Honda CBR XX Forum banner

The adventure begins - HEL Stainless Steel Brake Line Kit

21159 Views 101 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Contevita
Well.... it has started: my testing of the HEL Stainless Steel Brake Line kit for the Blackbird:

View attachment 1690

As I've mentioned previously, I won't do a Group Buy on a product without personally checking it out to ensure it's worthwhile. The kit is comprised of 8 physical lines (HEL indicates the kit has 10 lines, but 2 of these lines have two "sections" separated by a fitting, so HEL is apparently counting those as 2 separate lines). Also in the kit are 13 stainless steel banjo bolts, and a fistful of copper washers. One of the banjo bolts is a double-banjo (for the top of the Rear Master Cylinder).

At first I was a bit concerned about the lack of any instructions, but after examining the HEL lines, it is pretty obvious which line goes where. I will be posting a grunch of close up photos as I go along so y'all should have zero problems installing this kit.

HEL goes about things a bit differently than Spiegler: on the Spiegler kit, every single OEM line is replaced with a Spiegler line. HEL has elected only to replace the actual rubber OEM lines, and leave the existing metal hard lines in place. This is actually making this install go a lot faster. I am about halfway done; I should be able to install the rest of the lines tonight.

The eight (8) HEL lines attach as follows (see above photo of lines to follow along):

(1) This is one of two "double-section" lines. It connects from: Left front caliper, lower banjo bolt -> middle Secondary Master Cylinder fitting -> forward cross-over hard line.

(2) Left front caliper, upper banjo -> left (rearmost) cross-over (hard line)

(3) Upper Secondary Master Cylinder -> left steering neck fitting (hard line)

(4) Upper Delay Valve banjo -> right steering neck fitting (hard line)

(5) Lower Delay Valve banjo -> Right front caliper, lower banjo

(6) This is the second "double-section" line. It connects from: Right front caliper, upper banjo -> Right rearmost cross-over (hard line) -> Front Master Cylinder (where your brake lever resides)

(7) Rear caliper, rearmost (center piston) banjo - top of rear master cylinder.

(8) Rear caliper, forward banjo -> top of Proportional Valve​
All this may sound daunting at first, but this install is going a LOT easier than the Spiegler install. And, I have to admit, of the two brands, I am favoring the HEL lines for build quality and workmanship. Every length is *perfect*, and the critical orientation (angle) of each fitting is a perfect replication of the stock fitting orientation. It's a pretty damn impressive kit.

Full write-up and a million close-up photos when I am done.....
See less See more
1 - 20 of 102 Posts
I just installed a set of HEL's on my future brother-in law's Bandit. They went on pretty easily with a minimum of twist caused by fitting orientation. Good product, they DO need to include an instruction set (or at least label the lines), but I eventually figured it out. They machine their banjo bolts and t- blocks out of billet stock,-very nice! :clap:
Ran into a few little snags tonight, nothing major, but enough to prevent me from wrapping up the job completely tonight as originally planned.

Here's a brief outline of the install job thus far:

As mentioned above the "10-line" kit actually has 8 physically separate lines; two of them are in two "sections".

Here are OEM lines 1-3 that attach to the left caliper and Secondary Master Cylinder:

View attachment 1700

Here are lines 4-6, which are on the right caliper and delay valve:

View attachment 1701

Here are lines 7-8, which attach to the rear caliper and rear master cylinder (line 7) and Proportional Valve (Line 8):

View attachment 1702

The HEL kit for the Blackbird has two little "gotcha's", both easily overcome.

Gotch'a #1
: The steering neck has a raised flange area where the t-block fitting will buttress up against once installed. However, the HEL t-block is slightly wider than the OEM t-block, so you need to dremel off about 1/16" of the flange material to allow the HEL t-block fastener holes to line up so you can thread in the fastener. This problem exists for both the left and right steering neck t-blocks.

Here is a shot of the left steering neck after I shaved off a little of the flange:

View attachment 1703

And here is the t-block after installation. Note I used a new stainless steel button-head fastener (couldn't bring myself to use the old ass-cheese factory pig-iron hex-head bolt.):

View attachment 1704

Gotch'a #2: For some reason, the fastener holes in the the t- blocks (which, as Toynut correctly observed, are made from a single block of billet stainless 303, and are very sweet indeed) have M6 threads tapped into them. This is not what you want to have; none of the equivalent factory t-blocks are threaded. Indeed, you can NOT pass through the stock fasteners because they are "shouldered", and the shouldered part of the fastener shaft will not pass through the t-block. Your options are a) obtain an equivalent fastener that is threaded throughout its shaft length, or b) drill out the hole to allow the passthrough of the stock fastener.

