Braided Brake lines for R1100Rt
While I am doing my spring, waiting for snow free roads, tinkering on my 1100RT. I am considering changing out the stock brake lines for braided stainless. Has anyone done this? Is it a difficult procedure? Any good sources for the lines?Thanks,
I friend of mine did his and saw no difference in braking response.
-many have added SS lines.
-pretty easy job.
-Spiegler is probably the most common source for SS lines, available from a number of places (google is your friend). I bought mine from Hammersly (via eBay).
-generally, SS lines are a lifetime replacement for rubber hoses that will eventually go bad.
-SS lines tend to give greater feedback than do OEM hoses.
-The braking feel of SS lines does not vary during repeated use as will OEM hoses (rubber swells, SS does not)
I'm in the process of doing my 94 R1100RS right now, using Speigler brake hoses.
A few years back I also installed SpeedBleeders on the calipers and it made brake bleeding so easy I can flush out the entire system in less than an hour.
As to brake feel with the new hoses, I take that as a very subjective comment. I'm a 16+ year MSF instructor and I have seen a LOT of "experienced" riders who really don't use their brakes effectively. I regularly practice my braking skills, including repeated high effort braking, and I can sense braking "feel" degrade as the brakes heat up. Mushy rubber/stock brake hoses DO degrade with age (I have worked in the hydraulic hose business for 15 years). The stainless steel brake lines do NOT degrade or change in feel over many years of use.
Because stock brake hoses use Nitrile or Neoprene inner tubes, and because brake fluid does absorb water over time, the water in the system DOES degrade the hose inner tube of stock brake hoses. The inner tubes soften and swell, which adds the "spongy" feel of the brakes over time. Although the standard rubber brake hoses are designed with low expansion (with brake pressure applied), they can only do so much for the cost the cycle makers are willing to pay for a brake hose. The stainless steel braided/Teflon inner tube brake hose do NOT react to water in the brake system, and this hose style has very low expansion under pressure which produces much more consistent braking feel.
I would never replace the stock rubber brake hoses with the factory OEM replacement. Standard rubber OEM brake hoses are some of the cheapest construction hoses on the market. I would ALWAYS upgrade to the S/S Teflon lined brake hoses, and replace the brake fluid every other year.
I changed out the OEM's to Spiegler a few years back. They provide a firm linear feeling and are a welcome change to the rubber lines. It is a messy job, but it's not too difficult.
A couple comments about the installation:
The distribution block on the rt fork leg required a little modification to fit the mount. It is aluminum and can be filed down to fit easily. Start the installation at the block.
The short hoses from the calipers are exactly the same length as the stock ones but are by nature, less flexible. You'll just have to deal with them.
I removed the Speed Bleeders and re-used the OEM bleeders during the initial bleed after the installation because they didn't respond well to all the air in the line. After the initial bleed the Speed Bleeders were re-installed and function fine.
Overall, I would recommend the lines and the service from Spiegler www.spieglerusa.com/.
Thanks for the comments. In the past when I have replaced brake hoses, where I could I tried to prefill the brake hose to minimize the amount of air to pump out. But I could see that trying to pump the air out with the SpeedBleeders might be a challenge. When I replaced the ABS modulator on my 94 RS back in 2006 I only had to bleed out a small portion of air.
In this installation I might try my Mighty Vac hand vacuum pump at the banjo fitting before I make the connection at the master cylinder. That may also reduce the amount of air I have to bleed out.