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55 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not long ago I was in our local Moto-Guzzi/Hyosung/etc shop buying some phattie grips for the DrZed.

I noticed a braided steel brake line sitting there and didn't think much of it till a few weeks later--when I wandered in the other day.
It was on the clearance table so I, what the heck. I ended up with front and rear brake lines,
banjo fittings and crush washers to the tune of ....
$43. Not bad eh? I think it was $10 for the rear line and the fittings--Goodridge brand to boot!

So, a brake line swap suddenly was in my immediate future.

A trip to wallyworld for DOT 4...we're in business. The old stuff looked like this: (note the new stuff dribbled on the lid for comparison).

I won't give a blow-by-blow of this one, but I'll make a few notes for Zed owners out there looking for braided lines on their DRZ400s.

The best way to bleed the front is through the bleeder nipple. One sportbike vid on YouTube showed them just loosening the banjo fitting.
Don't do that. It's a frackin' mess.

Buy 10' of .25" clear rubber tubing from Home Depot. It will cost $2.25. Wiggle this on over the nipple, and run it into the beer bottle you just emptied.
Or, run it into a plastic baggie. I used a turkey bag. Then loosen the nipple and pump the lever to get all the fluid out. ...yeah. Calling Dr. Freud.

YouTube has great tuts on how to bleed the front, but the final trick to getting it perfect comes from suzukijockey00:
zip tieing the lever actually doesn't allow the bubbles to flow up, it traps them and builds pressure in the line. the cylinder is closed once the lever travels. it literally just hides and buries the problem. you will end up with a spongy lever again down the road.

if you have the same or similar setup i did on my DRZ, the highest point of the line is above the master cylinder. you will need to lean the bike over to coerce the bubbles down from that high point. of course, don't do it with your master cylinder cover off and don't do it until you have bubble-free fluid coming out the caliper. once you do that, you will "bleed the master". here's how you do it:
take the reservoir cover off
very slowly pull the lever in with short pulls
you will see small bubbles come up. if you have a syringe, that would be ideal. many times the bubbles build up in the little glass entrance to the plunger. the syringe will help suck them out.
keep doing this until your lever is STIFF. i would recommend setting your lever travel screw all the way in at least for this exercise
done properly, your lever will not move more than 1/4-1/2 inch from the point of engagement to fully compressed

^this method is for those who don't have a bleeder screw at the master (unless you have a fancy Brembo or equivalent, chances are you don't), but is always good policy regardless. even on sportbikes, often times air will get trapped around a kink in the hose from the reservoir to the master also leading to a spongy lever.
MAJOR Thanks, kudos, points, and props to suzukijockey00 for this...this was the final trick that I needed.

After leaning it over (because it makes more sense to lean a 300 pound motorcycle at an awkward angle than it does to simply remove the brake assembly and lift it up...)
I got the last few bubbles out and woot!

Other notes:
- Use good crush washers. Bad crush washers will make you use profanity.
- Follow along with YouTube. It helps to watch the vid a few times--at least it did for me!
- If you haven't gotten the bubbles out after 20-30 minutes, you're doing it wrong. Check for leaks (see above).
- DOT4 will mess your paint up. So will brake cleaner. Wrap a rag like this, because that POS Prestone DOT4 bottle was designed by an idiot
who could not design a drip-proof bottle.

- Remove Beetles.

On to the back...
Same thing. Rags down, cap off, hose on nipple, open nipple, work the lever, get the old stuff out, remove brake line.

The back went MUCH faster and easier than the front. Galfer makes a great vid on YouTube that shows how to do it.
Worked like a charm!

Official test ride tomorrow...initial tests show no leaks.
Teaser shot of install below...

check over in the Pic forum for DRZ400SM - Mod 4.5--the carbon fiber graphics on the plastics for the DRZ.
Thanks to all for the help, and special thanks to suzukijockey, DustyXB, and Scalku!


203 Posts
For the record, dot4 will also crack your speedo screen, as it did mine two days ago when I installed my brake line.

218 Posts
Make sure that rear brake hose doesn't rub on the shock spring or get pinched as the spring compresses. From experience..over time the clear coating on the hoses will dull & turn yellow/brown especially in the AZ sun.


55 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It's worth it imho...

that front brake sucks those forks down hardcore from the effectiveness now...
it's been a good mod! I'll be glad to have extra stopping power in traffic.
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