Tips & tricks
Here you will find a selection of the most frequently asked questions:
- Does TRW-Lucas have any other lower priced brands?
No, our products are only supplied in TRW-Lucas packaging. TRW does not manufacture products with any other names. Therefore, only TRW-Lucas products have the security of our product liability and come with TRW's two-year guarantee. No matter what people may tell you - with TRW-Lucas products you know exactly what you are getting.
- Can TRW send out free stickers?
Of course. We are happy to do this.
- Why can motorcyclists not buy directly from TRW?
We are a major company operating worldwide and our strengths lie in developing and marketing technical products. Our sales policy is for well trained specialist dealers to deal with motorcyclists' specific individual requirements. Our partner companies also offer special fabrications of steel-braided hoses and personal advice, for example on conversions.
- Does brake fluid still age in a closed container?
If brake fluid is still in the original vacuum packaging, it can be stored for a minimum of 5 years. In high-quality containers, up to 10 years can be possible. Things are different once the container has been opened.
Similar to the brake system, it absorbs water from the air and should therefore be used as quickly as possible. The replacement interval for the fluid should therefore be reduced by the time for which the container was open. Even for motorcycles with two-rotor discs, 1/4 litre of brake fluid is sufficient and you should buy the smallest available containers.
- Can a steel-coated hose ever leak?
Definitely not unless there are external influences. These could include
welding sparks burning the hose or installation on the motorcycle too close to electrical cables. In both cases, dark spots on the steel mesh indicate charring of the Teflon inner core. Improper installation can also cause abrasion, which wears away the mesh and damages the Teflon. Refer to the technical test tips for steel-braided hoses in the Download area.
- Can I use copper sealing rings with steel-braided hoses?
Even if chemical reactions between different electrochemical series such as copper and aluminium were possible, the use of copper sealing rings on steel-braided hoses with aluminium connections is quite safe. TRW-Lucas supplies all its hoses with aluminium seals. These should be completely soaked in brake fluid before the aluminium connections are tightened with the corresponding banjo bolt.
Refer to the technical test tips for steel-braided hoses in the Download area.
- Can steel-braided hoses improve braking performance?
Steel-braided hoses have no influence on the braking distance, however they do influence the pressure point. As rubber hoses continuously expand under pressure over time, an exact pressure point deteriorates and the brake starts to feel soft. Steel-braided hoses provide a definable, hard pressure point. Rubber hoses have to be replaced after 5 years, which is why the date of manufacture is specified on every hose. If the specified service life is exceeded, you should switch to steel-braided hoses as they are not subject to ageing.
- My pads have irregular wear, why is that?
Particularly with several pistons positioned next to one another, the wear on the rear retraction side of the pad can be slightly higher; it is therefore a problem caused by the design. Under extreme loads, such as on a race track or winding roads with heavy load, some brake systems tend to become enlarged. The pad then wears more in the bridge area than underneath, where the pressure build-up is delayed. This wear thus depends on the situation. A sticking piston also places an excessive load on the pad area that is still functioning. In addition to more severe wear on one side, signs of overheating can frequently be seen here, such as charred pad edges or melted paint on the backplate.
Important: Overhaul brake system immediately.
- My disc is showing signs of corrosion, what should I do?
The fewer anti-corrosive components they contain, the more aggressively brake discs react. Particularly when riding all year round with road salt, this leads to electrochemical reactions between metals and an electrolyte. The resulting contact corrosion manifests itself as small spots on the brake disc, and in extreme cases the entire brake pad adheres to the disc. The pads then have to be carefully detached and the spots of corrosion are removed by subsequent brake operations.
Recommendation: For seasonal riding, remove the brake pads before winter and store them in a dry location. Grease the discs to protect against corrosion. In spring, make sure you degrease the discs again with brake cleaner before using them for the first time. This increases the service life of both components. Year-round riders should clean their motorcycle more frequently and protect it against harmful environmental influences.
- Why do brake pads have to be run in?
Sintered metal pads only require a short running in time to apply the entire surface to the disc. The older and more uneven the disc, the longer the running in process. Apart from this "bedding in process", organic brake pads must also be run in by outgassing. If the pads were to be subjected to extreme loads immediately after installation, they would become glazed and the braking performance would be terrible. The phenol resins remain stuck to the surface like a thick burnt grease and the pads are then glazed.
Important: Glazing may penetrate so deeply into the brake pad that it can no longer be removed using very fine abrasive paper.
- Why do some break pads squeak?
Brake noises are caused by a build-up of resonance from the brake system, brake disc and brake pads. The higher the frequency, the more this squeaking noise becomes audible.
High performance brake pads, particularly those made of sintered metal, lead to higher frequencies and therefore are more perceptible. A change in the frequency can thus be produced by switching to a different pad composition.
- What helps to stop squeaking brakes?
As brakes are subject to regular maintenance, first make sure that the entire system has been checked and carefully cleaned. The same applies to the brake disc, which must be in perfect condition. To change the resonant oscillation, we recommend changing to a different pad composition, normally an organic one. Insulating film or metal sheets can also be effective. Copper paste has almost no effect except making a mess. Silicone spray appears to work more efficiently.
Under no circumstances should you "file the edges", as this voids the product liability of the pad manufacturer. Lubricants such as pastes, oils or brake fluid may never come into contact with the pad surface. This can cause the pads' friction coefficient to deteriorate.
- Why does my brake system get dirty so quickly?
If you know that braking mainly occurs by friction between brake dust and the disc, you can imagine how much abrasion this entails. High performance pads discharge a particularly high volume of brake dust, to the extent that in some cases the sparks really fly at extreme temperatures, rather like welding. In a properly cleaned and - most importantly - lubricated brake system (e.g. with brake cleaner), the "goo" cannot accumulate so quickly. However, if a lot of copper paste has been used, or any guides or retaining pins greased, more of the brake dust will adhere to the surface. In the long-term, this can impair the movement of the brake pads and the soiling can cause the pistons to lose their ease of movement.
Important: Lubricate the seals and pistons with brake fluid when overhauling the brake system. However, if the pistons are pushed back you should then degrease the inside of the brake system.
- Are synthetic oils bad for the clutch?
In principle, no. Synthetic oils reduce a clutch's friction coefficient by around 10%. If a clutch is already older and worn at the time of switching to a different oil, clutch slip will frequently occur. The synthetic oil brings other wear factors to light early, although it is not the actual cause of them. On older machines with high mileage, use mineral and specific motorcycle oil as a precaution. Immerse the clutch friction plates in the oil for several hours so that the pad material can be properly soaked. Always check which oil is approved for your machine by the corresponding manufacturer.
- When should clutch springs be changed?
As clutch springs are continuously pre-loaded, the tension force reduces over time. Even if they still have a sufficient free length, the spring rate of the material declines due to thermal influences and the springs become softer. As changing the clutch friction plates is very time-consuming and costly, the cost of new clutch springs is unrelated. Imagine how annoyed you would be if you were to replace the friction plates, the seal and the oil only to find that the clutch slips because the spring tension is no longer sufficient.
Recommendation: Always replace the clutch springs, e.g. with the reinforced springs from TRW-Lucas.