The brakes. Stoppers. The coward pedal. The hero lever. Call them what you will, they are pretty damn important on a motorcycle.
Often the first thing most riders notice deficiencies in. They deserve your full care and attention.
The Brembo M50 calipers are ferocious on the 1299. So effective, I imagine they would have no bother hauling the Millenium Falcon out of lightspeed. Panigales have a lovely feature where they turn the fluid in the reservoirs black. At least I think it’s a feature because everybody notices it. I don’t believe it’s degrading the fluid. I think it’s something to do with the heat the bikes give off. I have already replaced all the brake fluid on the 1299 at around 1700 miles. I’ll change it again at around 3500. It noticeably improves the brakes, so it’s worth doing.
The pads on the 1299 are fantastic. Loads of bite, loads of feel. I was well aware they were wearing quickly. With a few weeks of decent weather, a few long rides and the dash showing 2700 miles, they were done. I was happy to buy the same, I just didn’t realise I would need a second job to keep my 1299 in brake pads. The price…£98 per caliper! £196 for four Brembo brake pads!
I’ve always been a bit of a believer in sticking with OEM pads, as I do believe manufacturers do their homework. On the Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R the OEM pads were fantastic and always worth sticking with. Although on my 899, I hated the wooden feeling OEM pads so, I changed to Brembo SCs and was rewarded with more bite and feel. SCs were the first pads I checked. £123 for the 1299. I then checked the next set of pads I knew to be very good, SBS Dual Carbon – £65. I know these pads were great on track but probably not best for the road and wet conditions, so I looked at the SBS Race Sintered, which also come highly recommended – £44. Lovely stuff. Considering I will have to change pads every four to six months at this rate, I’d rather not be forking out £196 a time.
Changing the pads took twenty minutes. That included giving the pistons and calipers a good clean. If you’re changing pads on a 1299, finger tighten the caliper bolts; then hold the brake lever whilst torquing them to 45N/m. I’ll report back on the pads performance in a few hundred miles.