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Thread: 1978 R80/7 brake upgrade

  1. #1
    Registered User hendrik's Avatar
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    1978 R80/7 brake upgrade

    Hello all,
    I have a new to me 1978 R80/7 with a single front disc and master cyl. under the tank. The braking effort is excessive everything seems to be working properly but not a lot of stopping power. any help and or advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    First thing I'd consider is change to a steel brake line replacing the rubber one. After that think about adding a right side ATE brake caliper and rotor. Would need to change the master cylinder...people tend to go to a handlebar system at that point...would need to be sure it's sized for more volume of brake fluid.

    Section VIII on this page are some suggestions from Snowbum:

    https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/mod4performance.htm
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    I did the dual brake upgrade many years ago with my R80/7, sourcing a right side fork leg, caliper, new rotor, dual outlet master cylinder, stainless lines, etc. It does improve the stopping power significantly. But, I would caution you that it does not improve lever feel or effort much at all. And it does add unsprung weight to the front end, and complexity to the system overall.

    I don't regret doing it, but I think if I were going to do it again, for the money spent, I'd probably upgrade to a Brembo caliper equipped front fork set from an early '80's era airhead. The Brembo calipers have better feel, and power, relative to the ATE calipers (although still not exactly "modern"). Many here would also advise switching to a handlebar mounted master cylinder as well. All of that, which ever route you go, will be a moderately expensive proposition once you are all in on parts.

    Before you go that route, you might consider updating the pads to new ones, and perhaps of a softer compound (HH) friction material. I like EBC pads, but there are other options. Replacing your rotor (disk) new one at the same time as the pads may also be beneficial- here again, I like the EBC floating rotors. That, combined with a stainless braided line (Spiegler) may net the improvement you are looking for without the cost and complexity of converting to a dual brake set. Plus, if you later decide to go full on with a dual disc set-up, these parts will be needed anyway. This is a good time to service the rear drum as well...

    Jim (MOA 83200)
    '78 R80/7 (Anastasia) and '84 R100RS (The Millennium Falcon), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '97 Nissan XE PU (Mighty Mouse)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas, baby!)

  4. #4
    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    Since the bike is new to you, you might want to ensure that the caliper is adjusted properly first. This is often overlooked as a cause for poor ATE braking.
    Yes to the changing of the brake line, one of the least expensive things to do as it is most likely that the line you have is at least 20 years old.
    Next more expensive route is to install an aftermarket rotor and pads.
    Patching up with used parts may work for you but the condition of the used parts may be questionable.
    Boxerbruce

  5. #5
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    I Second New Brake Lines

    If in doubt about age, it's always a good idea to replace older rubber brake lines, since they tend to swell inward and restrict flow. New lines will flow to as original. If serious about improving the front brake, I'd seriously consider installing the all new design HUGH front brake system, as someone else linked you to over on FB. Expensive, yes, but nothing else even comes close in comparison, except maybe grafting a mono shock front end onto your R80/7.
    BMWMOA #24809

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