Brembo Brake Upgrades


As with so many of my articles the idea behind sharing this much info comes from multiple threads on internet discussion forums so once again instead of typing out the same basic replies once every 2-3 months I decided to put those thoughts down for everyone to view. You can read my thoughts on brake products in general here

Brembo 19X18 Master Cylinder

I have long since touted that I think the calipers on the SP1 are the best axial mount calipers ever put on a production bike and the SP2 binders are right behind them, but you can always improve the modulation, feel & performance with a quality master cylinder. This is especially important as you start to master trailbraking technique which is a mandatory skillset for any track rider.

For a couple seasons I tested the latest unit from Brembo the RCS19 which has a selector to allow you to change leverage ratios and while it is an excellent master cylinder, much better than any OEM master I've ever used it did not seem to have the same level of modulation that the conventional 19x18 Forged unit does so I switched back! The 19X18 is also a bit cheaper which leaves some money leftover for the trick mount kit you see below!. The RC51 (& ZX-10R) has forward facing pinch bolts in the upper triple clamp which allowed me to use a custom made 8MM Triple Tree Pinch Bolt Reservoir Kit ($50).

Brembo 19X18 Mk II Forged unit installed with KR Pinch Bolt Mount Kit.

Here is a better shot of the mount kit installed on the ZX-10R

Brembo RCS16 Clutch

To be totally honest I disregarded the hydraulic clutch on the RC51 for well over a decade. I thought they worked well enough and just didn't think about much. Some years back I destroyed the clutch on my 1000RR in a nasty crash and replaced it with a Brembo unit and was instantly impressed with how much better the aftermarket Brembo unit worked over the OEM clutch. The logical step would be to do the same to the this new RC51 build and yup much better overall. A little bit easier to pull and modulation for launching is better too. Now this is the newer style Brembo Master Cylinder and doesn't match the older forged unit I prefer for the brake side, but I don't really care that much about overall aesthetics on this bike. If you do care about the aesthetics and these parts must match then you can easily obtain an older style forged Brembo Clutch Master or the other option is to upgrade your brake master to the same type of newer RCS style as both are readily available.

Normally we would use a much smaller reservoir mount kit for the clutch, but I decided to use the same style and size for both sides not to add symmetry, but simply because it was such a simple solution to use the same style pinch bolt mount kit for both sides...

Rear Brakes

I will be the first to say you do not need to go this far on an RC51, but since I did all of this to the ZX-10R which does need all the help it can get from the rear brake system, I decided to similarly modify the RC51 rear brake with the same cast iron full floating rotor and a brembo rear caliper.