Brake Calipers, RPM vs Brembo vs No Namers

Well Santa, wink wink, hooked me up with a sweet Master Cylinder for my FZ…so the next thing to be added will be an aftermarket brake caliper.

Now i know Temple has an RPM front brake caliper, and i havent heard anything much about it (good or bad). And RK has a Brembo setup with the same master cylinder Santa brought me. RK’s brakes are phenomenal. One finger braking at it’s finest. Ive ridden it and was super impressed.

My question is this: How does the RPM caliper compare to a BREMBO, or any other cheaper Taiwanese made caliper.

Im leaning towards the Brembo…simply cause i want to replicate RK’s brakes, but is it really worth the extra money? Is a Taiwanese brand just as equivalent? It’s about $2000 more for a Brembo vs a Taiwanses version.

Any advice???

With my experience in cars I would say that the caliper itself doesn’t make as much a difference than the disks and pads you have fitted. I would go with something reliable and not to get swayed by the name on it.

I changed my Yamaha caliper for no name brembo imitation caliper. I was sick and tired of squealing breaks so I put on new pads and new caliper and off I went. No more squeaks, and once the pads are settled in, the brakes are nearly twice as strong as the Yamaha caliper. About 100km in, the freeking thing started squealing again. So I replaced the disk and put in new pads again. Problem solved for another 100km, then despite new pads and a new disk, the piece of shit started squealing AGAIN! I tried everything. Now I’m about halfway through the life of the brake pads, (I put up with squealing brakes for the last 4-5 months) and the squealing almost completely stopped, finally, but it still does it a bit. I have a very strong suspicion that had I spend the extra money for the original Brembo caliper, I wouldn’t be having that problem.

In brief, my experience tells me that no namers are not good. They brake well, but they are noisy and incredibly annoying. Not worth it.

marboulette

What I got from my mechanics is that the Taiwan made one’s are a lot softer due to the material they use. They get destroyed faster and are harder on the disk because they don’t get destroyed evenly ( poor materials causing ridges on the disk ).

Hope it helped.

Just remember you pay what you get for. To me a Taiwanese brake caliper was $2000 or a little more, but just for an extra $60US you can get the Brembo. That was worth it for me. Look at Temple’s RPM and the problems he has had (not sure if the brake caliper was at fault.) But like you said you want one finger braking just like me. Your new master cylinder is is amazing, so in my opinion you should just go for the amazing caliper instead. Plus you need the best for your FZ, especially if you’re going to race next season. You still have the small engine in there, so get the best for your brakes.

If your new master cylinder is Brembo quality or better, get a Brembo caliper, if not why bother?.. I doubt you’ll get double the braking performance for double the price that the Brembos will costs over RPMs according to rk1951, but they will be better and you’ll also get reliability, longevity, peace of mind and resale value…

No matter what get brand name imported braided steel hoses, ideally with top quick bleeds and imported brand name pads…

I changed over my stock NSR front brakes to a no name Master Cylinder and front Calliper. They worked so much better and smoother too. My stock brakes used to grab sometimes at lower speeds when moving in traffic. Had a few scares with that, but that problem is now gone. I wore through my first set of no name pads that came with the calliper pretty quickly, I was quite surprised how quickly, but that also included a few weekend sessions out at the track and on one Sunday, 3 X 15 minutes races at GAMFA. WuTian gave me a set of half used Brembo pads from one of their race bikes and while I didn’t notice any improvement with them, but they have lasted a hell of a lot longer, and I am still using them now.

As for braking, I know I am not the bravest in that department, but the do stop me for my style of riding, but from the video of my last race, coming up to the first hairpin, I thought I was braking hard, but Temple came flying past me into the corner, then still out braked me and was though the corner and gone… So I am wondering now, should I be pulling harder on the brakes and they will stop me quicker and braking later too, like I am not using my brakes to their fullest, but it definately isn’t one finger for me going into that hairpin. I am doing at least 100kph sometimes up to 110kph at the kink leading to the hairpin and it is then only a short distance to the hairpin which on a bad day I will only take at around 40kph but average around 50kph.

It would be good to have a go of rk’s and Temple’s to compare and then see if I should upgrade to RPM or Brembo’s but if it is just my riding, I will save it till they break and then upgrade.

