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My front brake sucks! What could be the problem?

nikki

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Apr 21, 2000
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#1
My front brake is pathetic. After riding some of the new thumpers, it made me realize even more how much my front brake sucks. I have to grab it as hard as possible just to slow me down some resulting in massive right hand cramps after a few hard laps.

So what could be the problem? Air in the line? Worn pads? Glazed pads? Low brake fluid? Problem with the line/caliper? How can I check/fix these types of things?
 

bclapham

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#2
Nikki: the yamaha brakes are rubbish- on my yz250, i ran the braided shorter line and also pads from the honda. and it was still crap, nowhere near as good as the brake on my rm with the stock routing and way old pads! i think its the master cylinder since the calipers are all the same on most models- i bought a complete front brake from a CRF450 from ebay cheap- if i were you, call service honda and get the master cylinder from a CRF/late CR and get the shorter braided line- its the same as the RM master.
 

Rcannon

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#3
I agree. I fought the front brake on my 97 YZ 250 for quite some time. I tried a shorter line, new pads and a new rotor. It helped some, but not much.

I bought a used mastercylinder from a CRF 450 and installed it. The brakes are at least twice as strong. I recommend this to anyone .
 

marcusgunby

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#4
But the strongest brake comes from using a 03/04 KX setup-you may find this hard to get for reasonable money.The cr brake system comes a close second.
 

Rcannon

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#5
Marcus, I will keep my eye peeled for a front KX m/c. Any idea why they are stronger?
 

marcusgunby

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#6
They(KXs) use a totally different caliper that luckily still mounts up on the same points as the CR/YZ type setup(at least on a RM it does)im thinking it has smaller pistons.
 
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#8
Rcannon, You really recommend using the crff mc? I have a 96 yz and I also think the front brakes are...well...CRAP. I put in new sintered metal brake pads wich cost me almost 80$ and that didn't do much, brakes were bled and there is no air in the lines...seems like the next logical stpe is the mc setup. Where did you find your master ccylinder and how much should I expect to pay?(don't want to sound cheap, but I just had to get myself a new pair of glasses, so here I am, 600$ later and a full time student...)

Thanks

Eric
 

Rcannon

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#10
Eric, YES!!!! 

I misspoke earlier about it being from a CRF. I placed a bid on a crf, but ended up losing that one. Mine is from a 2000 CR 250.   I paid 30.00 off of ebay.  It would have been worth it paying full retail.  Here were my dollar totaly and (in my opinion)  how much it helped.

 

EBC brake pads......slim to none                  25.00

new rotor                                                     98.00 +10%power increase

Short brake line, mount, and new fluid.      125.00 +10%power improvement 

Rebuild kit for stock M/c                                25.00    same as before 

CR master cylinder (used)                             30.00 +30% power improvement

 

It was the best mod I did to the brake system. It is also much cheaper than my other thought of an oversize rotor at 199.00. Find a used one and go for it. My brakes feel as good as anything else I have rode (including an 04 YZ 250). I never say things like this, but I can almost promise you will be happy with the improvement. I would have loved to try this with the stock line. I think the "CR routed" stuff is a bunch of bs.

 
 
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Studboy

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#11
Rcannon, how did my brakes compare to yours when you rode my bike?

I don't think that the stock 02 YZ250 front brake is that bad. Miles ahead of my 94 KX250. It is still not quite as powerful as the CR's that I have ridden, but it is enough.
 

Rcannon

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#12
Stud, I thought they felt very similar. Yours was decent.

The master cylinder change brought mine up to that level. Mine was awful before making the switch. I would have been very happy to have the brake power your bike came stock with. I had to spend 300.00 to get into the neighborhood!
 
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#13
I have the same problem (weak front brake) with my 98 KX250. It appears that master cylinder replacement would be an easy way to go, a new CRF450 m/c is $85 from Service Honda. Could this be used with the stock caliper? Just screw the banjo bolt into the new master cylinder and bleed the system? Seems pretty simple... I'll have to think about doing it if it is really this easy. The CRF brakes are much, much better than my KX brakes, it would be great to improve mine.

Andy
 

bclapham

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#14
it will probably work but the cr banjo has a slight bend so it will clear the bars properly (the cr master bolts from the back)

your best bet is get the cr master cylinder and a cr style braided line from galfer or someone similar- they arent that expensive and i will be well worth it when you want to brake nice and late and take that inside line!;)
 

Rcannon

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#15
I followed the advise of Mr. bclapham when I did my conversion. My used m/c included the banjo bolt, so I never noticed the bend. I THINK it might have worked with the stock line.

No matter . It is worth it even if you have to buy a new line. The ride engineering line is the way to go. It lets you move the fittings for the perfect allignment.
 
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