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