EVERYBODY'S GOING CRAZY ABOUT THE BREMBO BRAKE FLUID CUFF: BUT DOES IT ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING?

5/14/2019

MotoGP Jerez: race steward caught red-handednabbing the Brembo cuff from the brake fluid reservoir on Alex Rins' Suzuki

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All motorsports fans dream of going back home from a race with a memento of their favorite rider or driver, or of the team they've always supported. Some are happy with just an autograph and a lucky few might manage to snap a selfie with their idol, but some get carried away by their enthusiasm and take what rightfully belongs to someone else.​


In 2010, when hundreds of fans invaded the track during the lap of honor at the end of the Misano GP in the MotoGP championship, one fan got close enough to the Yamaha M1 ridden by Valentino Rossi (who'd finished third) to pull off the gyroscopic camera mounted behind the saddle. The theft was revealed later in a tweet by one of the Doctor's mechanics.​

A few days ago, a race steward was the culprit in another such incident, this time during the Spanish GP held at the Angel Nieto circuit of Jerez - the 400th consecutive race in the premier championship won by a bike with Brembo brakes (with 300 wins in MotoGP - all the races disputed in the class since its inception in 2002 - plus 100 prior races in the 500 class).​


 

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The misdemeanor​

After crossing the finish line at Jerez de la Frontera in second place, Alex Rins stopped by the side of the track to celebrate together with his fans and handed his Suzuki GSX-RR to a steward. Little did he know that the steward would seize the opportunity to snatch the cuff from the brake fluid reservoir and pocket it in a flash. ​Unfortunately for the steward, though, the whole scene was recorded by the on-board camera aimed towards the rider's helmet. The would-be kleptomaniac then rushed to the Suzuki pit area to apologize and give back his ill-gotten gains. ​​​ 


 

What the cuff is for

​The steward would have been able to take the brake fluid reservoir cuff along with him on all of his travels on his bike. The cuff is elasticated and can fit onto almost any brake fluid reservoir, even on a road bike.​
 

As you'll have surely noticed, especially when the TV director switches to an on-board camera view, almost all the riders in MotoGP, Moto2, Moto 3 and the Superbike championship use a cover with the Brembo logo on the brake fluid reservoir. Could it be possible that all these riders do this simply for style? Not at all - as we'll now explain.​


 

​The most well-know advantage

While it does has a functional role to play, the Brembo cuff is a very simple device that's light years apart from the cutting edge technology of the products produced by Brembo - from carbon discs to aluminum monoblock radial calipers - for 100% of the riders in the MotoGP class. These products represent the most advanced results of Brembo's technological research, whereas the cuff is no more than a simple object.​

First and foremost, the cuff is intended to protect against accidental brake fluid spillage. As it is highly corrosive, even a single drop of brake fluid could damage the top fairing or the helmet visor, compromising the vision of the rider or the integrity of the bike's bodywork.​

By encapsulating the brake fluid reservoir completely, the cuff prevents the possibility of drops of fluid escaping from the cap of the reservoir due to vibration or when the bike is at very steep bank angles, and fouling the fairing windscreen, the rider's visor or other nearby parts of the motorcycle.​


 


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...And its lesser known function​

 

The other role of the cuff is no less important. As the fluid level drops in the reservoir, the probability of it absorbing moisture from the outside environment increases. This in turn may compromise braking performance by lengthening the lever travel needed to operate the brakes.​

 

 


​Myths and misconceptions

On blogs, in forums and on numerous social networks, many posters have maintained that the cuff is also used to protect the brake fluid from sunlight, preventing the latter from warming the fluid and causing a deterioration in its chemical and physical properties. ​


 

This, however, doesn't take a couple of basic facts into account: the Brembo brake fluid used by the top MotoGP and Superbike teams has an operating temperature range from about -40°F to over 392°F, and a very high boiling point. The effect of a few degrees more due to sunlight is negligible.​


 

Brembo brake fluid is also not light sensitive - meaning that it does not degrade due to direct exposure to light. However, it is highly hygroscopic, meaning that it readily absorbs moisture from the air. This is why it has a limited lifespan and must be replaced very frequently.​


 

​How to get hold of one

Now that you realize that you couldn't live without the Brembo cuff, all you have to do is ask your preferred Brembo dealer (see list of official Brembo dealers given here​) for one the next time you buy a Brembo bike product. 


 

Perhaps you could even ask for one when you buy a Brembo RCS Corsa Corta - the brake master cylinder conceived to revolutionize the way you ride your bike and the only brake master cylinder​ that lets you adjust both the fulcrum-to-piston distance and the bite point. 

 


 

Brembo has a widespread global network of distributors (Bike Commercial Partners) and specialized retail points (Brembo Racing Point).

Brembo Racing Points are selected and certified by Brembo which, as well as selling Brembo products, also offer expert assistance and technical support for installation.

Bike Commercial Partners are official Brembo distributors, which commercialize Brembo products through their own widespread retail networks.

Brembo recommends buying Brembo products from a Brembo Racing Point. If you cannot find a Brembo Racing Point, contact your area Bike Commercial Partner to find out the location of the nearest retail point. ​

 

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Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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