HARD Parts

Brembo’s bad­dest binders

Motorcyclist - - Shift - —Brian Hatano & Ari Hen­ning

WITH max­i­mum speeds ap­proach­ing 220 mph, the pro­to­type rac­ing ma­chines of Mo­togp are brak­ing harder than ever to win races. This re­quires supreme stop­ping power, which is why ev­ery bike on the GP grid is equipped with Brembo brake com­po­nents de­vel­oped and cus­tom made to meet the spe­cial re­quire­ments of each team.

For Mo­togp rac­ing, Brembo of­fers two dif­fer­ent calipers rated for light or heavy duty and four dif­fer­ent types of car­bon discs. There are 320mm and 340mm disc op­tions, each with the choice of a stan­dard or a “high-mass” con­fig­u­ra­tion, with deeper discs for more swept area. Each rider has their pref­er­ence de­pend­ing on track and weather con­di­tions.

The car­bon discs and pads achieve peak stop­ping ef­fi­ciency when op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture reaches 400 de­grees Fahren­heit, and the sur­face of the discs can reach a white-hot 1,500 de­grees dur­ing a race. That high op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture re­quire­ment is one of the rea­sons why even the best street­bikes aren’t equipped with Mo­togp-grade car­bon brake com­po­nents. On the brake pad alone, there can be a 200-de­gree tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ence from the lead­ing edge to the trail­ing.

If it rains, teams switch from car­bon brakes to more con­ven­tional steel discs with light-duty calipers and sin­tered pads for softer ini­tial bite and more gen­tle de­cel­er­a­tion.

Ev­ery team has a mas­sive bud­get for Brembo parts, which in­cludes the R&D and cus­tom pro­cess­ing to suit each spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tion. “We work with the rid­ers to get them what they want,” said Da­vide Acer­bis, Brembo’s lead en­gi­neer for Mo­togp de­vel­op­ment.

The cost of a set of Brembo GP car­bon discs and monoblock calipers would likely set you back about 20 grand, if you could pur­chase them. You can’t. Brembo only sells th­ese ex­otic bits to Mo­togp race teams. But we can dream, can’t we?

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