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Galfer Brakes HH Sintered Brake Pads Reviews

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Product Details

Hans Schmid


The rider and bike

I'm 32yrs of age, 210lbs and a Expert/A rider. I also race Open A or Vet A, depending on the series. I’ve been riding for approximately 27 years and racing for about 20 of those years.The bike that I have been using for this test is my trusty 2007 Yamaha YZ250, my race bike for the 2014 season. Knowing full well that Yamaha brakes pale in comparison to KTM anchors, the YZ is the perfect platform for testing Galfer USA braking products.



I wanted to increase the braking power on my YZ and to see just how good that I could get them. After talking with the people at Galfer, answering a series of questions as to which set-up would work best for my needs, we agreed to go all out! Sandro Milesi, the President of Galfer recommended their Oversize Off Road Wave Rotor Kit for the front. It's a 270mm wave rotor that comes with brake pads and caliper relocation bracket. For the rear, he recommend their Solid-Mount Wave® Rotor. To compliment both ends, we added stainless steel braided brake lines and Galfer HH Sintered Advanced Ceramic Brake Pads.


Galfer claims the Oversize Off Road Wave® Rotor Kit increases the amount of braking surface area, allowing you to gain up to 30% more braking surface than you would on your stock brake system. This will also allow for the brake system to run cooler due to the larger surface area, be predictable and consistent, offer better lever modulation/feel and provide excellent performance in all conditions. The Rear Solid Mount Wave Rotor claims much the same as the Oversize Off Road Wave® Rotor Kit but without the added surface area. HH Sintered Advanced Ceramic Brake Pads are designed for aggressive off-road use offering very fast heat recovery for maintaining consistency, which in turn offers great feel and control. Also, these pads are easy on the rotors because they do not have the same level as metallics in them as stock and many aftermarket pads.



One thing that is noticeable right away is how much Galfer puts back into their customer support. Each and every product came with a instruction manual on how to install the product and a number to call if you have any troubles. Included with the Oversize Off Road Wave® Rotor Kit is a mini ,CD which has installation instructions. The quality of each product is beyond top notch too. You know when you pick something up and it just has that “feel” of quality? That's Galfer. The machining, from the banjo bolts to the brake lines, to the relocation bracket and the rotors is beautifully done with no blemishes or burrs. Upon closer inspection, the brake lines had a nice, dark blue color to them adding a little flash. Galfer can do almost any color that you might want to match the color/theme of your motorcycle. As said before, these units are beautifully crafted.


Testing Procedure (Rear Brake)

This is going to be a multiple series test, as there are numerous components that make up the braking system. For the first series of testing on the rear, I am just installing the stainless steel braided brake line. The second series of testing will involve installing the Galfer wave rotor and brake pads. After this is done, I will go back to the stock rotor and brake pads, leaving the braided line on. I really want to see where I have come from and going back to stock will really give a good idea of this.


Testing Procedure (Front Brake)

Like the rear, this will be a multiple series test too. First on the list is to complete a master cylinder rebuild. Then I will add the braided front brake line and then onto the over-sized rotor. I'll also be experimenting with different lever options, as this is equally important in finding a braking set-up that works its best. Like the rear, I will drop back to the standard rotor & pads for another comparison.


Test 1 (Rear Brake Line Only)

The conditions and testing area couldn’t have been any better. The course was slow (2nd & 3rd gear) and technical, with lots of stop & go situations. There course also included round, planted rocks, wet areas, roots, and up and downhills ranging from quick drops to long descents.


By nature, am a brake dragger and a serious one to boot. The braided brake lines improve pedal feel, allowing better modulation to the rear brake.  There is an increase of firmness to the rear brake, but not an on/off feel. It's a very controlled firmness. Part of the new feel could be related to the fresh brake bleed and fluid. There is no inconsistency each time you hit the brake pedal. This firmness and modulation stayed throughout the entire ride. I never had any fading issues on the long descents and during instances where you need to lock-up the brakes, the response was there. I never felt like I had to “stand” on the rear brake to get them to lock-up.


Test 2 (Rear Brake Line Only)

Snow day!!! Riding in snow/ice can be extremely difficult as there is very little traction to be found. Having a steady right foot is the difference between keeping the rubber side down or picking your bike up constantly.


As before with Test 1, the braided brake line worked flawlessly. Brake dragging in these conditions can be very difficult, as traction can be hard to find. The increased firmness is welcomed as is the consistent pedal feel in various conditions. I really can’t stress enough how important brake feel is. Whether it be 30/40/70% or all 100% of your braking need, the Galfer brake line provided more braking control.  Its really hard to find a fault in having a quality product that works exactly as its designed. Being able to use the rear brake without fear of locking up inspires more confidence in all areas of riding. A solid 10/10 in snow and ice conditions.


