Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brakes on MotoGP bikes: Stop THIS!


What goes at 330km/h must also stop. Hard!

With MotoGP bikes, braking performance is as important as power, acceleration and handling. In a sport where every thousandth of a second counts, how hard you can stop is just as crucial as how hard you can accelerate. Here we take a quick look at braking systems on 800cc, 250cc and 125cc bikes in MotoGP.

Because of their different weight, power and speed, the three categories require different kinds of braking systems. The 2008 Repsol Honda RC212V has two hard carbon 320mm Brembo discs up front, which are necessary to stop a bike that weighs just 148 kilos and that can hit speeds of more than 330km/h.

‘The most remarkable quality of the discs is that carbon brakes work better when they are hot. Iron brake discs lose efficiency as they heat up, which results in brake fade towards the end of a race, which can be dangerous,’ says Dani Pedrosa. In fact, since carbon discs only work well at temperatures above 300°C, MotoGP bikes run carbon-iron discs in wet races, which continue to work even after being cooled down by rainwater.

With the rear brake, riders have their own individual preferences, depending on how aggressively they use the rear brake. Dani Pedrosa, for example, runs a 200mm disc at the rear, while Nicky Hayden uses a 255mm disc.

This is, perhaps, a reflection of how the two riders have progressed through the ranks over the years. Pedrosa has come up from 125s and then 250s, while Hayden is used to American dirt track racing, where bikes don’t have brakes at the front wheel…!

Also see:
In conversation with Alice Ducati rider, Toni Elias
The AC Schnitzer BMW F800GS...
Big Bruiser: Kawasaki Z1300...
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic riding impression...
The coolest scooter rider ever...
Derbi Mulhacen Cafe 659 Angel Nieto LE launched...
Moriwaki start work on their 600cc MotoGP racer for 2011...

External links:
Patrick Isaaco, Michelin's tyre wizard talks about MotoGP rubber...
1977 Kawasaki Top Fuel Drag Bike...!

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