Tiger 800 / 900 - Main Discussion Section > Brakes and ABS

Smaller Master Cylinder on Tiger

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Kris:
I was wondering if anyone tried fitting smaller MC on Tiger?  This is my standard upgrade on my bikes.  For some strange reasons manufactures always supply too big MC's which gives an illusion that the firm lever means stronger braking power.  In fact the opposite is true, bigger MC piston means that more force is required to brake.  I changed in several bikes MC 12.7mm to 11mm and the difference was like night and day, one can stop the bike with the pinky.  I also fitted radial MC on my Versys 1000  but that is another matter...

My brakes on Tiger are good, especially with Galfer rotors, but in emergency I need to put a lot of pressure on the lever to stop the bike.  I think that the MC on Tiger is 14mm?, so maybe 12.7mm could work.  Smaller MC means that the lever travels a bit more, but it also gives a sense of better modulation.  Also I am looking into radial mc options.  Even though with twin rotors, 17mm radial mc is usually suggested, I think here 14mm (the smallest one as far as I know available) would be better option. But these radial mc's are not cheap, so i might try first the Honda 12.7 Mc. 

The callipers on Tiger do not look impressive either; they look crappy, too small for such a big bike.  I wonder, why the company did not fit monoblocks or radial callipers??

K1W1:
Originally Posted by Kris I wonder, why the company did not fit monoblocks or radial callipers??

Because it is an Adventure Touring bike that most owners will want to ride at less than supersonic speeds and very,very few will take onto anything like a race track.

Kris:
Originally Posted by K1W1 Because it is an Adventure Touring bike that most owners will want to ride at less than supersonic speeds and very,very few will take onto anything like a race track.

that's one reason. but most probably, it is because they are cheap. better brakes are always safer, no matter of riding style.  Versys is sport tourer and comes with monoblocks; well, in this case some riders do race on versys. 

anyway, the smaller MC should improve the braking without spending any money.  unfortunately, i forgot to bring the one from Vulcan S (which I have in Thailand) which I swopped for 11mm Mc.  the oem in Vulcan is 12.7mm and has similar shape to the Tiger's one, so it should fit nicely.  I will report when I change it in the future.  but based on my experience with 4 bikes, I am pretty sure it is the right thing to do.

Rtwo:
I'm not convinced changing the MC will improve the braking performance per se, you could well get better modulation - which is well worth having.
You'd need to change the calipers and discs as well to improve stopping distances.

Brembo do some nice MCs that will fit OK

Kris:
 :471:Originally Posted by Rtwo I'm not convinced changing the MC will improve the braking performance per se, you could well get better modulation - which is well worth having.
You'd need to change the calipers and discs as well to improve stopping distances.

Brembo do some nice MCs that will fit OK

MC change will not change to stopping power, but the amount of effort needed to stop the bike.  So for instance, with bigger MC to stop you need to use 2 or 3 fingers, while with smaller mc only 1 finger. However, with smaller MC the lever travels more, and should the MC be too small the result is brakes feeling too soft, or even lever hitting the handlebar grip.

There is actually a way to calculate the optimal ratio between mc postion bore and the total surface of the calliper pistons.  I have done it before with my other bikes, with an aid of my friend as my math sucks.  Suffice to say that Versys as Tiger has 14mm MC, but it has total 8 pistons in the front callipers, (Tiger has 4) and while they maybe smaller than in Tiger (I don't remember their size), in total they for certain cover more area.  This means that the MC/callipers ratio in Tiger results in much harder-wooden-feel brakes.  14mm Mc in Tiger makes not sense to me, but it is also a matter of personal preference.   Also for inexperienced riders more wooden brakes can be safer, preventing locking the wheel as one has to press very hard to get the same result.

https://www.vintagebrake.com/mastercylinder.htm
https://www.joesracing.com/rt-4172-master-cylinder-math.html

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