Bikesrepublic

Wahid Ooi

  • KTM Malaysia confirms direction from KTM HQ in Austria.

  • Affected are certain units in the 1290 Super Duke range.

  • KTM Malaysia is now working to identify the bike owners and will get in touch with them soonest.

Following the news of Brembo extending their recall to KTM, we’ve confirmation from KTM Malaysia that certain KTM 1290 Super Duke R and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT are included.

Please refer to previous coverage below.

Brembo official statement released on PR16 master cylinder recall

The recall is specifically for motorcycles that are fitted with the front Brembo PR16 master cylinders that are usually mated to the Brembo M50 Monobloc calipers.

The eminent Italian brake manufacturer has announced earlier with regards to discovering possible defects of the pistons in the master cylinders produced between 2015 to 2017, citing, “The anisotropy of the piston material, in addition to potential porosity introduced during the injection process, could lead to crack generation and thus potential component failure.”

The polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) piston may crack after repeated hard use at the racetrack or with frequent ABS intervention, or after a fall.

Brembo will replace the plastic piston with an aluminium one.

The affected KTMs are:

2015 – 2016 1290 Super R
2016 1290 Super Duke R SE
2016 1290 Super Duke GT
2017 – 2018 Super Duke R and 1290 Super Duke GT

Please be reminded that models not fitted with the PR16 master cylinder are not included in the recall. Similarly, those who fitted the specified master cylinder through the aftermarket channel aren’t affected.

KTM Malaysia advices owners of the above motorcycles to await correspondence from them, as they are working to identify the affected units. For more information, please call KTM Malaysia.

  • The 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test was an exciting premise to the season.

  • The bikes are much faster this year.

  • The results has a good mix of different bikes.

Three exciting days of the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test is over.

Maybe the word “exciting” would be a stretch for those following reports from their offices or homes, since there’s no telecast except if you subscribed to the crazily expensive Videopass package on the official MotoGP website. But to us following from the trackside, paddock and Media Centre at the Sepang International Circuit, it was evident that we will have an exciting 2018 MotoGP season ahead of us.

First of all, the Top Three manufacturers of the series had their satellite teams running at almost, if not faster, times as the factory teams. If counted in Alex Rins, who’s making a return to Suzuki after being sidelined from much of 2017, that makes four different manufacturers in the Top 10.

Picture from MotoGP.com

There was certainly drama over the three days, especially in the afternoon sessions. While they ran race simulations earlier in the day (long stints out on track at race pace), the later sessions were when the teams and riders go out en masse for qualifying test runs. This was when most of the best times were recorded for the first two days: Dani Pedrosa’s penultimate lap on Day One, Vinalez’s and Rossi’s on Day Two.

It was a different story on Day Three, as eight of the top ten riders posted their fastest times earlier in the day when the track was cooler. This goes to show that the Michelins work around a certain track temperature range and start to “go away” when the heat picks up.

Indeed, Valentino Rossi who finished eighth fastest on the last day and ninth in combined times went on to say, “First of all, we tried everything and we have pretty clear ideas, but today was the most difficult day. We suffered a bit more because of a lack of grip and that made us lost a bit in positions.”

Rossi is 38 this year and still chasing that elusive 10th title. There’s been much talk if the flamboyant racer will continue beyond 2018.

Picture from MotoGP.com

The story of the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test, of course, went to Jorge Lorenzo in his second year at Ducati. While many pundits claimed that the Majorcan will fail miserably in his new team, he had already started to show his prowess toward the latter part of the 2017 season.

With his fastest lap of 1:58.830, Lorenzo absolutely blew everyone away on the GP18 on Day Three, as being the first rider to ever head below the 1:59 mark. Has the Majorcan adapted to the machine or has Ducati made changes to fit his riding style? “The bike has improved and it’s more suited to my riding style and I can take profit of my strong points,” said Lorenzo. Unfortunately, the time will not be recorded as the fastest lap, as it happened during the off-season. Let’s hope he repeats it during race weekend.