Here is the left caliper with all lines installed finger tight. At this point, I had to go find a new fastener to retain the two stainless steel HEL t-blocks you see at the top of this photo (that connect to two cross-over metal (hard) lines:

View attachment 1705

Finally, here is the left caliper with all lines in place, and t-blocks fastened down, and metal hard lines attached:

View attachment 1706

And the same for the right caliper:

View attachment 1707

Tomorrow night (7 Mar 07), I'll install the last two lines on the rear caliper, and start the always-fun hydraulic fluid re-fill and bleeding exercise.... :rolleyes:
See less See more
Since this is going to be a GB, would it be possible to have HEL modifiey their T-block to minimize the need to modify the bike with a grinder (Gotch'a 1)?

BTW, aren't you going to install the peg lowering kits?:huh:
Since this is going to be a GB, would it be possible to have HEL modifiey their T-block to minimize the need to modify the bike with a grinder (Gotch'a 1)?
Yep... in fact, I am told that HEL is apparently watching this thread, and they are not only going to trim down the t-block width so y'all don't have to butcher up your frame like I did :crap: they are also going to make the fastener holes smooth-bore to allow the pass through of the fasteners.

BTW, aren't you going to install the peg lowering kits?:huh:
They are... on the old Ti XX. Haven't moved them over to Ag1 yet....
Installation complete! :thumb:

Still need to bleed the system a little better, but the lines are all in and tighten to spec. The clear-coating on the lines are growing one me.... silver lines play of the silver paint quite nicely.

Here's a few more shots....

Here are lines #7 and #8 from the rear caliper as they run forward along the swingarm. Note the rubber bushings in the two brake line retainers.... made from 5/16" fuel line hose, cut 3/8" lengths, and split down the middle to slip over the stainless steel line:

View attachment 1715

Another perspective of the two rear lines:

View attachment 1717

Here is the secondary master cylinder with the top fitting from Line #7. The other end of Line #7 is connected to the Rear Caliper center piston. The other Stainless Steel line this photo (wrapping around Line #7 and heading upward in toward the Proportional Valve) is Line #8. The other end of Line #8 is connected to the forward banjo bolt on the Rear Caliper:

View attachment 1716

The system was refilled with fresh Valvoline Synthetic Hydraulic Fluid, and while all calipers work as advertised, the system still needs to be bleed a bit more. This can be a tedious job when the entire system has been replaced... lots of components in a complex LBS system that can trap air an exasperatingly long time....:crap:
See less See more
Holy crap, Dale. That bike is clean. WTF? :idunno:

See less See more
The only time Dale's bikes are clean is when they hadn't had any gas in them yet!

BTW, he just bought it.....the other guy must have washed it before the sale!:rotfl:
Correct; aside from the 700-mile ride home to Washington, I haven't put any real mileage to speak of on this new XX since I picked it up late Nov from a dude in central California. It was showroom pristine when I took possession of it.

Not to worry, though; after the events I have planned for it this summer, it will take on the typical combat-hardened Endurance Rally bike look that you all are used to seeing from me. :rotfl:
Very Nice Dale!!! Now... Any idea as to how much I need to pilfer from my daughter's college fund??? And when this will go down? Right now, my Bird is in a lot of pieces as I finally got back on track to finish the annual maintenance... Inquiring minds want to know!!!
The vendor is still working up prices. The kit retails for $539.00.

Our Group Buy price will be $379... delivered! :smilebig:

The vendor is also checking on ALTH rotors for us, as well as CBR1100XX clutch line kits.

This GB will probably light off around the end of this upcoming week.
I noticed on their website they have different colors. Will there be an option in black?
If you're referring to the HEL lines, yes, all their colors are available for both the lines (Clear, Red, Blue, Neon Blue, Black, Carbon-look, Yellow, Green, Light Purple, Dark Purple and Orange) and the end fittings, too.

The banjo bolts are pure stainless steel, however... no color choices there.

If you're referring to the ALTH rotors, the carriers are offered in black and gold. Here's a shot of the gold-carrier version:

View attachment 1731

no pads?:poke:
Funny man! :rotfl: Actually, the vendor is working up a price for the ALTH brake pads as well. I have no experience with these pads, but I'm guessing they'll be pretty good, if the rotor manufacturer is going to put his lable on them....
Hey Dale... Are the lines coming out of the M/C's long enough for those of us with VFR or Helibars??? Will HEL be able to add an inch or so if necessary???
Can we order 'em yet??? :poke:
...long enough for those of us with VFR or Helibars??? Will HEL be able to add an inch or so if necessary???
Dale, will the rotors be available for the 97-98 Birds, as well as 99 and later?

Hey Dale... Are the lines coming out of the M/C's long enough for those of us with VFR or Helibars??? Will HEL be able to add an inch or so if necessary???
Can we order 'em yet??? :poke:
I would be suprised if you can't get them longer
1 - 20 of 102 Posts