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Thread: Rear Brake Master Cylinder Upgrade for RSV1000

  1. #1
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Rear Brake Master Cylinder Upgrade for RSV1000

    This guide is intended for all those who want to upgrade their horizonally mounted rear brake master cylinder on their RSV1000s to due to loss of braking power. The master cylinder I used for this is the Brembo item for the Ducati 1098S, which exits on top rather than at the end like the OEM unit. Because of this, a new brake line will also be required. Total cost at the time of writing is approximately GBP 60.00 using brand new components.

    NB This guide is not a how to for bleeding a hydraulic system. If you do not not know the basics for this, please read a guide about this first.





    I used the custom service from HEL Performance using the telephone number available on their website for the new brake hose. I ordered 30" (~760mm) long with straight banjo one end, and 90 degree side bend banjo on the other. However, I reckon it is about " (13mm) longer than ideal.



    Once you have the right hand side fairing(s) removed, work can begin. On later versions, both the upper and lower panels need removing. Please remember, brake fluid strips paint, so keep a bucket of water to hand in case of any accidents.

    This is what the OEM and new cylinder look like in comparison, prior to fitting, clearly showing the fundamental difference.



    First thing is to drain the system of fluid, and the easiest way of doing that is with a vacuum pump. The one I have can be bought for about GBP 25.00 and is definitely worth the investment.



    Once this has been done, the OEM master cylinder can be removed.







    We also need to remove the pushrod, because the boss that goes into the master cylinder is too large to fit the Ducati item, so it needs machining. I have since discovered that Brembo do make a larger bore item, the same as the OEM, but the smaller bored item used here has better feel due to a slightly different hydraulic ratio. I decided to completely remove this boss, although you could turn it down to fit if you so desire.



    Next, the OEM brake line needs to be removed. Don't forget to cut the cable tie securing the speed sensor wire to the hose, and to remove the retainer attached to the swingarm.





    Now the new line and brake cylinder can be securely fitted, attaching the reservoir with the same hose and clip, and using the new copper washers supplied for the banjos.



    Don't forget to allow some free play when you adjust the push rod.



    Loosen the reservoir mounting screw enough to enable refilling; there's not enough room to do so easily otherwise.



    To bleed the system, the caliper must be suspended upside down, so that the bleed nipple is uppermost. It is also imperative that the caliper pistons are fully retacted; failure to do so will result with air in the caliper. This photo shows it hanging from the front peg, but this is not high enough. The rear peg/exhaust hanger is better (protect your exhaust with some rag).



    Fill the reservoir and bleed. This will require several cycles untill all the air has been dispelled.

    NB Do not operate the pedal until the caliper is refitted. Doing so will push out the pistons.





    Caliper and the hose guide can now be refitted. As you can see from the photo, the line is just slightly longer than ideal.



    My rear brake now feels far more powerful and controllable than it ever did, even from new. I can actually stop the bike with it now, feeling firm and progressive. I have yet to test its longevity over thousands of miles, but I got the inspiration from another forum member on here who has, and he has had no problems whatsoever since the upgrade.
    Last edited by ride4fun; May 15th, 2014 at 03:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Superbike Twin badapple's Avatar
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    Top work. Once you have a few miles done and it's still working I'll definitely be doing the same. Nice one for taking the time to post up such a detailed " how to" guide.

  3. #3
    Baby Twin Claude's Avatar
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    Excellent post!
    If we could get some feedback after some time/miles that'd be great!

  4. #4
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Give me a few months to clock up the miles, then I will report on the progress over time for this conversion.

  5. #5
    Superbike Twin dazthephot's Avatar
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    Superb guide, very detailed and good pics. Deserves a pinned post. Be great to hear your progress report after a few miles.

  6. #6
    Baby Twin
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    Great post, my rear brake is terrible. Where did you get the Ducati M/C from? All the usual Google searches just lead to second-hand oners on E-bay?

