Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Parts that either fit a VTR 1 to 1 or can be easily modified to work.

Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby kirk_dunkirk » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:23 pm

I'm not sure if I understand exactly what John is asking, but I gather it's that my post wasn't a smart question.

I'm pretty new to this, just trying to get the old bike on the road again and I don't have a lot of resources to turn to. I try to figure stuff out for myself and when I can't, I ask friends or people on forums. I've never done work on a braking system other than change the fluid, and my local go-to guys weren't much help about this one. Often the dealer doesn't have the answers I need. The bolts on my bike are still on there, I haven't been able to take them off for reference. I'm in a non-English speaking country and some of the sites I use aren't in English and the terminology is sometimes different.

I'd looked through a lot of sites selling brake lines and never saw anything about single or double banjo bolts. All of the ads just said "banjo bolt 20 degrees." - until I placed the order for the brake line set that I finally found and liked. As I was finalizing the order, (credit card, mailing address,) there were drop down menu for the bolts- single vs double, choice of color. It was midnight, I wanted to just finish the order, figured a quick post on here to make sure was faster and safer than sifting through more how-to videos.

I do understand that my bike has just a single disc brake up front and a single hose going to it. But since it is the braking system and I see threads on various sites about aluminum vs steel fasteners, best routing methods, banjo bolt angle, DOT3 vs DOT4 and so on, I figured it wouldn't hurt to check, and I could check pretty quickly here. I thought maybe, like rubber lines vs steel, some people feel there is a performance difference with single vs double, or something like that.

I know John wasn't attacking me and was very polite about phrasing the question, and was kind enough to post an answer to my question anyway, but yeah, that is how little I know about this. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted the post, but I just wanted to explain my reasoning to everyone and avoid being labeled as someone who wastes other members' times with silly questions. This site is very important to me and I hope to keep using it and maybe someday being able to make useful contributions of my own.
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby ExTex77 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:42 pm

Hi Kirk,

Wow, what an elegant statement of your situation. Thank you for taking the time to let us know.
All of us are learners who get help from other forum members
and we sometimes need to be reminded that not everyone has the same skills and/or knowledge.

Good luck with your project bike and keep us informed with your progress and keep asking for the help you need.

Ride Safely,
1989 Honda VTR250 & 2015 Honda CB500FA
Wife rides a Burgman 200 scooter and I enjoy riding it also
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby John Hilmer » Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:34 pm


I'm glad you weren't offended by my last reply.

You need the single banjo bolt is the simple answer.

The steel braided line isn't required for your application. That would only be useful in full race mode, so save your money and buy the standard line.

Keep at it and keep asking questions.

Lord help me to be the man my Labrador thought I was.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood ...
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby squidshady » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:18 pm

If you don't mind spending a little money there are some options out there that do not consist of trying to fix 30 year old parts

I don't have a current picture of it installed, but I have swapped out the previous Brembo Master Cylinder for a Brembo RCS 15 which is without a doubt perfect for the 2 piston caliper on the VTR250

It looks basically like this installed and I put on a custom made white Spiegler brake line with Titanium colored fittings as well.

The RCS looks much more modern though and sports a folding lever right out of the box
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby russiansteel » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:33 pm

As for the banjo fitting angle at the caliper end, I think there is a good possibility that it is to clear the bleed nipple screw. Mine is MC20 Spada and if the banjo fitting comes straight out, it would foul when you are trying to do bleeding. It's around 20° bend there. And 10° bend at the MC end but I don't think it's really important there though.
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby kirk_dunkirk » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:22 am

Thank you everyone. As always, good stuff.

Figured a few things out.
My bike is Japan spec, I guess most similar to a Spada that some of the guys on here have. Ok, of course I knew that but the point is it is not a US spec so sometimes the specs are different from the manual or people's experience. Might be one reason for some of the confusion about brake line length and banjo bolt angles etc. So the brake is on the right side and not enclosed. And the Japanese calipers do use that little 25cent sized disc I mentioned before. And I found out that the 20 degree banjo bolt fits fine and looks the same as the original.

