Shari Ives Cool Stuff

The BMW’s S1000XR can accelerate to 100 mph in 6.1 seconds and 497 feet. But what is really impressive is that it can come to a complete stop in just five seconds and less than two-thirds the distance. This performance is due to the power and resilience of the modern hydraulic brake system, which is comprised of the following components.


MASTER CYLINDER: The master cylinder converts mechanical force into hydraulic pressure via a lever acting on a piston that presses on a fluid.


BRAKE LINES:  Multilayer hoses transmit pressure from the master cylinder to the calipers, which typically utilize a Teflon inner lining surrounded by a braided nylon, Kevlar, or stainless-steel reinforcing layer that’s then wrapped in a protective sheathing.


BRAKE CALIPER: This is where the multiplying power of hydraulics comes into play. Pressure applied to a confined liquid is transmitted undiminished and with equal force to all surfaces within the system.


BRAKE PADS:  The pads convert the bike’s kinetic energy into heat by way of friction.


BRAKE DISC: Discs are typically made from stainless steel, while drums are lined with cast iron. Both provide a durable, heat resistant surface for the brake pads to press against.


BRAKE FLUID: Fluid needs to be non-compressible to transmit pressure, have low viscosity to be compatible with ABS components, have excellent lubricity for master cylinder, offer corrosion resistant caliper piston seals, and also have a very high boiling point.


Brake-pad Material Breakdown

ORGANIC – These pads are blend rubber, glass, or Kevlar materials into a heat resistant binding resin. They are the softest and the quietest option available.


SEMI-METALLIC – Incorporate some metallic material, about 20 to 40 percent, which increases the pad’s friction level and durability.


SINTERED – In the production process of these pads, extreme heat and pressure is used to cement powdered metal to the backing plate. These brakes have very high coefficient of friction and excellent heat transfer. They are ideal for aggressive use and racing.