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Bravo!

Very interesting and informative tech article. Great job to Jeff in explaining the whole hoodoo of the new brake technologies out there.
 

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Ha! I see right through this money-making plot... The one advantage of this system not mentioned here is ease of upgrade to larger rotors. How long do you think it will take the OEM's and aftermarket companies to start churning out "upgrade kits" consisting of last year's bigger rotors and a couple 50 cent spacers?
 

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Looks to me like the studs are parallel. The bracket itself tapers to the fork, but (I think)where the studs are all is parallel.
 

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Nice article on the differences between the perpendicular and radial mount setup. But I’ve always felt good linear feel was more important then overall braking performance, and some manufactures carry that initial braking bite a little too far, where they just about launch you over the top when first applied. This makes them very hard to control in emergency situations. I also have never understood way the Japanese manufactures don’t use braided steel brake lines, which is probably one of the best bang for the buck up grades you can do for your brakes. Would it really cost them that much more?
 

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The Toad
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Better technology can be a good thing. However, since the lap times attained by riders haven't changed appreciably in over ten years (read Keith Code's book) there seems to be little point to the exercise except to get riders to buy new bikes more often than they otherwise would. All the improvements in sportbikes in the last decade haven't seemed to translate into faster track times or measurable street safety gains.
 

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Well, neither has Keith Code's books seen appreciable changes in the last 10 years or so...



Still, lap records are being broken again and again every year, by same/different riders.



What's an "appreciable change"? sometimes 0.001 second change takes huge amounts of horsepower (i.e. VIR second race). Remember that at race speeds air resistance increases by a third degree with each increase in velocity!



I think tire technology has improved much in the last decade, and today it's probably the most dominant factor influencing lap times.



I wasn't riding my CBR600F2 a decade ago, when it was brand new, but I'm sure today it's much quicker around the corners and safer with the street/sport tires that I use now, which are better than the superbike tires of a decade ago!

 

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The Toad
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And there's probably some guy who can get around just as fast on a ten year old bike. Maybe it's just the tires.



I'm not complaining. Guys who have to buy the latest bikes all the time then fill the market with loads of good cheap used deals.
 

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As I understand it, lap times have dropped considerably, especially if we are talking about production bikes. Did you read Motorcyclist's latest car vs. bike article? 8 years ago, with the FZR 1000, the bikes best time was around 1:34 or so, I think. Kevin Schwanz's best time in the new article aboard the GSXR1000 was like 1:26 (Willow Springs.) The GSXR also managed to hold a massive speed advantage over the new Corvette throughout the track, something that couldn't be done with the old FZR vs ZR-1.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Seruzawa wasn't saying the bikes aren't better. He is saying the riders aren't better. Motorcycles have surpassed the average riders' ability to ride them as fast as the bike can travel. Average is you and me and just about every other poster here. Unless you are a track rider winning races, then you are probably average. Keith Code noted many years ago that the improvement of bikes and tires should have given his new students a 2 second advantage over his old students. What he then noted, is the new students running the same speeds on improved equipment. No improvement. Obviously, we got diminishing returns on "new and improved" motorcycles. To ride these things faster took much better than average reflexes and skill, and 99% of the current riders don't have that skill. I'm sure Kevin Schwantz can wring the neck of a GSXR 1000 and get the very best out of it, and leave the track wanting more from the bike. How about you? Could you beat that Corvette? Not likely. What would your times be at the same track and same bike? They would be the same speed as a 8 year old FZR 1000 more than likely. Maybe even slower. Don't kid yourself into thinking newer is faster, unless you can hang with Kevin.
 

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1. Really enjoyed this article.



2. Would like to see more like it.



3. Agrees with the people who have said this (radial and other brake improvements) is more marketing than a real improvement for most of us.



Like the author said, if Mr. Edwards (with the old design) can win the WSB championship against a rider like Troy Bayliss (with the new stuff) the advantages are way to small for us normal humans to appreciate. OTOH, the trick factor is pretty awesome and the reality is that looks are as important in the sales of sport bikes as they are for Harleys.



SlowBear
 

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I could beat that Corvette, so long as I was the one driving it. Just like Schwantz was. I am most definitely a better motorcyclist than driver, and I'm not a half bad driver, but track days cost more for the 4-wheeled set.



I enjoy seeing cool new technology like this on bikes for the simple reason that I am a technophile. If bikes went unchanged for 10 years at a time, until the latest 'revolutionary' change made it worth an upgrade, the industry would be SO boring. Sure it is just marketing, but I enjoy playing with and drooling over the new toys when they come out every year. If you don't want it, don't buy it.



Perhaps you'll be able to keep up with any average rider on your 10 year old CBR900RR, but for me, confidence plays a significant role in my ability to ride quickly, safely. I'd far rather be using 70% of the braking power and grip of my newish bike than be using 98% of the braking power of a 10 year old model, just as, when street riding at least, I'd rather ride a bike that makes good torque through 50% of its rev range than one that only makes torque in a 1500rpm wide band. The added confidence and technology gives me a significantly larger safety margin. It isn't all about laptimes, in the end.

 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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I don't buy the "new technology" every year. I haven't even gotten the most from the "old technology", have you? Just marketing like you said and I said. As for the breaking, you mean a CBR900RR can't lock either wheel with ease? Why would it need 98% to stop as fast as a newer bike at 70%? I bet the braking distance between that bike and the newest of the new are within fractions. Bikes have been able to lock the front wheel with 2 fingers for 25 years so I think you are confused. Tires have MUCH more to do with braking distance than modern sportbike brakes. A significant safety margin comes from skilled use of brakes, not the power. Skilled use is in short supply these days.



Which bike is that that is 10 years old and only have good torque for 1500 rpm? A 10 year old GSXR 1100 made as much torque for a wider span than anything made today for it's displacement. So your new 600 is a torque monster? News to me.



Actually it IS all about lap times. Lap times tell us what the average rider can do with the bike. As I said, and can't be refuted, the newer bikes are faster than 99% of the riders can ride them. Bikes passed reflexes about 10 to 12 years ago for you and me. That is a fact. If that gives you more "confidence" great. Factually, the 10 year old bikes are just as fast and just as safe for Joe Average.
 

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I don't get it. What is the difference between "radial" and "perpendicular" squeezing of a brake rotor? A diagram might help here. The factors mentioned; heat dissipation, flex, and wear are all glossed over.
 

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Sportibkes have become tightly specialized. Of course they have always been specialized, but the open class bike in a 600 sized package is a relatively recent phenomenon. The original CBR900 is a later day pioneer in this evolution.



While much has been gained, much has been lost for the "Joe Average" street rider. Given the choice, which would I rather ride from LA to Laguna Seca the long way. An R-1 or a ZX-9? I'll take the ZX thanks, I can ride one of those for more than half an hour at a time.



The new power standards have promise. The Bandits, ZRX, FZ-1 are fast and usuable. Upcoming Z1000 looks interesting. And of course will Suzuki unleash the whopper B-King?



Plastic is getting kind of old. Those of us who are not HD types are getting tired of our plastic rockets.



These bikes have real appeal. Put the good parts on them, radial brakes and all, and we will buy...
 
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