Show-stop­ping brakes


Brembo’s Stylema calipers, in­tro­duced this year on the Du­cati Pani­gale V4, are be­ing hailed as the light­est, most ad­vanced monoblock brakes fit­ted to any pro­duc­tion bike. As the name sug­gests, monoblock calipers are con­structed from a sin­gle block of alu­minium al­loy. De­rived from racing, they didn’t come to road bikes un­til the Yamaha Thun­der­ace in 1996, but they pro­vide a much stiffer con­struc­tion to coun­ter­act the forces of the pis­tons and pads camp­ing on the disc and the hy­draulic pres­sure needed to achieve this. Con­ven­tional calipers were are in two pieces bolted to­gether.

Ma­chin­ing costs

Monoblocks are ex­pen­sive to pro­duce as they need spe­cial­ist ma­chin­ery to in­ter­nally cut the bores for the pis­tons and the path­ways for the brake fluid. Brembo use multi-axis milling tech­nol­ogy from the watch­mak­ing in­dus­try to get in­side the caliper. Yamaha still use Su­mit­omo calipers, but short­cut this process by cross­bor­ing through the metal.

An­other level

Based on Brembo’s Mo­toGP set-up, the Stylema takes things to an­other level. The calipers are 7% lighter than the M50 calipers on the V-twin Pani­gale, and their com­pact na­ture even al­lows shorter bolts, again sav­ing weight. Also note the air­flow chan­nel on the bridge to get air to­wards the pads and disc for cool­ing – a first for a pro­duc­tion caliper. They also use a smaller vol­ume of fluid in the caliper to help re­duce lever travel and have re­vised the in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal brac­ing as ex­cess flex is felt as spongi­ness at the brake lever.

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