crashing aint so bad
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: santa barbara, ca.
Bike: 2005 red r6
Re: What brakes?
All I can say is that I know I'm faster than most, if not all of you and the stock pads work fine. If you are having issues with the stock pads it's because your doing it wrong.........
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With the more exotic compound " race pads ", there is a performance drop if not used as intended. You may not notice it, simply because you aren't using the brakes to their full potential anyway. If the pads are not up to temp they may not have the bite that they can provide, they will also start to glaze over, which also reduces over all performance. Most all companies show a graph of brake performance. It shows brake performance vs. temperature. Most of the more exotic pads will produce better braking than a stock pad at any given time, however for the pad to work at it's peak, the heat must also be higher. The drop in performance I speak of is in the pad itself, not in relation to a stock pad.
There is another drawback to using the race designed stuff. Most companies design their pads to get through only a couple, or a few race weekends. EBC specifically states that the pad should be replaced when worn to half thickness! The reason is because of extra fluid volume in the caliper can lead to a spongy lever feel.
From EBC website:
"Pads should be discarded when half worn due to increased fluid volume that will be in the piston chambers as the pad advances towards the rotor. Not doing so will lead to spongy brake feel and can result in the brake lever coming back to the bar."
Now it would take a little longer for normal track use, but combined with street use, you can see that the race pads are not intended to last very long. The EBC race pads are also not cheap. Neither are any of the other brands race stuff. A champion race buddy of mine only got 1 race weekend out of his contingent brake pad brand. 1 weekend!!!!!!!!! About 200 miles. It was at the time, the pad to have too!!!!! Not a bad way to spend $80 bucks?
Another tid bit that might interest some? Faster riders actually spend less time on the brakes. Faster riders do apply more brake pressure though, which increases brake pad temp much quicker, bringing the pad to peak performance quicker. A novice, or even intermediate rider will spend entirely too much time on the brakes with much less pressure. The heat comes in, but it takes time and the rest of the braking system will absorb some of that heat. The issue is that as soon as you let off the brakes, the rotor and pads cool down again. So if it wasn't at peak temp, you will basically be playing catch up. All the while the average temp of the braking system as a whole goes up. When you use the brakes hard for brief periods, more of the heat is placed into the pads at first. This heat is still absorbed into the brake system, but the temp at the pads is hotter and helps keep the performance up. In both cases you still end up with a very hot braking system, but the more heat that is concentrated into the pad, the better.
The lower organic compound pads do not do well with heat. They usually show a drop in performance as the heat rises. However the stock pads on pretty much all sport bikes are HH compound. This is a sintered metal compound that is basically considered race worthy and was, up until several years ago the race compound. Any HH compound will have a standard of performance that will meet the needs of the average rider. It meets my needs and I can ride faster than 75% of people out there.
I'm not saying don't get the race pad, but my experience says you don't need to spend that money for no real useful gain. By useful gain I mean that a novice, to even intermediate rider really isn't utilizing the pad and is spending money on the wrong things. I would say the one place to not scinch money on is the brake fluid. I think that the real missing link in most brake systems is fresh, properly bled brake fluid. The better DOT 5 race stuff is expensive, but is worth it's weight in gold vs. brake pads. Even the best brake pad will still have fade if the rest of the system is not up to the task. This is why I say that if you have issues with the stock pads, your doing it wrong. Food for thought.
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