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Discussion Starter #1
This is a how-to on swapping the OEM rubber front brake lines out for a braided stainless steel one to improve braking performance. I've gone for the single line direct to the caliper from the master cylinder (for racing purposes) but you can also buy two piece braided line kits that retain the ABS unit in the braking system.

1. First you need to remove the fuel tank to provide easy access to the ABS unit. Note the white electrical connector you also need to cable tie out the way.

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2. Pump out as much fluid as you can through the caliper bleed nipple then pack a rag around the top banjo fitting to catch any drips before unscrewing the bolt from the master cylinder.

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3. Remove this line retaining bracket altogether.

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4. The banjo bolts at the ABS unit end are tight. I used a 3/8" drive ratchet plus extension with a wobble attachment into a 12mm socket. Undo and then remove the top line.

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5. I used a 1/4" drive rachet to sneak under the frame rail and get the banjo bolt for the bottom line out. Once this bolt is out then remove the other banjo bolt at the caliper end and remove this line completely.

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6. Plug the two holes with bolts of a thread 10mm x 1.25mm pitch. This is a 'metric fine' thread not your regular 10mm thread. Fit crush washers made from aluminium or copper under neath the bolt heads. You will see I used a socket head bolt in one of the holes because there wasnt enough room to turn a hex head bolt.

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7. Thread the new cable through the steering head ensuring it doesn't foul anything. My cable had a sticker on the banjo fitting that goes to the master cylinder end to stop wrong fitment. Attach using banjo bolt and have one washer on each side of the fitting.

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8. Attach at caliper end.

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9. Press rubber block into line retainer

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10. Fill line with brake fluid using a syringe held firmly into the bleed nipple. This method pushes any air to the top and out the master cylinder. Watch the sight glass in the master cylinder and stop when fluid level meets half way. Lock off the bleed nipple and fit lid to master cylinder.

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You may find you need to do some further regular bleeding to get rid of any trapped air in the system but a ride will soon tell you if it feels like it needs it or not.

That's it! :)
 

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Does bypassing the front ABS brake and retaining the rear ABS throw an error code?

I have to try the reverse brake bleeding process, how big is the syringe?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does bypassing the front ABS brake and retaining the rear ABS throw an error code?

I have to try the reverse brake bleeding process, how big is the syringe?
Surprisingly the ABS light has not come on. Yes!
Looking at the list of error codes there does not appear to be one for ABS malfunction. Just one for rear wheel rotation sensor.

That syringe does not have a ml capacity written on it but I would say at a guess 50ml. I got it in one fill. There still would have been fluid in the caliper though.
 

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Kiwi Rider

How do you like the braided line upgrade? And, is the brake feel improvement worth the cost to upgrade?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kiwi Rider

How do you like the braided line upgrade? And, is the brake feel improvement worth the cost to upgrade?
If you go the non -ABS route the line is only $61 so yeah I think it's worth it but it's not the ultimate solution to the soft brake issue. I'm going to upgrade the pads as well and then see how I feel. Don't really want to put money into master cylinder upgrade.
But yeah the line is a good place to start.
 

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If you go the non -ABS route the line is only $61 so yeah I think it's worth it but it's not the ultimate solution to the soft brake issue. I'm going to upgrade the pads as well and then see how I feel. Don't really want to put money into master cylinder upgrade.
But yeah the line is a good place to start.
Sounds like the cost is not too bad. I plan on keeping the ABS so it will cost a little more, but if the feel improves it will be with it in the long run.
 

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Chinese Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines

I don't know the exact length needed, but as far as cost goes, ebay has them in various colors and lengths for under $11.00. They have either 0, 1, or 2 rubber blocks and come with either shiny banjo fittings or dull. Also, some have a protective spring wrapped around the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like the cost is not too bad. I plan on keeping the ABS so it will cost a little more, but if the feel improves it will be with it in the long run.
That's the thing, it improved the directness/power but not the feel like I thought it would. You still feel like your pulling on the lever harder than you should have to. Or should I say WANT to. I have a race bike so I'm used to awesome brakes and probably a bit overly critical of the N400 brake set up. At the end of the day they do the job.
 

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Thanks Kiwi Rider! That is a great explanation. I don't race on the track but it is super important to have great brakes in the canyons and mountain roads. I would say this is the one draw back to me on this bike. As soon as I get over the post purchase shakes, I will do this.
 

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Steel braided lines

I have the non ABS model so my steel braided line install should be much easier. I ordered a set from STG over the weekend. Its the off season here in NY, so time for mods. :wink:
 

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So having been super disappointed with the bite an feel from my front brake, I opted for a pad change, now I will say I only had 400kms on her at this point, but the rear brake has bedded in nicely, an gives good feel and stopping, for a rear... The front, well lets just say it was just C-R-A-P...
I have a local importer distributor for SBS, Scandinavian brake systems pads, an surprised they had front sinter in stock, so got my dealer to get, and I fitted them in...