Test 3 (Rear Brake Line Only)

Race day!!! Conditions for the day were extremely muddy; Washington State muddy! The course was approximately 50% motocross and 50% off-road. Most of it was 3-5th gear, high speed sections into 90 degree turns. This was a GP style event with two, 1hr motos, each lap taking about 10 minutes. With 2 practice laps and 1 lap of the race in, I was pushing my bike back to the pits.  🤦  My DNF was a carb related issue, but I still got some good testing in.


As before, the rear worked excellent. Coming off those high-speed sections and getting on the brakes hard without the fear of locking-up enabled me to go into corners deeper than before. I actually got a little tired on practice lap 2 because I was pushing really hard, trying to make the brakes fail. Again, the added braking control is welcomed. But, in the moments where you want to lock-up the rear and get it swung around, just push a little harder on the brake pedal and the response was there. No fading, lock-up or inconsistency found. Interestingly enough, I was handed another Yamaha to finish my moto and actually had the rear brake fade and disappear on me. It is a very scary experience when you are used to not having this happen. In that time, I had to force the bike into the softer mud to get the bike slowed down enough for some of the corners and to remind myself to not touch the rear pedal so that I could restore rear braking.


Test 4 (Rear Brake Line/Galfer Rear Rotor/Front Rebuild)

Big day, big ride! Lots going on today for this ride. In the rear, we have the Galfer brake Line, rear wave rotor and a front master cylinder (MC) rebuild. First thing, the MC rebuild kit is not for beginners! Yamaha sells you this nice little kit but, unlike the Galfer products, no manual! It can be somewhat of a messy job too, so have shop towels handy. Having talked to the guys at Galfer, master cylinders are generally good for about 3 to 4 years. My 2007 Yamaha YZ250 was long over due. After a short break-in of the rear brakes and 20 minutes of warming up, I took off on my practice loop. I still enjoy the firmness of the braided brake line on the rear but, for whatever reason, I struggled to maintain a constant feel with the new brake pads and rotor. I kept locking up the rear brake; very KTM like! Being a brake dragger, this was not good. Nearly 30 minutes into my ride, the rear started to feel better and better yet after another hour. Nearly 3 hours into my ride and my rear brake had lost all its on/off feel and it was back to the progressive feel that I prefer. The front felt slightly firmer, but nothing to write home about. I think that with the bike's limited hours and well maintained stature, everything was pretty solid to begin with. Again, still improved and the new fluid helped.


Test 5 (Rear Brake Line/Galfer Rear Rotor/Front Rebuild/Front Braided Brake Line)

Finding an area that isn’t covered in snow this time of the year isn’t easy. But, with the weather above zero lately, one of my practice areas had opened up. Its an old gravel pit which basically is sand. I first pounded out some laps to get my course built-in and to warm up. A series of 1st/2nd gear switchbacks, short off-camber hill climbs, short downhills with 90 degree turns at the bottom, ALL SAND! Braking feel and modulation is very important in these types of conditions, as a full brake lock-up guarantees a loss of momentum or a soil sample. After a few earlier tests regarding the rear, I spent a lot of time focusing on the front brake this time out. With the new braided brake line and MC rebuild, I was set. Being very careful to find a good feel, I really like the braided brake line. The feel, consistency and firmness were superb in comparison to stock. Again, part of this could be attributed to the fresh bleed and fluid. You want 50% braking, you’ll get 50% braking without having to pull hard on the brake lever. Comparing these to a set of stock KTM brakes, I really didn’t feel like I was giving much of anything up, which is exactly what I was looking for. For around the $120 mark for a set of front and rear braided brake lines, these have to be the single best bang for your buck in terms of brake improvements. For the weekend warrior or average racer, the stainless steel braided brake lines will be more than enough for improved braking performance. This is also a very nice set-up for off-road riding. Overall, front braking is vastly improved. Because of the improved consistency and feel, while riding in the soft sand, I never found any hint of uncontrolled lock-up. I very much liked this setup.

The rear brake felt excellent. The on/off feel that I experienced in early testing is gone and is now replaced with a nice, solid, predictable feel.


Test 6 (Rear Brake Line/Galfer Rotor/Front Rebuild/Front Braided Line/Oversized Rotor/New pads)

Today I was supposed to head out with one of my faster friends. I pull up to his house and he rolls a trials bike out of his garage. So, today's test was a pretty slow day. Lots of log hopping, ledge jumping, and stop & go type maneuvers. It really turned out to be a lot of fun and allowed for me to really concentrate on my own braking needs at slow speeds. Today, I had a new 270mm over-sized brake rotor to test. After some initial break-in and warm up, I clicked into 1st gear and away we went. After the first major drop off, something became very apparent; this thing stops like NOW! There is great feel using the 270mm rotor, but the brake effort became less vs. using the stock rotor. I have always been a two finger on the lever rider. During our riding, I switched between 1 and 2 fingers and this system allows for a 1 finger pull now. I always seem to go back to two fingers but as I rode more, and thought about it less I was only using 1 finger now.


