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1997 XF650 Freewind
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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently become the owner of a Suzuki XF650 Freewind . The front brake is rubbish compared to my Honda Transalp. I'm thinking of replacing the 300mm front brake rotor with a 310 or 320mm and the caliper with a 4 piston Berenger (which I already own.)
What I'm trying to find out is what other discs will fit. It is a 6 stud floating disc and as a 1997 model I'm guessing the disc is borrowed from a GSX or similar of the time.
Cheers
Jack
 

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What exactly makes it "rubbish" ?

First you should make sure that the stock parts are working right.
That is, no air in the lines and no rubber parts of the line which are soft and flexing under use.
And pads that are not glazed and hard.

IF.....you can lock the front wheel by clamping down on the lever HARD, then there likely is no good reason to be trying to "improve" anything.
 

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1997 XF650 Freewind
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Discussion Starter #3
After getting the bike I had to clean the calipers to free then up, in part because I prefer them to work and in part to get it through the road worthy inspection it had to passfor registration. They didn't work before, but now they do. That said the front breaker isn't much better than the one on my '77 Kwaka 750 twin, which is typical of its time and far out performed by the rear. The Transalp on the other hand has twin front discs and while not great, they pull it up quite well and its about 50kg heavier than the Freewind.
The bike I swapped it for is a FZS1000 with the twin 4 pot front brakes and it brakes very well, but I wanted a change and I love ther torque of this 650 single but I rode it accordingly knowing that the front brake will be underwhelming when I use it. Rubbish is possibly an exaggeration, but that 300mm disc and twin pot Tokico should perform better.
 

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but that 300mm disc and twin pot Tokico should perform better.
Maybe. But it might also lock up early and THROW you over the bars.
Sounds like your mind is already made up so......good luck. I hope it works out like you want.
 

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1997 XF650 Freewind
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have some experience as a rider, and have at times locked the front up, though never been over the bars. When "set up" correctly on approach to a corner the front brake should be able to stop the bike easily on its own, this one is more like the early front disc brakes that give heart in the mouth moments. As I said, it's great fun to ride, until I start front braking.
And thanks for ther tips, I'll get a new braided stainless steel line and check the caliper again for any issues it might have. I just expect a lot more from the front than it is giving.
 

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I have some experience as a rider,
I just expect a lot more from the front than it is giving.
Technology has improved some in 22 years.
And....that is not a racing bike intended to perform like one that IS.

I hope you are able to fix it more to your liking.
And if you DO, I hope you explain the changes to the next owner.
 

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1997 XF650 Freewind
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've decided that any changes away from original will be done with a KTM front end that cam be removed pre sale to anyone else. The torquey engine makes this a great base for a super moto style bike that can also tour. The engine was used in a super moto (CCM I think) that was never released in Oz and I can understand why. So I agree that it isn't a race bike, I just believe it is a great base for a fun machine that will be inexpensive to maintain. I won't flog it to death, I'll just ride it spiritedly.
 

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1997 XF650 Freewind
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Discussion Starter #8
I've cleaned out both front and rear calipers and fitted new seals, the front had quite a lot of debris in it. Also fitted a new rear rotor as the old one was less than minimum thickness, along with braided stainless lines and new pads. Front and rear are both noticeably spongy so master cylinder kits have been ordered for both ends. If anything the rear is less effective, though I'm still beding them in so it's hard to say just yet.
My Transalp had just been given new rotors and pads front and rear, but even without braided lines (still the original 2003 Honda ones) or new caliper seals, it has much better brakes, even while beding them in. Admittedly it has an extra front rotor, but they are smaller diameter and the bike is noticeably heavier, 30 to 50kg worth.
Now to wait while the seal kits for the Suzi travel across the world from the UK.
 
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