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Emergency brake line repair


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We were at Seneca rock area in west Virginia. Beautiful area and amazing winding roads. Everything was great till I blew the front brake line.

So I was wondering how other people have temporarily fixed a brake line.

I happened to have 2 zip ties in my glove department and a friend had some duct tape. So what I did was cleaned the brake line, wrapped the brake line with duct tape as tight as possible, approximately 5 rounds,then put the zip ties against each other on top off the hole and pulled them as tight as I could. I would have liked to have 4 zip ties but I was thankfull to have the 2.

I definitely didn't sqeeze too hard on the brake lever but at least I was able to get home using mostly rear brakes but it sure is nice to have some front brakes when you have to stop on a grade or in the parking lot.

The hardest part was to find dot 4 fluid. After going to 4or5 stations we met a gentleman with a triked goldwing with a bottle with enough to top up my reservoir.


So what are other in a pinch fixes?

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DOT 3 would have been fine for your repair.

I loaned my R11RT to a friend and on his day long rode, my RF line went.

He knew what happened but continued to use the front brake until there was none, then used the rear brake alone for the last 50 miles.

My wheel is now splotched, thankfully my paint isn't.


It's an eye roller situation.

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Duct tape on a brake line? I think I'd rather just rely on the rear (which I've done).


Did you test that repair job after you got home? I say it blows out anything more than a very gentle touch. It's a false sense of security.


If you're bent on fixing it, I'd stop at the first hardware store, and get a brass hose barb, and a couple hose clamps. But even then, I'm not sure I'd trust it all the way.

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Once it was ridable, I think I would have found a dealership

of some sort and get the line replaced.

Chance of another failure w/a roadsie repair is greater, IMO.

Most places would help you right out and the couple hours of downtime would be worth it.

Glad your situation worked out.

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Morning greenrider



Personally I don't repair high pressure brake hoses with duct tape but if you are happy & got home without problems then good for you.


Brake fluid is a great paint remover so there is no way I would ride a painted plastic bike with any chance of brake fluid blowing back on the paint or dash plastic.

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Just out of curiosity here, a quick google search tells me that brake line pressures are on the order of 500 - 2000 psi. In my experience, duct tape doesn't work on garden hoses, and they're typically at 50 psi or so.

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Just out of curiosity here, a quick google search tells me that brake line pressures are on the order of 500 - 2000 psi. In my experience, duct tape doesn't work on garden hoses, and they're typically at 50 psi or so.



Maybe you're buying the wrong brand :)


I mean I seriously would not expect it to work well on a brake line, but with enough wraps and a couple of clamps or tie wraps it will hold household pressure for a time. Sort of.


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You have to work with the materials available. A few wraps of one of the silicone repair tapes would have worked well, if you had it on hand. But if you have enough foresight to carry that in your toolkit, you've already replaced your rubber hoses before they burst.

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To clarify a couple of thing:

I woulddnt trust Duct tape to hold air in a balloon.

The duct tape was used to act as a sealant and the zip ties were for the strength.

Gear clamp didn't work. It doesn't form a tight seal.

Also repairing it in a pinch kept brake fluid from coming out and getting on the paint. No matter what. After hours of riding you will hit the brake lever sometimes and send out a squirt of brake fluid.

With this TEMPORARY fix I was able to squeeze the brake lever half way between how you would hold a sparrow and choking someone.

When I got home I could see the line bulging above the zip ties. This is because the threads in the brake line have been torn.that's why I would have liked more zip ties.


Thanks for all your comments and concerns


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Ok, first off - Duct Tape and Zip Ties fix everything. End of discussion.


Seriously, I carry some quicksteel in my fix-it-on-the-road kit. Quicksteel is a two part metal epoxy putty. I have not had to fix a brake line with it, but I have repaired radiator connections that held up to abusive dirt-bike riding. That stuff will fix holes in engine cases and all manner of things. After it hardens, it's machinable. So... I think a wad of it could hold back some brake fluid under pressure. I'd certainly try it under the circumstances you experienced.

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