You ask, we answer – please help me improve my braking!

Posted: 27 Feb 2014

braking advice

Vincenzo wants to improve the braking on his SV650s and got in touch with us via Facebook to ask our advice. We put the question to one of our resident riders… he’s what they had to say!


“I want to improve braking on my SV650s. Short of doing a fork swap (only info I can find), what other options should I consider to not make it so expensive? Better pads, new calipers, braided lines? Any advice would be great.”


The first thing you must do before rushing out to buy everything that has been suggested by friends and family is to check the condition of the original front braking system. Being old school two-pot (two-piston) calipers, the centre pin is prone to corrosion causing the pads to stick. This corrosion will spread to the pistons and anything else that is metal alloy. Get them stripped, cleaned and assembled with the correct grease and you will notice a huge difference.

If you’ve been down this route, with no noticeable difference, then it’s time to talk to someone like James Holland at Suzuki SV specialist JHS Racing (01179 868 844). These guys have been preparing race and road-going SV650s for years. JHS racing’s advice is to change the brake pads to a quality sintered pad, such as EBC HH. If you’re going racing, then Brembo and SBS pads should also be on the list.

Also, treat the bike to some braided steel brake lines – the original rubber covered lines lose their strength and expand under braking. This leads to reduced brake power at a caliper. With new lines it is a must to use clean, new brake fluid such as Motul 600 – this is a high quality DOT 4 fluid with a higher boiling point. Some people will say fitting a master-cylinder repair kit will make a difference especially to an older model. That’s ok and can work, but a master-cylinder problem has more likely than not evolved from internal corrosion and it’s difficult to remove. It is now easier and more cost effective to simply buy a new master-cylinder complete with a reservoir.

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