2016 BV350: Front Brake Project // Update 9
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Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:17 pm quote
What is this?

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Last edited by spacetiger on Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:45 pm; edited 4 times in total
Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:41 pm quote
Update 1
More questions...

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Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:17 pm quote
Update 2
Okay, i see there is noone ready to jump in, so I'll add some more data as I have made a little progress during the week.

I am trying to baseline the front brake system to see if there is anything to be gained through a modification. I live in a heavy traffic area (Baltimore/DC), so I need good brakes. I believe the scoot has enough engine power for the freeway but not so sure on the braking side. They have great feel but do they generate enough power(?). So, I need to measure a few things on the oem set up to determine this.

Pic 1: I had to find the manufacture mark indicating the size of the front brake master cylinder piston. It is 12.7mm or 0.5".

Pic 2: I measure the gap with front brake handle all the way open

Pic 3: If I squeeze very tightly, I can measure the remaining gap.

Pic 4: A simple test jig to allow me to measure the piston stroke to fully engage the front brake.

Pic 5: This is the fully open position

Pic 6: This is the handle position to fully engage the brakes. By carefully taking the measurements, I can see the stroke is 0.26". Since I know what the MC piston size, I can calculate the volume of brake fluid displaced to fully engage the front brakes. This allows me to mathematically figure out what kind of MC to change to if I keep the front caliper (By knowing the volume of brake fluid to move, I can determine the stroke of other MC's if I know the MC piston size.

Pic 7: You can see the distance of the brake handle to the handle is only a bit more (0.44"), so i know I cannot use a MC with a piston with a smaller piston than 0.5". I can see why the brakes feel so good.

Pic 8: A brake tool to measure hydraulic pressure at the pad.

Pic 9: Prepping for the pressure test. I had to remove the caliper and take off 1 of the pads to fit the tool. The tool was designed for cars, so the part that slips into the caliper requires me to take one of the brake pads out.

Pic 10: Pulling hard nets only a ~1,200 reading! That is low. On other bike projects, I can get over 2,000 with a good MC match to caliper. With this low reading, I am going to retest after I bleed the front brake. I'll then retest, then test with the engine on in case the ABS pump is a factor in the low reading.

Pic 11: Meanwhile, I start looking for a potential upgrade to the oem 2 pot sliding caliper. There was a time when a 4 pot fixed caliper was used on bikes mounting to the fork leg. Now all the performance bike run radial fixed calipers. The BV350 has 58mm mount spacing for the caliper. Brembo 4 pot fixed calipers that mount to the fork used 40mm and later 65mm - so they are not going to work. Nissin makes a clone to the Brembo caliper but only uses a 62mm mount spacing. So If I can find one that matches up to a 300 mm disc, I might get lucky... Yes, the 2003 Kawasaki ZR1000 looks like it will mount up well to the disc. I will have to mod the caliper mount so I can use a 62mm mounting spread. I will have to check to see what it the best size MC to use next... then find that MC in a size that can fit in the BV350 handlebar body work...

That is why its R&D

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Last edited by spacetiger on Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:08 am; edited 2 times in total
Molto Verboso
Kymco AK550
Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 1157
Location: UK
Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:08 am quote
No harm in experimenting but in my experience scooter front brake limitation is usually the lack of stiffness in the front forks and the tendency to twist or judder under extreme braking. Good quality pads ( such as EBC HH type) reduce the lever effort required and that helps with the feel at the lever. MP3s show just how good front brakes can be when the forces are not carried through telescopic forks and the steering head bearings. On heavily trafficked roads ABS is the best option because you can never really trust that you have a clean road surface and you can reduce the reaction time just by slamming on the brakes without assessing the grip level.
Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:37 am quote
roadster wrote:
No harm in experimenting but in my experience scooter front brake limitation is usually the lack of stiffness in the front forks and the tendency to twist or judder under extreme braking. Good quality pads ( such as EBC HH type) reduce the lever effort required and that helps with the feel at the lever. MP3s show just how good front brakes can be when the forces are not carried through telescopic forks and the steering head bearings. On heavily trafficked roads ABS is the best option because you can never really trust that you have a clean road surface and you can reduce the reaction time just by slamming on the brakes without assessing the grip level.
Depending on the modification made, there could be a ripple affect; you have to change some things elsewhere. In this case, the front suspension may indeed need to be upgraded. That is on the list of things to do as well. On my other scooter (SC250) I added a RT GVE and fork brace and found the ride improved a lot. These mods are not to make the BV350 a knee dagger, but a much smoother ride.

