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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Right, here goes, my first ever product review!!
Before I get to the nitty gritty of the brake kit supplied by GrahamCUK I think everyone ought to be made aware that I am a total amateur when it comes to bike spannering, I have owned bikes since 1980 and done lots of simple stuff in that time such as oil changes, plugs, filters, wheels on and off, sprocket changes etc. and on the ‘Bird a few electrical swaps such as HID lights and CBR1000RR rear light but, have no engineering skills or even a workshop - just a 9x5 shed!!!

I'm writing this in MS Word and hope to copy and paste into the forum with photos are the right points but, that may or may not work depending on the limits of the forum software (and my ability to make it work of course!!)

A little about me & my ‘Bird:
I'm 47, owned the bike for 9 years, I bought it as a cosmetically damaged but, roadworthy bike as in the past I have been known to neglect the looks of my bikes and I didn’t want to pay top price for something I was going to ride more than I was going to polish. The ‘Bird is a ’99 Fi model with the side fairings removed and an "underlip" fitted to tidy up the space where the top fairing ends (Underlip) they also supplied the racier looking front mudguard - doesn’t help to keep the engine clean but, weighs about 1/5th of the standard item and looks sleek.
Maxton fitted one of their front fork kits a couple of years ago and powder coated the legs at the same time, this winter (or summer if I get the time) I plan to have the brake kit brackets anodised in a dark grey or maybe black to make the Brembos stand out even more.

Right, down to business before everyone gets bored with such a long rambling post!!

The kits are being made by Graham under his GMaxxRacePerformance brand and I hope to get stickers soon to attach to the fork legs to promote his venture (Gmaxx)

The goodies arrived in the strongest, most well taped box ever and just to be double sure nothing got damaged in transit he bubble wrapped them too:
small box.jpg
The contents are then lined up on the kitchen table (my wife was out) for closer inspection:
small parts.jpg
I couldn’t afford new Brembo calipers but, to be honest the refurbished ones are as good as new, new pins, backing plates and as requested EBC HH pads along with the HEL lines in black and of course the custom brackets to fit the Brembos to the ‘Bird.

I had already decided to buy an adjustable master cylinder to replace the standard Honda item so cannot comment on the performance of the Brembos with the normal master cylinder but, this is the lever / cylinder assembly I settled on:
small lever.jpg

Again, it’s not brand new but, bearing in mind the new cost is over £500 I think I got a bargain from an Ebay seller at just under £150, I also considered the Brembo adjustable ratio master cylinders as they’re available at about £270 new but, wanted to be different and the extra £120 I saved paid for the EBC Prolite discs at (Prolite Discs) where they were on offer as discontinued stock for £116 delivered - for the pair!!!
small wheel.jpg


The reason for the discs looking used is to make a fair assessment of Graham’s kit I used the discs with new EBC HH pads for about 150 miles with the standard calipers prior to fitting the Brembo kit.

Right, the kit is here, the master cylinder is here, the reservoir and short pipe eventually arrived and the sun shone so I got the spanners out!!!

Bodywork all off, tank, seat unit, front mudguard and of course what remains of the fairing - about 45 minutes from start to finish, partly due to having quick release fuel line couplings on the tank and lots of practise over the last few years with constant fiddling :rotfl:

With my bottle jack under the engine I quickly have the front wheel and calipers off followed by the lever /master cylinder assembly (remembering to disconnect the brake switch after it snags on the wiring harness).

The brake lines I have been using are Goodridge and include small metal blocks each side of the frame just below the headstock, these link into the Honda metal lines which run inside the frame under the tank and onwards to the rear master cylinder and all it’s bits and pieces:
small pipes.jpg


The serious mechanic would probably have gone to the time and trouble of removing the rear shock mounting bolt to be able to remove the radiator reservoir to ease the removal of the hard lines at this point but, I figured Graham’s kit was going to be staying on the bike so I admit I was a little "rough" when it came to easing the lines from beneath the rear valve assembly. The pipes are still about the right shape and didn’t kink at all so if I really had to I guess they could go back on...................maybe :smilebig:

I did the easy part first and fitted the rear lines to the master cylinder and caliper - as simple as undoing the Goodridge lines and bolting in the new HEL lines, the HEL parts are quite a bit thinner in cross section and being black they look great against my powder coated swingarm. I took off the Micron can to make things a little easier when it came to bleeding the lines but, I suppose it wasn’t really necessary to get the job done.
small rear.jpg


The banjo bolts and crush washers came with Graham’s kit and are even bagged up according to which end of the bike they fit - Nissin calipers and Brembos are slightly different. I am using one of the Honda hose retainers at the rear as I found the one nearest to the master cylinder wasn’t required due to the stiffness of the hoses over the Honda (or in my case Goodridge) ones.

Bleeding was quick and easy thanks to my Draper vacuum bleeder which basically sucks the fluid through from the caliper nipple, of course on the rear caliper there are 2 nipples so it’s a little long winded but, start to finish I’d say it’s about 20 minutes from taking of the Honda / Goodridge parts to having the rear brake ready for action, way better than using a jar and a bit of pipe!!



A quick wash down to get rid of any surplus fluid and it’s onto the fronts!!


With the wheel out it’s simply a case of bolting the brackets to the legs using the bolts from my shed’s supply (I pressured Graham into sending the kit to me early before he’d got all the bolts ready knowing that I could either use those I had already or get the missing ones locally) and dangle the hoses down from the AP master cylinder which I had loosely fitted to the bars.


I fitted the pads to the calipers in the kitchen along with the retaining pins and R clips, again all these came bubble wrapped from Graham!!





I used P clips to fix the hoses to the points on the forks where the Honda metal pipes used to locate across the top of the mudguard then one in the centre of the bottom yoke for the left hand pipe to stay in place as it leads up to the bars.