[quote=“marboulette”]I changed my Yamaha caliper for no name brembo imitation caliper. I was sick and tired of squealing breaks so I put on new pads and new caliper and off I went. No more squeaks, and once the pads are settled in, the brakes are nearly twice as strong as the Yamaha caliper. About 100km in, the freeking thing started squealing again. So I replaced the disk and put in new pads again. Problem solved for another 100km, then despite new pads and a new disk, the piece of shit started squealing AGAIN! I tried everything. Now I’m about halfway through the life of the brake pads, (I put up with squealing brakes for the last 4-5 months) and the squealing almost completely stopped, finally, but it still does it a bit. I have a very strong suspicion that had I spend the extra money for the original Brembo caliper, I wouldn’t be having that problem.

In brief, my experience tells me that no namers are not good. They brake well, but they are noisy and incredibly annoying. Not worth it.

marboulette[/quote]

This often happens to disk brake assemblies. You may try chamfering (rubbing down) the leading and trailing edges of the pads (that’s the narrow edges) as this often helps reduce the high frequency chatter of the mating surfaces thus eliminating the noise. It doesn’t always work as sometimes the noise is caused because of the density of the brake pad itself. Another thing to check is whether there is any twisting occurring to the side mounted brake assembly. On most typical small bikes the disk and caliper is a singular arrangement and is offset to the side of one wheel. This means that when heavy pressure is applied through the brake to the disk, the disk rotation can drag and twist the entire caliper unit just a fraction of an inch, but enough out of line that the brake can cause a juddering at worse or just a high pitch squeal. There is another remedy which is a stanchion brace which can help reduce the twisting of the front forks during heavy braking.
It may look something like this which is primarily for reducing bowing of the front forks, but doubles to reduce twisting from the brake assembly.:

I haven’t had any problems with the RPM caliper, but the RPM master cylinder has been a nightmare. Had problems with it since I got it. The resiviour is too small and set at a bad angle, so air always leaks into the line. I switched it off my race bike a long time ago, and just recently put it on my street bike, only to regret it. I’m thinking of going back to stock. I’d say the caliper is a fine upgrade at a decent price, but if you want to race your bike, go for the best. Decent deals can be found on them if you shop around. It’s on my list of upgrades as well.

How about a high end caliper off a written of superbike from eBay? Easy if you still have a bank account in your home country and someone to post it to you. You can get them for a snip.

I’ll be sure to try that in a very near future. It takes about 40 seconds to remove the pads from my scooter (2x 12mm bolts and one pin). If it works, I’ll be seriously indebted to you. I’m NOT kidding. MONTHS! I’ve been suffering with this for MONTHS! After I installed a new disk, new pads, and a new caliper, I thought my problem was solved, but no. Everything was NEW! I just didn’t know what else I could try so I just gave up. I have gotten used to hearing my brakes squeal to the point where I’m not even sure if I always hear it anymore. :s

Thank you for the unexpected, yet precious response/tips. :notworthy:

marboulette

Thank me if it works.
Sometimes however poor pads can literally cook hard if overheated often and the resulting change in consistency can also cause the problem.

I forgot to clarify, when you rub the edges down try using a medium toothed file and chamfer the edges at about 60 degrees, of course not all the way to the base of the pad, but just enough to shorten the contact area of the pad just slightly so that the new ‘overhanging’ edges can help absorb some of the vibration. I would say this works about 75% of the time on cars that haven’t had their brakes cooked and are using a general non asbestos brake material. You can also round off the other edges, just slightly too, just to make sure.

I don’t have any of these problems as my bike actually has granddad brakes, cables and all! Of course it takes me a long weekend to stop in an emergency, but it keeps my speed to a minimum. Or is that the fact that I need to revisit the dentist every time I take it up to 60KPH? Oh, well, in either case. :unamused:

[quote=“sulavaca”]Thank me if it works.
[/quote]
Not a slightest squeal anymore. The cure was instantaneous, and the brakes are just as strong as before. You are da man! :notworthy: :slight_smile: :notworthy:

Thank you!

marboulette

I’m very happy to hear that it worked out for you. I’m truly chuffed! :slight_smile:

Thank you!

I have been toying with the idea of prettying up my wheels, so thought I might get a bigger brake kit. Saw the website for JBT. Made in Taiwan. Does anyone have any experience with them? Import ones (Brembo etc), are more expensive. Are they worth the extra cost? 4,8,12 pistons…which would one choose? Do you need the extra ones?

