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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, before I get hammered about previous threads on this hugely covered front brake sponge issue, I'm on my mobile while at work trying to find my answers and can't search with blistering speed. The issue I have is this: I did the 2006 CBR 1000 Caliper upgrade with new pads and SS Hel lines and am still pulling my LEVER almost all the way to the clip on, so apparently MY issue is in the Master Cylinder. NOW, if I upgrade, what master cylinder is better and used the same levers? Since I shelled out the $150 for my Gold CRG levers? If I have to I can always sell the Calipers and go to the Nissins, but I'm trying to conserve some cash for other stuff.. Any input?? Thanks ahead of time...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
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What year ZX10 do you have? The Nissin radial MC that comes on the Gen 2 and 3 is pretty much the way to go. If you already have that, then it sounds like there's something else wrong with the system. If you have to upgrade to the radial MC from the Gen 1 then there's no way to reuse your levers. Completely different setup from the linear to the radial master.
 

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Yup. If you have a gen 1, the best thing to do is the Nissin Radial master from the gen2,3 etc. There is nothing wrong in the design of the Gen1&2 Tokico 4 pad calipers. I don't care how many posts you have seen with swaps and other BS. My shop has done countless Gen1s to Gen3s. The issue is either air in the system (95% of the issue) or a bad caliper/bulging line.

I have had bikes in here that have had several brake parts swaped out to get the thing working, but until we did the bleeding (a process, yes) the lever was spongy. Also, get rid of any stainless backing shims beteween the pads and pistons. Also, never tighten the calipers to the forks unless the brakes are engaged and the front wheel is in forward rotation load position.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, its a 2nd generation (2007) and as I said, its got new ss lines, the cbr conversion calipers, but I have a mechanical bleeder and its been bled methodically. As a matter of fact, it was bled the same as a CBR and two Gixxers I do maintenance on. And the brakes on those scooters are flawless. So if there's a trick, ie something only mechanics know, wouldn't that be kinda ridiculous and at some level a liability? Either way, it is of my opinion that the pads are good! The calipers are good! The lines are good! And I think the MC is junk! Radial or non-radial.. The reason I think so is because the MC forces the fluid through the lines to force the piston cups out towards one another sandwiching the rotor causing friction resulting in the wheel to stop, I think we all agree to this point. But as you pull on the lever, you can feel dead space for a good bit (which I admit, could also be misconceived as air in the line). But all of a sudden the brakes bite! Also what baffles me is that I can pump on em a couple of times and reduce the dead play in the lever. Again, this would suggest a bleed issue or air trapped somewhere in the lines or calipers. But why do none of these issues arise with the other bikes I mentioned? Only part I haven't changed is the MC and it seems everyone is swearing by the calipers, so...I don't know.. So if I am missing something, please educate me. By the way, my lines double off the MC and Single to each caliper instead of single out off the MC and split off the right side caliper!
 

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Have you bled the MC properly? I'm assuming you have, but just want to be sure. There's a bleed nipple on the MC itself and that should be bled first before doing the calipers. Even if you're using a vacuum pump, you need to bleed the air out of the MC manually or with the pump. I'm not sure if the other bikes have this sort of MC or not so that may be the difference.

The OEM Nissin radial MC that comes on the Gen 2's and 3's is very good. If you're having problems, then I'd look into the used calipers you got as an issue if you bleed the MC and still don't get positive results.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you bled the MC properly? I'm assuming you have, but just want to be sure. There's a bleed nipple on the MC itself and that should be bled first before doing the calipers. Even if you're using a vacuum pump, you need to bleed the air out of the MC manually or with the pump. I'm not sure if the other bikes have this sort of MC or not so that may be the difference.

The OEM Nissin radial MC that comes on the Gen 2's and 3's is very good. If you're having problems, then I'd look into the used calipers you got as an issue if you bleed the MC and still don't get positive results.
I bled the MC, however I didn't bleed it first. I have ran across a great step by step set of directions from the WERA forum and am gonna give that a shot tonight. It makes sense that you can't get a proper bleed unless the MC is bled first. Will update ASAP. Thanks for the help..
 