    Many Thanks

  7. #7
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cow View Post
    Great post, my rear brake is terrible. Where did you get the Ducati M/C from? All the usual Google searches just lead to second-hand oners on E-bay?

    Many Thanks
    I purchased my master cylinder from a Ducati dealer, however, if you Google search the part number (see the first photo of this post), then the results should be for a new item.

  8. #8
    Superbike Twin
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    748 master cylinder just the same and cheaper on E Bay, got the lot on e bay for 31, great upgrade Ps the 748 brake line fits perfectly too

  9. #9
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butchersdog View Post
    748 master cylinder just the same and cheaper on E Bay, got the lot on e bay for 31, great upgrade Ps the 748 brake line fits perfectly too
    All depends if you want to chance your arm with second-hand parts, or not. As long as they're good, the outcome is just the same.

  10. #10
    Baby Twin
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    so.....does it work then? Or do you still have to re-bleed it occasionally

  11. #11
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leighz View Post
    so.....does it work then? Or do you still have to re-bleed it occasionally
    So far, so good. Since the upgrade, I have done about 1,000 miles, but the real test will be when I do about 300 miles in one day; not had a chance to do that, yet, but hopefully I will sometime during July, when I get a free Saturday to do one of my ride-outs.

  12. #12
    Baby Twin
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride4fun View Post
    So far, so good. Since the upgrade, I have done about 1,000 miles, but the real test will be when I do about 300 miles in one day; not had a chance to do that, yet, but hopefully I will sometime during July, when I get a free Saturday to do one of my ride-outs.
    Hi Bro,

    Great guide with Pics... thanks a lot man!!

    any updates as yet about the 748 MC? do you need to bleed it from time to time? or it works fine?

    btw, can the rear brake do a full rear tyre lock?

  13. #13
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Well, about 1,000 miles after getting my bike up and running last year, the infamous Italian electrics decided to stop play. The bike is now back up and running, after replacing a corroded wire, so I should be able to give more feedback about the longevity and effectiveness of this conversion this year.

  14. #14
    Baby Twin Claude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride4fun View Post
    Well, about 1,000 miles after getting my bike up and running last year, the infamous Italian electrics decided to stop play. The bike is now back up and running, after replacing a corroded wire, so I should be able to give more feedback about the longevity and effectiveness of this conversion this year.
    Good to hear the bike is back on the road.
    The days are starting to brighten up so will be great to hear how the upgrade holds up.

    Thanks for the update.

  15. #15
    Baby Twin Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride4fun View Post
    Well, about 1,000 miles after getting my bike up and running last year, the infamous Italian electrics decided to stop play. The bike is now back up and running, after replacing a corroded wire, so I should be able to give more feedback about the longevity and effectiveness of this conversion this year.
    Any more updates ?

    Gray

  16. #16
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Well, I took it out for its first spin of the year, now I have serviced it after the winter, and the brake is still performing well. It will take me a few months to get a few thousand miles of testing done, but the signs are good.

  17. #17
    Superbike Twin dazthephot's Avatar
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    I don't suppose you could measure the travel on the brake lever could you? I'm about to do this myself and would be interested to know. Thanks

  18. #18
    Superbike Twin ride4fun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazthephot View Post
    I don't suppose you could measure the travel on the brake lever could you? I'm about to do this myself and would be interested to know. Thanks
    I will try to measure the pedal stroke (excluding any freeplay) within the next few day for you.

    Update: About a month ago, the brake lost its effectiveness. I restored this by hanging a heavy weight off the pedal for several hours to expel any air trapped in the master cylinder. Since then, the braking force has been good. Time will tell if this is a long-term fix.

  19. #19
    Superbike Twin dazthephot's Avatar
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    Thank you very much indeed.

    Interesting to hear that the brake has faded again, I might hold off on a new MC now. I bled mine again and have pressure but with too much lever travel so I suspect a faulty MC but a new one might not be the answer.

  20. #20
    Superbike Twin dazthephot's Avatar
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    Incidentally I have a weight on the pedal as we speak

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