Brake pad change is a good thing to do. If you ride mostly in the city I would suspect your speeds are no more than 50, then brake pads are probably the most change you probably need to make to the braking system. In my case, the flow of traffic can be much much higher than 50, more like 70-80. You really need good brakes when you ride in dense traffic at these speeds as cars can out brake bikes.

My experience with bike abs systems is that they come into play when you have traction issues between the tire and road. Then, the oem brake set up can overpower the traction and abs can help you. On good dry road conditions, I would be surprised if most riders could activate abs with oem brakes. On my 04 BMW R1100S with abs assisted brakes, you get very high pressure at the twin discs. At 80+, the brakes do not lock up to the point abs kicks in. On my other bikes with abs after brake mods, the abs still does not come on. On the HD brake swap to 13" front disc and matching the MC to new 6 pot fixed caliper, I still do not activate abs on the road. See pic on pressure at the pad for this set up, it is over 2,000. I have yet to activate the abs, but braking distance has dropped with this set up. With good brakes with power, I have found you ride with a lighter touch; everything is smoother.

Anyways, why should the Vespa GTS riders be the only ones out there with this kind of a mod? The BV350 is a faster bike, if only marginally so.



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Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:52 pm quote
Update 3
I got an old handlebar out and mounted up a 14mm master cylinder to the NISSIN 4 pot caliper. after bleeding the system, I see I can generate over 2,100 lbs at full lever pull.

I don't think the 12.7mm oem MC will work as it doesn't move enough fluid, but will check it out. If I can work, that would save me from having to find a MC that fits.

I forgot to check at 0.7" gap to compare to current pressure. This will be tomorrows effort.

So far, it looks promising if the size of the MC doesn't become a problem.

Jerry

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Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:06 pm quote
Update 4
It seems I never checked single caliper to MC ratios. My previous effort was with dual calipers to MC, so I have to plow some new ground.

The 4 pot calipers look alike, but they are very different as they use different piston sizes. I have several calipers with different piston sizes, so I should be able to characterize the pressure for a given caliper piston area to MC piston area.

In the 1st pic, you can see 3 different 4 pot NISSIN calipers. One has 2 x 32mm and 2 x 30mm pistons; one has 4 x 30mm pistons; and the last one has 2 x 30mm and 2 x 28mm pistons. The respective areas are 3,023, 2,829, and 2,646 sqmm. Depending on the MC (piston size), it has to move the caliper pistons to be able to lock up the disc. The greater the ratio, the greater the pressure. I tested the (2 x 32 + 2 x 30)/14mm and got over 2,000 psi. I then tested the (2 x 30 + 2 x 28 )/14mm and got ~1,700 psi. Since I am looking for 2,000 or better, then I have to check with a smaller MC piston (12.7mm). Hopefully the smaller MC can move enough brake fluid to lock up the caliper with bigger pistons.

The work bench is a bit of the mess, I'm looking for a water leak in the garage...

Jerry

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Hooked
GTS 250
Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 287
Location: California
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:02 am quote
Re: Update 4
It looks like the caliper directly bolts on... did you have to modify any brackets?

Also, could you please measure the mounting bolt hole spacing?
Ossessionato
09 190s taormina
Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 2080
Location: Googleville
Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:39 pm quote
Love it when somebody geeks out on something like this.
Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:42 pm quote
Update 5
Thanks bluecloud. I hope this keeps you entertained to the end.

AnnDee4444: The caliper is mounted to a Honda Slider that uses the 4 pot fixed caliper. The newer BV350 fork mounting distance is 58mm and the NISSIN calipers are 62mm mounts, so I will have to modify the mounts a bit.

But before I can make the change commitment, I have to make sure I can get a better caliper/MC pair to work. So, tonight I did a little more bench testing.

Pic 1: I had gotten a Vespa GTS MC with a 12.7mm piston and mounted it to the clutch side of my handlebar and set up to test 3 NISSIN calipers.

Pic 2: I check the (2 x 30mm + 2 x 28mm) caliper with the GTS MC. The ratio is 20.9 and the pressure reading is ~2,000

Pic 3: I swap to the (2 x 32mm + 2 x 30mm) caliper with ratio of 23.9. I could not get the caliper to lock up tightly. The pressure reading was ~1,800. I will recheck this to make sure I had the system fully bled. If it comes back to the same, I think I can say I found the upperend, that is, this combination will not work as the 12.7mm MC cannot move enough brake fluid to lock up the brakes.

