Four tips to transform your bike into a performance-braking machine
You just need $200 and some handiwork. No matter how old your bike is, you can improve its braking system by following some simple steps.
Braided stainless steel brake lines – 100 $
The regular line is fabricated of insertion rubber and it can handle a lot but if you want to improve your stopping power you need to consider the braided steel lines.
The braided steel lines can handle higher temperatures than the standard ones and are more resistant to corrosion. The first difference you will notice is the more consistent pedal response and a more precise braking modulation.
The price is not that high, but the difference is huge. For example, if you want to fit it on a naked bike with two front calipers and one rear you must pay around 100$ / 80£. The lines are easy to fit, and usually they come in kits for every motorcycle model.
Brake Pads – 50$ to 80$
The stopping power comes from the brake pads. You need to do some research on this segment, because you got a lot of options to choose from. Consider that the heat generated by braking is transferred through the pads to your bike’s hydraulic system. In the unhappy event of overheating pads, the brake consistency will decrease.
As we tested, the best brake pads are the OEM ones, but they are expensive. Try to stick with big names. The most expensive one is not always the best for you. The high priced brake pads are mainly designed for racing but will lack on the road. They don’t heat up enough during street use.
You also need to consider that a sintered pad will last longer while reducing the brake disc life.
The best compromise for an accurate braking is the semi-sintered choice or the organic ones but keep in mind to choose wisely. Go for Brembo Ceramics and Sintered or Carbone Lorraine A3+.
High-grade brake fluid – 20$
This hydraulic fluid comes with magic powers. It can handle temperatures up to 260 °C (500 °F) without boiling. The most common braking fluid is the DOT 4, and there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to handling. This liquid is highly corrosive for paint and plastics but not for metal and it needs to be changed every three to four years. The price is not very high. With 20$ you can change your brake fluid and you can also upgrade to a higher grade. Depending on that grade, the boiling point goes higher or lower.
Use only the grade recommended by your manufacturer even if you go for a racing brake fluid.
Clean up your caliper – 5$
The brake caliper is exposed to a lot of dirt due to its position. It has two interior rubber seals for every piston. The seals and pistons must be kept in good condition otherwise they will get clogged, and the braking system will start working faulty. The brake cleaner does a great job by removing the dirt from the calipers and discs. Try to use every 1000 km. It will keep your brakes in good condition and it will increase your braking system life.
P.S. Your braking system will not do the job for you. Practice the emergency braking from time to time. And watch this video.