Restore Your Bike's Stopping Power With Motorcycle Brake Lines and Hoses
Unlike bicycles, motorcycles can travel at faster speeds and are much heavier. This means that the brakes, fittings, brake hoses, and other relevant parts must be up to the task of making a gradual and safe full stop at a moment's notice. All the parts of a motorcycle brake system play a part in how the brakes feel, which is an important aspect of safely stopping a two-wheeled vehicle.
How Does a Brake System Work?
- Master Cylinder: The brakes work by using the brake fluid coming from the master cylinder. This fluid is able to withstand the high pressure required in effectively stopping a motorcycle. The master cylinder has a piston kit that pressurizes the fluid in the hose, which in turn presses on the brake calipers.
- Brake Lines: These hydraulic hoses and lines are necessary for delivering the brake fluid effectively to the brake caliper. Since high pressure is required, these lines and hoses must be able to withstand the pressure without bursting. This is why some people choose braided lines and hoses to prevent expansion due to the pressure. Brake line kits are available for complete rebuilds but individual parts are also easily available if you do not need an entire brake line kit.
- Brake Calipers: From the brake hose and lines, the pressurized hydraulic fluid will travel to the brake caliper via the fittings. Adapters and fittings help to keep a reliable connection between the brake hose or line to the caliper, thereby causing the brake pads to press against the disc to stop the wheel.
What Tools Are Needed for Proper Installation?
- Brake Bleeder: A brake hose bleeder tool is needed to restore pressure after rebuilding with a brake line kit. This tool evaluates the air in the system so that only hydraulic fluid is present in the lines to ensure proper braking operation. These fit into the bleeder valve fitting or adapter to draw out the excess fluid.
- Torque Wrench: Adapters and fittings require a particular amount of torque applied for a secure connection, and only a torque wrench will let you accurately apply this torque. Consult your service manual for appropriate torque specs.
- Brake Fluid: This hydraulic fluid is essential for the system to work, and the brake lines must be completely vacant of air to be effective.
What Are the Types of Brake Lines?
- Steel: Stainless steel or braided brake lines and brake hose kits are ideal for motorcycles, especially dirt bikes because they do not expand when pressure is applied. This translates to quicker brake performance. This is true for automotive applications as well.
- Rubber: Rubber brake lines and brake hose kits are the most common and affordable alternative even in automotive contexts. They can withstand the appropriate amount of pressure but may slightly expand when it is applied. These brake hose kits are easier to inspect and maintain because they have no obstructive stainless steel braided layers over the hose.