Brak­ing bet­ter

2002 Blade un­der­goes a (very care­ful) front caliper spruce-up

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Ihate work­ing on hy­draulic brakes. Not only can they be frus­trat­ing, messy and fid­dly to work with but the po­ten­tial for brake fluid spillage is al­ways high.

A few years ago a nasty ex­pe­ri­ence with a stuck brake pis­ton on a ZZR600 re­sulted in a foun­tain of brake fluid from the mas­ter cylin­der cov­er­ing both fuel tank (that I’d failed to pro­tect) and screen (which in­stantly turned milky). Doh in­deed!

Now I’m a lit­tle wiser, I’ve re­alised that plan­ning for a spillage is bet­ter than re­act­ing to one, so be­fore I touch a reser­voir cap I make sure the paint­work is cov­ered, plenty of blue pa­per towel is ready and a bucket of cold wa­ter with a cloth is on hand.

As you can see from the pics, the 954’s calipers were in pretty good nick to start with, only let down by the cor­roded Torx bolts. Spe­cial­ist man­u­fac­turer Pro-bolt make cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant ti­ta­nium re­place­ments for all the caliper bolts on the 954 in­clud­ing the caliper pins and nip­ples. They also have the op­tion of a ‘Di­a­mond Like Coat­ing’ black fin­ish, an op­tion I opted for on

the caliper mount­ing bolts. OK, so Pro-bolt aren’t cheap, but they are flaw­lessly made and if you choose your fin­ish/colour wisely they can trans­form a tired bike. The ti­ta­nium bolts save 120g over the stock plated steel items too.

With Brembo Sin­tered SC brake pads in­stalled (as rec­om­mended by 954 own­ers on our Face­book page) the Pro-bolt ti­ta­nium fas­ten­ers were torqued to the Honda fig­ures (as rec­om­mended by Pro-bolt). To fit the ti­ta­nium bleed nip­ples I sim­ply wrapped the caliper in blue pa­per towel and quickly made the swap, the pa­per soak­ing up the spillage. Flush­ing through new fluid was a sim­ple job of fit­ting a tube to the bleed nip­ple, ap­ply­ing pres­sure on the brake lever and crack­ing open the nip­ple. Clos­ing the nip­ple be­fore the lever reaches the bars pre­vents the old fluid (and any air) from get­ting in.

New pads and bolts for the Blade’s Nissins

The ti­ta­nium bolts saved a handy 120g

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