beginning to get more than a little annoyed with the now
badly warped factory Brembo rotors on my Ducati 916 because the
warping was getting worse and worse. Each squeeze of the
front brake resulted in some form of feedback through the
brake lever/master cylinder. The feedback was present whether I
was feathering the brake lever lightly or really getting on the
The amount of front brake lever/master cylinder feedback was
apparently directly proportional to the amount of front brake
being applied by the rider - ME!
plain English, what this meant was that the harder I squeezed, the more violently the lever would modulate,
letting me know in no uncertain terms that all was not well in Brembo-Land!
What was a minor
annoyance during regular "around town" braking
applications could become downright scary -- and dangerous
-- when I began to stress the brakes by probing their
limits. Executing a high performance "threshold braking" deceleration from say, 130 kph to a full stop, the
brake lever would no longer give light feedback, it would
pulsate like a heart beating about 250 beats per minute!
Truing or machining the rotors was not an option;
by time they were machined flat, they would have been way under
the safety tolerance for thickness. So the only way to cure this
annoying and potentially very dangerous problem was to
completely replace the brake disks (rotors) and brake pads.
Yes, I could simply replace the
old, baffed-out and warped 320mm Brembo semi-floating disks
with identical brand-new "replacement" 320mm Brembos; mount some
Ferodo sintered brake pads into
those 4-piston calipers; bed those bad boys in properly and
ta-da, I'd once again have one of the best stopping
motorcycles out of the box, period. With that said, the story
should be over. Of course, there is always room for improvementâ€¦..
Enter Jeff Bloor, owner of Cyclemax
Services, a high performance race shop located on Steeles
Ave. & Torbram Road in Brampton, Ontario, Canada
(905-791-9677). Jeff, a former racer, is widely recognized as
one of the best Crew Chiefs and race mechanics in Canada, and he
takes that track experience to Cyclemax, where he
specializes in performance modifications (he even has his own
Dyno on-site) and maintenance for anything that has 2 wheels and
I went to
Jeff to talk about my need for new rotors, and he immediately
suggested that instead of staying with the twin
"heavyweight" 320mm semi-floating Brembo disks on the
front and the lone 220mm semi-floating Brembo on the rear, we
mount the fully-floating Galfer
Wave Rotors up front with the Yoyodyne
Full Titanium Nitriding rear disk out back.
Specializing in both stock and modified Ducatis,
Jeff is the only guy whom I will take my Ducati to when it
needs something done. His honesty and genuine friendliness are
refreshing to see in his line of work, and if you ask around,
you simply won't hear a bad word about him or the quality of his
workmanship. Simply put, Jeff Bloor is a class act that knows
his stuff and I would recommend anyone who is looking for a
mechanic to check him out. If you are looking for someone to do
some high performance work to your bike, Jeff's track record and
experience speak for itself. For those of you who either have or
are considering acquiring a Ducati (and live near Jeff!), you'd be nuts to take it
Why are these rotors better than the factory Brembos? Well,
besides looking rather exotic, the real essence of this brake disk
is that the braking has nothing to do with the disk, yet the disk
Confused? Don't be. Let me explain...
It's not so much the surface
area of the disk that creates better stopping power, it's the
efficiency with which the pads evenly utilize the surface of the
rotor; the elimination of lightening holes (for added strength);
and the ability to expand and contract as they heat up without
warping the disk.
put, these disks use the entire pad surface for maximum stopping power
while remaining perfectly flat. Galfer claims that their
laser-cut Wave rotors have up to 30% more stopping power than
the conventional disk design.
They claim that a brake pad's maximum
grip is generated at the moment of initial
bite, and once that initial bite has occurred, the levels of
grip tend to fall off in a predictable manner. The reason that
the Galfer Wave rotors can produce much more grip and sustain it
throughout the entire braking process is that the actual "Waves"
in the brake disk are engineered and located in such a way as to
constantly provide a new area for the brake pads to
"bite" into while the disk is rotating! Heat is and
always has been a major enemy of brake rotors, because when the disks heat up, the pads can tend to "glaze" over
slightly and lose their grip characteristics.
friction of pad on rotor can heat the disk up to an unacceptable
level at which point, if the rotor is not given adequate time to
cool, it will not be able to properly dissipate the heat and it
will expand beyond its design tolerances, with the result being
serious warping. The Galfer Wave rotors do not have nearly the
same level of overheating problems because the rotating Wave design actually facilitates cooling, dissipating heat much
quicker than a solid disk. Also, since the brake pads
are constantly getting a fresh bite out of the disk as it
rotates they are always at the optimum braking point.
only downside is that they tend to eat brake pads at an alarming
rate, and HH-rated ceramic/copper composite pads are recommended
to exploit the fullest potential of the system. There is no question at all
that the Wave rotors can help you slow down better than the
factory binders, but what you may not be aware of is the fact
that these Wave rotors can actually improve acceleration
The two full- floating Galfer Wave
rotors on the front weigh over 4 pounds less than the stock rotors on my
Ducati 916, and the Yoyodyne Titanium Rear weighs one pound less
than the stock rear.
This means that although there is no
horsepower gain, the engine will spin up noticeably faster,
because there is dramatically less rotating mass that otherwise
would have to be controlled when getting the bike up to speed.
So not only does the bike accelerate faster (there is less
rotating mass to spin up!), the weight savings on the rotors
also means that the bike is generating less centrifugal force,
resulting in noticeably easier turn-in and direction change while at speed.
I thought the factory Brembo brakes on my
Ducati 916 were good, and relatively speaking, I
guess they were. The Galfer Wave rotors however, are dramatically
better! The difference is apparent immediately, and I would
absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for improved braking
performance with no performance penalties at all. I can't wait
to get them on the track so I can exploit them to their fullest
potential. Their weird looks make for an excellent conversation
piece and they look pretty damn trick too! They are definitely
money well spent!
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