Brakes

Click to Home

First of all, change the original brake lines and fit rigid ones. Today, in any FJ model, they are well past their service limit (Yamaha recommend brake lines changed at 2 years intervals), so rid off them. The best setting is fitting 2 lines only, straight on from the master cylinder to each caliper, not the 3 original lines, even although these are prettier to my taste.

 The FJ 1100 and FJ 1200 -88 original auto-ventilated discs, in good shape, are far away better than the FJ 1200 88 on ones, that could warp due to intensive using. Read my test with my friend Mingo´s 1TX. Only change the master cylinder for better feel & power, with insufficient flow). This is a recommendation valid for all FJ series and another Yamaha of the era, such as FZR 600/1000, TDM...

FJs from 1988 on have an ugly problem with their brakes: with metallic hoses, the feeling is very hard, but without brake force. I change the master cylinder too and test a lot of pads. The problem are the calipers: I experienced the same problems in the FZR 1000 and the FZR 600 and after playing with pads, master cylinders, discs and hoses, my conclusion is that the original gold painted 4 pots calipers are RUBBISH.

So an improvement in brakes is the 1st item you must do in your FJ. Those are the conclusions of the items I have tested

 

Harrison billet calipers: fantastic 4 pots ones that I fitted in my FJ 1100. Expensive but effectives, with 4 little pads in each caliper (one for piston). Fantastic feel even with the original master cylinder. The problem is their tendency to leak brake fluid by the piston seals and the shims that you have to play with to centre the disc in the caliper. A complete pain in the arse. I can not recommend them.

 

PFM discs: I tried these ones in my 1st FJ 1200. They are very hard to bed on. And DON'T USE SINTERIZED PADS WITH IRON DISCS. After a little use, with these pads, they get so hot that you get virtually no brakes at all. In fact, with the PFM discs, the factory send an  advice with this incompatibility.

The best solution is to fit the new Yamahas blue, silver or gold calipers buying them from a breaker. Mines are from my poor Fazer 600. These are the only things that survived to my crash. They fit straight on in the original front brake mounts. Fit a Fazer 600, 1000 or FJR 1300 master cylinder (all of them are the same item) and your brakes will be awesome. Be careful to choose the Nissin master cylinder, because starting in 2003 Yamaha changed to Brembo and these are not as good as the Nissin ones.

I have tested these calipers with the original FJ master cylinder and the brakes feeling is too hard, doing the brakes like a switch on/off, without modulation control. 

On june 2012 I changed to 2003 R 1 gold calipers only because the bike looks better. I've feel not difference at all

The master cylinder change is imperative: even more brake power, and best of all, more feeling and better control of this power. See too my friend Jose Carlos GSXR 1000 master cilinder adaptated., very ugly to my taste: the Fazer master cilinder looks integrated and both solutions are equally awesome when stopping

 

PADS

I strongly recommend the OE R1 Summimoto Yamaha pads: yes, these are expensive, but on power, feeling and matching your disc material, these are the best far away. This advice is useful for the 1100 & 1TX models too. And if you have mounted the blue pots, use the OE R1 gold pads: WOW!!

On February 2012 I fitted GOLDFREN pads to my Honda CBX 750. The brakes have improved no end compared with the HH Ferodo pads fitted previously. The Goldfren pads compound look very similar to the Yamaha R1 pads compound.

The Goldfren are less than half the price of the Yamaha OE ones, so now I fitted those in S33 compound for road use. For a closed circuit I recommend GP5 compound

IMPORTANT: use always organic pads (black ones) on the first FJ series callipers, those with auto-ventilated discs. I include 2 references on the pics. If you use modern sintered pads you will destroy the disc compound. The EBC pads must be WITHOUT the HH code

Best pads for the 1st series are de original equipment Sumitomo, like on the pic. Tested

 

Rear brakeREAR BRAKE

 

The OE rear brake is an excellente unit in power and feel. My actual GSXR 1100 rear adapted is not match for the OE unit.