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You may have just made a "lateral" move with the caliper swap on your 2nd gen though....on the 1st gen the brakes were bricks plain and simple!! on the 2nd gen i thought they upgraded a few things and one being the MC going to the "radial" unit. i've read a ton of different threads and posts regarding the caliper/master cylinder upgrade from the 4 pad setup to the 2 pad,using cbr calipers with 5mm spacers, zx14 or zx6 calipers...the list goes on and on. get all the air out of the lines and you should be good to go, i own an 04' so i've been thru my fair share of brake swaps and upgrades...........best of luck and drop an update to let us know how it turned out?
 

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i didn't take any chances with my '06, got the nissins/brembo mc/braided lines and sintered pads. best brakes i have felt on any bike i've ridden to date.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Code:
i didn't take any chances with my '06, got the nissins/brembo mc/braided lines and sintered pads. best brakes i have felt on any bike i've ridden to date.
If you can afford the Brembo Master Cylinder, I don't feel there's any better option out there for you. So I may have to make that move myself. I have never paid attention to it before, but last night I rigged up my lines to a broken clip on from an 08Cbr 1000 with levers and MC and my brakes were solid as stone. So, for me at least, my issue lies with the MC. Anyway, as I was replacing my lines to my MC, I noticed I had a Nissin Master Cylinder. Ok, but it came stock with Tokico Calipers. So why two different brake manufacturers? Just thought that to be a lil odd.. And also I just taking a guess here, but when I order the Brembo MC, if I order it for a stock ZX10, I'm. Assuming my CRG levers will fit..
 

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That would be a negative on the levers - it'll come with a brembo lever, and if you want it to match, you'll need a CRG for a brembo...

Also the brembo uses a different diameter tube from the MC to the reservoir, so you'll need the tube and the res as well as a master (and the standard brembo res mounts differently than the oem res, so you need to fab up a bracket too)
 

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I can't believe I may be sucked into this stuff again. First off, unless there is a defect in the caliper, the 4-pad Tokico is brilliant. Don't want to believe this? Make a bet with me for some suitable amount so it's worth my time - Fly out here, ride one of four Gen1 - Gen2 bikes around here that we did the brakes on that have the STOCK calipers and rotors on them as well as the Gen2 Radial masters. If it isn't as close to perfect lever feel and braking force you have ever felt (sans the stupid brakes on the 1098 Ducati) - I'll pay your bet and all expenses you had coming out here.

If you have any change in feel by pumping up the master a few times to get is right - YOU HAVE AN ISSUE. What is that issue you may ask? Here are some primary possibilities:

1: Caliper, to pad, to disk alignment is skewed - And/Or - you're still using stainless backup shim/buffers on the pads. With clean and SQUARE pads installed, do not ever tighten caliper bolts unless you have good tension on the brake lever so the caliper find its own center before torqueing. We do this on bikes that have dowel bushings too (read gen3).

There is air in the system. I don't give a rats behind to how many times you bled the system - you keep doing it wrong. I have done that too. What works is a power bleeder "Pushing" from the caliper on upwards towards the master. Don't flame me. I know this is not something most have, so here is plan. First do your best the old way. At least we have new fluid in the system at this point right? With both calipers off the disks, pump up the system (with old pads in place) so the caliper pistons are well filled with fluid when the pads touch each other. This is a great time to clean the extended pistons and the calipers with brakeclean. Keep the caliper your working on in the Bleeder-up position during this next part. Bang on the caliper with a plastic mallet (all over the damn thing) to get whatever stuck air to travel to the nipple area. With a hose on the bleeder, break it open and pry the pads apart (old pads are best for this). Make sure you close the bleeder while there is still some exiting fluid from it. Do both sides, then pump up the calipers again, but this time back feed the master when pushing the pads apart. This gets residual air out as well. Assemble calipers on disks using "Squaring technique" as described above. Bleed master one last time. No oil or fingerprints on the disk or pads right? Go test the setup.

2: Master to lever plunger depth too deep - causing initial sponginess and excessive travel in start of lever travel. We have seen this 50% of the time.

Remove lever and look for the area the master's piston plunger locates into the lever. Add shims (or a ball bearing) into the bore in the lever to take up initial slack. Be careful that the system will still release the calipers when the lever is out. The feed port in the master has to be open so the calipers can let go of the disks. Also be aware that if you have real braking feel before the brake light switch triggers - you are probably too far with the shimming.

Truth in lending: We only use fully vacuum degassed dot 4 fluid. This way, if we miss some air, the fluid is more than able to absorb it.