I know I could paint the calipers, but, seems a little, ricey… I’m also assuming that with that piston count, they’ll be better than OEM.

Any advice on brands, prices or recommended places to install (around Taichung) would be welcomed.

While I’m here asking for help…If anyone should know of a muffler shop or a decent place to get some Bilsteins installed, please let me know. Any place around Taichung, but perfectly willing to drive around!

The above will be for a BMW Z4 and/or Cooper S (R56), if that matters.

Cheers
Jonny

Next time, please try searching. This thread will answer a lot of your questions. If your brakes don’t need upgrading then don’t buy presents for your car. If you need to do either then search one Samz Racing in Taichung. Bilstein distributor, many other parts.

anybody have pointers to larger discs for an RX7 (gen 3). Currently about 250mm, wanting about 350 mm rotors.

lots more poke, very sticky tyres (RE-11), now running out of braking room with lots of space inside 18" rims.

Thanks Redwagon. Saw that thread but it was mainly about scooters and had no idea if comparisons can be made. I’ll try to find Samz racing. Any idea where in Taichung?

As to the advice of “don’t buy presents for your car”…why?

Thanks

Quick edit: Samz address if anybody wants it: No.20, Sec. 5, Meichuan E. Rd., Taichung City

Spend the money if you have a specific, known area you want to improve. Otherwise, save it until you do.

Let me remind you of a couple of things about brakes. First, the brakes don’t stop your car, the tires do that. Almost any modern braking system produces enough brake torque to lock the tires up at almost any speed you would dare to attempt that. Cars fitted with ABS systems can be pushed into activation with enough pedal pressure at almost any speed. Why therefore would you imagine you need more brakes when you already have enough brake torque to overcome the tires?

Bad reasons / logic for brake upgrades:

It looks cool to have big rotors and shiny red calipers. Yes, but they are also heavy and it takes power to accelerate them along with your wheels.
Bigger brakes stop the car in a shorter distance. No they don’t. Any brake torque beyond the point where the tires lock up is useless to you.
Bigger brakes up front only will increase the forward bias in your brake system and actually increase your stopping distance by pushing the front tires to the point of locking up while the rears wheels still have a lot more traction with which to stop the car, gone to waste.

Good reasons for brake upgrades:

On track days or long mountain descents my brakes overheat: First try pads with a higher heat range, then look into an oversize rotor kit.
Brake modulation is poor on sliding caliper brakes: Upgrade to fixed calipers with opposing pistons.
My old sliding calipers are worn out and sloppy: Good opportunity to upgrade but do your homework.

If you are running out of heat capacity in your brakes in street driving you could consider:

  1. Better brake pads like a performance street compound. Don’t even be tempted to run race pads on the street.
  2. If your car could stand the forward shift in bias, consider a kit with bigger rotors up front with a spacer to move your existing caliper to match.
  3. Since your car probably has too much forward bias as stock (as do most street cars), fit an opposed piston caliper with smaller piston area than stock on the stock rotor, which will move the bias toward the rear. You want to know what you’re doing here as a rear biased system is dangerous.
  4. Ditto above with larger, heavier front rotors.
  5. Ditto #4 with addition of oversized rear rotors as well.

If your car has drum brakes in the rear then job #1 is to swap for disks and upgrade pads front and rear.

But anyway, I’ll type this one more time. Bigger brakes will not stop your car sooner in an panic situation. Brakes with reduced front bias may stop the car sooner in an emergency, depending on the car, what tires you’re using and some other factors. Bigger brakes properly biased will help stop your car in a short distance stop after stop when the system is hot. Let me give an example.

Two identical cars with the same suspension and tires, pressures etc. One has the stock factory brakes and the other the huge million $ bling bling floating ceramic disks plus high-dollar 6-pot front calipers and 4-pot rears, fitted with high performance pads. Both cars going 100kph, slam the brake pedal down until the ABS system kicks in. Both cars will come to a stop in almost exactly the same distance because the sole determining factor here is traction. Both cars now accelerate back to 100kph, side by side, and repeat the test. This time the blinged out car stops a few feet shorter. Repeat again and the standard car takes 10’ longer to stop and the brakes smell… hot. Do this a fourth time. The bling car stops in the same distance as the first time and will do so all day long if you want to keep going. The standard car didn’t set off the ABS and took 20’ longer to stop than the first time, the pedal feel is all mushy and there is a foul smell and a little smoke coming off the brakes.
You will only ever need this kind of a brake system if you are driving the car very hard on mountain roads or at the track, or unless you like going around at full speed everywhere and making emergency stops every 100’. If you had that kind of need I think you’d have come here complaining about smelly, fading brakes, hence the comment about presents. :wink:

Some more [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/brake-rotor-size-redux/31870/1 on brakes[/url].

