BRAIDED LINE DOS AND DON’TS
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.)