Stupid Yamaha front brake, switched to Honda's

I have had the same problem with Yamaha brakes with YZ250 -00, YZ450F -03, YZ250F -07 and YZ450F -08 (I had all these bikes from new). The brakes both feel spongy _and_ there seems to be little friction between the pad and the rotor no matter how much I bleed them(it makes a difference, but in the end they are still not good).

My dad's CRF450Rs, on the other hand, (-05 and -07) had/have an extremely firm feel at the lever and the pads lock to the rotor to the point of grabbiness.

On the 250F I tried Honda Pads and EBC MX-S pads, and that somewhat helped the friction issue, but the lever feel is still slightly mushy. The stock pads on my 450 seem ok (they should be the same as the 250 but somehow they seemed to grab a little better).

So, I asked my father (since he says he never uses the front brake) if I could try and switch the master cylinders. He said it was ok so I did it.

Instant Honda feel at the lever, WHOOHOO!

Now the question is, why does Yamaha use the crap master cylinder(both Yamaha and Honda use Nissin)? Do they like have a warehouse full of them?

I will still install the MX-S pads and hope to have true one-finger stopping power, not just a sort of deceleration.

Isn't it all about the pattent?

No, the patent was about the routing of the hose, and that's over. Neither Honda or Yamaha makes or owns the master cylinders, anyway.

Also, the '08 uses an entirely different master cylinder and caliper combo than the earlier models.

Personally, I have no idea what anyone is complaining about with regard to the YZF brake being mushy or weak. Mine have always seemed firm and very pleasantly linear as to stopping power/input effort. I find I have excellent control with it, and I can lift the rear wheel or lock the front pretty much at will.

But for those who feel like it's not enough, the Honda M/C swap is an old trick.

Maybe try a stainless steel brake line.

Both my '07 YZ's had great front brakes. The lever came up solid, no mush, and they were powerful and linear.

I haven't got a chance to try my '08 front brake, but I will say that there is a slightly more mushy feel at the lever than the '07. But like I said, I haven't ridden it yet, so I have no idea how it will perform compared to the '07.

I used to ride hondas, and switched to yamaha many moons ago so I can't really compare. However, I have ridden more modern hondas and don't notice any different feel in the brakes. The brakes on my yamahas are never spongy unless I cook the fluid in them.

My brakes are much better than any Honda brakes I have used.....

But, of course they are 270mm Braking Wave rotors with SS brakelines and Motul fluid......

Fluids must be changed and correct bleeding procedures necessary :thumbsup:

I found a honda master cylinder and caliper on ebay from an 06 crf450 and put it on my 08 yz450f. Now its pretty sweet to stop. It was amazing in the difference between the yamaha and the honda parts side by side. The nissen brake made for the yamaha was a lot smaller and had a lot smaller pads compared to the honda. On the other hand it was a lot lighter in weight...

I'll take the honda set up any day.

i have never been unhappy with my front break its great! :thumbsup:

Two things primarily effect the stopping power of a hydraulic disc setup: Disc diameter, and hydraulic ratio. Both are simple, basic leverage.

Larger diameter discs give the caliper more of an advantage with the same applied force. Swept area and pad size have little to do with stopping power because while a larger, wider pad has more contact area, a smaller pad will have a higher specific force per square/in applied to it by the same clamping force, and this tends to equal out. The bigger pads should last longer, though.

The hydraulic ratio is just like a leverage ratio. If the caliper piston area is 4 times the size of the master cylinder piston area, the ratio is 4:1. and it will move 1/4 as far as the M/C piston, and apply 4 times the force applied to the M/C piston. Use a smaller M/C, and you'll get more force, but with more input travel.

So in comparing the '08 cylinders to the Honda, remamber that the overall size means little. It's the relative size of the master to the caliper that counts.

I have had the same problem with Yamaha brakes with YZ250 -00, YZ450F -03, YZ250F -07 and YZ450F -08 (I had all these bikes from new). The brakes both feel spongy _and_ there seems to be little friction between the pad and the rotor no matter how much I bleed them(it makes a difference, but in the end they are still not good).

My dad's CRF450Rs, on the other hand, (-05 and -07) had/have an extremely firm feel at the lever and the pads lock to the rotor to the point of grabbiness.

On the 250F I tried Honda Pads and EBC MX-S pads, and that somewhat helped the friction issue, but the lever feel is still slightly mushy. The stock pads on my 450 seem ok (they should be the same as the 250 but somehow they seemed to grab a little better).

So, I asked my father (since he says he never uses the front brake) if I could try and switch the master cylinders. He said it was ok so I did it.

Instant Honda feel at the lever, WHOOHOO!

Now the question is, why does Yamaha use the crap master cylinder(both Yamaha and Honda use Nissin)? Do they like have a warehouse full of them?

I will still install the MX-S pads and hope to have true one-finger stopping power, not just a sort of deceleration.

Well, I'll go out on a limb and disagree. Since I had my YZ with a steel braided line and a larger rotor, the brake feel was great and had no problems.

Here on my 08 CRF, my brakes just went to toast. Most likely sticky caliper pistons, but I replaced everything even though that was a bit extreme. They are working again, but I shouldn't have had to do this on a bike that's about 7 months old. IMHO, YZ's are easier to work on, have less overall problems and are bulletproof. I can't say the same for Honda. I do have more fun on my Red bike however, so there's always tradeoffs I suppose. :thumbsup:

Ride engineering braided brake line, new pads and new fluid. Stock master cylinder, stock caliper and stock disc...........all equal one finger, fade free stopping power for my '06 YZ450F.

The new routing did change the lever feel when that Honda patent ran out. I had an '03 WR450F and an '02 YZ250 which I never felt satisfied with.

Update: After riding with the Honda master cylinder for a while, I found out that it did not really increase braking efficiency (i.e. the force I have to exert on the levers vs. deceleration).

The engagement is just different, the Honda lever moves to the point where it starts to brake and then basically stops there. However, to get proper braking, you have to pull it pretty much as hard as the Yamaha one.

The Yamaha lever(on the Yamaha M.C., obviously) starts braking, but then the lever moves quite a bit more compared to the Honda one as you apply more power to it.

I switched the M.C.s back, since I already have a flex lever arriving for the Yamaha one and I want to use that.

Next I'm going to install the new pads. They did help the 250 a bunch. The Yamaha pads feel like they have glazed over or something.

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