The brakes will hopefully be the last major item of work before the 1981 Suzuki GS650L is ready for its first ride in many years. The owner’s manual calls for brake fluid and brake hose replacements every two years, so it was time to take care of these items.
Check out the date code on the current brake hoses, April 1981. Not quite a two year replacement schedule:
Of course, the first step was to remove the existing brake fluid from the front and rear brakes.
Not the clear, clean fluid that you want to see either.
The next photo shows the rear master cylinder after removal. You can tell at what angle it is mounted to the frame from how the sediment is deposited in the brake hose connection point.
And similar for the front master cylinder.
The front master cylinder is part of the brake lever. To remove the master cylinder from the handlebar, it is necessary to remove the brake light switch from the lever. The front brake light switch is one of the electrical items that I thought I was going to need to work on to pass inspection. Initially, I thought the front brake light switch was not working at all, but then I found the you needed to squeeze the lever much harder to get the brake light to function. This switch is basically the same as the clutch lever starter interrupt switch that I checked out earlier when I was having issues with the start button. Here is what the switch looked like when first removed from the lever:
The switch is a sliding contact switch and as you can see there wasn’t much area to make clean contact. Here is the switch after a little bit of WD40:
The twist in the wires is interesting too. Hopefully this little bit of cleaning will improve the operation.
Some of the brake parts ready to be broken down and cleaned so that I can determine what seals need to be replaced along with the new brake hoses that I’ll be ordering.
One thing that the previous owner had done was to change out the handlebars from the standard L handlebars. Most everyone would say that that was a good idea since the original bars didn’t have a very comfortable angle for most rider’s wrists, but the change in lever location was not accounted for since the brake hoses were never replaced.
Will definitely be going a bit shorter on the new brake hose.