Brake advice please

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Have been gradually updating the front brake on my 74 commando. So far, RGM 13mm re sleeve of the MC. Stainless braided hose. Upgraded pads and finally managed to get the system bled properly.
I have god a chromed disc.
Anyone experience of the stopping power and feel of cast iron surface v chrome.
Secondly, Andover v RGM for a replacement, about £50 difference.
RGM do a Lockheed racing improved lever, again expensive but will I notice a difference re standard lever.
I’ve thought about a complete upgrade but have already spent out and the brakes are certainly good. I’d like them just that bit better!
 

Craig

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Maybe rebuild caliper with SS pistons with new seals , might as well go all in ... I’m using cNw master cyl. SS braided line and above in caliper with the ferodo sintered pads , index finger will stop me , two fingers I can lock up wheel ,still using original rotor/disc ..... good luck !
 

lazyeye6

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You could have the disc Blanchard Ground to skim off the chrome and that would give some improvement.
Otherwise for modern braking you need an upgrade from one of the usual suspects.
 
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You could have the disc Blanchard Ground to skim off the chrome and that would give some improvement.
Otherwise for modern braking you need an upgrade from one of the usual suspects.
Thought about having the disc ground but it looks a little thin, would rather replace. Thanks.
 
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Maybe rebuild caliper with SS pistons with new seals , might as well go all in ... I’m using cNw master cyl. SS braided line and above in caliper with the ferodo sintered pads , index finger will stop me , two fingers I can lock up wheel ,still using original rotor/disc ..... good luck !
Thanks, brakes are good, perhaps a bit too much lever travel and not enough feel.
 

Craig

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The cNw Brembo master cylinder came with a brembo lever .... maybe you still have some air in system if too much lever travel ?
 

lazyeye6

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I have about 1" total lever travel wit the stock wheel caliper and 13MM sleeved RGM master cylinder. rubber line.
You have more than that and there is probably air in the line still.
 
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I've a Mk3 ES, like you I incremented piece by piece, first Goodridge braided hoses front & rear (2007), then the AN 13mm replacement master cylinder supplied with (standard) lever (in 2016); then finally (January, 2020) I had some cash & fitted one of RGM's 12" cast iron floating disk & Lockheed CP2696 caliper with EBC Double H brake pads (& fitted new Venhill braided hoses). The rear is as built (with the exception of the braided hose).

Other options are available & other opinions will differ, personally I now feel that I have a front brake that is capable of performing in modern traffic & with a fully loaded Commando (the rear is adequate)
 
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I've a Mk3 ES, like you I incremented piece by piece, first Goodridge braided hoses front & rear (2007), then the AN 13mm replacement master cylinder supplied with (standard) lever (in 2016); then finally (January, 2020) I had some cash & fitted one of RGM's 12" cast iron floating disk & Lockheed CP2696 caliper with EBC Double H brake pads (& fitted new Venhill braided hoses). The rear is as built (with the exception of the braided hose).

Other options are available & other opinions will differ, personally I now feel that I have a front brake that is capable of performing in modern traffic & with a fully loaded Commando (the rear is adequate)
I use this. It's fine.
 
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Have been gradually updating the front brake on my 74 commando. So far, RGM 13mm re sleeve of the MC. Stainless braided hose. Upgraded pads and finally managed to get the system bled properly.
I have god a chromed disc.
Anyone experience of the stopping power and feel of cast iron surface v chrome.
Secondly, Andover v RGM for a replacement, about £50 difference.
RGM do a Lockheed racing improved lever, again expensive but will I notice a difference re standard lever.
I’ve thought about a complete upgrade but have already spent out and the brakes are certainly good. I’d like them just that bit better!
There are three common grades of cast iron and I would not use any of them. Japanese discs are made of high speed steel and are not plated. Cast iron gives you more friction, but if you get the metallurgy wrong, the discs can explode off the bike at the worst possible time. My bike has a Honda front hub with two Suzuki discs - the cost was minimal at the wreckers and the brake is ezcelent.
 
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When the 850 Commando was in production, Japanese bikes were just starting to appear on the market with disc brakes. The Japanese did it much better. Norton were very conservative and inexperienced with discs. The GS1000 Suzuki had a chromed disc up front, but everything else had alloy steel which could rust slightly, but is very strong. The chromed disc has a poor coefficient of friction, but if you hold it on it will still heat-up. If you have got the wrong pads, it might grab and launch you.. It is better to have a brake which works well when cold and fades a bit as it gets hotter, than one which heats up and grabs.
 
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I tried carbon race pads with a chromed disc. I had no brakes anywhere - it did not matter how long I held onto the lever. However that was on the shorter circuit at Winton. Phillip Island might have been better. On a public road, you might as well drag your foot on the ground.
 
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Just like to say I’m 63, ride on the road, I’m not slow but I’m not fast. Just interested in road use, but thanks for all the advice. I’m none the wiser really. I know the principles of cast iron discs exploding but have never heard of it, certainly on the road. My options really are on a budget, unless anyone can suggest otherwise I will probably try a standard unplanted disc from RGM. Really want an opinion re the racing lever as it’s about £90 posted to me, would like some thoughts before I spend that on a lever. Thanks for everyone for their help.
 
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Just like to say I’m 63, ride on the road, I’m not slow but I’m not fast. Just interested in road use, but thanks for all the advice. I’m none the wiser really. I know the principles of cast iron discs exploding but have never heard of it, certainly on the road. My options really are on a budget, unless anyone can suggest otherwise I will probably try a standard unplanted disc from RGM. Really want an opinion re the racing lever as it’s about £90 posted to me, would like some thoughts before I spend that on a lever. Thanks for everyone for their help.
RGM site doesn’t say whether lever has a different leverage than standard.. is the pivot to cylinder distance also different, or just longer lever for the hand? If the latter, then won’t make much difference.
 
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RGM site doesn’t say whether lever has a different leverage than standard.. is the pivot to cylinder distance also different, or just longer lever for the hand? If the latter, then won’t make much difference.
I have fitted the longer brake lever from RGM, pivot to cylinder distance is not different, the lever is a bit longer, it is a rather expensive piece of kit at 58 GBP ex VAT and the improvement is only marginal ,if any, I would not recomend it.
When fitted, it sticks out of the handlebar a bit more, of course you can move the brake masterunit/switchgear a bit more inboard, but that places the direction indicator switch further out of reach.
 
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RGM site doesn’t say whether lever has a different leverage than standard.. is the pivot to cylinder distance also different, or just longer lever for the hand? If the latter, then won’t make much difference.
Thanks Jan, worth checking, my understanding is the pivot distance is different.
 
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I have fitted the longer brake lever from RGM, pivot to cylinder distance is not different, the lever is a bit longer, it is a rather expensive piece of kit at 58 GBP ex VAT and the improvement is only marginal ,if any, I would not recomend it.
When fitted, it sticks out of the handlebar a bit more, of course you can move the brake masterunit/switchgear a bit more inboard, but that places the direction indicator switch further out of reach.
Excellent, that’s what I was after. With Vat and delivery it’s nearly £90 so won’t bother with that! Thankyou.
 
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There are three common grades of cast iron and I would not use any of them. Japanese discs are made of high speed steel and are not plated. Cast iron gives you more friction, but if you get the metallurgy wrong, the discs can explode off the bike at the worst possible time. My bike has a Honda front hub with two Suzuki discs - the cost was minimal at the wreckers and the brake is ezcelent.
HSS? - really? Have you put a magnet on your discs? I'll be surprised if it sticks .
 
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