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Thread: Galfer brake hose question

  1. #1
    Registered User awagnon's Avatar
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    Galfer brake hose question

    I'm planning on replacing the brake hoses on my 2004 1150GS (with ABS) using Galfer brake lines. I previously had a bad experience with Spiegler, so decided to give Galfer a try. Anyway, Galfer has a kit for the 1999 - 2002 1150GS with ABS (kit D265-5). When I asked if the kit would work on the 2004 model they said no and they would have to custom make a kit. So, does anyone know if the brake hoses on the 2004 GS with ABS are different from the 1999 - 2002 models?

    Also, the OEM brake lines on the bike look like rubber. I thought I read somewhere that the 2004 GSA had stainless steel brake lines, but the regular 2004 GS still had rubber lines. Is this correct?

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    -Al
    Al - Ogden, Utah
    Boxer bikes, boxer dogs, and letterboxing.
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  2. #2
    Nickname: Droid
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    Unless the hose cover material is black overlay onto the stainless steel braided hose cover, the stock hoses are most likely fabric reinforced synthetic rubber inner tube and cover. About the cheapest brake hose that will still meet the SAE performance specs. An easy way to tell if the stock hose is not stainless steel braided/Teflon tubed hose is to simply squeeze it. The lower quality hose is much easier to squeeze than the good stuff.

    Speigler, Galfer, Russel, and all the many others who offer stainless steel braided teflon tubed brake hoses all get their hose stock from one of the very few manufacturers that actually make the hose. Parker Hannifin being one of them (who I work for as a field engineer).

    I would never waste one penny on the old stock hoses, unless the goal is to make the bike look stock.

    As to the question on the plumbing difference? Not sure about that one, but all it takes is a fitting or hose end change to make a hose not fit one model versus another, same for year to year. So make sure it is right for your bike, year and model.

  3. #3
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    Since most people do not have a hydraulic crimping machine, you might want to consider reusable fittings. They are more expensive then regular fittings, but a doable project for most people without a crimping machine.

    Like Andy said, the R14 PTFE hose only comes from a few manufactures. But, you can get it in commercial thickness (0.030") and aircraft thickness (0.040"). That is the thickness of the inner Teflon lining. If you use aircraft grade, I believe you have to get fittings specific for the hose too. You might be able to get the aircraft grade from Parker. Andy might be able to tell you better.

    One other source is Earl's Speed-Flex brake hoses. They are a shop just for motorcycles. Their web site is hard to use. The fitting are buried (Fuel Systems -> Plumbing -> Hose ends -> Speed-Flex -> Banjo). Their prices are high compared to where I usually buy hydraulic hoses and fittings. But, the quality looks good. Andy might have some better sources since he works for a major supplier. I am just a consumer.

    Cutting the hose cleanly is the hardest part. If you go this direction, we can make some good suggestions.

    You can use this line for fuel and brake lines. I can show you some pictures of some R14 fuel lines and reusable fittings.

    Since I haven't converted my lines yet, I don't know the correct AN size. Andy might know the correct AN size.

  4. #4
    Nickname: Droid
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    I have a lot of expereince with cutting S/S braided Teflon tubed hose, and all I can say is you're best off leaving to someone with expereince and the right tools. A hose cutting blade is best, and this type of blade has no teeth, and a specific "kerf", plus the hose should be bent as it is cut to get a clean straight cut. If you use any kind of blade with teeth you'll tear the wire apart. An abrasive wheel contaminates the cut and hose so bad it isn't worth trying.

    The hose must be wrapped tightly with nylon reinforced tape in the cut area, or else the S/S braid will spread out and you are screwed for getting the hose end on it.

    I also have a lot of experience with resuable hose ends. Here too, an experienced hand is the best. If the S/S braid splays out on the cut, again, screwed for getting the hose shell onto the braid. And once you start to turn the mandrel in, do not stop part way, turn it to bottom. If you stop, you'll likely NOT get it turning again without damaging the hose.

    Personally, a pre-crimped, specific built assembly is the way to go and worth the money. Don't go cheap on brake hoses, for obvious reason.

  5. #5
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    BMW confused things by fitting the '02 R1150GSes with ABS II and I-ABS. Galfer's kit is probably for ABS II. Apparently the GS-Adventure did come with braided stainless hoses, and I suppose you could buy them from BMW. You can also get an aftermarket set from Bobs BMW.

    What problem did you have with Spiegler?

