Best Motorcycle Brakes – independent review proof image

Best Motorcycle Brakes – independent review proof


Here is a write up and results of a recent independent review magazine test:

Replacing one’s brake pads frequently means opting for expensive adaptable options. Three types are available of the best motorcycle brakes, (Sinter, organic and sport), offering variable performance levels, pleasantness and durability.

Brake pads are “consumables” that should be replaced periodically. The choice of adaptable over original brand models is frequently driven by cost considerations. The criteria are not, however, limited to this simple duality. Braking distances, pedal sensations and wear speed must also be taken into account. Thus, technologically similar to the original items, Sinter pads are compared here to organic and sport models. In all, we tested 12 models specific for Kawasaki Z 750, ER-6, Suzuki SV 650 and Bandit motorcycles, whose prices range from 23€ to 42€ (compared to 58€ for the original pads). To distinguish the best motorcycle brakes in an objective manner, bench testing was used to determine their ability to brake disc rotation (friction coefficient), along with wear speed. Stopping distances were measured using a braking performance tester and finally, pleasantness was determined by road tests. On completion of this report, it should be noted that, from a safety standpoint, there are no dangerous brake pads. On the contrary, the most efficient models do not allow motorcyclists to reduce braking distances! Organic pads (entry level) are ill-suited to the high temperatures of racing use. Sport pads (the most expensive) do not offer any genuinely higher efficiency on track, but wear faster than Sinter pads, which represent the best value for money option.

To assess braking performance of the best motorcycle brakes in efficiency and pleasantness, we subjected all compared pads to the same tests. Behaviour: the same testers assessed the bite, power and progressiveness of each set of brake pads before filling in an identity sheet. Hard braking: on a track, the same motorcycle (Kawasaki ER-6f with ABS), fitted with a braking tester that measures braking distance and progressiveness, was used to perform a series of emergency stops at 60 kph (using the front brake only). Measurement bench: provided by CL Brakes, this bench records (after identical run-in times), a brake pad’s ability to adhere to a disc. Wear: finally, the thickness of the friction lining was measured both before and after the tests.

Sinter: this “sintered metal” technology is the most widely used for OEM pads. Multi-purpose, it is relatively insensitive to temperature variations and rain. Comprised of a mixture of powders (copper, bronze, ceramic, nickel), the material is compressed then heated to a high temperature (900°C) to adhere to its substrate. Sport: a softer type of Sinter, that tends to wear much more rapidly. Organic: Kevlar, carbon and ceramic fibers are bound by resins. This technique is older and cheaper to implement, but less efficient at high speeds. These pads are mainly used on scooters.

Grooves: present on the pad’s friction lining, they dissipate heat, evacuate wear dust and provide a good indication of pad wear. Run-in: essential for optimum operation, this process differs according to the pads. Sinter pads adapt rapidly to the disc after braking a few times at moderate speed. For organic pads, however, the process is longer and requires greater care, as the initial surface is rougher. Wear: on each braking operation, the friction and heat released by the friction between lining and disc causes the pad material to wear. This wear is non-linear and increases with the distance covered. It is therefore preferable to anticipate brake pad replacement.

Article Courtesy of Moto Magazine