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silverbird1100

Who's replacing their oem brake lines?

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Ours bikes are getting old, if they look fine do you really have to do it?

 

Seems of all the things that could kill me on a motorcycle my 17 year old brake lines are pretty low on the list, but I've been dead wrong many times before. 

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I replaced mine with the braided stuff for performance reasons.  I myself don't worry too much about the age because there is two separate braking systems on the bike.  I have a car that is 40 some years old with the factory hoses on it with no issues.  With all that said, it is always good to do what you think is right.

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I've been meaning to replace them. Not interested in delinking, but thinking a set of good braided lines, compatible with Heli bars, or the stock clip ons (I've been meaning to put the stockers back on) would be good. They'll be the last lines my bike will likely need. She's a 97, with a 96 build date. 23 years old!!

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I might worry about rubber parts being attacked by UV and ozone.

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I've met a fair number of automotive brake lines that have failed, but none on bikes that I remember.  Some fail in an obvious way of leaking, some just become spongy where they only expand under pressure so you might not notice it, and occasionally they have an internal failure where they'll cause brake drag because they restrict fluid flow.  Cars/trucks regularly see several hundred and possibly over 1,000 PSI in "normal" use.  This is just a guess, but I'd be surprised if a bike system sees 500 psi tops and probably no more than 100 in regular riding.

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11 minutes ago, XXitanium said:

I might worry about rubber parts being attacked by UV and ozone.

That's the outer layer that has almost nothing to do with the pressure holding parts of the hose.  The only time the outer layer plays into pressure holding is when the inner layers fail, and once that happens it doesn't take much to burst the outer layer.  ---from my experiences.

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Spongee means the line is compromised. There is no warning for failure oftentimes. 23 years is plenty of service life. Living in the rust belt I've had more lines fail than I want to post. Sure, my bird is garaged and never sees salt. But age, sunlight, and ozone still exists. I need to do mine in the next year. Also, regularly replacing brake fluid has noticeably reduced brake problems for me.

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This is an odd cost vs. benefit issue.  I put braided stainless lines on a few years after I got the XX. While not a radical improvement, I did notice an improvement.  If the bike is old enough, new lines will cost a good chunk of the bike’s value, but I’m sure stainless lines are cheaper than buying OEM replacements.

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Is it still $250+ for a set?  One potential option is to simply go on eBay and buy the lengths of generic braided line that you need just to do the front.

 

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In 2008 I was looking to replace my braided lines on my Bird, at the time I think Spiegler and Galfer offred only partial sets, I also replaced my Clutch line, BIG mistake, clutch became 

grabby( hard to engage smoothly from stops) until completely warmed up.

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I did a front-only set from Galfer in May of 2002, don't know if they had rears.  My bike was the prototype and they were made in their factory as I watched.  I did the clutch also, with no issues.  Sounds like an air problem or something else.

 

Some time later that decade, I heard people complaining that you couldn't buy a front only kit, but obviously, I didn't need to try so I'm not sure.

 

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I would think your chances of bursting a radiator hose will come long before a brake hose. I have had a coolant hose burst on my 99 XX and have also installed the Galfer 11 line kits on two of my XX's. Great instructions with plenty of pictures and no issues during or after the install. Just plan for a full day.

 

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5 hours ago, srideaux said:

I also replaced my Clutch line, BIG mistake, clutch became 

grabby( hard to engage smoothly from stops) until completely warmed up.

Probably air or some other problem that was caused during the swap, many have done it without any problems and there would be no reason for the hose to be a problem.  Another possibility is that you changed oil types at the same time and that was the cause.

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5 hours ago, SwampNut said:

I did a front-only set from Galfer in May of 2002, don't know if they had rears.  My bike was the prototype and they were made in their factory as I watched.  I did the clutch also, with no issues.  Sounds like an air problem or something else.

 

Some time later that decade, I heard people complaining that you couldn't buy a front only kit, but obviously, I didn't need to try so I'm not sure.

 

I just realized that the whitebird has a full set of SS braided lines and I think the manufacturer's name is on them, take a look.

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On 8/26/2019 at 6:21 PM, srideaux said:

In 2008 I was looking to replace my braided lines on my Bird, at the time I think Spiegler and Galfer offred only partial sets, I also replaced my Clutch line, BIG mistake, clutch became 

grabby( hard to engage smoothly from stops) until completely warmed up.

My buddy had similar results on a clutch line installed on his Vmax. Destroyed the feel when finessing the bike off the line. Bleeding didn't help.

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It can be a real pain on some bikes.  Galfer did mine with a reverse-feed pump from Phoenix Systems, filling it from the bottom (both brakes and clutch).  This probably guarantees no air.  My mountain bike brakes were also a pain to bleed, and I ended up reverse-bleeding those with a big syringe.

 

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8 hours ago, silverbird1100 said:

It's not easy to get all the air out, you may think you have but there can still be some in there. 

I've bled countless lines. The feel wasn't indicative of air. It was the rigidity of the line that changed the feel. Putting the stocker back on brought back the feedback.  At least on that bike.

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My clutch felt seriously different afterward.  Once I established that it was working properly, I just learned to live with the new feel.

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7 hours ago, Zero Knievel said:

My clutch felt seriously different afterward.  Once I established that it was working properly, I just learned to live with the new feel.

 

Well that sucks, I can't  ride mine for a coupe of weeks, how did it change it?

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Seemed anemic...like there was air in the system, but there wasn't.  It just worked more effectively.

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