  6. #6
    Registered User awagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostboy View Post
    What problem did you have with Spiegler?
    Spiegler uses aluminum banjo fittings. The banjo fitting on the caliper end of the rear brake hose broke off during installation even though there really wasn't any stress on it. Spiegler replaced it free, but it took nearly a week to get the replacement and the bike (1150RT) was down during that time. I could be wrong, but I believe Galfer uses stainless steel banjo fittings.
    Al - Ogden, Utah
    Boxer bikes, boxer dogs, and letterboxing.
    2012 1200RT
    2006 Boxer dog (Paisley)

  7. #7
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 23217 View Post
    Since most people do not have a hydraulic crimping machine, you might want to consider reusable fittings. They are more expensive then regular fittings, but a doable project for most people without a crimping machine.

    Like Andy said, the R14 PTFE hose only comes from a few manufactures. But, you can get it in commercial thickness (0.030") and aircraft thickness (0.040"). That is the thickness of the inner Teflon lining. If you use aircraft grade, I believe you have to get fittings specific for the hose too. You might be able to get the aircraft grade from Parker. Andy might be able to tell you better.

    One other source is Earl's Speed-Flex brake hoses. They are a shop just for motorcycles. Their web site is hard to use. The fitting are buried (Fuel Systems -> Plumbing -> Hose ends -> Speed-Flex -> Banjo). Their prices are high compared to where I usually buy hydraulic hoses and fittings. But, the quality looks good. Andy might have some better sources since he works for a major supplier. I am just a consumer.

    Cutting the hose cleanly is the hardest part. If you go this direction, we can make some good suggestions.

    You can use this line for fuel and brake lines. I can show you some pictures of some R14 fuel lines and reusable fittings.

    Since I haven't converted my lines yet, I don't know the correct AN size. Andy might know the correct AN size.
    Bit of a hijack here... but since we're talking about braided lines what the heck. One of my bikes has a Spiegler line that was installed due to a rapid rubber line failure and it is about 8 to 10 inches too long. I need to get either a threaded fitting (master cylinder) or banjo (caliper) put on it which will involve cutting the line. Have you done this? It's one long length so shortening at either end will do the trick.

    I don't have or need an expensive crimper for one job so hoping to get a do it yourself fitting and some info on how to properly prepare the line.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by awagnon View Post
    Spiegler uses aluminum banjo fittings. The banjo fitting on the caliper end of the rear brake hose broke off during installation even though there really wasn't any stress on it. Spiegler replaced it free, but it took nearly a week to get the replacement and the bike (1150RT) was down during that time. I could be wrong, but I believe Galfer uses stainless steel banjo fittings.
    Galfer's hose ends are zinc plated steel. Cad plated would be preferable, but cadmium plating is getting near impossible due to environmental issues.

  9. #9
    Registered User GKman's Avatar
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    Looked at Galfer's site. Like the idea of steel ends and the swivel on the banjo. They don't sell direct and I couldn't find brake lines for BMW's on the first half dozen links they provide. ??

  10. #10
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    Bit of a hijack here... but since we're talking about braided lines what the heck. One of my bikes has a Spiegler line that was installed due to a rapid rubber line failure and it is about 8 to 10 inches too long. I need to get either a threaded fitting (master cylinder) or banjo (caliper) put on it which will involve cutting the line. Have you done this? It's one long length so shortening at either end will do the trick.
    The probability of cutting the line so that it isn't flared is not too good. But, if it is already ruined then it might be worth trying. Cutting the line so that it is not flared is the difficult part of the job. To cut it perfectly takes a special tool that is expensive. But, if you are starting from scratch there are some tricks to make it work.

    I didn't have an extra banjo fitting, so I took an old reusable fitting for a high-pressure fuel line and will show you how I do it:


    Before you get started you need to purchase the line. They will cut whatever length you order along with the corresponding reusable fittings. Sometimes the fitting will ONLY work with their hose. So ask first before mixing. You also want to order extra brass rings for the fittings. While the fitting may be reusable, the brass rings are ONE-USE ONLY.

    Step #1: take the fittings apart. Then slide the outside part of the fitting over the precut hose. You need to slide ALL the outside fittings over the line. If you are going to make TWO hoses, you need to slide FOUR outside fittings over the hose. Make sure they are properly ORIENTED! Once you make your cuts, your opportunity of being able to slide them over will be gone. See Figure #1

    Step #2: Wrap some clear packing tape (for cardboard boxes) around the hose where you want to cut it. The clear tape keeps stray wires from coming up.

    Step #3: Then cut some Aluminum flashing (from like Home Depot - roofing aisle). Cut it so that it almost make one complete turn around the hose. You should have a gap after clamping the flashing down. Be precise. You can cut the flashing with tin snips or serrated scissors. See Figure #2

    Step #4: I prefer to use airplane clamps, but I couldn't find them out in the shop. So, I used thick nylon cable ties. If you are using aircraft clamps, butt them up against each other. You will ruin them when you cut them. See Figure #3

    Step #5: Cut the hose in half with a metal chop saw. Cut them where they aircraft clamps but up against each other. See Figure #3.

