Reply To: ts 250/1 front brake

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Mark Kenworthy


I wanted to increase the breaking of the front drum on my TS250/1. First thing was to get Saftec in Clecheaton west Yorkshire (they are local to me but do a postal service) to first skim the drum and re line the shoes with their normal material (made little difference). So I then got them to put their extra grippy material on the shoes. This was a good improvement over the original material but I noticed that after every emergency stop the cable had to be adjusted. So I thought the cable may be stretching. As the standard inner cable is only 2mm dia I took a clutch cable of a more modern bike which had a 4mm inner cable and cut the outer cable shortening it to match the length of the original. I also had to open up the slot in the handlebar brake leaver clamp and its adjuster a little to get the cable in. Result significantly better front brake that stops the bike without distress in modern traffic situations. The cable has not needed to be adjusted in the last 1000 miles.

The only down side to this set up is that the brake squeals when used lightly and sometimes when its not been ridden long. Its a bit annoying but it gets pedestrians out of the way because its a loud squeal. I have had the drum off a couple of times and cleaned the inside and although little dust comes out it stops the squeal for a while. Using a different grippy material may reduce the squeal but may also reduce the breaking efficiency.

So to summerise I found:
Standard front brake 2 out of 10 (dangerous)
Skimmed drum 2 out of ten (little better)
Grippy shoes 4 out of 10 (adequate)
Thicker cable with above 7 out of ten (good).
I also got a ETS250 with a twin leading shoe set up 8 out of ten (very good).
and a ETZ standard disc set up 10 out of 10 (excellent).

As the cable made the most difference when replacement is none I may again try the standard shoe material with the thicker cable just to see the difference, but not in a rush to do this.


Its worth considering some people wish to put looks or originality before function, and this is fine until someone pulls out on you when doing 30mph and you go head first into the car, followed by hospital, months recovering, and a year plus spent arguing with the insurance company because her statement differs from mine. Some aren’t so lucky and I passed one just after his accident, now there are flowers and helmet at the road side every night on my way home from work.