What makes Works brakes so good?

Just as the title says and also I am in a machine shop for school and would it be possible for me to make a better front and rear brake for my Rmz-450 like the factory team does?

i know some teams machine their own calipers from billet with cooling ribs and thicker for strength, im sure they customize the master and calipers pistons sizes to the riders liking. of course you could make them in a machine shop. i would buy a rebuild kit for the bike of your choosing and build around that for the master, you would just need orings for the caliper, the rest shouldnt be too difficult. its a little ambitious for a beginning machinist though.

Biggest thing is the pads.....

good pads make good stoping.

rotors help, you can take a normal roto and make it better by milling the vents diffrent and sloting the rotor.

For a more powerful brake:

  • Use a large diameter rotor (increased mechanical advantage)
  • Use a smaller diameter master cylinder, or a larger diameter caliper piston (increased hydraulic "leverage" ratio)
  • Use multiple piston calipers (ratio again)
  • Use higher friction pad materials
  • Use high carbon steel in place of stainless alloys (higher friction, trades corrosion resistance for friction)

Larger pads have little effect because while the friction contact area does increase, the specific pressure per area goes down.

its a little ambitious for a beginning machinist though.

I was planning making a CAD drawing of it and making it in one of our CNC machines.

You need to ask yourself what the goals are for the project - most of the really trick works breaks are up front - and the BIGGEST improvement IMHO is the weight savings..

Often they are made from exoctic materials to save every little bit.

They probably have various options with the plungers and pistons to get the exact feel the rider desires...

It would be an easy project with good cad skills and cnc ability - but the question remains what area do you wish to improve - especially on rear brakes. Personally for rear brakes - I would improve the fluid cooling.

Personally for rear brakes - I would improve the fluid cooling.

How would I go about doing that?

Personally for rear brakes - I would improve the fluid cooling.

Why would you want to do this?

I don't think the braking power is an issue. I've understood that "works" calipers are just more rigid, both caliper itself and how it's attached to the fork. Very small changes here and there can improve the feel greatly since todays brakes are already so powerful that they might be hard to control.

Lets say there is room for 100% improvement in a brake system.

My gut feeling is that you can get 80% of that improvement with careful bleeding and fantastic pads.

Sometimes great bikes are relatively simple....

I've never really understood why people need stronger brakes than what come stock on modern bikes. On any bike I've been on, if I clamp down hard, really hard, one of two things will happen. The wheel will lock up, or the back tire will leave the ground. I really don't know how anything stronger than that could be of use, unless it used only for feel, or you do stoppies on pavement all the time. A better tire would seem to be a much better idea for decreasing braking time. The only practical upgrades for average joes I could see would be used to keep the temperature down.

I agree, all you really need are a set of good pads and a proper bleed.

I've never really understood why people need stronger brakes than what come stock on modern bikes. On any bike I've been on, if I clamp down hard, really hard, one of two things will happen. The wheel will lock up, or the back tire will leave the ground. I really don't know how anything stronger than that could be of use, unless it used only for feel, or you do stoppies on pavement all the time. A better tire would seem to be a much better idea for decreasing braking time. The only practical upgrades for average joes I could see would be used to keep the temperature down.

I agree, all you really need are a set of good pads and a proper bleed.

Having ridden a bike with superb, works level brakes I can tell you that it is amazing. It takes less force and effort to modulate them and stop extremely quickly. That being said, I got my stock brakes to work much better with careful bleeding, and good pads!

I guess it's sort of like disk and rim brakes on bikes. Both will stop you just as fast as the other but disk will do it with less effort and more control.

The very best works brakes have calipers that flex less and brake lines that expand less. That puts more "feel" in the system for the rider. Also, there appears to be some small gains to be had for radially mounted calipers and radially actuated master cylinders.

Most works brakes feature a rotor at least 10mm larger in diameter, which is the easiest way to gain leverage over the wheel all other things equal. Also the easiest thing for the average rider to duplicate.

Something else that I haven't seen mentioned yet is contamination. A lot of poor brakes have contaminated rotors and pads. If one is, the other is. Rotors are difficult to clean, pads are nearly impossible. The bikewash you use or especially the plastic treatment that makes your bike look so bitchin aren't doing your brakes any favors.......

I am not new to working out kinks in my dirtbikes, but what do you guys mean carefully bleed the brakes?

I am not new to working out kinks in my dirtbikes, but what do you guys mean carefully bleed the brakes?

Bleed a lot, use a zip tie to hold the lever down for a day or so after you are done (lets the bubbles float out).

I've never really understood why people need stronger brakes than what come stock on modern bikes. On any bike I've been on, if I clamp down hard, really hard, one of two things will happen. The wheel will lock up, or the back tire will leave the ground. I really don't know how anything stronger than that could be of use, unless it used only for feel, or you do stoppies on pavement all the time. A better tire would seem to be a much better idea for decreasing braking time. The only practical upgrades for average joes I could see would be used to keep the temperature down.

I agree, all you really need are a set of good pads and a proper bleed.

i agree. i have installed carbon pads on the rear of every bike i have owned to tame them down, i like a stronger front, i keep the sintered ones there.

op- shouldnt be to hard if your going to cnc it

I've never really understood why people need stronger brakes than what come stock on modern bikes. On any bike I've been on, if I clamp down hard, really hard, one of two things will happen. The wheel will lock up, or the back tire will leave the ground.

On MX tracks one more very important thing will happen - you will get arm pump. You hit the brakes easily 100 times or more each moto. If the front brake is easier to pull and modulate your brake hand will last longer.

It's kind of like why people complain about hard clutch pull. It's not that it's too hard to do it once, it's hard to do it after a few laps of riding at your limit.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now