There are a ton of options when upgrading your brakes. Upgrading to new calipers and brake lines is always one of the first to be explored. What if we told you that with just a pad and rotor change on your factory system, you may be able to have it just as good?
The brake rotors and pads we're discussing are made from what is known as a metal matrix composite. A composite is a solid material that is made up of two or more substances that have different characteristics in which each retains its own identity. A metal matrix, which is what is used in these braking systems, is a mixture of materials that contain a base alloy in which ceramics are contained as well. After the two materials are combined, the brake pad and rotor now have the benefit of the base metal's inherent strength as well as the wear resistance of the ceramic.
The main benefit of the composite rotors and pads is quick heat dissipation. The low heat generated from using a metal matrix keeps rotors from warping, pads from squealing and brakes from fading. Since they are nonferrous in their construction, they do not rust and virtually give off little to no brake dust as well. Another big plus of the metal matrix is the substantial weight savings of up to 60 percent per rotor over their steel counterparts. This may not sound like much on a 700-pound bike until you remember that your rotor is a part of a rotating mass, so the less the mass weighs, the faster acceleration and deceleration you will have.
Metal matrix brake pads also play a big part in why the system stops better and cooler than a standard setup. The pads use what is called transfer film technology. This means that the brake pads leave a film of friction material on the rotor's braking surface. The benefit of this is that when the brakes are applied, the friction material is in effect rubbing against itself, providing a much more positive result over the two dissimilar materials used in a conventional braking setup. This technology has proven itself the world over by extending its wear life to almost double on commercial vehicles that stop and start frequently with great success.
Lyndall Racing and W8less are the two companies currently offering metal matrix rotors and pads. Both companies use a proprietary rotor material, which is to be used with their specific pads. Both companies also use their own versions of a floating rotor with custom-machined 6061 aluminum carriers and 7075 aluminum attachment buttons, which are available in a myriad of styles and colors.
Though not a new technology in the world of machines, metal matrix composites are now here for your touring bike with proven technology. So while you are in the midst of wanting to make your bagger a bit faster or better looking, you may want to take advantage of having it stop better as well.
Lyndall Racing Brakes
2131 S. Hathaway st.
4707 S. Junett St., Ste. B