Improving brake performance

Sierra1

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my complaint is that the rear brake is softer when used alone, it seems better stronger more responsive when the front is used 1st.
That's because when you activate the back brake first, all you're getting is back brake. And 600+ pounds with just a single disc. When you apply the front brakes, you actually get the fronts and a little back. For slow tight maneuvers, (bar-lock turns) being able to have back brake only is greatness. The ST1300 was sketchy doing bar-lock turns.
 

fac191

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My rear brake is great. You should ride a 2012 Triumph Tiger 800 your better off leaving the pedal and just putting your boot on the road.
 

MattR

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I found the EBC HH pads give better initial bite and a more linear response to lever pressure than the OEM pads. Some say they’ll wear the rotor faster but the OEM front pads are also HH.
I think the EBC pads do provide more initial bite but you then have to release pressure on the lever as the pads heat up. Not ideal mid corner. I have found that SBS pads provide a much more linear bite so that the same pressure can be maintained throughout the whole braking phase


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Mad_Matt

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Well, the plot thickens. As I pulled everything in preparation for replacing the steering head bearings, I decided to inspect the front calipers. I have mismatched pads. One side had EBC pads, and the other had OEM(?) pads. The pistons looked good on the side with the EBC pads but were pretty gunked up on the other caliper.

Here are some pics, does anything look off?

EBC Pads
IMG_8851.jpg IMG_8854.jpg IMG_8857.jpg

Other Caliper
IMG_8858.jpg IMG_8859.jpg IMG_8860.jpg IMG_8863.jpg
 

Sierra1

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W . . . T . . . F? I'll ass-sume that you're not the one that installed them. Both calipers have EBC/OE combo, or one caliper had EBC and the other OE? Somebody else's idea for increasing braking performance? Or a dealership used only what they had on hand?
 

WJBertrand

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I think the EBC pads do provide more initial bite but you then have to release pressure on the lever as the pads heat up. Not ideal mid corner. I have found that SBS pads provide a much more linear bite so that the same pressure can be maintained throughout the whole braking phase
I've never noticed that issue, and I do a lot of trail braking in the twisty bits. I find their response quite linear compared to the OEM pads which feel somewhat "wooden" to me.
 

Mad_Matt

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W . . . T . . . F? I'll ass-sume that you're not the one that installed them. Both calipers have EBC/OE combo, or one caliper had EBC and the other OE? Somebody else's idea for increasing braking performance? Or a dealership used only what they had on hand?
Right! This is the way it came when I bought it. EBC on one caliper and the other pads on the other front caliper.
 

Sierra1

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If a dealership did the brakes, I'll bet they never told the customer. If the owner did the brakes, I bet they didn't have enough of either brand in stock for two calipers and they had to be changed "now". Or, somebody was just trying some wild-ass experiment.
 

Mad_Matt

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Fresh EBC pads have been ordered for both front calipers. Wish me luck on getting the triple clamp off today o_O
 

Mad_Matt

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There is a crazy very strong on-center "notch." I've only had the ST for four months, but I always felt the steering was heavy, now I think I know why :p
 

ZigZag

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Hiya Mad Matt, given you gave two different sets of pads on the front wheel and one calliper is dirtier than the other, I would seriously consider overhauling your callipers. Potentially a previous owner has gone to replace the pads and found one side heavily worn and the other barely worn at all. Without investigating further they have just replaced the worn set. You’re in this deep, the next step is not as hard as many people make out. Keep things scrupulously clean and I was taught to clean brake parts with methylated spirits years ago and it’s never failed me yet.
 

Mad_Matt

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Hiya Mad Matt, given you gave two different sets of pads on the front wheel and one calliper is dirtier than the other, I would seriously consider overhauling your callipers. Potentially a previous owner has gone to replace the pads and found one side heavily worn and the other barely worn at all. Without investigating further they have just replaced the worn set. You’re in this deep, the next step is not as hard as many people make out. Keep things scrupulously clean and I was taught to clean brake parts with methylated spirits years ago and it’s never failed me yet.
I've never serviced calipers before; what does that entail? Looks like new calipers are $342 each, but I see there are four Seal Kits (#7, #9, #19 & #21) ) at $37 each.

Screenshot 2024-03-31 at 11.33.27 AM.png
 

Mad_Matt

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OK, I just checked the calipers. When I pulled the pads and applied the brakes, not all of the pistons pushed out evenly. Basically, one piston per side moved while the other piston stayed in the same location.

Edit: Great video walking you through the rebuild process.
 
Last edited:

Boris

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OK, I just checked the calipers. When I pulled the pads and applied the brakes, not all of the pistons pushed out evenly. Basically, one piston per side moved while the other piston stayed in the same location.
I wouldn’t stress too much over that, unless one piston is really struggling to move. With the caliper off of the disk, the pressure against the pistons is extremely unlikely to be even, every bike I’ve had the pistons move unevenly when off the bike.
 

OldRider

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OK, I just checked the calipers. When I pulled the pads and applied the brakes, not all of the pistons pushed out evenly. Basically, one piston per side moved while the other piston stayed in the same location.

Edit: Great video walking you through the rebuild process.
Like Boris said, this is normal. With no resistance the pistons will not all move the same. Stick a wrench or something flat between the pads and as soon as the pads push on the wrench from both sides all the pistons should be out the same.
 

ZigZag

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I agree with Oldrider and Boris. Put a piece of wood between the pistons that move and then apply pressure to see how much movement you get from the other pistons. If they aren’t budging or move unevenly then I’d really think about overhauling them. If you feel confident that you can follow the video, which is a good one, then I,d be getting a new set of seals and go ahead and strip down the calipers. If not, a good work shop should be happy to overhaul them for you. The tolerances between the piston and the caliper are very close so cleanliness is king here. Any tiny bit of grit in the caliper bores will cause the pistons to bind. Make sure your brake fluid is new and matches the Yamaha specs. The stuff is a great paint stripper so have a clean damp cloth handy to wipe up spills.
 

Mad_Matt

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New EBC brake pads have been installed on the front rotors, and I just finished bedding in the brakes. WOW, this is the improvement I was looking for. I can now easily activate the ABS and hear the tires chirping in protest when I aggressively engage the brakes. My current hypothesis is that the poor performance was a combination of the mixed pads, plus I think fork oil had leaked onto the rotor/pads before rebuilding the front forks. Either way, my faith in the braking performance of my Super Tenere has been restored.
 
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