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|Stop it Now, Brembo - The ultimate in brake upgrades.
More power, right? Isn't that almost always the answer to the question? When it comes to getting things slowed in a big hurry for that corner that just caught you off guard, or that panic-braking maneuver to avoid that car that just pulled out on you? this is one of the times this statement holds true... one instance where power is king.
So, I'm sure you've heard this one before, "Brembo is braking". Lucky for us, Moto Guzzi chooses to equip our bikes with brakes by Brembo for good reason. "Brembo's brake components ranging from traditional cast iron rotors to advanced metal matrix rotors and calipers, are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities located in plants across the globe. The accomplishments that Brembo has realized in braking technology could not have been made without the partnerships of organizations ranging from leading automobile, commercial vehicle and motorcycle manufactures to some of the champion teams in Motorsports; NASCAR, CART, Formula 1, World Superbike and Moto GP." (sourced from Brembo.com). Need I say more?
So you're still running the stock round-hole rotors? Time for a replacement? Feel like an upgrade is in order, or just looking to improve the performance, feel and/or looks of your current system? Brembo North America has several strong options for both your Cal/EV and/or your newer V11 Sport.
A quick breakdown, Guzzis have typically arrived with the now infamous 320mm x 4.5mm thick round-hole rotors, and the decade reliable cast "5165 Series" calipers. The master cylinder (m/c herein), is either a 13mm/integrated reservoir for single rotor-ed/linked braked bikes, and the visually identical 15mm version for the optional upgraded dual rotor setup for the Cal lined bikes. V11 Sports (all years) come with a remote reservoir 16mm m/c standard.
All 2002-03 Guzzis utilize the same cast caliper as the earlier models, but the bolt spacing has grown from 40mm to 65mm (6800 Series), and some also wear the newer styled nine "spoke" 320mm x 4.5mm thick semi-floating rotors. The '02-03 Cal's (except the EV/EV Touring) are still being equipped with the 4.5mm round-hole rotors. The m/c sizes have remained the same on all bikes.
If you own a newer California/V11S lined bike, the first obvious upgrade would be to the newly styled 5.0mm thick rotors. They will also fit your older (back easily through '97) Cal/EV, Sport 1100, and Centauro/Daytona RS, though please be sure to verify with your local dealer. Next, but only for those with non-linked brakes, would be to step-up to the same 16mm, adjustable levered, remote reservoir m/c as the V11S line (which also is a god-send if you choose to de-link). Lastly, and a nice improvement for V11S owners especially, would be the billet "GP" calipers - CLICK HERE TO SEE. Not only are they lighter and stiffer, but provide noticeably better braking power, control and feel. These calipers contain no dust seals, but are rebuild-able and also allow use of race compound pads. If you're a fair-weathered sport rider, this would be your caliper.
The grouped package is shown HERE, and shown on bike HERE. M.S.R.P. on each, per Brembo N.A. is: Nine spoke 5.0mm semi-floating rotor is @$240/per, the billet "GP" caliper is @$469/per, and the 16mm remote res. m/c is @$175.
Considering the O.E.M. single-sided "upgrade kit" for the Jackal/Stone is about $600+ for the same level standard equip., this really isn't all that far fetched for you Cal/EV riders.
The billet calipers are currently sized only for the 40mm bolt spacing, but Brembo N.A. offers a CNC?ed aluminum adapter to fit the newest 65mm fork legs. You'll only need this if you're installing them on your '02+ newer Cal/EV or V11 Sport.
Ok, so you already have the above system on your bike you say, and your wondering where you can go from there? Funny you should ask, Brembo is now offering what I'd consider to be one of the best upgrades for street riders to date. Below are bolt-on goodies that will leave most every Ricky-Racer Sportbike rider envious.
The newest pieces are nearly direct descendants of World & AMA Superbike racing. Starting with the calipers, Brembo's new cast-alum 4-pad caliper - CLICK HERE TO SEE (M.S.R.P. @$225/per) utilizes four individually separate brake pads, one per piston, which increases the leading edge area for more bite, and allows the brake pads to wear more evenly. This larger caliper allows for each piston to be equally sized, giving it 11% more piston area over the 2-pad caliper; call that 22% more total for two calipers - CLICK TO SEE. These do contain dust seals, and are daily-use focused high performance calipers. For the older 40mm spaced caliper owners, Brembo N.A. also happens to make a 65mm (caliper side) down to 40mm (fork side) for use of this caliper for use on your bike.
Next up, would be the beautiful new (first time offered) "full floating" 320mm x 5.0mm thick rotors - CLICK TO SEE (M.S.R.P @$320/per). Anyone who pays close attention to the World & AMA SuperBikes will recognize the rotor carrier. This set-up allows twelve points of floating contact to the rotor, versus the nine of the other semi-float rotor from above. For those who aren't in the know; full floating rotors are, among other things, developed for when unequal/lateral forces are put on the forks, causing the wheel to be non-concentric to the fork legs. They allow the braking surface to self-center, and do not allow the rotors to drag or bind on the pads. Why aren't they all like this? I'd wager that liabilities for these user-adjustable rotors are the issues of earlier, I'm glad they're back.
Last, is what I consider to be the most amazing upgrade of this combo; the radial actuated monster 19mm m/c - CLICK TO SEE, complemented with the included fully adjustable CNC aluminum lever. M.S.R.P.'ed at @$250.00, this is the strongest, smoothest operating, minimal effort m/c produced to date. This coupled with the above mods, literally gives one-finger-tip maximum braking' something that has to be experienced in person to be fully appreciated. It also happens to be the exact same m/c that is currently utilized on the fastest of the fast Road-Racing & Super Motard bikes. That mean anything to you? Sure does me.
The total above combination is one of the most amazingly pleasurable "stop-it-now" systems you'll ever squeeze. It gives extremely positive feedback and control through to lock-up if you'd like. The power and modulation is the absolute best you'll ever imagine possible. I found myself saying the word "sensual" out loud while using it, which I'm not sure if that's a word fitting to describe a brake system, but I'm sticking to it.
The good part is that most all of the above mentioned pieces are interchangeable, and all work extremely well together. So you can do one at a time as you see/feel necessary.
Ok, so I hear you saying, "This is a bit much for me, I'm a moderate level rider who likes to put big miles on my bike". Perhaps, but think seriously about it before you need to get that fully loaded, two-up California Stone down to nothing quickly. You're looking at fairly the best possible option that will get you slowed in a big hurry.
Are you a "still not enough" kind of guy or gal? Brembo offers up through the "if you have to ask" category of brake componentry that'll have you drooling. If you're a "sky is the limit" kind of person looking for the ultimate in braking, Brembo has the set-up for you. Any takers for the jewel-like billet / titanium radial mount caliper (the same one that MotoGP star Valentino Rossi uses) that starts at a cool $2800 for just one? Their newest phrase says it all, "Brembo - More than brakes".
Ready to buy or price Brembo parts? CLICK HERE.