (and fluid) means I’m nowmore comfortable with the increase in earlier power, and priced at just £139.08 is a fabulous way of making the anchors more effective. However, I think I need better still before I’m truly happy. So the next port of call will be a set of brake lines from somewhere, as combined with pads they will still be cheaper than sticking on a decent master-cylinder.
To be clear, I’m absolutely not after brakes which slam the front into the deck when I merely think about hitting them. That’s counter-productive most of the time, and I’ve always liked my brakes to be progressive. The pads mean that things start working better an inch of lever movement earlier, but there’s still another inch we need to work on. We’ll sort it no doubt, but for next month I’m sticking on a wealth of ace Yoshimura bits and we’ll tackle the rest of the brakes another time.
James was on hand to better the braking.
Fill ’er up, gov’na.
Better pads are a simple way to better anchorage.
The crucial seal of stopping.