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How to Make Braided Brake Lines

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How to Make Braided Brake Lines
How to Make Braided Brake Lines

This GS Suzuki has long brake lines as stock. Fitting stainless braided hoses greatly improves this bike’s braking performance.

Image courtesy of: classic-motorbikes.net

There are few more useful modifications to do to a motorcycle than replacing the brake lines with braided stainless steel lines. For the home mechanic, this task is relatively simple--but all work must be checked afterward by a professional to ensure that the machine is really safe.

Braided stainless hoses became popular on motorcycles during the 70s and 80s, particularly on the Japanese superbikes of the time. Motorcycles of that time came equipped with molded rubber brake lines which, for most street riding requirements, were perfectly adequate.

Braking System Improvements

However, many of the production superbikes were raced in various championships throughout the world, and one of the first upgrades for the racers was to fit improved components in the braking systems.

Using the technology available in the aircraft industry, motorcycle aftermarket companies began to supply kits for most of the popular machines, and do-it-yourself kits for the less popular machines.

For the rider, stainless steel braided hoses proved to be an excellent upgrade to standard OEM braking systems. Besides protecting the vulnerable brake lines from external damage, the stainless braiding almost eliminated brake line swell (a condition where the brake hose swells under extreme pressure, effectively reducing pressure at the pad or shoe).

For the mechanic, stainless braided brake hoses are easy to clean and have a much longer life span than the equivalent rubber hose. Making a braided stainless line requires few tools and is a relatively simple operation.

Tools required:

  • Wrenches (to tighten fittings)
  • Tape
  • Hack saw or Die grinder with high speed cutting wheel (air powered)
  • Vice
  • Hose clamp tool
  • Small (1/2 lb.) hammer
  • Pliers
  • 1/8” or 3-mm aluminum welding rod

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