Checking Brake Pads

Most brake pads have a groove down the center. One might assume that is a wear indicator, but that is not always the case.

Examine a brake pad and note that the corners of the lower edge are bent inward like little dog ears. On some shoes those little corners will touch the rotor long before the groove is worn out. Sans the chrome rotor covers, you can actually stand up and check the front shoes. Kneel down and check the rear. If the little ears are getting close to the rotor, change them.

Always check the brake pads every time you check the air pressure in the tires, which should be done prior to every trip.

Vince Lake #01197
Lodi, CA

Failure? - 10/85, P30

From what I heard, the Venture seemed to be a little more susceptible to brake fail­ure at the higher altitude of Steamboat Springs. (V-Daze '85) than say that of a Gold Wing. The Venture has about three

more feet of brake line than the GL does and some of it is metal.

The brakes themselves work on the principal that the fluid inside the lines, be­tween the master pressure cylinder and the brake pad piston, does not compress. It only moves inside the line. When you ap­ply pressure on the lever or pedal, it pushes the fluid through the lines and directly pushes the brake pads against the brake ro­tors, thus stopping the bike. If any air is in the line, it will be compressed as the pedal is pushed before the fluid can be moved, thus slowing the braking efficiency and causing the pedal to feel spongy.

For the flat land motorcycle, a small amount of air or a few bubbles will not make a noticeable difference until he rides to a higher elevation; Steamboat Springs for example.

At the higher elevation, the air is much thinner and the air pressure itself is much less. This causes the air in the brake line to expand and you now have a greater amount of air in the brake system to compress be­fore you can stop.

DOT3 fluid has been used in cars since Columbus came over to Plymouth Rock in the ARK, and it is fine for cars. Most cars have a power booster on the master cylin­der to apply a much more extreme amount of pressure to stop the heavier vehicle. This usually makes up for any air that may be in the system, be it not a great deal. DOT3 is also fine for motorcycles that are properly maintained. If the system is completely free of air, there will be no problem, but the slightest bit of air will be noticed at a higher elevation.

The brake lines follow the frame to the master cylinder and are routed over the top of the engine, which is very hot, then down the front fork tubes where it is much cooler. The same with the rear line, which is exposed to the cooler air also. With part of the line rubber and part metal, and part hot and part cold, it is a very likely place for condensation to occur. Since condensa­tion is moisture, which is water (H20), and water is two parts oxygen, you can see a problem here over a period of time if the fluid is not changed periodically.

DOTS is a silicone base brake fluid, which helps to resist condensation to a cer­tain extent, so it is a little more effective on a motorcycle, but it is not needed in a car with a power booster. It's also not harmful to you pain, so if it gets spilled while being changed, it won't hurt any of the body parts.

Normal Yamaha warranty time to flush and bleed the front brakes is 1/2 hour and the same for the rear. This is not an item under warranty because it should have been done

before the customer receives the machine, during pre-delivery. If you want DOTS, or the brakes flushed you will probably have to pay for it unless the bike is very new and has very low mileage. That will be up to your local dealer. The charge is not that much and the advantages are great.

So, if your Venture doesn't know when to stop... a fluid change could solve the problem.

Bill Daily

Integrated Brakes 4/92, p35


I have been reading with some interest articles written about the integrated brake system on the Venture. Why does the Ven­ture have it? No other Yamaha model does. The FZR, Yamaha's cutting edge Techno bike sure doesn't. The reason is pretty sim­ple. Yamaha studied who would be riding the Venture and found it was the guys older than 45 for the most part. These riders re­fuse to use the front brake. They think they will flip over or in some way lose control of the bike. Their ideal of stopping is to stomp on the brake pedal. If you are in this category, leave the brake alone. They work pretty well in straight-line stops, especially two-up.

There is another side to the integrated brake system. Solo riders can get into rear wheel lock-up pretty easily as weight transfers to the front of the hike during hard braking. If you like to drive into cor­ners and brake leaning over, that braked rear wheel can get you into trouble.

If you are going down a steep hill on a dirt road or in a campground, how can you not use the front brake? If you are an expe­rience motorcyclist, you probably won't like the front and rear brakes tied together (integrated system).

