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Tech Corner

Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.

1986 Suzuki GS550L Brake Lines Too Long


Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as your subject. 

1986 Suzuki GS550L Brake Lines Too Long 

Q: I have a 1986 Suzuki GS550L project. I am in the early stages of converting the bike to a café, but being as this is my first build, and with limited mechanical knowledge, it is a difficult and slow learning process. My next step is tearing into the front end and installing clip-ons and improving the brakes. This will create an issue with the current brake lines being too long. Is there a source for shorter lines that will hook up to the rest of this bike’s brake system? - Gary Meincke/Round Lake, Ill. 

A: I ran into this same problem a while back with a bike that went from 1970s-style pullback bars to flat drag bars. The hydraulic hose was old and cracked, too, and I knew a factory stock replacement would be too long. I found a local business that makes hydraulic hoses to order for a variety of applications. I’m sure your city will have one, too. I just took the old hose in and told them how long to make the new hose. They matched the ends, cut a new hose, crimped the ends on the hose, then pressure tested it. MC