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Hose-Equip Limited
Hose-Equip Limited - Performance Brake lines

Why does anyone fit Braided Stainless Steel Brake Hoses? They aren't cheap, and original equipment is adequate for the job. Well, if you have ever compared original rubber hoses with Braided, you probably wouldn't ask. In fact I'd prefer to ask 'Why do manufacturers bother to fit rubber hoses in the first place?'


Trying the product.
I recently took advantage of H-E-L's discount offer (25% off) and fitted a set of Stainless Steel (SS) hoses and SS banjo bolts to my Honda CB-Sevenfifty RC42 (European Spec).

Fitting was straightforward for anyone with a modest background in fettling bikes and average intelligence. Starting with the back, I removed the original rubber hoses and made sure I mopped up any slight spills of brake fluid with a wet cloth. I'm sure you probably know that brake fluid is corrosive and will damage paintwork, but it's worth repeating. Also, brake fluid is Hydroscopic which basically means that it loves water and will gleefully swap fluids with H2O - so using water to mop up spills is ideal.

H-E-L supplied a pair of aluminum brackets to replace the original Honda brackets along the swinging arm. The originals are too big, being designed for the wider bore rubber hose. Part of H-E-L's package is all the necessary SS banjos and copper sealing washers. The banjos should be torqued up to 35Nm or 25ft-lb (source: Honda Workshop Manual). Bleeding brakes can be a hard work - but the back end should be easy(ish). Finally when you've finished bleeding it is worthwhile giving everything another rinse with plain water just as a final precaution against corrosive damage from the brake fluid.

Replacing the front end is just the same but admittedly more difficult to bleed. It took me about 40 mins to bleed the system first time, and after riding for the first time I found the system needed bleeding yet again! Better safe than sorry.

Routing and hose guides.
A quick note about hose guides for the front brakes - H-E-L say that their hoses should follow the original routing of the standard hoses, advice that I followed. I wish I hadn't. Under heavy braking the hoses rubbed the top of the front mudguard and scuffed the paintwork. Braided hoses are not as flexible as rubber and don't move in the same way. To remedy the situation, I removed the standard hose guides that are fitted either side of the front mudguard and let the hoses move freely. This is much better, so now the hoses stay well clear of my bike's paintwork. So that's okay then.

Happy with the product?
After living with H-E-L's hoses for a week or so, I can honestly say that I am stunned with the improvement to the braking performance. My machine is a 1996 model, so the original hoses had passed their sell-by date. A big reason for wanting to change my hoses was to also replace the banjo bolts - the originals being rusty mild steel. The H-E-L package looks very clean, tidy and professional and I'm reassured by the lifetime guarantee that came with the kit. This is no cheapskate guarantee, each H-E-L guarantee is documented and registered to the individual customer.

Protective PVC cover.
I've fitted braided hose to bikes before and found them difficult to clean - dirt tends to get trapped in the weave. H-E-L offer a solution at no extra cost. They will cover the hoses in pvc coating. This pvc cover is extruded onto the hose during manufacture so it adheres to the braid and does not ripple like heat shrink covers normally do. It is available in clear, red, yellow, blue, black, purple, green or carbolook.

Why bother?
You may ask, 'Why fix my bike if it ain't broke?' Well that is a fair comment, and with a newer machine used sensibly, new brake hoses are probably unnecessary. If, though, you have an older machine (perhaps that now has to undergo the yearly MOT test) you really should consider replacing your worn-out standard hoses. Also, if you enjoy letting the BHP horses loose occasionally H-E-L's hoses are probably the best in the world and will give you an added safety margin.

Trust in H-E-L.
Hose-Equip Limited (H-E-L) offer a comprehensive range of equipment for various applications, including supplying Her Majesty's finest at the MOD. They have full ISO9002 registration which means that they have a proven and reliable system of manufacture and administration - in real terms that means they are a trustworthy company to do business with.

Read about the H-E-L Discount offer.

Chris Chapman

Contact: Simon Lane
Hose-Equip Ltd.
Lower Trelake Business Park
Tedburn Road
Devon, EX4 2HF

TEL: 01392 811601
FAX: 01392 811681

Website: www.helperformance.co.uk
Email: sales@helperformance.com