Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents - MATT WILDEE

IT’S BEEN RE­ALLY in­ter­est­ing fet­tling and im­prov­ing my old R1 over the last three years. Dur­ing that time, I’ve re­placed most chas­sis bear­ings, got the sus­pen­sion work­ing as well as it can, spent time on the dyno with BSD so that the en­gine can work as well as is pos­si­ble in stock form, and even ex­per­i­mented with light­weight wheels.

But the one thing that has never been as good as I’ve wanted is the brakes. To be­gin with they were ter­ri­ble. Old pads, par­tially-seized calipers and old hoses stopped it work­ing as well as it could. We fixed all that, and al­though the dat­a­log­ging fig­ures matched the same 70-0mph stop­ping dis­tances as the lat­est su­per­bikes, it lacked the feel and fi­nesse that helps give you the con­fi­dence on track.

It was time to try to de­velop it fur­ther. So we took the bike, a dat­a­log­ger and a pair of master cylin­ders to Brunt­ingth­orpe to see what the ef­fect would be. I chose to as­sess the brakes with two tests, the first be­ing ‘crash brak­ing’ from 70-0mph. The sec­ond was more about feel – the trail-brak­ing en­try to Brunt­ingth­orpe’s fast chi­cane on a hot lap.

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