Technology: Suspension and Chassis



Current bikes are equipped with highly efficient, reliable and low maintenance brakes. That was not always so.

With the advent of disc brakes fit the adventure trip was straightforward, because you had to pack up for the single disc though initially built as a blacksmith, the dreaded fading, so the heat-induced failure of the braking system was, however, to the rather rare events.

Exception: Large volume enduros, whose thin and lightweight brake discs in the hunt through the mountains suffered heat exhaustion.

Honda made in 1968 not only with the first standard four-cylinder engine of CB 750, but with the first disc brake splash. The 260-millimeter brake disc was taken from a pivot brake caliper into the pliers.

At that time, a real step forward from today’s perspective, a more modest technology with modest effect, the first in a double delayed properly.

Also, the first dual-piston Brembo calipers were in effect and modulation to be desired, but each drum brakes were far superior. 1985 Suzuki doubled on supersport GSX-R 750, the number of brake pistons and sat with the four-piston calipers new standards. By a nearly twice as large bearing surface of the brake pads improved efficiency and stability of the new systems dramatically.

But the elongated pads suffer from the so-called oblique wear in which the lining thickness has worn unevenly. The reason: The front side of the brake pads, in the jargon as “accumulating site”, tilts at barrel-like really well with disc brakes on the friction partners. This is called by a servo-effect which assists the braking force.

In racing machines with short maintenance intervals is not an issue, the complaints were about this bad habit among buyers of series machines louder. The solution of the problem: different sized piston calipers.

While the accumulating layer side was pressed by a small piston on the disc, worked on the trailing side of a big brake piston which exerts because of its greater area and thus the hydraulic transmission ratio, a higher force. Whereby the non-uniform wear of the four-and especially the over-sized six-piston calipers was almost compensated.

The characteristics of the incoming pad side makes you look in the racing advantage, the four-piston calipers equipped with four individual small plaque and thus doubling the leading edge and thus the servo effect for better braking performance with minimal effort.


From racing also developed the so-called monobloc brake calipers, which are produced by complex milling of high-strength aluminum alloy one-piece work while high-volume components consist of two halves bolted. The monobloc advantage: minimal expansion of the brake pressure and thus a very fine controllability.

The contrast is widespread, simple and cost-caliper brake. It is staffed only on the outside of the wheel on (Einkolbenzange) or two brake pistons (dual-piston caliper). Back in those under hydraulic pressure, shifting the entire side on two floating-bearing stud and presses the pliers firmly mounted on the inside lining is also on the disc. Such designs are not only cost effective but also build narrower by the savings in internal piston.

Only then could equip you many wire-spoke wheels, specifically in enduros, with disc brakes, because the distance from the rotor spokes braid no room for a conventional two-or four-piston caliper made. The cons: The stiffness of the caliper is lower, resulting in deteriorating the controllability under extreme loads.

Therefore, floating calipers at the rear brakes are mainly middle-class or at-cost motorcycles.

Looking back at the beginnings and development of the last 30 years, it is hard to believe that current touring bikes with nearly half a tonne of live weight, put away own fleet pass runs without complaint. Even though it easily in the valley “to brake” smell, touch response and delay remain on the safe side. The reason: two 300 mm wide, solid front brake discs and heat-resistant sintered metal pads also come with the highest stress is not upset.

Specifically, the mixtures and materials of the brake pads and discs are responsible for ensuring that modern brakes now have such a reliable, high stability. Used for many years, so-called organic deposits were strongly temperature dependent. Cold with little bite, increased the braking effect with increasing temperature in order to respond in case of overheating, with an almost dramatic loss of friction.

Gratifying that the brilliant modern brake braking effect is generated at relatively low power use. What also has to do with the fact that perfectly matched pairings of pad and disc is a very high mechanical-hydraulic transmission of power to allow for hand brake caliper.

Depicted, the driver pulls on a long lever and must therefore expend less effort for a high braking force. The great thing is that motorcycle riders in the modern age no longer have to target their breaks after the thermal condition of their brakes, safely reaching the valley.

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