Test 6 (Rear Brake Line/Galfer Rotor/Front Rebuild/Front Braided Line/Oversized Rotor/New pads)

After lending my buddy my wife's bike after his failed trials experience, we headed back out in the same area as before, but riding a much faster pace. Lots of long descents, side hilling, a few fast fire roads, lots of sharp rollie rocks, big logs and of course, a small bit of moto. It was a great experience as we also had a KTM with us. So, we both took some turns going back and forth. As before, the brakes performed excellent! Even having someone who is of equal skill level to confirm the same thing brings extra confidence in the Galfer set-up. His biggest gripe came with the way that I have my rear brake pedal set-up. I don't like a lot of play and for my brake pedal to drop too far. Because I drag my brakes constantly, I risk having my foot being exposed to the elements. So, I maintain a tight brake pedal. As for the front brake, I caught myself doing something that I don't typically do; use 1 finger on the front brake lever. When I became aware of this, I tried to use 2 fingers and felt that it was just too powerful. One of the things that I learned when talking to Sandro at Galfer is that my brakes would change during different rides, ideally getting better. Have more powerful brakes requires less input to maintain the same control. I really really liked where this was going! As we switched back and forth, the KTM set-up showed it's major flaw; its lack of being progressive. It's a very on/off feel on the orange machine while the Galferized YZ maintains a very progressive and consistent feel. In all my years of racing and riding, this is the single best braking set-up that I have used!


During my time off the bike, my friend came over a blind riser, launched into the stratosphere and landed hard into a pile of rocks. Dusting himself off and the usual "nut" check, we made our way back towards the truck. Upon closer inspection of the motorcycle when we got home, we discovered a crushed exhaust pipe (through a carbon fiber pipe guard) and an impact to the rear rotor, causing a slight bit if damage to an edge. After a quick spin of the rear wheel, there were no signs of the rotor being out of true. It was straight and continued to offer the same great performance that I have come to love. I don't think the stock rotor would have yielded the same result.  


Test 7 (Rear Brake Line/Stock Rear Rotor/Front Rebuild/Front Braided Line/Stock Front Rotor)

As advised by Galfer, I drop-kicked the over sized unit on the front, the solid rear rotor on the back and moved back to stock brake rotors and pads. I really had to know where I came from to get the true perspective. Heading back to my usual riding area, taking my wife out on her maiden riding voyage of the year, I looked forward to a fun day (good weather too). Slightly off-topic, but my wife is my favorite riding partner. She isn’t the fastest or most talented, but she always runs a steady pace and isn’t afraid to try anything. She truly is a trooper. With a riding partner like that, it always gives me the opportunity to play around and do different things without ever leaving her feeling left out. We started out pretty slowly, but I was able to branch off and test the stock brake rotors. I have to say, the 1 finger pull that I became used to on the Galfer braking products was replaced with my standard 2 finger pull. There just isn’t enough meat there to get the bike slowed down after a hot lap. Pulling firmly will still yield excellent results, with great modulation, but not have the braking power of the 270mm Galfer kit. As stated before in an earlier test, for the casual rider, I really feel that the stainless steel brake lines are as much as you will ever need. In a lot of areas, having brakes that are too powerful can become counter productive. But when the speeds ramp up, you generally need more. Back on the trail and chasing my wife down, I came around a blind corner to see her lying on the ground. In a total panic moment , I grabbed a bit too much front brake and found myself on the ground. So yes, the standard rotors still work excellent! After dusting ourselves off we headed back out on the trail. Over a series of drop-offs and downhills, the stock front brake was still holding strong, but the whole time I was wishing for my Galfer over sized unit. I tried very hard to force myself to use only one finger, but over long periods of braking, such as going down a long hill, my finger got tired. The rear was less noticeable, if not at all. It worked as well as the Galfer product. At the end of my ride and a discussion with my wife, I concluded that I won’t own a dirt bike without a over sized front rotor. The benefits are just too apparent!


