BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/26/21 4:52 p.m.

I'm doing my spring maintenance on my Honda GL1500 GoldWing and of course by using the "while I'm in there" methodology, decided I'll swap out the 30 year old brake lines for stainless steel braided ones (without realising what clusterberkeley this was going to be). I bought the lines from a reputable supplier as there isn't much choice, and started at the back. Lines look well made, but the banjo fitting that's crimped on at one end looks like someone stuck their hand in the wrong bucket:

OEM brake line compared to new braided one

For reference, the OEM banjo fitting is at the front (and upside down), the new one is fitted to the bike. You notice that both have a slight angle to them, but the manufacturers don't seem to agree on the angle. Which is the problem.

New rear brake line in its full glory

Notice that bracket that's wrapped around the end of the brake hose? That's supposed to be bolted to the swingarm, using the bolt that's below and to the right. I had the supplier confirm that it is the "correct" line and that it's fitted the correct way. Well, it's hard to fit it incorrectly - there is a 'ridge' on the caliper behind the bleed screw that prevents the line from being fitted upside down.

The suggestion I got was basically to just bolt the bracket down anyway (which IMHO puts a fair amount of strain on the line, as I have to pull quite hard on it to get the mounting bracket to line up) or "just fit the line upside down" which means it would have to go past the outside of the bleed screw just in order to fit it. Which has the double advantage of a) blocking access to the bleed screw and b) having the line (likely) rub on the back of the side case.

Oh, and in case you're wondering why I'm overthinking this - after all, it's just a rear brake - GL1500s have linked brakes. The pedal operates both the rear caliper and one of the fronts. If this line blows, I'm losing 2/3rds of the brake calipers.

My gut feeling says where to put this line:


Am I overthinking this? Just pull on the brake line until it fits and send it? Fit a fresh OEM line and call it good? Buy another bike (well, duh)?

BTW, this is the "easy" line, the front one for the linked caliper pretty much has the whole bike built around it.

bgkast (Forum Supporter)
bgkast (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
3/26/21 5:05 p.m.

I would find an OEM line or have a hose shop make me a braided line that matches the shape of the original.

That aftermarket one should be returned:


BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/26/21 5:10 p.m.

Well, I have to order some other parts from the local Honda dealer anyway, so I'll just add a new OEM line to the order.

Sounds like I wasn't overly paranoid after all.

APEowner Dork
3/26/21 5:10 p.m.

Yeah, that's not right.  I'd look for a different option.  

FMB42 Reader
3/26/21 6:00 p.m.

Many, if not most, after market 'stainless steel braided' brake lines are absolute junk. I'd go OEM.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/26/21 7:38 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

My experience in general with braided lines isn't too bad, but then again I also own a bunch of vehicles with OEM lines where the availability is only a distant memory (or the ones available are so old that you don't want them on a vehicle).

But in this case, OEM it is. 

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