I got the steel lines and the fancy aluminum bolts. I know people feel steel is better or rubber is better - i don't know which is better but i had to buy one and I got the steel.

Learned something about aluminum bolts. They really are weak. This brand new one snapped right away as I was setting it with a torque wrench to the manual specs.

Bought some brake pads that claimed to fit an '87 VTR / VTZ. They do not. Way too fat. 10.5mm are too thick. Got another set that are 8.4mm and they fit over the disc.

Spent two weeks just trying to bleed the brakes! Should be simple but could NOT get any resistance in the lever. Tried lots of stuff. Waiting for a syringe set to come in the mail but figured I'd at least put on the new new brake pads today. Put them on, pushed in the pistons that had slid out during the overnight reverse bleed. Put the calipers back on the fork and lo and behold the brakes had magically bled themselves! Nice firm lever. I'm afraid it is temporary and tomorrow I'll find no resistance again but when I checked tonight still firm.

Big question is: what the heck is this hose???? I have put everything back on the bike except the fuel tank and can not think of anything it will attach to. It's thick rubber, like a fuel or coolant line, and pretty wide, 10 or 12mm inner diameter I guess. This picture was taken from the right side of the bike, the hose runs down by the rear coil, but is too short to attach to anything I can see. It's not for coolant overflow. Too short to go to the gas tank... Seems to bee a breather or overflow tube as the end not pictured doesn't attach to anything.
PB220232 copy.png
mystery hose, below battery
new pads, officially fit but do not. 10.5mm is too thick.
shiny new $5 aluminum bolt which immediately snapped
brake on right side. And shiny new steel lines with 20 degree banjo bolt...
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby John Hilmer » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:55 am


I can't seem to get your image bright enough to be able to see it clearly, but based on the size I'll guess that it is supposed to attach to the top of the rear valve cover as a breather tube. Some bikes have a condenser tank between the valve cover port and the final drain tube. The final drain tube should have a removable plug in it as I recall.

Check the manual or the on-line exploded parts diagrams.

I have spare Honda banjo bolts if they might fit. PM me a ship to addy if you want one.

Lord help me to be the man my Labrador thought I was.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood ...
John Hilmer
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Location: Scotts Valley, Ca.

Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby kirk_dunkirk » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:11 am

Right again John, that's where it fit. Pretty hard to get on but did eventually.
Thank you for the banjo bolt offer too. At the moment I am ok in that department.

Got the radiator on, brakes seem to have fixed themselves, put on new fuel line and the gas tank today but now having unforeseen issues with that. I guess I should post under a different thread.
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby VTRamen » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:10 pm

Hi Kirk
I am curious about what length of brake line you ended up going with.

- 1988 VTR 250
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Re: Alternative Brake Master Cylinders

Postby boomtank » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:56 pm

I know this is an old thread, but I'd thought I'd post here for clarification.

I'm getting ready to order a braided front brake line and banjo bolts. Upon my research I noticed some banjo bolts say single and some say double. As was stated earier a single line banjo bolt is what I need. Also some of the single bolts have a single port on the side and some have two ports with both having a port on the end. Is there any concerns/advantage of the number of side ports :?:

Also, I have the detailed measured specs from the supplier of the dual port bolt. Can anyone confirm the overall bolt length and thread lengths :?:

Supplier specs
M10×1.25mm, 17mm head width, 3mm port holes, 28mm overall lenght, 18mm from top of port to bolt end.

Once I can confirm fitment of the hose and bolts I'll be willing to order extras for anyone interested. With enough quantity I should be able to get the cost of the 90cm/35in line and two banjo bolts for less than $20 shipped. Might take a bit to get them but at that price it's worth the wait to me. :mrgreen:


Keep the rubber side down out there ;)
Speed never hurt anyone. It's the sudden stop at the end that does :o

1988 Honda VTR250 interceptor
(aka the bottle rocket)
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