My 2004 Ski-Doo MX Z Renegade 800 had about 9,000 miles early last season. Looking to update the machine and make sure it would stop when I needed it to, I installed a brake kit from Starting Line Products (SLP).
The setup included an Ultra-Light Wave Rotor ($171.95), Carbon/Kevlar pads ($66.95) and a steel-braided brake line ($64.69). I ran the sled for two months and roughly 1,000 miles with these items installed. Conditions where I tested the system varied from Midwest trail riding to boondocking in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.
A single-finger pull was all it took to slow the sled with SLP’s parts, whether making a routine stop or a panicked stop. The system never faded no matter how hard I worked it by pulling the lever repeatedly through tight and twisty trails. Some wave brake rotors make a high-performance “buzz” sound when you squeeze the lever, but the sound from SLP’s rotor was similar to stock.
Installation instructions for the parts were clear, which made it an easy job that took about two hours. I put the brake line close to the stock location on the handlebar and added a few extra zip ties. The line was likely designed to fit many makes and models, so the banjo fitting is straight unlike the stock one, so I had to change the route to attach it to the master cylinder. I torqued the fittings to spec, refilled the reservoir with new DOT 4 fluid, bled the system and hit the trail.
SLP’s parts weighed about a half-pound less than stock. The yellow sheath over the steel braid looked good, and the wave rotor gave my machine a modified look that bumped up the cool factor. Steel-braided brake lines are designed to not flex when under pressure, which should give a firmer, more precise feel and require less effort. But, the SLP system didn’t feel as sharp as did the stock system with a rubber hose. I bled the system two times after the initial bleed procedure to try to sharpen the feel; this proved there wasn’t air in the system and it didn’t leak, but I wasn’t able to improve the performance of SLP’s setup over stock. The aftermarket package was equally as effective at slowing the machine, though.
Worked Well, But Expected More
The reduced weight and cool appearance from this SLP system are great and the pads proved to be durable, but I expected a more precise feel and more braking power than I already had. The parts worked as well for my sled as the stock ones, but a retail price comparison in December 2008 showed that this system costs more than Ski-Doo’s components; $303.59 vs. $167.97.
Chances are that SLP components cost less than parts for other makes, but for a Ski-Doo like mine, you’ll save money buying stock parts from a dealer.
SLP Brake Kit
Cool factor: 1.8/2
Starting Line Products Inc.
Idaho Falls, Idaho