We have a chat with Dean Morris, owner of Hel Performance Brakes Australia... Feature: Jeff Ware
What makes Hel such a good company and their lines so good? Let’s start with the lines themselves. Despite the fact that Hel’s brake lines are available in 20 different colours with six different colours for the fittings, there’s more to them than just bling for your bike.
If you ride an older bike or even some of the new models, it probably has standard rubber brake hoses with regular steel or alloy end fittings. The major problem with rubber hydraulic hoses is that they expand and contract with brake applications so they’re not giving full transfer of the fluid through the lines. This bulging can give a soft or spongy feel to the brake lever.
Over time, rubber lines will let moisture seep into the brake fluid and this is something you don’t want. Any moisture in the fluid will affect the hydraulic performance of the lines, leading to reduced braking force at the calipers. Rubber lines will also degenerate with years of exposure to the elements and the movement that comes with being on a motorcycle.
Hel lines use a 32-strand stainless steel outer over a Teflon interior as opposed to normal PTFE. Teflon can be bent 18,000,000 times without work hardening where as PTF takes just 750,000 times to fracture. That’s important when you think about the movement in the front end of your bike over many years and thousands of kilometers of use.
The braided stainless steel line is then fitted with a PVC cover to further protect it and this is where the choice of colours comes in with 20 to choose from – including clear or plain black. The Hel lines are so durable that Hel Performance Australia’s Dean Morris says they will outlast most bikes.
Adding to the durability and bling are the stainless steel fittings. Alloy fittings will corrode when mated to mild steel components and mild steel fittings simply rust. Stainless steel will do neither and like the lines themselves, they will outlast your bike.
The ends are swaged on to the lines for a secure and slim line fit. This fitting is smaller and lighter than other lines that use a bulky ferule style fitting.
Dean started Hel Performance Australia 12-years ago back in 2005 – importing the brake lines and components from the UK. The lines are assembled in Brisbane specifically to order so the lengths are always right and you have a wide choice of colour combinations.
Kits are readily available for hundreds of production bikes and custom lengths can be made to order. They come complete with all fittings and washers needed for installation by anyone handy with the spanners. You just need to buy new brake fluid and bleed the system once the new lines are fitted. Dean is a bike rider and is out on his track Ducati whenever possible, so you know you are going to get good service.
A difference Hel brake lines has over the competition is that its lines are 100 per cent ADR-approved and have a sleeve on them saying as much. If your aftermarket brake lines don’t have this sleeve then they may not be legal.
You will feel the difference in braking performance with Hel brake lines fitted to your bike, particularly if you’re coming from old rubber hoses. The Hel lines give a more positive feel at the lever, reduce braking distances and reduce brake fade on continuous applications.
Hel also offers its fittings in titanium – giving a crucial weight saving for applications where every gram counts. Hel brake lines are an inexpensive way to improve the performance and look of your ride.
For more details call (07) 3869 3016 or helperformance.com.au