The direct line to better braking Banish your bulging rubber brake hoses and fit braided steel items for improved bite and power
1Make an offering
Before picking up the tools, get your new hoses out and offer them up to ensure they’re long enough for the routing you’ve chosen. There should be a bit of slack, especially if your forks compress a little on the stand. Make sure the banjo end type matches those of the original hoses. When you’re happy, connect a tube to the bleed nipple and pump out as much old fluid as you can.
2Drain and contain
Have rags or workshop tissue ready to hand, and remove the lower end of the hoses, and let any remaining fluid drain in to a waste fluid receptacle. Make sure you catch any dribbles from the caliper fitting too. Cut the fingers off a disposable rubber glove, and cable-tie them on the banjo fittings to catch any further drips. Then remove the top fitting, and carefully remove the hoses.
4Get copper washers correct
On twin-disc front ends, loosely fit the right hose at the caliper end (it’ll be slightly shorter). Then the left. Now bolt the hoses on at the top – if you have them the right way, the two banjos will be angled differently so they don’t bind up. There should be a copper washer between the bolt head/one hose, between both banjo ends, and between the other banjo and master cylinder.
6Tighten and double check
Time to break out the torque wrench. Tighten each fitting to the bike manufacturer’s specification. Make sure any clips you’ve removed or fitted are tight too. Check the routing is OK one last time. Now you’re ready to refill the fluid. Clean the bleed nipples, remove and clean the master cylinder lid, and open a new bottle of brake fluid.
8Banish those bubbles
Once fluid is flowing on the left side, close the bleed nipple and switch to the right side. Get fluid to the caliper here, then switch back to the left. Push fluid through until the fluid coming out is free of bubbles. Lock the bleed nipple, wipe up drips and fit a cover on the bleed nipple. Repeat on the other side, half-fill the reservoir and fit the lid.
5The route to success
Before going further, ensure the routing is OK. The hoses should not be crushed, kinked or stretched. Raise the front of the bike off the floor and make sure they’re not pulled taut at full fork extension. Fit cable clamps and guides anywhere they were used originally. The aim is to prevent the hoses getting close to any point where one could get pinched/rubbed.
7Squeezy does it...
Hold the brake lever in, and top the reservoir up. Release the lever. Attach your chosen bleeding device to the leftside banjo. Loosen the bleed nipple. You may find it takes a while for the system to start taking on fluid – try squeezing the lever slowly, then releasing it as fast as possible. If it’s really going slow, a plastic syringe on a tube to the lower banjo bolt can kickstart the process.
9Pump, preen and pull up
Now pump the brake lever to ensure the pads are in proper contact, and squeeze it for a few seconds to make sure there is no pressure loss or leaks. Thoroughly wipe down any areas where fluid residue may be left – brake fluid is readily absorbed in water, so it’s a good time to wash the whole bike, then go for a ride and enjoy crisper, more sensitive and better braking.
Triumph Street Triple Colours White, black, green Dealer £3700 Private good £3300 Private average£ 3000 This one 2008 model with Arrow exhaust and bellypan. 9800 miles, £3500 Now Tony needs to convince the owner to sell
From Banbury A422 /A43/A422