The following is in reply to the article by Willy Ivins posted on Motorcycle Daily.com
A few quick comments and observations if I might regarding your entertaining article on the new and welcome wave of Radial Mount Brakes;
1. You seem to be confusing mounting stiffness with caliper deflection, two distinctly different yet related phenomenon. Radial mounting is a much greater issue relative to even pad wear rather than actual performance you'd "feel" at the lever. This is primarily due to the near elimination of the torsional effect being virtually neutralized by the fore and aft load distribution. The performance gains you allude to are predominately associated to significant reductions in caliper deflection under high load and the advent of individual pad per piston with its twice as many leading edges.
2. In recent conversation with my associates at Aprilia UK, the new RSV1000R which is now blessed with the latest Brembo radial mount cast 4 pad calipers, according to them, exhibits virtually no discernable performance gains over the “old world” conventional mount caliper of the same [4 pad] design. So in reality, radial mounting alone, which surely offers some incremental advantages (not the least of which is a wee bit lighter), doesn’t directly translate into demonstrable improvements that some erringly allude to.
3. Although not dismissive, you seem to underestimate the importance of caliper deflection (stiffness) as it directly relates to performance. In our exhaustive dyno testing at the Federal Mogul Special Products Research Centre in Mondovi Italy (home of Ferodo Racing Products; both Automotive as well as Motorcycle), our research shows caliper deflection plays a monumental role in overall stopping power and modulation (feel). Of course there’s many other factors to take into account as friction material impacts this process immensely. But all things being equal other than calipers (i.e.: same rotor, same friction material, same test program), a caliper with less deflection, effectively “stiffer”, will produce a notably higher mu value on the dyno...across the board! That massive center bridge so effectively applied by the Brembo 4 pad cast caliper as well as the new Tokico version reflect that improvement brilliantly. Ditto the individual pad per piston concept already noted. And all this with production cast units, not the ultra expensive, high tech billet ones.
Bottom line, as a long time member of the Motorcycle Industry, technical liaison to Ferodo Italia (Racing Division), exclusive importer of Ferodo Racing Brakes and North American Race Director for the same, manufacturer of the high quality line of US made BrakeTech AXIS and SuperLite rotors, ex-motorcycle racer and enthusiast...I welcome this advancement in braking, it’s good for us all. I simply thought it beneficial to clarify some easily confusing issues on the subject.