So often we choose the status quo and never seek better. This happens from everyday life all the way through our vehicles and more. Let’s pick out the brake systems on our motorcycles, and how we can improve their effectiveness. K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) has a wide range of replacement brake pads for those looking to increase braking performance.
Overall, the biggest piece of information you need to know when selecting brake pads for your motorcycle is what year and model you have. Basically H-D has 2 different braking systems they used on their rides. For those of us on a 2007 and older bike we all pretty much use the same system, while some of you on a 2008 or newer have the Brembo Brake system. Regardless of what you are running, there is always room for improvement over the factory set up. The choice of brake pad type depends on many factors including riding conditions, vehicle type, and riding style. This is a breakdown of the most commonly used compounds and their benefits:
Ceramic Composite brake pads are extremely quiet, and deliver exceptional braking performance over a wide range of driving conditions. The Ceramic Composite braking material provides extreme stopping power when “cold” – right out of the driveway, or “hot” – after miles of all-out mountain highway. Ceramic Composite material is formed using high-strength ceramic fibers and non-ferrous metal filaments bonded at extreme pressure and temperature. Ductile metal-filaments produce a friction material with moderate base CoF (coefficient of friction) for optimal initial “bite”, while durable heat resistant ceramic fibers and polymeric binders reduce thermal pad decomposition and out-gassing that contribute to high temperature brake “fade”. The non-ferrous metal filament matrix provides high thermal mass and ideal thermal conductivity to quickly conduct energy away from the pad-rotor interface for fast thermal recovery. Lower operating temperatures reduce rotor wear and risk of deformation or warping.
- Extremely quiet – vibration damping ceramic composite virtually eliminates brake “grind” noise and pad “squeal”.
- Excellent “cold morning” braking performance – no “warm-up” required as with carbon/graphite or hard sintered full-race ceramic pads.
- Smooth, progressive and controlled braking with exceptional lever response.
- Fast thermal recovery between high-energy stops with minimal high-temperature “brake fade” compared to organic or organic/Kevlar pads.
- Increased rotor life – bonded ductile metal filament structure dramatically reduces rotor wear compared to sintered metal pads.
- Long pad life – durable high-strength bonded ceramic-fiber structure increases pad life over organic or organic/Kevlar pads.
- Low-dusting formula contains no ferrous (iron) compounds that can discolor matte/polished aluminum alloy or chrome-plated wheels.
Next up is Sintered Brake Pads – Featuring full-metallic HH Sintered Bronze brake pads deliver exceptional braking performance under the most demanding conditions – from stunt or street-race riding, to extended high-speed highway or road-race driving. Sintered pads also perform exceptionally well in wet or muddy conditions, making them an excellent choice for off-road and MX (moto-cross) applications. Sintered bronze brake pads are manufactured using a high-pressure, high-temperature, pressed powdered-metal technology to produce a high density friction material with a high COF (coefficient of friction) across the full range of operating temperatures. The non-ferrous metal filament matrix provides high thermal mass and ideal thermal conductivity to quickly conduct energy away from the pad-rotor interface for fast thermal recovery. Lower operating temperatures reduce rotor wear and risk of deformation or warping.
- Excellent for every day riding – exceptional full “hard-stop” braking performance with smooth, progressive and controlled high-speed lever response.
- Superior stopping power compared to carbon organic, Kevlar™ organic, or semi-metallic organic pads.
- Longer pad life than organic, Kevlar™ organic, ceramic, or semi-metallic pads – stable sintered metal structure is impervious to softening and decomposition in wet conditions.
- HH full-metallic sintered friction material provides a high base coefficient of friction (COF) with little or no brake “fade” (reduction of braking force at high operating temperatures).
- Low-dusting formula contains no ferrous (iron) compounds to minimize discoloration of matte/polished wheels.
Rounding out the trio is Kevlar Organic pads. These brake pads are perfect where extremely smooth braking performance is desired. These bonded organic pads deliver solid braking performance under normal to aggressive riding conditions. Semi-metallic organic brake pads are manufactured using high-strength polymer binders, Kevlar (aramid) fibers, non-asbestos organic materials and fine metallic particles to form a medium-hard matrix with high durability, good thermal-conductivity and excellent frictional characteristics.
- Perfect for street or touring motorcycles where exceptionally smooth, controlled braking is desired.
- Great for bikes with polished or chrome-plated rotors where minimal rotor wear is important.
- Excellent for dirt-bike and off-road ATV/UTV applications where operation in wet, muddy or sandy conditions makes frequent pad changes necessary.
- Kevlar aramid-fibers and fine metallic particles increase pad life and braking power over full organic (gray) or carbon/graphite organic (gray-black) pads.
- Compatible with cast iron, steel or stainless-steel rotors.
So you see, there is far more to brake pads than meets the eye. Increasing motorcycle braking performance is a goal we all shoot for, so why not give yourself the upper hand and install some new brake pads from K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) today. We’ve got everything you need from smooth braking applications to Track and Off-Road applications.