There you have it. At least we have a choice as to whether we want to keep the brakes the way they are or convert to a sep­arate braking system. If you want a first-class set up with EBC pads, braided steel Russell Brake lines, and a Virago master cylinder, (the original master cylin­der won't operate two brakes), it can be done. The parts alone will cost around $280 and you must remember you will have to restore the original system for ob­vious litigation reasons, when you sell the bike. Previous Venture Road articles pretty well cover how to do it. The decision is up to you.

Don Clutter. #00700

Installation - 9/84, P16

Let me share with you all what I did when I needed brakes on my Venture Royale. The rear and left front were worn to within .020" of being metal to metal. This was at 4200 miles. When checking with my dealer and finding that replace­ment pads were on back order, I decided to try and find another source.

A clutch and brake remanufacturer that I've dealt with before turned out to be my answer. Checking their parts books, we found that the 504 Peugeot from 1968 through '71 had the same shaped rear pads as the Venture pads with the only differ­ence being the thickness. They were about 1/8 inch too thick. But this didn't stop me.

I bought the set of four pads and set out to make them fit. The cost $12.00!

Being a machinist, the rest ame easy. I milled the steel backing to the same thick­ness as the stock Yamaha pads. I then milled off the pad material to arrive at a to­tal thickness of pad and packing of .350:. When I installed my new pads, however, I found that the outside pad would go in but the inside pad wouldn't fit. After checking to make sure both pistons were at the bot­tom of their travel, I took a few measure­ments and discovered that the disc isn't centered in the caliper. At this point I de­cided to thin the inner pad to fit. I used coarse sandpaper laying on a flat steel plate and sanded until it fit. The amount I sanded was about twenty thousandths of an inch off the pad side. In fitting the pads

I was careful that I had no drag at final fit.

In finishing the job, I found that I had to reshape the anti-rattle that sits between the pins and pads. I have put 3600 miles on my new pads with only .050" wear. They work just fine. I hope this information will help some of you who are willing to go to work at it on your own. I have also had my original pads realigned for my next set of brakes. The cost $26.00.

Robert G. Johnstone, Sr.. #00326


Modification - 7/85, P18

This is the article I promised you on brake modification. I have had this system for over a year, passing through 33,000 miles pulling a trailer over half that mileage.

First let me give you part numbers and prices:

A.    1 each 101_25850 Front Master Cylinder - $75.00

B.    1 each 4L9257569999 Bracket for Master Cylinder - $3.40

C. 1 each 1J7258850100 Hose Joint (Mani­fold) - $8.00

D.1 each 4W12587301 Banjo Bolt Manifold - $1.80

E.     1 each 22R258730000 Hose (Master Cyl­inder to Manifold) - $17.40

F.     2 each 2GZ2587301 Hoses (From Mani­fold to each side of the front wheel) - $27.60

G. 1 each Bolt 10mm, 1.25 threads, 10 to 15mm long (used with crush washer to plug rear master cylinder after removing brake hose going to front brake).

Caution: Do not spill any brake fluid on the plastic as it will deteriorate the plastic; if you do spill some, remove it immediately. I have converted all my hydraulic systems to syn­thetic brake fluid (DOTS). It does not affect plastic and is a much cleaner operating fluid as it does not let moisture contaminate it. More expensive but well worth it.

Let's get started...

1.   Remove hydraulic hose from master cyl­inder on right handlebar and reroute new hose (E) in same area.

2.   Remove master cylinder and replace with items A and B (master cylinder and bracket) and connect hose (E) to master cylinder.

3.   Remove hose coming from left front brake to manifold in the fairing. (Leave hose run­ning back to rear master cylinder in place; it's too hard to remove it from the motorcycle.)

4.   Remove small black plastic cover mounted between the two front shocks up in the fairing. One bolt holds this piece on. 5. Mount the manifold here.

To Front Master Cylinder Hose [E]

Figure 1


6.     Connect hose (E) from front master cylinder to manifold (C).

7.  Connect both hoses (F) with banjo fitting (D) to manifold (C).

8. Route each hose (F) to respective right and left side of front wheel.

9.     At rear master cylinder, disconnect brake hose going to front brake and install 10mm bolt with crush washer into rear master cylin­der.



Remove rear brake modulating valve and reconnect brake hose to rear master cylinder. 11. Bleed all brakes; you will have to bleed anti-dive system on front wheel as it is tied into brake system. It takes a lot of bleeding to get all the air out of the front brakes.

Tom Wilson. #00001