But the quality of the OE rear calliper is very bad. The piston corrode fast and stick in the calliper, searing the rear disc in the process. It need a carefully annual cleaning and protecting with red grease

 

ABS FRONT BRAKE MASTER REPLACEMENT

The OE front brake master is clearly no match for the FJs performance, so, like we have seen, the improvement with another master with more flow is imperative and and easy improvement, and with Yamaha Summimoto callipers from the new series, a fabulous and necessary upgrade to enjoy the full potential of our bikes.

But for the ABS equipped FJs the mod is not so easy or straight on because the ABS connections to the master cylinder.

Thanks to my friend Xavier, member of our Spanish FJ group, for the document included with the solution to perform the brakes upgrade in the ABS serie.

 CLICK at the pic to download the document

 

1.984 - 1.987 FJ 1100/ FJ 1200 FRONT BRAKE CALLIPERS REPLACEMENT

 

Summimoto 4 pot callipers

The distance between mounting holes of the Summimoto monoblock callipers form the Yamaha conventional braked last series is 100 mm. those blue, gold o plated external coloured pistons, so don't fit for a replacement instead of the single opposed pistons original equipment for the FJs first series to 1987, with 83 mm.

So to fit those monoblock callipers the fork low ends must be replaced from the last series, 1.988-1992, without the antidive, fitting new discs and 17" front rim. In most EU countries this mod must be legalized, adding costs to the mod.

To keep the OE 16" front inch, with all its advantages in absorbing bumps and handling, but need more brake power, you must look for EXCLUSIVELY FZR400 RR SP 3TJ, TZR250 3MA (reverse cylinder) or TZR 250 3XV V twin callipers. Others FZR 400/600 or 250 series don't fit: the auto-ventilated disc is too tick.

Side to side with my STD 1TX with 16" Nissin master and Kyoto organic pads, the brake power is similar at hogh speed, but the main difference is found at the end of the braking, from around 100 km/h to full stop. With 14" Nissin master and Kyoto semi-sinterized pads, Mingo´s brakes are much more sensitive, with less effort the results are better. My bike at this speeds are like a switch ON/OFF. If you increase the force, the bike stops. If not, no.

Having my OE callipers in perfect shape the difference is not too much with my actual settings, and I keep my 1TX as original as I can, riding safely. And it brakes superb. The marginally increased brake force, and better, feeling at the lever got with the Mingo settings don't compensate the effort for me, but in any other situation, or with a brake rebuilt in mind, its an excellent choice. And you keep the OE banjos and lines, so if you have installed metallic hoses, you dont have to change those . RECOMMENDED

 

Tokico callipers from Triumph models

 

Straight on fitment too, like the previous callipers. We must look the callipers with 83 mm. distance mounting holes, fitted for the third Triumph generation series, i.e. Daytona 600, presented in the pics illustrating this mod. The Triumph logo has been deleted with a radial hacksaw and painted after.

I think any Tokico calliper from other models (i.e. Kawasaki), would fit with the correct distance between mounting points

But, like you see at the pics, there is a problem: the pads are too large, covering and exceeding the wear track of the brake plate.

To solve it, Javier, from Valencia, member of the Spanish owner group, opted for removing the exceeding material from the brake pad with the radial hacksaw, like you can see at the pics.

For me, the best solution could be to choose brake pads for Yamaha monoblock callipers instead of the appropriate Triumph designed for. I've been checking measures and change from brand to brand in large, tick and wide measures.

The problem could come because the Yamaha designed pads are a little shorter. Would these vibrate when fitted? Measures of these alternative pads go from 69 mm. to 69,5 mm. when the Triumph pads are 69,8 mm. With this pads the problem with the oversized long pad would be solved.

Another problem is that you must change your brake lines with special banjos, adding cost to the improvement.

When we fit & test the alternative pads this mod will be update. If anyone have done it, please mail me and inform.

In reference to the results of this mod, Javier says that the difference is like day at night with reference to the original callipers, that Javier had fitted with Fazer master and metallic hoses.

I reserve my opinion until I test myself the mod, because last summer Javier was raving about the wonderful brakes of my 1100... when the master was clearly in bad shape and it was replaced soon afterwards. So any mod in his 1100 were an improvement :D