    In Figure #4, the left side was cut without any clamp, and it flares out. On the right side, the hose was clamped and the braiding didn't flare out.

    Figure #5 shows flared ends. This cut is bad.

    Figure #6 shows the ends that are not flared after the cut. This cut is good!

    Step #6: The inside of the hose MUST be cleaned. There are a number of ways of cleaning the inside. You can use long Q-tips (Radio Shack #44-1093B). Wipe the inside clean. Some people pull or push a small rag thru the inner hose. You can also clean it with a liquid like Acetone (keep away from paint and flames). If you don't do this step some of the abrasive material can get down in your calipers. In the end, the inner teflon hose MUST be squeaky clean.

    Step #7: Put the brass ring on the inner fitting and ram it into the hose. Don't worry about the hose flaring up a little at this point. Then slide the outer fitting up and screw them together until it reaches the stop. You will have to use a little muscle power to get this tighten up. See Figure 7

    See Figure #8 for the finished product.

    Step #8: Hook them up to your bike. Fill and completely bleed your brakes. Don't be afraid to push extra brake fluid thru the system to remove anything you might have missed when you cleaned it.

    Step #9: Look for leaks or weeping. If it leaks, then you need to cut another hose. Check the lines for a couple days thereafter to make sure that nothing is leaking.

    Other notes: As you use more of the hose always leave one side with the clean cut (from where you purchased it from). You can always slide the connectors over the cleanly cut end. I usually 10' at a time.

    If you replace the hose or loosen the fittings you MUST replace the brass ring.

    Some braided brake lines come with PVC or PU outer coatings. You can only use this hose if you have the expensive braided line cutter. You will not be able to slide the outer fittings over the plastic coatings.

    I have seen people take a dental pick and get the outer fitting over a slightly braided hose. But, once the braided hose starts to come apart (flare), it is almost impossible to get compressed back down.

    We could have a very long discussion about whether you should use reusable fittings or crimp fittings. In my experience, the smaller the hose, the harder it is to use crimp fittings so that they do not leak. You can buy excellent brake hose crimping machines, but the good ones might cost more then your bike. I don't like aluminum fittings. They probably have less leaks then steel ones. But, vibrations will crack them.

    Don't ignore leaking or weeping hoses. You want the hose assembly to be perfect.

  11. #11
    Nickname: Droid
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    Basic idea is good, but more complicated than need be. I used nylon reinforced high strength tape (the clear tape with nylon thread running through it). Use the 1" wide tape. Decide where you need to cut it, mark it with a black Sharpie permanent marker. Position the tape centered over the black mark, and wrap it tightly for 1-1/2 to 2 wraps (no more). Cut through the tape and hose on the mark and simply leave the tape in place.

    When I've crimped hose ends onto a hose cut this way I have never had an issue with the hose end being compromised by the tape. It should equally well for the fitting assembly shown above.

    Determine where you need the hose cut, mark it, tape it, and then take it to any shop that makes crimped hose assemblies (any Parker Store does this, many NAPA stores do also, any hydraulic hose distributor will do it also) and ask them to cut the hose on their hose saw. Then use the resuable hose ends if that is your choice.

  12. #12
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. The only question I have is if you don't have the special saw what do you use to cut the hose so you don't destroy it?

    I found out the local bmw bike shop has brake line couplings they get from a local supplier. Not exactly cheap I think they cost around 10 to 15 bucks. I think I might get him to cut the line and install the fitting for me since they do it all the time.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    The only question I have is if you don't have the special saw what do you use to cut the hose so you don't destroy it?
    Chop saw - Try Harbor Freight Chop saws.

    $10-15 for a reusable fitting isn't unreasonable. For a crimp fitting, I would consider it expensive. If you feel uncomfortable, let your dealer do it. Bleeding the brakes will take longer then cutting and re-terminating the hose. Probably an hour of time for the whole job.

  14. #14
    GEEZER lsouth3's Avatar
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    Brake Lines

    I have made dozens of brake lines using Earl's materials and cutting the lines with a simple cable cutter. Mine came from Harbor freight for cheap and it does a great job of cutting the sheath and inner tubing.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/10-inch...ter-40507.html
    Lee - The older I get the better I was
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  15. #15
    Nickname: Droid
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    Chop/Abrasive saw? NO. Too good a chance to splay out the braid. And the contamination an abrasive saw creates in the hose is significant. Unless you blast it out with brake cleaner spray and air.

    Cable cutter? A better idea and certainly cleaner. The distortion of the inner tube will be straightened out when the insert end is pushed into the hose.

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