Brakes. As some wag mentioned last millennium, “what do you need brakes for? They only slow you down”. Which is true enough, but on a TZR where you can’t make up much time by opening the throttle harder only to find it’s fully against the stop already, brakes are actually a pretty useful tool to going quicker. So it’s important to keep them in the tippety of toppetiest of conditions. Something I fully expected to find the previous owners of this TZR had done. So, where to start? Well, it’s only polite to start at the front, so, without further ado, what have we got?
Well, that doesn’t look too promising to start with:
Only one thing to do I suppose, strip them down and see what we have inside. This was made slightly more challenging because of course, all bleed nipples were seized in place, as were the retaining pins on the rear caliper. And luckily, I only sheared off one of the bleed nipples, and that was one of the rear ones. As there are two on the rear caliper, I’m not too bothered by this. So, let’s have a look inside:
Hmmm, that’s not too clever either. Not to worry, I ordered up a new load of seals, and some new pads for the front. Not only were they worn out, they were also two different types of pad. I’m still slightly perplexed by this. Why on earth would anyone fit a single pad that didn’t match the other one? I have no clue. Still, best thing to do was throw them away, and get a new pair on order. That done, I set about cleaning, scrubbing, polishing, cleaning again, running through the sonic tank, cleaning again, and just to be sure, one final clean out of the beds for the seals. This simple sentence probably covers about 20hrs of work. But, at the end of all that, the calipers were gleaming, and the pistons were polished to a lustre that they hadn’t seen for 28 years or so. The new seals arrived, so I set about the rear caliper first. Everything went back together, and the pistons could now be pushed back with a single finger, rather than taking a serious grunt in a clamp. At the front, things didn’t look so rosy. The seals were too small. I double checked, yup, I’d definitely ordered a set for a 2MA/1KT. Hmmm. Perhaps they’d sent the wrong ones. Nope. A bit more searching revealed that the 2MA caliper had 32mm pistons, and I had a set of 32mm seals on my desk, yet a set of 34mm pistons. Not a problem, as I just ordered some 34mm seals, but I was curious, what was that caliper from? The best bet I have at the mo is a 3MA TZR, which has 34mm pistons. Not to worry – after a couple of days (and some more cleaning, just to be safe) the 34mm seals turned up, and everything went back together smoothly. The systems were bled, and now everything feels just tickety-boo, front and rear. Which is nice. And I know I make a fuss about how manky the things were, but the plain fact is, I enjoy sorting out brakes. It’s satisfying using a good set of brakes, and I also know that they’re not going to spring any nasty surprises on me at the end of Park Straight.
In other, slightly more exciting news, it looks like I’m the new owner of the bike. I spoke with Kev earlier today, and it seems I’ve finally worn him down with my requests to buy the bike three times every day for the past few weeks. And at least once a month for the six years before that. This makes me indecently happy.
Postscript: I’ve given up trying to format this page to look tidy. It seems that whatever I do with the pictures, the text is finding it’s own way to flow around them. Attention to detail. It’s important.