Pic 4: Then I swap in the 4 x 30mm caliper. This has a ratio of 22.3 and tested out at 2,100. It felt fantastic. I pulled the testing tool andd set a brake disc in and them checked to make sure they felt okay - the brake handle felt fantastic. The system is generating so much pressure, I can see the MC flex under the pressure as does the caliper. Amazing. This is the combination I will go with. Now I will do some checks with the ABS system in the loop. I want to make sure it will all work before I commit to making the mods to mount the 4 x 30mm caliper.

Pic 5: The differences in the brake handle between the GTS and Honda NISSIN 14mm shown the difference in leverage between the 2 handles. On the shorter side, the Honda is longer than the BV so I cannot just roll all previews testing in to the same curve.

So now you can see when you increase the caliper piston area, you increase the pressure at the brake pad up to the point the small(er) MC piston cannot push enough fluid to lock up the caliper. Once I finish the graphic, you can also see if you run a too large of MC piston, you actually reduce the pressure. SO don't jump to put on a 34 or 35mm Brembo caliper then add a cool radial MC. The combination will work, but the brakes will not generate much power as most radial MC's have pistons sizes of 17mm or higher. That kind of MC was made to work with dual calipers up front. Using that big of a caliper results in a ratio of only 16 or 12.8. It might look trick and perhaps feel good, but it will not generate good pressure at the disc.

Jerry

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Last edited by spacetiger on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:02 pm quote
Update 6
Sometimes projects work out and you get lucky. I don't know how this will end, but I see early day light.

Pic 1: I bleed the front brake and retest the pressure to verify max is 1,200 - it is. I start the engine and retest to make sure the abs module is not affecting the pressure - it tests out at 1,200 again.

Pic 2: I swap calipers and test the NISSIN caliper (with 4 x 30mm pistons) attached to the brake system - ~2,000. Success!

Pic 3: I place the mounting bolts on the NISSIN caliper and measure the outside distance of the bolts

Pic 4: It measures out at a little over 69.3mm.

Pic 5/6: I measure the max outer distance of the fork mounting points - it is a bit over ~ 72.7mm. This is huge! This means with some finetuning of the fork mounting points, the caliper will bolt up with no additional bracket needed.

Pic 7: I will have to remove the nubs on the back (needed to space the oem caliper bracket) then a slight modification to the mounting holes. I should then be able to mount up the NISSIN caliper.

I have honey do projects, so hopefully by Sunday, I will have the adjustments done and the caliper mounted. Imagine, this brake mod might be able to be done for ~$35 (cost of a NISSIN caliper off ebay) and will significantly upgrade the front brake.

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Last edited by spacetiger on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:10 pm quote
Update 7. HELP
Has anyone removed a fork leg? Did you have to remove the black plastic underside trim (the panel in front of the radiator?

The repair manual (page: SUSP - 262) looks like the trim is still in place, but I am having clearance issues in getting the tool in place so I can remove the "stem closing cap".

It is such a pain to get the front apart, I may have to work on the front suspension before buttoning up the bike...

Jerry

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Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:18 am quote
Update 8: Caliper can fit
So no replies, so I'm guessing no one has removed forks before?

After much searching, I decided to cut the plastic cover but in a way I can mend it later so it doesn't flop (pic 1.). With it out of the way I can get to the fork.

I know can push the fork up a small amount and it exposes the small retaining ring. This may be a different set up than the older BV350's. This retaining ring is the same on the 2009 Aprilia SC250. Its a safety feacher so the fork cannot slip out of the lower triple tree. Pic 2 shows the design of the upper fork. You can see the stanchion is machined down a bit so it cannot slide up and the retaining ring keeps the fork from sliding down.

Pic 3: I'm getting ready to mill out the holes (using my drill press) and note the bosses are not even?

Pic 4: Getting ready to make new holes

Pic 5: New holes, so...

Pic 6: Now the caliper mounts up; but I'm not finished

Pic 6: The back side. I'm going to keep some of the boss, and mill away enough material to get the caliper to fit.

I'll end up making a face plate for the front with proper 62mm hole spacing and will fill it the bolt hole bosses so there is a clean bolt hole. but that is for another day as I'm off to do more honey do items.

Jerry

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Hooked
GTS 250
Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 287
Location: California
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:52 am quote
Re: Update 8: Caliper can fit
Nice work on the caliper mount holes. I have considered what kind of work it would take to get the Aprilia SRV calipers mounted on a GTS (60mm vs 57/58mm mounting), but have yet to attempt anything like this.