Again the stiffness of the lines caused a little trouble with getting them to go exactly where I wanted but, once they were bolted to the master cylinder it was plain sailing as both ends were secure and couldn’t twist around anymore.
small right.jpg
small right side.jpg


The reservoir bracket is a "make do" item I made to hold the thing in place and will be replaced by a neater alternative once I get hold of a bit of alloy I can bend to 90 degrees without it snapping in half - I don’t have a flame thrower to warm it up so had to bend it in my vice with brute force and it broke off - hence the cable ties!!

small bars.jpg
Bleeding was far, far more complex with the front calipers due to my total misunderstanding of which adjuster on the master cylinder did which adjustment, I must have got through about 200mls of fluid before I realised why the brakes still felt "spongy" - I had the ratio adjuster confused with the span adjuster and this meant the "feel" was soft when the brakes were already fully bled and ready for use!!!:idunno:
Once this dawned on me the lever felt great and the span adjustment meant that I could have the lever close to the bars (small hands) but, still only need a tickle on the lever to activate the Brembos!!
:clap:



All of this work was completed on Saturday 15th, today Sunday the 16th I had a quick ride out before the tourists and their caravans descended on North Norfolk and all signs are very positive.


The rear brake is now working all 3 pistons on the rear pedal and is sensitive enough to apply either gentle "steadying" pressure or enough stopping power to lock the back end up in a hurry :) - not sure I’ll be needing Brembos on the back Graham!!!

Of course the front set-up is harder to evaluate after 30 or so miles due to the caution when using new discs / pads but, coupled with the AP master cylinder it’s obvious that the stopping power is not only improved but, I can decide which brake to use the most and this is what I have been after since realising I would prefer not to have CBS fitted to the ‘Bird.

I did notice the front suspension seemed harsher than usual and I can only put this down to the difference on the weights of the new set-up versus the standard brakes. I admit I didn’t weigh the old bits as I took them off as they are a little grubby - maybe do that when my wife is out sometime!! :eyebrows:
small left overs.jpg


Luckily I have Maxton adjusters on the forks and am sure I’ll soon have the suspension back to it’s plush best :hmm:

Hope this has been as interesting for you as it’s been fulfilling for me - all credit due to Graham and his idiot proof kit :clap::clap::clap::clap:
 

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Hi Steve,

That all looks extremely pukka! A quick question - your throttle / kill switch, what are they off and were they a pain to fit (Throttle looks like a CBR HRC number)? I ask because the Brembo m/c I'm using could do with a bit more room. I was thinking CBR1000RR kill switch and throttle, this'd give another 8mm of movement on the bar for m/c to clear the yoke better.
 

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Thanks for the write up Steve made interesting reading. I look forward to a full ride report when you have got the setup all ballanced out.
Cheers G
 

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Ascar
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good write up

it would look good if the brackets were powder coated to match the forks or the brakes as in plain alloy they look out of place
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hi Steve,

That all looks extremely pukka! A quick question - your throttle / kill switch, what are they off and were they a pain to fit (Throttle looks like a CBR HRC number)? I ask because the Brembo m/c I'm using could do with a bit more room. I was thinking CBR1000RR kill switch and throttle, this'd give another 8mm of movement on the bar for m/c to clear the yoke better.
Thanks for the compliment, the throttle came from an Ebay seller in the Netherlands 3 years ago (it's not HRC), the kit included grips as standard but, I opted to fit my own grips and had a choice of 3 "quick action" tubes rather than one, paid £79.99 after a little email haggling. The cables are overly long but, that may have been my error when I measured the originals while they were still on the bike, they catch on the trip reset button on the clocks on full lock, doesn't do any harm but, it's annoying!! Nr1 Prof. Quick Action Throttle Kit - Honda Models on eBay (end time 19-May-10 08:09:07 BST)
You are correct about the kill switch, Fireblade item from Ebay, can't remember the price but, I think about £20, I relocated the lightswitch to the right side fairing infill panel using a small illuminated rocker switch.
I did consider doing away with the starter button assembly and having just the brakes and throttle on the right bar with a cunningly disguised starter running from the "pass" switch on the left bar - this doesn't work right since both my beams are HID and take a few seconds to warm up so the pass switch never gets any use now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
good write up

it would look good if the brackets were powder coated to match the forks or the brakes as in plain alloy they look out of place

Thanks for the praise Ascar, I intend to have the brackets hard anodised black or dark grey along with the backing plates for the rearsets and the top yoke too if I can get enough enthusiasm to sand it smooth first!!
But, since this weekend was the first real chance I've had to fit and test the kit I wanted to get it done just in case there were any problems - of course there weren't any issues apart from my mistake with the ratio adjuster on the master cylinder!!
:idunno:
View attachment 17881
 

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I did notice the front suspension seemed harsher than usual and I can only put this down to the difference on the weights of the new set-up versus the standard brakes. I admit I didn’t weigh the old bits as I took them off
I weighed all the brake components as I took them off. The front system alone (including the original m/c) comes to about 11kgs, of which circa 9.5kgs is unsprung!
 

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Steve,

How are you getting on with the new set up? Just finished installing mine this evening, first shake-down run tomorrow.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Steve,

How are you getting on with the new set up? Just finished installing mine this evening, first shake-down run tomorrow.....

Haven't had chance to get out since the weekend I wrote this review Eric - I have an ear infection which has upset my balance a little and the last thing i need to to have an "off" at the start of the summer............... I guess I'll keep taking the pills and waiting for the hospital appointment to plop through the letterbox :crap:
Any pictures of your new 8 pot setup?
Cheers
Steve
 

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I'll try and post up pics tonight. By the way, did your discs come with any bedding in instructions? If so, what are they?

Eric.
 
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