Kevlar Brake Line Installation

The addition of Goodridge kevlar brake lines is a nice enhancement. The theory is that brake performance is improved due to the replacement of the stock rubber lines which may expand and flex under load or temperature. In addition, brake feel should be more solid and required hand and pedal pressure on the controls reduced due to the additional strength of the line. With two individual front lines, the brake line splitter next to the horn on the fork is discarded.

Cosmetically the blue vinyl line sheath complements the look of the blue bike. The red anodized banjo bolts complement my CRG bar-end mirrors. Also, the removal of the unsightly front wheel brake line brackets previously hidden by the front reflectors cleans up the appearance of the wheel.

While this description specifically refers to the blue kevlar lines, installation of steel braided lines looking better on black bikes would be identical.

This installation can be a messy business. Brake fluid is highly caustic and attacks painted and other surfaces immediately. Cover paint work with plastic bags and wipe up spills and drippings as soon as you spot them.

The best price I could find for the brake lines was at They were priced at $95.18 for the two front lines and $54.49 for the single rear line for a total of $149.67 plus any sales tax and shipping. The part numbers are 408-2174-LP for the 2-line front brakes and 408-3174-LP for the single rear line.

Caution: Proper brake operation is critical to safe riding, don't do this yourself if you are not confident of properly completing the task.

Remove Stock Front Brake Lines:

  • Remove side reflectors.
  • Cover tank with plastic/rags.
  • Remove top of handlebar mounted brake fluid reservoir.
  • Use turkey baster to remove as much brake fluid as possible.
  • Detach right and left brake line brackets from fork. Leave them attached to brake lines.
  • Remove right and left lower banjo (union) bolts catching brake fluid dripping.
  • Detach horn from bracket.
  • Remove two bolts holding brake line splitter to bracket.
  • Remove brake line splitter/horn bracket.
  • Remove banjo bolt at handlebar reservoir catching any dripping brake fluid.
  • Cut plastic tie holding brake line to right fork.
  • Lower brake line and upper banjo bolt down through upper brake line guide.
  • Pull entire brake line assembly down between forks.

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Install New Front Brake Lines:

  • Reinstall horn bracket. You will need shorter M6 bolts or you will go through the lower steering bracket. If you do that it is not a problem. There is plenty of clearance on the reverse.
  • Reattach horn to bracket.
  • Thread both new lines down through upper brake line guide - watch which eye brackets go on top and how they are oriented.
  • Attach both lines to handlebar brake fluid reservoir - torque to 12 lb-ft.
  • Attach left side brake line - torque to 12 lb-ft.
  • Attach right side brake line - torque to 12 lb-ft.
  • Use a plastic wire tie to attach both brake lines to forks (not supplied with kit).
  • Pour some brake fluid into the reservoir.

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Remove Stock Rear Brake Line:

  • Detach brake fluid reservoir.
  • Clamp rubber brake line or remove fluid from reservoir with turkey baster.
  • Detach brake line guide bracket on inside of swingarm. Leave the one on top of the swingarm in place.
  • Remove lower banjo bolt catching leaking brake fluid.
  • Remove upper banjo bolt catching leaking brake fluid.
  • Thread upper part of line down through guide on top of swingarm.
  • Thread upper part of line down through brake line guide on inside of brake torque rod.

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Install New Rear Brake Line:

  • Thread line upwards through brake line guide on torque rod - watch which end of line goes on lower banjo bolt and the orientation of the anodized eye bracket.
  • Reattach brake line guide on inside of swingarm placing brake line through bracket.
  • Thread line through guide on top of swingarm.
  • Attach lower banjo bolt - torque to 12 lb-ft.
  • Attach upper banjo bolt - torque to 12 lb-ft.
  • Remove clamp on rubber brake line if attached.
  • Pour some brake fluid in reservoir if drained.

