The Pursuit of Stopping Power

When I talk about braking- I am not talking about picking up a six pack at a gas station for sure. There is extreme heat, G-forces and wining tires!

You also need to know that I’m a ‘burned child’ in regard brakes. In all the years of riding and racing, I’ve had three major front brake losses out of high speed. Luckily all happened on a track where there is plenty of space to at least reduce impact. My first one was during a European Championship race, when a brake piston seal broke. I was lucky cuz’ I could run this one out without hitting something. The second one happened way later when I was teaching. Brake fluid was boiling due to cheap brake pads (long story and I don’t want to go there). I won’t ever forget the impact at about 200 km per hour. The third one happened at Thunderhill West, when the G-forces of a huge tank slapper (another long story) pushed back my caliper pistons.

So yea, try to imagine that when I figured that there ain’t no brakes- that that happen at a time when I was late braking. You know… that comes with quite a surprise at ya. Great way to test your mental strength btw. For me- brakes need to be top notch and well maintained.

Braking in Pro racing is like martial arts. High temps taking and with a stopping power which makes your sweat comes forward off your face. MotoGP brakes cost a fortune and most of the time only go out to hand picked teams and racers. Today, I am still somewhat in need for high level brake equipment but not willing to invest that kind of money into bikes which are not prototype race bikes. So just like in my prime, I am abusing what’s there. One brake rotor after another needs to be replaced because they are binding and wrapping up, and my brake pads go like butter in the sun.

Let’s take my 2022 KTM 450 SMR Supermoto as an example. The bike had about 18 hours on it. You can say 15 hours of this were done at slow to moderate pace during classes- and about 3 hours at my pace. That front brake rotor is toast! I needed a solution and found it with BrakeTech braking rotors. Why?… because of how they are designed and materials been used. When looking closely at the picture, you’ll notice the rotor carrier is meant to be holding the majority of brake force, and not the buttons themselves. Besides this smart design, this rotor is about 2mm thicker, uses exotic materials and is real floated. That keeps temps at the actual disc in check and delivers a more linear bite and more even wear (more info in regard materials etc).

I am still glad that I kept looking in the BrakeTech product portfolio, because I also found brake caliper replacement pistons which are coming directly from MotoGP. High end titanium can take the heat way easier than aluminum materials, and ventilation holes around the pistons allow the air to go inside the pocket between piston and brake pads. Best part… they seem to have these pistons for Brembo and Nissin applications for an actual affordable price.

Don’t know yet if we are able to make a install video, but this is fairly simple. Maybe you’ll think about it when you next brake fluid change need to be done.

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

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