My thoughts on Brake Products

If you found this link you probably already now the backstory and the reason so many of my articles of this nature exist. The idea behind sharing this much info comes from multiple threads on internet discussion forums so once again instead of typing out the same basic replies once every 2-3 months I decided to put those thoughts down for everyone to view.

I've used pretty much every brand of rotor on the market at one point or another whether on my personal bikes or on test bikes. Braketech and Brembo are at the very top of the list of what I will actually use now and in fact I actually have BOTH brands on my ZX-10R currently with Brembo rotors on the front and Braketech FF on the rear.

I will not under any circumstances use Galfer or EBC rotors as I have had nothing, but problems out of them both in personal and professional use. I would rank Braking rotors above those two brands in general terms, but still when I see designs like their Batfly with huge leading edges to chew away at pads and offer no friction for such a huge gap I have to question the intended purpose of the design. My gut instinct is they are marketing them to the "oh that looks cool crowd" and hoping they sell rather than relying on trusted and proven designs that work under race conditions. A lot of people in the sportbike crowd simply cannot get over the basic idea that just because it is different, it does not make it better. There is also a lot of marketing hype on such products where certain brands will give pro or semi-pro race teams various parts by the box full just so they can say that such and such Pro Race teams use our products. What they fail to mention is those teams in many cases have to use brand new rotors every other weekend because all the ones they get for free don't actually hold up to race use, some of them don't even hold up to street use, but it never ceases to amaze me how susceptible people are to marketing schemes. You throw a picture of a plastic dog turd that sings Billy Idol's - White Wedding on a television commerical and some idiot somewhere will fuckin buy it...

Brembo the largest name in motorcycle braking components and found on almost every single MotoGP bike makes some of the finest braking components in the world. They also make a lot of entry level products that are OEM fitment themselves and simply no better than most other OEM fitted products. Their M4 and HP CNC 2 piece calipers say Brembo on them, but in my experience are no better than the Tokico 2 piece calipers that came standard on my old 2004 CBR1000RR. In my opinion you really need to upgrade to at least the GP4-RX calipers if you really want an improvement over most OEM style calipers and even those are just a minor upgrade when you compare them to the GP4-RR calipers that are $1900 EACH with titanium nitride coated pistons and you have to buy the pads separately let alone the 4 pad monobloc's that are in the $2500 range EACH and require narrow band rotors which are $1200 etc. You can spend big money on braking components, but when you get into that high end stuff you really do get what you pay for. The lower end stuff not so much. I mean it is likely worth the cost for what you get, but that doesn't mean it is better than the OEM stuff you already have. I have seen a lot of sportbike owners switching to Brembo M4 calipers in the 108mm spec. I would personally not spend my hard earned money on the M4 calipers. They are are nothing more than OEM style calipers on older Ducati's. Why people replace one OEM caliper with another OEM caliper is beyond my level of comprehension, but it likely goes back to the aforementioned idea that something different isn't always better.

I went with the standard Brembo Supersport rotors on my latest build instead of the T-Drives because:

1. It was cheaper yet still offers amazing performance improvement that was good enough for the Yoshimura Suzuki AMA team so I think it will suffice for my needs.


2. I cannot discern the difference in a blind test between the Brembo T-Drives and the Supersport rotors and I do not believe anyone out scouring the internet for this kind of info can either. Now if you just want the cooler bling factor of the T-Drives because they cost more or the black carrier matches your tennis shoes then I am all 100% for that. When it comes to getting performance versus the dollar or replacement rotors because you used up the OEM rotors the Supersport rotors will be the better value. The one caveat to that would be weight savings. If you are cutting every ounce of weight as a priority then T-Drives are lighter than the SS rotors and the additional price is commesurate with that weight savings.

An aftermarket master cylinder like a Brembo 19X18 or the adjustable RCS19 is definitely an upgrade over OEM master cylinders. Not so much in outright stopping power, but for feel and modulation so I do highly recommend that mod and for around $300ish dollars it is a good deal with a nice return on the investment. Again just switching to an OEM style master cylinder like the Brembo unit that comes standard fitment on an Yamaha R1 or the Ducati's is not the way to go and in some cases can be detrimental to your performance as their newer OEM Duc M/C's are designed to be used with the specific M50 calipers that come as OEM fitment on the Panigale and other Euro bikes. Which BTW is exactly why Brembo released the RCS17 Master Cylinders which work specifically with those calipers.

I'll add more to this article as needed