Even though the four-pad Tokico maybe more sensitive to bleeding techniques, this system should be employed on any bike if problems arise.

Boy, I hope this helps out a few out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I can't believe I may be sucked into this stuff again. First off, unless there is a defect in the caliper, the 4-pad Tokico is brilliant. Don't want to believe this? Make a bet with me for some suitable amount so it's worth my time - Fly out here, ride one of four Gen1 - Gen2 bikes around here that we did the brakes on that have the STOCK calipers and rotors on them as well as the Gen2 Radial masters. If it isn't as close to perfect lever feel and braking force you have ever felt (sans the stupid brakes on the 1098 Ducati) - I'll pay your bet and all expenses you had coming out here.

If you have any change in feel by pumping up the master a few times to get is right - YOU HAVE AN ISSUE. What is that issue you may ask? Here are some primary possibilities:

1: Caliper, to pad, to disk alignment is skewed - And/Or - you're still using stainless backup shim/buffers on the pads. With clean and SQUARE pads installed, do not ever tighten caliper bolts unless you have good tension on the brake lever so the caliper find its own center before torqueing. We do this on bikes that have dowel bushings too (read gen3).

There is air in the system. I don't give a rats behind to how many times you bled the system - you keep doing it wrong. I have done that too. What works is a power bleeder "Pushing" from the caliper on upwards towards the master. Don't flame me. I know this is not something most have, so here is plan. First do your best the old way. At least we have new fluid in the system at this point right? With both calipers off the disks, pump up the system (with old pads in place) so the caliper pistons are well filled with fluid when the pads touch each other. This is a great time to clean the extended pistons and the calipers with brakeclean. Keep the caliper your working on in the Bleeder-up position during this next part. Bang on the caliper with a plastic mallet (all over the damn thing) to get whatever stuck air to travel to the nipple area. With a hose on the bleeder, break it open and pry the pads apart (old pads are best for this). Make sure you close the bleeder while there is still some exiting fluid from it. Do both sides, then pump up the calipers again, but this time back feed the master when pushing the pads apart. This gets residual air out as well. Assemble calipers on disks using "Squaring technique" as described above. Bleed master one last time. No oil or fingerprints on the disk or pads right? Go test the setup.

2: Master to lever plunger depth too deep - causing initial sponginess and excessive travel in start of lever travel. We have seen this 50% of the time.

Remove lever and look for the area the master's piston plunger locates into the lever. Add shims (or a ball bearing) into the bore in the lever to take up initial slack. Be careful that the system will still release the calipers when the lever is out. The feed port in the master has to be open so the calipers can let go of the disks. Also be aware that if you have real braking feel before the brake light switch triggers - you are probably too far with the shimming.

Truth in lending: We only use fully vacuum degassed dot 4 fluid. This way, if we miss some air, the fluid is more than able to absorb it.

Even though the four-pad Tokico maybe more sensitive to bleeding techniques, this system should be employed on any bike if problems arise.

Boy, I hope this helps out a few out there.
Hahahahaha, man I couldn't help but get cracked up at your frustration.. But on a serious note, you're right on a couple of things so far. I don't have a power bleeder and I DO have the stainless shims still on the pads. So when I get home tonight, I'm gonna take your advice. And thanks for the education, I don't have a super amount of brake knowledge, but you have to admit, this is definitely a broad issue that most other bike owners seem to escape. At least it seems so to me.. Also I have vreat braking now, but its the dang spongy lever that kills me. If possible, let me know if you have any pictures of the ball bearing/shim technique you're talking about. Thanks again!
 

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shoginator is absolutely right. the only thing wrong with tokico calipers on the zx10 is that they can be difficult to bleed. I have always used a syringe to bleed bike brakes, but doing this on the 1st gen I found that I had to bleed the calipers a certain way (calipers off the bike and inverted), then bleed the master cylinder. If I didnt then I would have spongy brakes. after consulting the forum via search, I found the technique that works for me and the equipment I have (syringe). my brakes are fine now, but it takes longer for me to bleed vs using the optimal equipment.

if I had a speed bleeder with pneumatic assist, then it would be much easier as shoginator explains. the key is the air trapped in the calipers, if you can get that out then you shouldnt have an issue.