Sorry I don't have any experience with BV350 stuff...
Enthusiast
2009 Aprilia SC250, 2016 Piaggio BV350
Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 81
Location: N. Va, USA
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:41 pm quote
Update 9: A pause in the project
Thanks AnnDee4444, but it looks like the mount cannot simply made to work as I cannot get the fork mounting points to align. The Honda NISSIN calipers meant for 296mm discs do not have mounting bosses in the right place to allow me attach them on the fork and not interfere with the 300mm oem disc.

I tried the Kawasaki NISSIN caliper set up today. It was set up to work on a 300mm disc so it has longer mounting bosses, but is still about 1-2mm off: see pic.

Since I do not want to cut the mounting points, I will have to fabricate an adapter that bolts to the fork then mounts to the caliper. I can go 2 ways on the adapter. I can make one or can have one made from a CAD drawing. If I go that route, I can have several made at one time thus reducing the cost for the adapter. I would make the adapter so it bolts to the existing fork (no modifications necessary) and your sourced Honda caliper would bolt up to it. You would not have to swap brake lines or MC. Who would be interested? This lets me know which way to go.

Jerry

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Member
2013 - Beverly 350
Joined: 06 Feb 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Hungary - Szekesfehervar
Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:12 am quote
Re: Update 9: A pause in the project
spacetiger wrote:
Thanks AnnDee4444, but it looks like the mount cannot simply made to work as I cannot get the fork mounting points to align. The Honda NISSIN calipers meant for 296mm discs do not have mounting bosses in the right place to allow me attach them on the fork and not interfere with the 300mm oem disc.

I tried the Kawasaki NISSIN caliper set up today. It was set up to work on a 300mm disc so it has longer mounting bosses, but is still about 1-2mm off: see pic.

Since I do not want to cut the mounting points, I will have to fabricate an adapter that bolts to the fork then mounts to the caliper. I can go 2 ways on the adapter. I can make one or can have one made from a CAD drawing. If I go that route, I can have several made at one time thus reducing the cost for the adapter. I would make the adapter so it bolts to the existing fork (no modifications necessary) and your sourced Honda caliper would bolt up to it. You would not have to swap brake lines or MC. Who would be interested? This lets me know which way to go.

Jerry
Any new regarding this modification?
Hooked
bv350, Brutale 910
Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 400
Location: LA CA
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:09 am quote
Wouldn't have aggressive pads + stickier front tires more than sufficed? I also live in a "heavy traffic area" (that even allows lane splitting) but... wowsers.
Enthusiast
16 Piaggio BV350 2004 Scarabeo 500
Joined: 31 Jan 2020
Posts: 61
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:01 am quote
Jerry great report on better front brakes they are the most important item on Any motorcycle out there . I am rebuilding my bike and wondered if you made the adaptor for your bike ? Did you change the fork oil ? Mine was nasty I added new Bitomo fork springs so I believe they should handle better but had not thought about my brake issues until I read the thread .

It is great when someone goes this deep into an issue that really is so important .
Member
Vespa T5 Mk.1, GTS218ie
Joined: 04 Aug 2011
Posts: 49
Location: UK
Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:58 pm quote
Can you not just use the Brembo and adapter (Zelioni/Jettin) from a GTS, as it's the same caliper mounting ?

Does the BV350 have twin calipers ?
Member
Vespa Sei giorni GTV300
Joined: 19 Jan 2019
Posts: 37
Location: London
Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:55 am quote
No Beverly has 1 caliper in the front. He ruin his forks by doing this, and to be honest he wouldn't have no difference on braking performance.

The best modification can be done to 350 beverly is ;

take a beverly 500 braking system and forks as its fits directly
put the beverly 500 front wheel as it has double disc on the front and then put the beverly 500 brake master here you go you have an amazing braking beverly. wouldnt brake the bank too.

What this guy did was absolute none sense. shame.
Enthusiast
16 Piaggio BV350 2004 Scarabeo 500
Joined: 31 Jan 2020
Posts: 61
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:07 pm quote
Thor83 wrote:
No Beverly has 1 caliper in the front. He ruin his forks by doing this, and to be honest he wouldn't have no difference on braking performance.

The best modification can be done to 350 beverly is ;

take a beverly 500 braking system and forks as its fits directly
put the beverly 500 front wheel as it has double disc on the front and then put the beverly 500 brake master here you go you have an amazing braking beverly. wouldnt brake the bank too.

What this guy did was absolute none sense. shame.
Great to hear since I have a spare 500 sitting collecting dust . I will do the Bitoma springs they really made a difference on my 2016 BV350 .
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