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Discussion Starter #1
I’d like a bit better front braking performance out of my SV. The bike is ABS-equipped, and I know the extra plumbing is always going to reduce braking feel, but I am motivated to see what improvements I can make, particularly to reduce lever effort.

One of the standard upgrades that gets made in the search for better braking is a switch to braided stainless steel lines, but – frustratingly – nobody (that I could find, anyway) in Europe or North America made s/s lines for the ABS-equipped SVs. (note that mine is a naked, which has a different master cylinder arrangement than the ‘S’ version.)

That now has changed! Once I bothered them enough, the local distributor here in BC (OPP Racing http://www.oppracing.com/ thanks David and Patrik) and the guys at Spiegler concluded that they could build a set of lines for me if I sent them the originals to copy, and that was enough for me. I ripped off the stock lines and (thru OPP) fired them out to Spiegler. There was a bit of drama and a delay when I then disappeared on 3 weeks holiday and wasn’t able to resolve a question, but eventually the new lines arrived and I got them mounted up.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, (drumroll, please…) may I present the first naked ABS-equipped SV650 on the face of the planet with braided front brakelines:












So far, I’m pleased with the performance, but it would be misleading to say the s/s lines ‘blow away’ the originals. There is a BIT better feel, and a TOUCH less effort is required, and ‘full braking’ (to ABS onset) can be reached a LITTLE easier, but this is still no sportbike braking system. However, an improvement is an improvement, and this is just one step in a number of changes I plan to make – I get nearly as much enjoyment out of trying new stuff on my bike as I do riding it!

Here are a few comments which might be useful for anyone else considering this option.

First, for reference here’s a schematic for the full front brake system:






The key problem is that there are unusual fittings at the frame end of the #1 line and #2 line, where the flexible hoses join to the rigid tubing that runs thru the frame to and from the ABS ‘plumbing’ under the seat. These fittings cannot be replicated, but effective substitutes are available. In the top photo below, the original ‘block’ fitting is on the right; the substitute female fitting is on the left. Look closely and you will note the brass ‘olive’ zip-tied to the new fitting. The ‘olive’ acts as a bushing to seal the junction to the tubing; the original fitting has a ‘nipple’ inside that does the same job – both are visible in the 2nd photo below.










These fittings are a REAL ***** to get together – the ABS tubing slopes up slightly in the frame, so the ‘olive’ wants to fall out of the new fitting when the hose is attached. The only way I could get everything together correctly was to attack these fittings first. Thread the new s/s hose thru the proper position between the forks and get it aligned (otherwise it’s not flexible enough to swing into position after the frame end is attached – ask me how I know); hold the fitting at the end of the tubing in position by wedging it with a brakeline wrench (aka flare nut wrench) of maybe a pair of narrow vice-grips; slip the olive in and get the threads started by turning the brake hose, then snug it down till the ‘olive’ starts to bind inside; then back it off ever-so-slightly and click it hard a few times with a finger nail while slowly snugging the hose tighter and tighter. I managed the right front on my own, but I needed an extra pair of hands from my wife for the left. I later spoke to David at Spiegler to see whether I had missed a trick, and it was suggested that a very small dab of grease could be used to hold the olive in place while the threads were run home. This would then dissolve out in the brake fluid and disappear in the bleeding.

The original ‘blocks’ not only served as junctions, they secured the lines to the frame. With the blocks gone, another means must be found to do so, and luckily a 1/2 inch nylon electrical conduit clamp does the job perfectly. I used an ‘extra’ rubber bushing to firm up the lines under the wire clamp which secures the cables and electrics at the left front of the bike, but that’s not really necessary. This is all visible in the following two photos:












The only other bit of modification that went into these lines compared to the originals was at the master cylinder and its fitting. I like to have my levers rotated well forward, and the original angling and positioning of the m/c and lines results in interference with the top triple clamp (see below):







I ordered the lines with a 45 degree fitting at the m/c (Spiegler fitting type 004) instead of stock angles, which gives better clearance, and I also filed away about one third of the metal ‘stop’ on the m/c that prevents rotation of the fitting. Together, these changes allowed plenty of freedom of rotation to serve my needs.









All three lines are stock length (14”, 27”, and 22”). This is perfect for lines #1 and #3, but because of the extra stiffness of the s/s line compared to the original hoses, it would be better to make line #2 26” to remove a bit of excess ‘bulging’.

