7 things that nodobody ever told you about superbike brakes


 Sykes likes it big, Rea favours EVO and Davies doesn't do the bedding-in. Here are the tastes, preferences and habits of the top Superbike riders regarding Brembo brakes.

Now that the 2016 World Superbike Championship is finished, enthusiasts like us and you run the risk of withdrawal pains. To help you get through this sad period, we've decided to tell you about a few features of the Superbike braking system.

Drawing from the extensive experience of the Brembo technicians who work side-by-side with the riders, we'll explain details that you've never read about before.

We'll provide information that will make you look like an expert among your acquaintances and friends, instilling a doubt in them about whether or not you work in this industry. But enough of the banter, let's get on with these unmentionable secrets.


1) Tom Sykes is the only rider who uses brakes at the maximum configuration: the Brit, 2013 World Champion with Kawasaki, is known for his exceptional breakaways.

This fame was made possible by the discs employed: for years, Sykes has relied on 336 mm discs with a 7.1 mm thickness.

His rivals on the other hand are split between those that favour 328 mm discs and those who use 336 mm discs but adopt a 6.5 mm thickness.


2) Each of these four combinations (2 diameter alternatives and 2 thickness alternatives) has its advantages and disadvantages.

Riders who are softer on the brakes favour 328 mm discs, which are lighter than the 336 mm ones.

Conversely, the riders that brake harder choose bigger diameters so that they can apply more pressure, but they pay the price in terms of weight.

Increased thickness translates into heavier discs and a heightened gyroscopic effect.



3) Davide Giugliano, Jordi Torres and Leon Camier use front radiator pads that reduce the risk of overheating the brake fluid.

Besides this significant advantage, these pads are used mainly because they facilitate changing the front wheel rapidly in the pits.

Indeed, the radiator pads are fixed to the pistons and so there is no risk of bending them when the wheel is being mounted, intervening with the internal diameter of the disc.

To hold the pads in position other riders use a spring, but this is less precise. However, the radiator pads are slightly heavier than the normal pads and they are asymmetric, two characteristics the riders don't appreciate much.


4) The stainless steel discs work best when the temperature ranges between 370 and 560 degrees: if the temperature is lower than this, the riders risk having to face volatile lever responses.

If the heat surpasses the suggested temperature by about forty degrees, the system will still work but the pads will wear out very quickly.

Beyond this temperature, there is a good chance that the brakes will malfunction.



5) Jonathan Rea uses EVO calipers, just like all of the riders who favour Brembo systems.

With respect to a standard caliper, the pad area is increased by one-fourth.

The materials used (aluminium, as per regulation) and the number of small pistons (4) remain unchanged.

To facilitate bleeding the system, the EVO calipers also have a quick fastening system.


6) The teams analyse the temperature of the braking system in real time when the bikes return to the pits.

Unlike MotoGP, pyrometers are not used because the stainless steel discs could lead to false results.

For this reason, temperature-indicating topcoats are used for the disc analysis.

On the calipers though, disposable temperature-indicating adhesives are applied.



7) Chaz Davies is one of the drivers who usually does not carry out bedding-in of the discs and pads himself.

A set of Z04 Brembo pads is usually used for 400-500 km, while a set of discs can last up to 1500 km or even 2000 km if used on a less challenging circuit.

For them to work properly however, they have to be bedded-in perfectly.

The majority of the riders on the official teams that have test teams available, often take advantage of test riders to carry out the bedding-in.


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