Specialty Motorcycle Brakes
Motorcycle Racing Brake Pads
DP Brakes makes sintered brake pads for motorcycles; they have an application search on their site. Scandinavian Brake Systems (SBS) makes high-performance brake pads for street and track. Performance Friction motorcycle racing brake pads are available in different pad compounds. Vesrah sintered metal and other brake pads. BrakeTech AXIS StarBlade carbon disks work with original equipment calipers.
Vintage & Antique Motorcycle Brakes
Vintage Brakes has high performance brakes and linings for drum brakes for vintage and classic motorcycles
Performance Brakes & Brake Hoses
See the wBW article on installing Harrison billet brake calipers. 360 Brake is an interesting new “hidden” motorcycle brake. Bob’s BMW makes custom-fitted stainless brake lines and hoses for BMW’s old and new. Cycle Brakes has all sorts of brake lines in various colors; Galfer brake parts; disks, rotors, brake fluid, stainless steel braided brake lines/hoses and more; they also offer same day shipping. Earl’s Performance Plumbing will custom make stainless steel brake lines; they also sell brake hose parts and fittings.
EBC makes performance brake parts for motorcycles. Goodridge stainless steel brake lines available at Hardracing. Harrison Billet Calipers are available for European bikes and cruisers. HEL USA brake lines and fittings. PVM and Brembo performance brakes available at European Motorcycle Accessories. Arizona Motorsports carries Galfer, Russell Cycleflex and universal brake lines for many bikes. Also try the iMotorcycle Store for stainless and Kevlar brake lines and hoses.
Performance Machine makes disc brakes and wheels. RED Racing Parts – All sorts of racing parts and brake parts; check out the Kevlar brake and radiator hoses. Spiegler USA makes all sorts of really nice brake hoses, fittings, disks and parts.
Ceramic Brakes. Are They Coming to Motorcycles?
They have many claimed advantages, like 1/3 the weight of cast iron disks; 1/2 the weight of stainless disks; improved feel; better wet weather performance and even less expensive? Here’s some information on ceramic brake disks for motorcycles; these ceramic and “Ceramic Matrix Composite” brake rotors also require special Ferodo brake pads.
Motorcycle Brake Pad FAQs
Brake pads are normally available as organic, semi-metallic and sintered. Organic pads usually contain no metallic parts; semi-metallic pads are usually a mixture of organic and metallic parts; and sintered metal pads are made with metal.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has a grading system for brake pad friction material (SAE J866). The test applies the brake pads to a rotating drum until the temperature of the pads reaches 650 degrees F. In general terms, the test assigns a two-letter code where the first letter designates normal temperature friction and the second letter designates hot friction. The letters correspond to numbers in the table at left.
This means that “HH” pads have a normal and hot friction coefficient of over 0.55 as defined by the SAE test. Thus there is no such designation as “HHH” or “HHH Plus” pads that you may see in an advertisement! Interesting front master cylinder ratio chart at Vintage Brakes
TCB “Traction Control Brake System”?
We’ve received several questions about the TCB “Traction Control Brake Systems” device. I have discussed this device with several experts and this is from “B.C.”:
“Apparently, the device they are selling for $79 is a replacement banjo bolt for the front caliper. In effect, it adds sponginess to the brakes by allowing the variations in puck pressure to modulate back and forth in a bladder inside the device. This is like having an air bubble in your brake lines, the last thing you want.
I would say that if the front rotors are that warped, then they need replacement. The TCB product has no relation to true traction control, which is a very sophisticated system whereby a computer controls engine speed, combustion, timing and possibly ABS braking and monitors the wheel spin at thousands of times per second.
Note that the company uses what I consider to be a nonsense term, “traction control brake system”. There is no such thing. Traction control is traction control, and anti-lock brakes are anti-lock brakes. Note that although they talk about ABS brakes, they never come right out and say their device is an ABS system, because it isn’t. Their nonsense term makes no sense to me and I have never heard this term used anywhere else.
The bottom line is that brakes are one of the most important systems on a motorcycle, and modern motorcycle brakes are incredibly powerful and are precision systems. Personally, I would absolutely not mess with the factory designed brakes on my bike with a product like this.”
TCB sent us this response; let us know what you think:
“With the unit on, the levers do feel different, but not the same as spongy. Most likely you would need to ride on a bike to feel the difference.
Some common questions answered:
Q-Why are manufacturers not equipping their bikes with the unit?
A-The reason why manufacturers have not included it on their motorcycles is because we are just formally launching the product next week. Even without officially launching the product we already KTM evaluating the product.
Q- Why does know one carry the unit?
A- Even before our official launch the unit has been picked up by two of the largest distributors in the world; Lockhart Phillips and Zodiac (the largest distributor in Europe). Obviously neither of them would pick up a product that did not do what it is said to.
Q- Is anyone happy with the product?
A- Everyone who uses it love it. There are currently a number of professional and semi pro riders that very happily using the product with, the limited number of Parts Managers, Service Managers, and Mechanics at dealerships who have tested the unit now have it installed on their bikes, there are only positive reviews that will be published in industry magazines, etc.
Q- Why have I not seen anything about the unit on TV?
A- It is coming soon, ESPN watched a professional rider show the difference with the unit on and off the bike at speeds over 100mph.
Although something that sounds so good often is not really as good as it sounds, this really is. People had doubts about seat belts, airbags, etc and look where they are at now. You might want to test a unit out before you make a final judgment.”