Test 8 (Rear Brake Line/Galfer Rotor/Front Rebuild/Front Braided Line/Oversized Rotor/New pads)

Back to the Galfer set-up (yesssss)! A 5am wake-up and a short, 3 hour drive down to the west coast, I hooked-up with some of my coastal riding buddies for one heck of a ride. Nearly 4 straight hours of riding 2nd gear coastal woods. Lots of roots, lots of rocks, drop-offs, off-cambers, uphills, downhills, etc. After a short ride up a fire road, we pretty much went hard from the get-go. Hey dummy, remember that you have a pretty superior braking setup now!? I had to force myself to go back to my new, standard 1 finger use. Bouncing around the mountains that day had to be one of my best rides to date. Everything just came together. As stated before to my wife, the over sized set-up is the only way to go! The feel, modulation, firmness and response is hands down better than the stock stuff on the YZ. Strangely, during the ride I forgot about my brakes. I was just having too much fun. The only thing that I really remember is watching only 1 finger reach for the front brake lever and knowing that was enough to slow me down. The rear brakes performed excellent, with the same great feel I have come to like. During the ride, I was offered a chance on a new ‘Berg 300. With about 30 hours on the ‘Berg, it was a good test for me to see how my Galfer brakes stood up. I'm happy to report that I gave up nothing! The owner of the ‘Berg came off my bike and when asked about my brakes, his only answer was “powerful”. That word alone put a huge grin across my face!


Test 9 (Rear Brake Line/Galfer Rotor/Front Rebuild/Front Braided Line/Oversized Rotor/New pads)

Race day! After my initial race experience DNF, I came back down to Washington to finish my series off and hopefully bring home some shiny hardware north of the border. I was also really excited because this allowed me to put my complete Galfer setup to the ultimate test. Racing Vet A, and due to a smaller turnout then usual they lined us up against the A/AA riders. One thing that really helps me off the start is I generally don't let off until the last second and having the Galfer Oversized Front Rotor really helped me get deep into the first turn. On the brakes hard and back on the throttle, a second place position coming out of the first turn really helped me get off to a good start. I was struggling a bit during the moto section as I was getting on the brakes too hard coming into corners, losing a bit of momentum. I had to tell myself to hit the brakes a little later coming into the corner as they were "almost" too powerful. After about 2 laps in I started to find a groove and pull away. I wasn't putting my thought into how well the brakes were working as I was concentrating on my race too! Fortunately they were working as I expected. During the first 1hr GP "style" moto, I never experienced any brake fade, inconsistencies, or change in modulation. It was just a nice progressive, firm braking setup. Very much like stock but stronger. And much more progressive then KTM brakes. Coming off the moto track and into the woods, the brakes both front and rear worked fantastic. On some of the high-speed sections, getting hard on the brakes made for easy transitions with extra confidence as I could go into the corner quite a bit deeper. I really couldn't find a fault in my Galfer setup. Moto 2 was much like moto 1. Both moto's provided me with 1-1 scores for the day and the overall in my class.


  • Improved all-around braking performance
  • Excellent quality and craftsmanship
  • Easy to install with great support and instructions
  • Custom Brake Line Colors
  • Bleeding new brake lines can be difficult
  • Larger front rotor more exposed to damage
  • Oversized front rotor could be too powerful for some

So, did we succeed in making the brakes on my 2007 Yamaha YZ250 comparable to what comes on the KTM?  No. I believe that we made them better! Not only did they become more powerful, they maintained their progressiveness. My brakes are outstanding. After talking with Galfer about what set-up would work best, spending time discussing what I’m trying to achieve, and great communication back and forth answering my questions, I really never took my brakes as serious as I do now. From the first time I mounted the brake lines, to the over sized front rotor, the Galfer units continued to perform better every time I went out. Never once did I feel like I was moving backwards. Did the Galfer products hold true to their claims, Yes, very much so! The modulation, feel, feedback and firmness were all improved but not at any point did it become "too much". Granted, a portion of my testing was done with snow on the ground, I really did have the opportunity to test in almost every condition and terrain. Adding to the testing, I raced too! Even the installation of the product was easy and the instructions and support are right there if ever needed.


As for the actual product,  they are solid 10/10 throughout the board when it comes to performance and a 9/10 for the install due to the bleeding of the new lines. Know that the bleeding of the lines isn't a issue related to the Galfer Products themselves but it still is a step that you must do when installing the SS lines. If you decide to just go with just the rotors and pads its a simple installation with big performance gains. As mentioned before, Galfer does provide excellent instructions and support for all products. Durability-wise, they are holding up great. I’m just shy of the 25 hour mark and everything is still running true. There is plenty of meat left on the pads and they have taken their fair share of abuse. For my next bike, I will continue to purchase Galfer products. Sandro has given me great support and in return I will continue to support them. So, what would I recommend to you? I would suggest that you call Galfer and let them help and guide you in discovering what is going to work best for your needs. I would like to thank Galfer for the opportunity to test their products!

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