All in all, this has been an interesting project, and I’m looking forward to ‘dicking around with’ other components in my braking system soon.

And I presume Spiegler will now be able to make braided lines for other "SV'ers" without having to go thru the hassle of sending in your lines to duplicate. I dealt with a tech named David, btw, so he should have any and all necessary info.

As for price, by the time I got finished (including shipping back and forth from Canada to Ohio, taxes, etc), this cost me just a hair over $200. I'd have rather saved money and ordered just lines #1 and #2 (cuz #3 is Kevlar as stock, so s/s perhaps isn't really necessary), but Spiegler wanted to do it all, or not do it at all. I suspect now the 'standard' has been set, US customers can probably do better, especially dealing direct.

I've seen previous posts on this subject on here, so who's next?

Cheers,
 

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Wow, that's a lot of work. Thanks for posting.
I think I am going to be customer number 1 for Galfer's new kit for the 08 ABS SV650.
The kit should be here by the weekend, I'll post more info and pictures.
As for that stop on the master cylinder, I chopped mine off with a dremel and rotated the line because I had the same problems you did when trying to rotate the brake lever down.

The kit should be less than $200 and includes the rear brake, but let's wait until I actually have it in my hands.

So...
How does it feel?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So... How does it feel?
I've got slightly more firmness under the lever (especially as I apply more pressure), and I don't have to pull quite as hard for whatever desired amount of braking force, but - honestly - it's not dramatically different - it's incremental. As well, new pads went in, plus of course the fluid is new and fully bled, so those factors undoubtedly contribute. At least I know I've eliminated one variable (and potential weakness) from the overall braking equation - but eveyone I spoke to on this long quest made a point of telling me that I'm NEVER going to get as 'tight' and 'direct' a feel with the ABS system as without - the extra plumbing and pumps and valves and volumes prevent that. And I'm fine with that... I wouldn't ever want to be without my ABS...

Interesting you're getting a line-set from Galfer. They also have a good reputation. I had a couple conversations with them many months ago, and they seemed keen to do a set for me, then the interest just kinda frittered away. Twice! Despite plenty of emails, photos exhanged, phonecalls, etc... Did you have to supply your lines to them to copy?

Maybe business is a bit slow, and nobody can afford to say 'no' to ANY paying customer these days? Whatever, it's good for all of us...

I look forward to your reactions - 'twill be nice to compare notes...

Cheers,
 

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Blair at SVRacingparts had been working with Galfer, I ordered the lines through him (he said not to tell anyone yet, oops. :naughty:).

Interesting comments about ABS "never going to be as good" because of the extra plumbing. Doesn't make much sense if you know anything about hydraulics.
Anyway, the brakes on mine are already fantastic and with the kevlar lines, I expect them to be even better.
I also have a really nice set of Tokico 4 piston calipers from an SV1000 that are waiting to be installed as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting comments about ABS "never going to be as good" because of the extra plumbing. Doesn't make much sense if you know anything about hydraulics.
I agree. Incompressible fluid times unexpandable 'network' equals zero. It should not matter whether the system contains 50ml of brake fluid or 1 litre.

BUT, the valving etc MIGHT affect the transmission of the hydraulic forces thru the system. In other words, the pressure generated at the master cylinder should be exactly the pressure 'felt' at the ABS 'plumbing' system, but there could be a variable pressure drop thru that system.

I have no idea how the system works, and what the 'plumbing' consists of. Black boxes... Maybe someone on here has some expertise in the area?

It'd be kinda cool if someone had the correct intrumentation to measure the actual line pressures at the m/c outlet, at the ABS inlet, at the ABS outlet, and at the caliper. The proper comparison would be to m/c outlet and caliper in a non-ABS system - those figures ought to be exactly the same, but there might be some minor 'frictional' losses.

Anyway, all that is just internet fodder. The reality is that it's nice to finally have braided lines available for ABS-equipped SVs.

Btw, am I reading correctly that your lines are kevlar, not stainless steel?

Cheers,
 

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You can get the SS braided lines from SV Racer for about $160. I did that to my 2007 Naked ABS model and upgraded to 4 piston Tokico calipers. I didn't notice much difference. My VStar cruiser has better brake feel. Somehow, that ABS unit add more free play. Maybe someone here who's familiar with the internals of the ABS pump and explain what's going on.
 

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old post but how did you get those block connectors loose? mine won’t budge at all, and i’m close to completely rounding off the nut on the solid hose leading from the abs module
 
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