Test ride, well even in the first 10kms I could feel a huge difference, now with 150kms/100miles on them, an some gentle use, they are bedding in great, much happier all around, guess I shall have to wait an see what this does to the disc, but Im willing to run with it...
Best $65 NZD Ive spent in a long while :)
 

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Installed

I just did the steel braided lines over the weekend front and rear. I don’t have the ABS model so the install was very easy. I got the Spiegler kit for STG. I have a brake bleeder and turkey baster that made the job quick. I used a zip tie on the front lever and left it on over nite. The front lever has a very stiff feel now. The rear was kinda a pain. Getting the gromet out of one fasterners was a chore. Other than that very easy. Looking forward to seeing how it feels while riding.:clap:
 

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Brakes...they need to rethink their stoppers. I am in a bit of a dilemma, I want ABS for my city/traffic driving but I also want brakes that are far better than what is stock. Maybe I just ditch ABS and go with Brembo. I am thinking of throwing on a good set of rotors and pads and see where that takes me. But If I was Kawasaki, the next N400 would have the best brake set they could get while keeping weight down.
Just a thought. I consider replacing OEM "rubber" brake lines with a well made stainless steel set the easiest and most cost effective brake upgrade. I would upgrade the lines before any other changes that may or not help.
 

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Thanks. I did do that recently. I think that helped a bit. The problem is, My wife's n400 brakes are better, less spongy. I have tried many times to bleed the brakes with different methods and still end up with mushier brakes than hers. I have three more ideas. One is to try better rotors and pads, the next is to stop whining about it and the third is to secretly swap brakes with hers...but if she got in an accident, I would feel rotten!!:grin: so that will not happen. Probably just the curse of having two identical (not so identical) bikes!!
 

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Thanks. I did do that recently. I think that helped a bit. The problem is, My wife's n400 brakes are better, less spongy. I have tried many times to bleed the brakes with different methods and still end up with mushier brakes than hers. I have three more ideas. One is to try better rotors and pads, the next is to stop whining about it and the third is to secretly swap brakes with hers...but if she got in an accident, I would feel rotten!!:grin: so that will not happen. Probably just the curse of having two identical (not so identical) bikes!!

Next time you bleed your brakes, try a zip tie on the lever around the grip. Leave it on overnight and cut it off the next morning. It’s old school and helps push out any trapped air. On my gixxer the brake lever was rock hard. On the 400 the lever was less “spongy”. All you have to lose is a zip tie.
 

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Next time you bleed your brakes, try a zip tie on the lever around the grip. Leave it on overnight and cut it off the next morning. It’s old school and helps push out any trapped air. On my gixxer the brake lever was rock hard. On the 400 the lever was less “spongy”. All you have to lose is a zip tie.
That was one of my methods. I use that one all the time on my downhill mountain bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks. I did do that recently. I think that helped a bit. The problem is, My wife's n400 brakes are better, less spongy. I have tried many times to bleed the brakes with different methods and still end up with mushier brakes than hers. I have three more ideas. One is to try better rotors and pads, the next is to stop whining about it and the third is to secretly swap brakes with hers...but if she got in an accident, I would feel rotten!!:grin: so that will not happen. Probably just the curse of having two identical (not so identical) bikes!!
Interesting. Unless you had two bikes you wouldn't have known eh. I've done the braided line mod too and my brakes now have no sponge, better than the race bike even. But... there's still not enough initial bite and pull up power for my liking despite fitting sintered pads as well. I think it's just me, a newer rider who doesn't race would be perfectly happy with them i'm sure. I've decided it is mainly due to one rotor vs two. I know I could improve on them if I chucked more money at them but I'm happy just to pull on the lever harder and think of the money I'm saving myself. :biggrin:
 

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Interesting. Unless you had two bikes you wouldn't have known eh. I've done the braided line mod too and my brakes now have no sponge, better than the race bike even. But... there's still not enough initial bite and pull up power for my liking despite fitting sintered pads as well. I think it's just me, a newer rider who doesn't race would be perfectly happy with them i'm sure. I've decided it is mainly due to one rotor vs two. I know I could improve on them if I chucked more money at them but I'm happy just to pull on the lever harder and think of the money I'm saving myself. :biggrin:
Right cause Brembo caliper and radial master 16mm would probably do the trick and if not, definitely the 19mm master would. But right, what does this get you besides less lever travel before initial bite?

So long as you do not have fade now.........your point exactly, save the money
 
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