Braking Road Race Rotor Review

Slow is Fast:

Controlled braking is at least if not more important than horsepower.  If your braking system is not at its best than you may be leaving time on the table.  You could be looking for an upgrade to a stock system or simply replacing worn or bent rotors.  The important things to look for when choosing a high performance rotor are material, weight, construction.

Material: The braking SK2 rotors that I chose are stainless in the stock diameter and slightly thicker than OEM.  Rotors can be either Stainless or Iron.  There are different compounds of each depending on manufacturer.  The higher quality steel will wear slower and provide a consistent surface.  Modern stainless has a high level of friction and allow you to use the full range of sintered brake pads available today.

Construction: Brake rotors can be solid, semi-floating or full floating.  Almost any modern sport bike will have a form of floating rotor installed on the front.  A semi floating rotor utilizes a carrier and disk that are fastened together with ‘buttons’.  What makes them semi-floating is that there is a spring located in the button to provide a constant force on the disc.  This keeps the assembly from rattling and making noise.  The down side is that this could cause extra drag in the caliper if there are any slight mis-alignment between the rotor and caliper.  The SK2 is a semi floating design like the stock rotors so there is no rattling or noise when rolling along.  The other thing to look for is how the interface between the rotor and carrier is designed.  A traditional shape is to have a round interface where the button is taking all the load in sheer.  This is plenty strong enough however the buttons wear over time and the rotors begin to move radially.  My old stock rotors could move 2-3mm back and forth.  This could eventually lead to the disk sheering off of the carrier.  Some companies use a method of transferring the load more directly.  Braking uses a 14 degree tapered seat.  This allows the disk to seat agains the carrier directly as the button wears.  And also re-directs the force being transmitted through the button from sheer to compression.  This should increase the useful life of the rotor.

Weight:  Rotating mass is important to both acceleration and deceleration.  The lighter the rotor assembly can be the better.  Obviously it needs to be strong enough to handle the braking forces as well.  The SK2’s come in significantly lighter than the stock Suzuki rotors (worn out) and even came in lighter than Brake Tech Iron rotors!

Conclusion:

My first weekend out with the braking rotors running Vesrah SJRL-SS pads went flawlessly.  The pads bedded to the rotors quickly and provided instant bite.  After switching from carbon pads the bite when cold caught me off guard and I locked the front in the paddock.  The whole weekend I had zero fade and nothing but smooth consistent feel.  Considering I went on to win three of my four 600-class races I would say they met and even exceed all my expectations. Also did I mention that they look bad-ass?  The fit and finish is excellent and the fact they are made in Italy and not taiwan is a bonus.

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