Tenere-Brake line upgrade

I started working on the FZ’s lines, and thought about looking into doing the same thing on the Tenere.  It’s close has close to 40xxx km on it now, and the stock lines are looking pretty crappy.  Granted they are still doing their job, but I usually upgrade my lines after a few years to steel braided lines.

Anyone wanting to use bar risers, will have issues having enough slack on the existing lines. There is some give, but not much.

Now, there’s some upgrades on the market for the line from the master cylinder down to the first connection block, and the clutch line to the first connection block, but this is to allow for higher bars/risers.

My original thought was to remove just the lines from both master cylinders down to the first connection.

But upon further poking around I found that the brake line from the master cylinder to the abs pump has the following: rubber to first block connection, which is part of a steel line, which in turn connects to another rubber hose, before reaching the abs pump.

So why dick around with trying to replace a bit of the line? when further down said line, you have more rubber.  The line that goes from the pump to the left caliper is the same, and so is the clutch line.

Well, I decided to pull the entire line out, and replace it with one length of line.  Cost wise 20″ of line vs 60″ of line is a small price difference.  The fittings are the most expensive, not the lines.

This will give me a constant feel at the lever, and when working on my valves, and engine bay, more flexibility.

A thought occurred:  I posted this up on the ST and ADV forum, and some guys brought up a good point.  The ABS pump would take care of any line expansion that may happen under pressure, so the advantages may never be felt.

I’m not very well versed in this whole thing, but in my tiny mind the effects of steel line would be beneficial under normal braking (no abs kicking in).  If I understand the concept correctly the abs pump does not interfere, under regular braking, but only in a wheel lock situation (the speed sensor vary in speed, tells the abs to back off on the pressure to the calipers, a valve is open/modulated to let the pressure out accordingly).  So only during ABS intervention would the advantages be negated.

One thing I was not intending to do was the rear brake.  But I did forget that the ST is linked front to back, so there is always a bit of pressure applied to the rear brake.  Not like the Honda principle of using one piston, but actually using the entire brake but in a small amount.  If I do decide to do the entire system, the cost will go up slightly

I have measured out the lines, and need to get the parts from the local hot rod store on Monday.  I’m using Earl’s products

Parts needed will be (complete front brake system), rear system not yet measured.

  • 44″ line (master to abs pump)
  • 60″ line (abs to left caliper)
  • 20″ line (left to right caliper)
  • 6 straight threaded connectors (bottom right of picture)


Parts needed for the clutch:

  • 36″ line
  • Two 30 degree threaded connectors (top right of picture)

The complete front brake, and clutch will ring in at $200 for parts.  Not bad.  If the rear brake lines are needed, I would probably need to factor in another $90.

Decisions, decisions….

Well, today I decided. I re-measured all the lines, and pulled the entire system out.  No less than 9 rubber lines on the entire system.  Picking up parts tomorrow.  Got my list checked it twice.

I have asked a few questions, and for the most part I found that the ABS system will take care of any flexing/expanding.  At this point I’m going for a cleaner look.  The more I looked at the front wheel, the less I liked the lines.  In the future if I want a higher bar, or moar rise out of the bike, i’ll have flexibility.

Now there’s a couple of kits currently out there for sale.  Two issues with each one:

  • All kits are standard length.  So no matter what, your risers will not reach.
  • Second, they still use the stock metal lines, so they really only replace the rubber items.

Here’s hoping for a better look.  But before all that, here’s the jenny craig before look

IMG_7954 IMG_7961 IMG_7960 IMG_7959 IMG_7958 IMG_7956 IMG_7955 IMG_7970

Above is the clutch line that I was talking about.  Rubber, to metal, back to rubber.  Repeat for the brake lines (all except the rear brake lines).

December 17th update.

Well, after much faffing about, it’s done.  Original plan was to go with dual lines from the ABS pump over to each front caliper.  After some fitting, and excessive staring, I decided to go with the stock setup.  Glad I did, looks good to me.

All in all, the complete cost of the install will hover around $325.  I had to look damn hard for a longer double banjo bolt.  No one carries the damn things in 10mm 1.25 pitch.  The one that comes on the bike is too short for the aftermarket banjo fittings, as they are a touch thicker.  It would work in a pinch, but the second banjo connection would not line up exactly on the bolt hole.

Finished product below.

IMG_7972-3 IMG_7973-3 IMG_7974-2 IMG_7975-2 IMG_7977-2 IMG_7985-2

IMG_7988-2 IMG_7992


2 thoughts on “Tenere-Brake line upgrade

  1. I am looking to order some venhill brake lines but need the lengths. On your measurements did you measure from the end of the banjo to the end of the other banjo, or just the brake line part, not including the banjos in the length?

    • hi Andy, that depends. I made my own lines, so I took into account the lenght of the banjo fittings.
      If I were to do it again, I’d buy them from Nick at Stoltec.com.
      No dicking around, and about the same price if you built them yourself

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