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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 03, z1000. It has roughly 14k on it. speigler braided lines. The brakes were mush when i got it last fall. i could almost touch the bar with the brake lever. bled the brakes. no more mush. but still no bite.

Since i already had ss lines and new fluid, i moved on to the zx9r MC swap. so over winter i put a '01 zx9r MC on it. fit perfectly, and didn't even have to change banjos. bled it out. all it changed was i now have a shorter lever range of motion. now, this isn't bad. I like the short lever stroke. and due to having more leverage with the larger mc cylinder, i have more leverage, so lightly more bite. but still... this is unacceptable.. my buddys ancient honda shadow has better bite..

Last summer i sold my old bike, which was an 05 buell lightning city cross xb9sx. Now THAT bike had brakes. i could consistently pop the back tire off the ground and hold it. My z rear brakes are fine, i mean i can actually lock up the rear end with a tiny bit of pressure. but the front? i dont think i could lock it up if i wanted to.. I mean just to see if i could i tried locking the front and spinning the back tire a little in the driveway, and the front just wants to wheel away. i cant squeeze hard enough while handling the throttle. I could do this with one finger on my buell.

WHAT GIVES?! please help. I feel like all i have left is to change pads, but everyone i talk to says pads shouldnt be this bad on a 14k mile bike.

let alone the annoyance, it worries me that they're not there if i really needed them.
 

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I have an 03 Z1000 also and the pads should not be bad after 14K miles but you never know how the previous owner rode and treated the bike. Is there plenty of pad material left? I think you should have been able to lock the front end up in your driveway so that is worrisome. The change to HH Sintered pads always made a big difference in the bikes I have had. If it still has stock pads I would probably change them to have the extra bite. That said, I dont really remember what the stock brake setup feels like because I swapped out my front end for the 636 front end with radial brakes years ago and have never looked back. I just remember the difference was night and day between the stock Z1000 brakes and the 636 radial brakes.
 

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If you have good lever feel but still don't have acceptable brake performance I would venture to guess you should try some different pads. I installed EBC Double H pads on my 03 probably 2 years ago and am very happy with the braking performance. I do have a little brake noise at low speed, but in my opinion the performance is worth it, way better than the pads I removed. Another thing I do when I set up my controls, is that I position my bake master and clutch lever as far on the bars as possible without having the switch housing interfere with the lever movement. This comes from motorcycle trials and mountain biking. By positioning the levers further on the bars it increases the leverage you have by placing your fingers further out on the lever. I’ve had my Z out on the track and was confidently approaching corners with 1 finger braking on shorty levers, and that is with a fully stock front brake system (master, calipers and lines on a 30K mile bike). The only thing I’ve changed is the pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info, Throb and 76FJ55, thats basically what I'm thinking. Since i have good lever pressure it SHOULD translate to good pressure on the disk by the brake pads. I'll look into the EBC pads you mentioned, or the HH sintered pads. I'll just see what the kawi dealer says as well. How hard is it to change brake pads? I've never done any work on calipers on any sort of vehicle. Then again, never had a braking issue on any vehicle.

Cheers
 

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Swapping front pads is ridiculously easy. you'll need a pliers to bull the safety clips from the pad retaining pins. An allen wrench to remove the pins. A flat blade screw driver to push the old pads back into the calipers. Then remove and replace the pads and reinstall pins and clips. Done.
 
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