Custom Q&A (Brakes): Customization is More Fun When you Know a Little More About it!

20240502_custom_q_and_a_brake_01.webp New Product

Text: Koji Ito and Tsutomu Ogawa

Customize your bike to "your specifications".
The installation of functional parts such as those used in racing machines will improve the performance and make you feel good! But is it effective?
If you don't ride, is it necessary? Let's solve these questions and enjoy customization to the fullest!

There is no such thing as an absolute lack of braking power in the brakes of today's bikes, but for some reason, I can't brake hard enough. The braking system is made up of many components, but where is the right place to start?

Q: I'm not having trouble with my brakes, but what's the point of customization?

A: Can improve ease of handling and control

Unless you have a very old car, you probably do not feel dissatisfied with the braking power of your brakes when riding around town or touring.
However, many riders wish they had better braking power.

The most important aspect of brakes is control. No matter how powerful the brakes are, they are meaningless if the rider cannot adjust the braking force as desired.
It is not uncommon for a rider to say, "I'm worried that the brakes will work harder than I want them to, so I can't apply them as hard as I want.

Conversely, if control is high, the brakes can be applied strongly without anxiety, resulting in high braking power.

So, what is the best way to customize the brake system?

First of all, the master cylinder may be recommended in terms of a significant change in operating feel. If your vehicle is a little older, you will be surprised at the range of control you can have over the lever operation by replacing the conventional transversely mounted master with a radial master.

The latest super sports cars are equipped with high-quality components such as Brembo even in stock condition, and for such motorcycles, it would be a good idea to replace the brake pads to find the feeling you like.


No matter how powerful the brakes are, if they cannot be controlled to the degree of braking power that one imagines, they will not perform to their full potential.
In addition to absolute braking power, the most important thing is to obtain an operating feeling that suits you.

Master CylinderQ: What are the advantages of a radial master?

A: Increased control as well as braking power!

Both the latest radial master and the conventional transverse-mounted master have the same structure, which uses a syringe-like pump to generate pressure (if the diameter is the same, the braking force is also the same). However, due to the placement of the pump and the shape of the lever, the radial master has the advantage of having a larger lever ratio and a longer lever pull allowance, which allows for greater control.
The easier it is to control, the more force can be applied without anxiety, and as a result, stronger braking power can be exerted.
In recent years, some radial masters allow the lever ratio to be changed, making it easier to find the desired touch.


Some radial masters have a lever ratio that can be changed by changing the distance from the point of action to the fulcrum.

CaliperQ: What is monoblock, which I've heard a lot about lately?

A: High rigidity directly affects operability.

In the case of opposed-piston calipers, in which the pads are pressed against the disc rotor from both sides, the left and right parts were conventionally made separately and bolted together. However, under hard braking in GPs and other full-scale races, the calipers would spread slightly to the left and right, allowing braking force to escape.
To solve this problem, the monoblock caliper was machined in one piece from a large block of aluminum using a special machine tool. Because of its superior strength and rigidity, the caliper does not spread even under hard braking, resulting in strong braking power and a direct feeling.


In addition to the high rigidity of the monoblock, the recent radial mounting on the front forks suppresses carry-away torsion during braking, resulting in high braking power and controllability.

PadsQ: How does it change if I use a replacement product?

A: Some work early and some work deep.

Brake pads are essentially "consumable items".
However, since recent brake pads have a long life span, many riders have never had their pads replaced. However, brake pads, like tires, are recommended to be regarded as tuning parts that directly affect the ride quality. The brake feel varies so much depending on the pads. For example, some brake pads are more effective at the beginning of the application, while others are more effective after the lever is pulled in. Since this is a rider's personal preference, please refer to the product introductions and impressions to make your choice.


No matter which pads you choose, braking power should be sufficient.
However, please note that once the remaining pad capacity drops below 1 mm (the recommended replacement value by the bike manufacturer), the braking force will drop dramatically, not to mention the braking feel!

Disc RotorQ: Why are there so many different shapes, thicknesses, and mounting methods?

A: Makes a difference in touch, stiffness, and many other aspects.

The majority of factory discs on current production vehicles, as well as their replacements, are made of stainless steel.
However, replacement discs are available in a variety of thicknesses and with unique hole and trench configurations. In addition, road sports cars are usually equipped with floating discs with a separate inner and outer discs, but the structure of the part where each mating part fits together varies. The differences in these structures affect brake feel more than one might imagine. The aforementioned stainless steel material also varies greatly in braking performance depending on the temperature and time of heat treatment at the time of manufacture.


Floating discs are mainstream in road sports motorcycles.
The brake feel varies greatly depending on the mating method between the inner and outer discs, the thickness of the disc, and the heat treatment during manufacturing, which is not visible to the naked eye.