Hope this helps.

[quote=“redwagon”][quote=“Jonny Crisp”]
As to the advice of “don’t buy presents for your car”…why?
[/quote]

Spend the money if you have a specific, known area you want to improve. Otherwise, save it until you do.

Let me remind you of a couple of things about brakes. First, the brakes don’t stop your car, the tires do that. Almost any modern braking system produces enough brake torque to lock the tires up at almost any speed you would dare to attempt that. Cars fitted with ABS systems can be pushed into activation with enough pedal pressure at almost any speed. Why therefore would you imagine you need more brakes when you already have enough brake torque to overcome the tires?

Bad reasons / logic for brake upgrades:

It looks cool to have big rotors and shiny red calipers. Yes, but they are also heavy and it takes power to accelerate them along with your wheels.
Bigger brakes stop the car in a shorter distance. No they don’t. Any brake torque beyond the point where the tires lock up is useless to you.
Bigger brakes up front only will increase the forward bias in your brake system and actually increase your stopping distance by pushing the front tires to the point of locking up while the rears wheels still have a lot more traction with which to stop the car, gone to waste.

Good reasons for brake upgrades:

On track days or long mountain descents my brakes overheat: First try pads with a higher heat range, then look into an oversize rotor kit.
Brake modulation is poor on sliding caliper brakes: Upgrade to fixed calipers with opposing pistons.
My old sliding calipers are worn out and sloppy: Good opportunity to upgrade but do your homework.

If you are running out of heat capacity in your brakes in street driving you could consider:

  1. Better brake pads like a performance street compound. Don’t even be tempted to run race pads on the street.
  2. If your car could stand the forward shift in bias, consider a kit with bigger rotors up front with a spacer to move your existing caliper to match.
  3. Since your car probably has too much forward bias as stock (as do most street cars), fit an opposed piston caliper with smaller piston area than stock on the stock rotor, which will move the bias toward the rear. You want to know what you’re doing here as a rear biased system is dangerous.
  4. Ditto above with larger, heavier front rotors.
  5. Ditto #4 with addition of oversized rear rotors as well.

If your car has drum brakes in the rear then job #1 is to swap for disks and upgrade pads front and rear.

But anyway, I’ll type this one more time. Bigger brakes will not stop your car sooner in an panic situation. Brakes with reduced front bias may stop the car sooner in an emergency, depending on the car, what tires you’re using and some other factors. Bigger brakes properly biased will help stop your car in a short distance stop after stop when the system is hot. Let me give an example.

Two identical cars with the same suspension and tires, pressures etc. One has the stock factory brakes and the other the huge million $ bling bling floating ceramic disks plus high-dollar 6-pot front calipers and 4-pot rears, fitted with high performance pads. Both cars going 100kph, slam the brake pedal down until the ABS system kicks in. Both cars will come to a stop in almost exactly the same distance because the sole determining factor here is traction. Both cars now accelerate back to 100kph, side by side, and repeat the test. This time the blinged out car stops a few feet shorter. Repeat again and the standard car takes 10’ longer to stop and the brakes smell… hot. Do this a fourth time. The bling car stops in the same distance as the first time and will do so all day long if you want to keep going. The standard car didn’t set off the ABS and took 20’ longer to stop than the first time, the pedal feel is all mushy and there is a foul smell and a little smoke coming off the brakes.
You will only ever need this kind of a brake system if you are driving the car very hard on mountain roads or at the track, or unless you like going around at full speed everywhere and making emergency stops every 100’. If you had that kind of need I think you’d have come here complaining about smelly, fading brakes, hence the comment about presents. :wink:

Some more [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/brake-rotor-size-redux/31870/1 on brakes[/url].

Hope this helps.[/quote]

+1 !!
i’ve been telling all my friends " First, the brakes don’t stop your car, the tires do" for a long time , exact words too.