Nothin' but real-world installs and hardcore tech here. Forget paying for service; this is about getting your hands dirty and spinnin' a wrench on your own ride. Whether you've got a brand new bike or a clapped-out crapper we're showing you how to make useful upgrades.
Save for high-buck bikes with top-shelf components, just about every streetbike can use a little help in the braking department. Our 2007 CBR600RR is no different, and even though the stock binders aren't bad, a component upgrade will significantly boost their bite and power.
While the timeless catchphrase, "there's more than one way to skin a cat," is ever so apt when it comes to brake upgrades, a simple swap to more aggressive pads and steel lines offers great performance gains on a realistic budget.
How's this for a little black...
How's this for a little black magic, and there are TONS OF other possible color combos if the dark stuff isn't your thing.
Most bikes come with rubber brake lines from the factory, and under hard braking the line pressure causes the rubber to expand which results in a spongy feeling at the lever. To combat the soft stoppers we swapped to stainless steel braided lines from Melvin. These hoses come in a variety of colors and even feature adjustable banjo bolts that spin to fit any routing path you should choose. By using stainless steel lines instead of rubber, the lines won't swell under hard braking, thus keeping the lever nice and firm.
The SBS sintered pads will...
The SBS sintered pads will do wonders for the initial braking bite.
The second upgrade is a set of SBS sintered pads. These grippers have an aggressive compound that not only increases bite, but dispels heat more efficiently. Stock pads tend to lose their bite after repeated stops because of the increased heat, but the SBS sintered pads have an operating range that extends much higher. And unlike the sintered pads of old that needed heat in them before working properly, these pads have ample grip even while cold. That's not to say they're 100 percent within the first 100 feet of a ride, but they come up to temp quickly.
The install was easy, as the lines and pads were a simple remove and replace affair. The pivoting banjo ends of the Melvin lines made tightening the bolts a cinch. Do verify that the banjo bolts are the same thread pitch as your stockers. If not, it can be an expensive mistake having to re-tap your OEM braking components if you force them into place.
While aftermarket rotors and expensive master cylinder upgrades are items to dream about, sometimes the basics can make just as much of a difference on the street.
Melvin Stainless Steel Brake Lines
$165 (front and rear)
SBS Sintered Brake Pads
Coming next month: