BRAIDED LINE DOS AND DON’TS

Cycle World - - Race Watch -

Q:I have a 1993 Honda CBR1000F that has been a faith­ful and ul­tra­reli­able bike from the start. I have other ma­chines but this one still puts a smile on my face ev­ery time I ride it. I have been think­ing about up­grad­ing my clutch and brake lines to Galfer braid­ed­steel lines and was cu­ri­ous as to whether or not this would work with the bike it­self. In other words, would it put un­due stress on other parts of the bike downare stream of the hoses them­selves? I take metic­u­lous care of my bike and just want to get your ex­pert opin­ion on the idea of up­grad­ing the sys­tems as de­scribed.

WALT TAY­LOR RICH­MOND, VA

A:Great bike and we want to keep it safe. Any­thing more than 20 years is plenty old for rub­ber brake hoses. Go ahead and fit the stain­less steel hoses. When in­stalling there a few things to be care­ful about.

Make sure the hoses aren’t twisted as in­stalled. SS hoses are stiffer than the rub­ber type and will at­tempt to straighten out when un­der high pres­sure.

The braided SS ex­te­rior (un­less coated) is very abra­sive, so be care­ful to rout the hoses so they don’t rub against any­thing that may be chafed. Some­times a piece of shrink-wrap on a sec­tion of hose will avoid marks on the triple clamps, fend­ers, etc.

Use new (or an­neal your old) cop­per wash­ers on any banjo fit­tings. Make dou­bly sure there is no seep­age from the ban­jos. Af­ter bleed­ing, dry the joints thor­oughly and sprin­kle a lit­tle baby powder on them. The baby powder will show any damp­ness much more eas­ily on the shiny sur­faces. Then hold pres­sure for at least 20 sec­onds, and look for leaks. Since the clutch works at low pres­sure com­pared to the brakes, seep­age may not be im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous. I usu­ally tie wrap the clutch lever back against the grip and check on it the next morn­ing. (Don’t ask how I learned this les­son the hard way.)

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