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.
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.
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.