I will say that even though the radial MC is not necessary, it gives a lot better feel and is worth the trouble to install. the radials from another kawasaki would be fine but I use the brembo 19 RCS, set to 20 with max lever travel this thing will lock the front wheel with a single finger. I "tested" this on friday... and almost dropped the bike. I have since set the brembo to 18, so now the brake feel is more progressive which is how I prefer at street speeds. the beauty of the RCS is the range of adjustment to tailor the feel at the lever. and you can transfer it to your next bike. worth every penny!
 

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I can't believe I may be sucked into this stuff again. First off, unless there is a defect in the caliper, the 4-pad Tokico is brilliant. Don't want to believe this? Make a bet with me for some suitable amount so it's worth my time - Fly out here, ride one of four Gen1 - Gen2 bikes around here that we did the brakes on that have the STOCK calipers and rotors on them as well as the Gen2 Radial masters. If it isn't as close to perfect lever feel and braking force you have ever felt (sans the stupid brakes on the 1098 Ducati) - I'll pay your bet and all expenses you had coming out here.

If you have any change in feel by pumping up the master a few times to get is right - YOU HAVE AN ISSUE. What is that issue you may ask? Here are some primary possibilities:

1: Caliper, to pad, to disk alignment is skewed - And/Or - you're still using stainless backup shim/buffers on the pads. With clean and SQUARE pads installed, do not ever tighten caliper bolts unless you have good tension on the brake lever so the caliper find its own center before torqueing. We do this on bikes that have dowel bushings too (read gen3).

There is air in the system. I don't give a rats behind to how many times you bled the system - you keep doing it wrong. I have done that too. What works is a power bleeder "Pushing" from the caliper on upwards towards the master. Don't flame me. I know this is not something most have, so here is plan. First do your best the old way. At least we have new fluid in the system at this point right? With both calipers off the disks, pump up the system (with old pads in place) so the caliper pistons are well filled with fluid when the pads touch each other. This is a great time to clean the extended pistons and the calipers with brakeclean. Keep the caliper your working on in the Bleeder-up position during this next part. Bang on the caliper with a plastic mallet (all over the damn thing) to get whatever stuck air to travel to the nipple area. With a hose on the bleeder, break it open and pry the pads apart (old pads are best for this). Make sure you close the bleeder while there is still some exiting fluid from it. Do both sides, then pump up the calipers again, but this time back feed the master when pushing the pads apart. This gets residual air out as well. Assemble calipers on disks using "Squaring technique" as described above. Bleed master one last time. No oil or fingerprints on the disk or pads right? Go test the setup.

2: Master to lever plunger depth too deep - causing initial sponginess and excessive travel in start of lever travel. We have seen this 50% of the time.

Remove lever and look for the area the master's piston plunger locates into the lever. Add shims (or a ball bearing) into the bore in the lever to take up initial slack. Be careful that the system will still release the calipers when the lever is out. The feed port in the master has to be open so the calipers can let go of the disks. Also be aware that if you have real braking feel before the brake light switch triggers - you are probably too far with the shimming.

Truth in lending: We only use fully vacuum degassed dot 4 fluid. This way, if we miss some air, the fluid is more than able to absorb it.

Even though the four-pad Tokico maybe more sensitive to bleeding techniques, this system should be employed on any bike if problems arise.

Boy, I hope this helps out a few out there.
:+1:...even though i swapped over to a set of ZX14 calipers (sold) and now another 2 pad set of nissins from a triumph (don't ask) i've always felt that on my 1st gen it was the MC that was the problem...... i will say though that shoginator did i VERY good and indepth write up on the checking and bleeding of the brake system which touched on more than a couple notes that most of the times do not even come up. moral of the story if you're a basic street rider as myself......buy a radial master cylinder and then read shoginator post!!!! nuff said and rep sent my man!!
 

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Just in case you are wondering about the levers...
They dont have these in mass production yet, but I had mine like 2 years ago :)
If you're special enough, they'll give you a set :)
BTW, these are for the RCS




 

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Discussion Starter #20
I hope these pics make it over ok. Pretty self explanatory - if not I will clairify.
Many thanks on the pics!! I got to the garage last night and saw exactly what you spoke of. I ran Outta time and had to get home to a pregnant woman, so I will be trying everything you said asap this afternoon. Super good info and I really appreciate it. Definitely will be sending a Rep once i'm close to a computer insted of this Android. AND lucky10r, those levers look sweet!!
 
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