In an earlier post I mentioned my purchase of the 320mm, 4-piston Brembo front brake upgrade kit. This weekend I was able to start installing it on my 2008 Triumph Bonneville.

brembo-brake-kit

Brembo Front Brake Kit: bracket, caliper and rotor

The kit consists of a bracket that bolts to the stock fork housing, the caliper assembly, and a floating rotor that bolts to the stock front wheel hub. You can use your stock front brake lever and master cylinder, plus the stock or upgraded brake line. Mine have already been upgraded to Spiegler stainless steel brake lines.

For spoked-wheel Bonnie owners, you must also remove the lower front fender stay for this modification. In my case, I removed both stays and bobbed both ends of the front fender. You can also replace the front fender with a Thruxton-style or other shortened version.

brembo-brake

Bracket and caliper mounted on front fork

There are definite advantages of this system over stock brakes, the main one for me being stopping power.

Brembo Kit Performance Advantages

  • Stop more than 50 feet sooner (60mph to 0mph) than stock brakes (My main objective).
  • Increased life from brake pads – 25,000-50,000 miles
  • Full-floating rotor and superior caliper design allow for radically reduced brake noise
  • Virtually eliminates off-pedal drag

Brembo Front Brake Kit Features

Calipers:

  • Dual o-rings for longer life
  • Hard anodized piston bores
  • Hard-anodized and polished aluminum pistons for smooth retraction
  • Extra deep pistons for stability, even at maximum pad wear
  • The caliper pistons move on both sides of the rotor, and apply pressure evenly

Rotors:

  • True full-floaters
  • Superior cooling
  • The rotor “floats,” meaning it moved from side to side slightly
balancing-brembo-front-wheel

Brembo floating rotor mounted on new front wheel for final balancing

brembo-brake-rotor

Bolting the Brembo floating rotor on the front wheel hub. Torquing the bolts to the recommended torque.

brembo-rotor-wheel-on-bike

Brembo 320mm, 4-piston front brake kit shown mounted on a 2008 Triumph Bonneville

Customer Experience Update – July 3, 2014

brembo-contact

The contact form I submitted to Brembo on July 3, 2014.

In mid June 2014, near the end of my Tail of the Dragon road trip, I started noticing that when I applied my front brake (Brembo 4-Piston Brake Caliper and Rotor Upgrade Kit for Triumph Bonneville), there was a slight vibration I could feel in the hand lever. This situation increased to the point that now there is a noticeable unevenness in the front brake. It grabs more at certain points in the cycle than at others. This indicates that the rotor is warped and no longer perfectly flat. This creates an unsafe situation where achieving a strong, even full braking pattern is next to impossible, especially if I were to need to brake hard on gravel, sand or a wet surface.

I contacted my supplier who informed me that this warping should not have happened with only a couple thousand miles on the rotor… and less than a year old. He encouraged me to contact Brembo directly about it, which I will do today. I first tried connecting with them on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Brembo to make my initial inquiry. I discovered that the site is set up so that you cannot post to the FB Wall…. so much for using social media. So, I went to their main website and found the Contact Form (http://www.brembo.com/en/Contatti/Pages/Contatti.aspx) and entered my information and submitted it (See screen shot). We shall see how long it takes for them to respond.

I received an email back from Brembo very promptly the same day (good for them!). They wanted to know where I got the kit as it is not an official Brembo aftermarket product. I let them know that I purchased it from NewBonneville, and am now waiting on their response.

In the meantime, I contacted NewBonneville to see what they may say about this.

Customer Experience Update July 20, 2014

NewBonneville connected me directly with Tara Para at the Brembo Upgrade Kit manufacturer… QTM Inc. in Anaheim, California. Tara shipped a replacement rotor and brake pads to me a few days ago along with a return shipping label for my old rotor and brake pads. They want to check the old parts to see what they can learn about why it warped. This was all done free of charge to me.

I made the rotor swap easily last Thursday evening. The brake pads were a bit more difficult because there were no instructions on how to remove the retaining pin on the Brembo caliper. I couldn’t find anything about this online either. So, I left voice mails with New Bonneville and with QTM. Within a couple hours, Tara emailed me back with the answer!

So, I decided to make sure this question/issue is answered on the Internet!

How to change the Brembo Upgrade Kit Bake Pads for a 2008 Triumph Bonneville

IMG_4564.CR2

1. Remove front wheel from frame

IMG_4563.CR2

2. Unbolt 6 bolts holding the old rotor on, and bolt the new rotor back on in its place.

IMG_4566.CR2

3. Remove caliper from bracket. 4. Remove retaining pin: It is not intuitively clear how to remove this pin.

IMG_4580.CR2

4. Once the pin is removed, you end up with these loose pieces: 2 caliper mounting bolts, 2 shims (in my case), retaining clip.

IMG_4579.CR2

5. Insert the new inside brake pad

IMG_4581.CR2

6. Insert the new outside brake pad.

IMG_4583.CR2

7. Put the retaining clip back in position, and insert the retaining rod back through (outside to inside). Use a small punch to tap it securely into place.

IMG_4584.CR2

8. Mount the caliper back on the bracket on the fork.

I am very pleased with the performance of the replaced rotor and pads. They now feel like the front brake should… powerful and smooth = safer! I am anxious to ship the old ones back and hear what QTM determines was the cause of the warping.