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Brake Line Bleeding:

At this point you will notice that the brakes are nonfunctional. After installing new lines you have to bleed all the air out of the system at each bleed screw. Be sure to have plenty of the recommended DOT 4 brake fluid on hand. The service manual describes a procedure as follows for each of the four bleed screws (two front, two rear):

  • Remove the rubber cap from the bleed screw.
  • Attach a length of clear hose over the end of the screw. I used some 5/16" OD, 3/16" ID clear vinyl hose from Home Depot at $0.10 per foot.
  • Place the other end of the hose in a container to catch the fluid that drips out.
  • Fill the fluid reservoir will brake fluid and make sure it doesn't empty as fluid is drained or air will flow into the system.
  • Slowly apply the brake several times.
  • Fully squeeze the brake lever or depress the pedal and hold it in position.
  • Loosen the bleed screw about 1/4 to 1/2 turn. This releases any tension and causes the lever or pedal to be fully depressed.
  • Tighten the bleed screw and then release the lever or pedal.
  • Repeat the above four steps until there are no more tiny air bubbles in the fluid coming out of the screw and the brake control lever or pedal is solid.
  • Tighten the bleed screw to 4.3 lb-ft, 6 Nm.
  • Replace the rubber cap on the bleed screw.
  • Fill the fluid reservoir to the proper level.

I tried to use this technique and gave up after wasting a lot of my time. It's very difficult to reach the screw, hold the lever or pedal, and watch the fluid coming out of the bleed screw (if any does) at the same time. Some research on the internet turned up a recommendation for the mityvactm vacuum pump and brake bleeding kit. I found it for $39.99 at Pep Boys. I was ready to pay it.

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Using this pump the results are much better and its possible for one person to do it. At each bleeder screw:

  • Ensure brake caliper pistons are free to move within the calipers.
  • Pump brake lever or pedal to seat caliper pads against rotor.
  • Attach pump to brake bleed screw nipple.
  • Fill the fluid cylinder reservoir to top.
  • Actuate vacuum pump many times to create a vacuum in hose.
  • Crack bleeder valve open with 8mm wrench thus extracting fluid.
  • Continue pumping to maintain vacuum.
  • Do not allow brake fluid reservoir to run out of brake fluid.
  • Before brake fluid reservoir runs out of fluid close bleeder valve while still under vacuum and fluid is still flowing.
  • Repeat above six steps until extracted fluid is clear and free of the tiny air bubbles.

When finished bleeding:

  • Check brake control after bleeding both associated bleed screws by pumping lever or pedal several times, it should have a solid and not mushy feel. If mushy, repeat bleeding process.
  • Verify that there is no leakage at banjo bolt fittings and zinc crush washers at each connection.
  • If there is leakage then you must tighten the fittings. If that doesn't work then an option is to replace the zinc crush washers with new copper ones.
  • Tighten the bleed screws to 4.3 lb-ft, 6 Nm.
  • Replace the rubber caps on the bleed screws.
  • Fill the fluid reservoirs to their proper levels.
  • Replace the handlebar fluid reservoir lid and secure with the two phillips head screws.
  • Screw the lid back on the rear brake fluid reservoir and secure it to its mounting bracket with the phillips head screw.
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Some brake bleeding tips:

  • If excess air is entering hose from around bleeder fitting, apply Teflon tape to bleeder screw threads.
  • If excess air is entering at the nipple jpoint with the hose, try a smaller ID hose or apply grease at the fitting.
  • Remember how brakes feel before you start the process so you can tell afterwards if the feel is at least as solid as before.

Some pictures of the finished installation:

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Be careful on the first ride, check the brakes before attempting any speed.

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Last Updated: 02-19-2003

Copyright © 2001-03, Patrick Glenn, All Rights Reserved.
Yamaha® and FZ1® are registered trademarks of the Yamaha Motor Corporation.
This site is not affiliated in any way with the Yamaha Motor Corporation.

The information presented here reflects solely my personal experience with my motorcycle and is presented for entertainment purposes only. No information presented here is to be relied upon for issues of rider safety nor to replace the services of a qualified service technician. Any attempts to follow or duplicate any of these procedures are done so completely at your own risk. By reading the information on this site, you agree to assume complete responsibility for any and all actual or consequential damages that may arise from any information presented herein.