Picture from MotoGP.com

Lorenzo is one of the only riders who still ride the “long arc” style compared to the “V-shape” line most MotoGP riders adopt.

The latter style was effectively used by Marc Marquez to guide his Honda RC-V to four MotoGP championships. He’d brake hard all the way to the apex of a corner, lift the bike up quickly onto the fatter part of the rear tyre and blast his way out, utilizing the Honda’s power. This was also because the Honda has a short wheelbase and taller centre of gravity.

Lorenzo’s style is the traditional out-in-out style used by many 250cc riders. Brake early, release and carry more corner speed. The Yamaha had suited Lorenzo’s style from the outset, being long and low. This was why he suffered initially when he moved to Ducati.

Dani Pedrosa had been giving Lorenzo and Ducati a run for their money throughout the tests. He did well to record his fastest time of 1:59.009, just 0.179 off Lorenzo’s. SIC has always been one of his favourite hunting grounds, having won here three times in the past. Will he challenge for the top throughout the season?

Picture from MotoGP.com

Cal Crutchlow has been doing well in the tests and finished third fastest with a time of 1:59.052. The Englishman had been testing the new Honda aerodynamics package alongside Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Andrea Dovizioso came close to winning his first title and Ducati’s since Casey Stoner in 2007 last year. He had suffered a crash earlier in the day but still managed to pop in his fastest time of 1:59.169.

Picture from MotoGP.com

One of the biggest news was Jack Miller. Having had a couple of dreadful seasons (although he had one win in Assen, The Netherlands in 2016), Miller surprised everyone including himself at Sepang. Now riding the Ducati GP17 for the Alma Pramac Racing team, “Jackass” been in the top five of each day and posted a great time of 1:59.346. “The more I ride the bike, the more I understand it and get the feel for it,” he said.

Alex Rins was another welcomed sight in the top ten, finishing sixth fastest (1:59.348) on the Suzuki. Sidelined for much of 2017, he kept putting that blue bike in the top ten for the three days.

On the other hand, Maverick Vinalez seemed to have been inconsistent, apart from posting the fastest time on Day Two just ahead of his teammate Rossi. He ended Day Three eighteenth fastest, but seventh overall in combined times by merit of this 1:59.322 time from Day Two. He lamented, “Today it’s been difficult. I don’t know why we lost time, especially in the afternoon – in the morning it went quite well.”

What about Marquez? The defending champ had been testing everything that needed to be tested. The 2017 bike with the 2017 engine, then with the 2018 engine; the 2018 bike with and without the new aerodynamics. He came away eighth fastest but remains positive from the data gathered.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Rounding out the top ten on combined standings is Johann Zarco. Zarco had fired the first shot in the wet during the first day’s morning session. He had also tested the same aerodynamics package as the factory boys. But his fastest time of 1:59.511 clocked on the last day was only good for ninth of the day and tenth overall.

Picture from MotoGP.com

However, if we compared to the previous years’ results, 21 of 26 riders (excluding the four test riders) went faster than Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest race lap of 2:00.606 in 2015 (2016 was a wet race, 2017 was a dry race on a drying track.) Karel Abraham was the 21st rider on the timesheet with 2:00.574. The 26th and final rider, Yonny Hernandez who’s sitting in for Jonas Folger in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, clocked his fastest lap at 2:01.223.

The off-season tests head to Buriram, Thailand starting from 16th February, which is incidentally Valentino Rossi’s 38th birthday, and Chinese New Year. Buriram is a circuit with long straights preceding the corners, somewhat akin to Motegi, placing great importance on hard acceleration and hard braking.

  • Jorge Lorenzo smashes lap record in the morning session.

  • Dani Pedrosa also broke his old record.

  • Cal Crutchlow continues to do well.

The previous outright lap record of 1:59.053 set by Dani Pedrosa in 2015 has finally been broken, during this third day of the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test.

While as many as eleven riders broke into the 1:59 minute time bracket just before midday, it was Jorge Lorenzo who holds the distinction as the first rider to record a time below 1:59 minutes, with an ultra-fast 1:58.830, after a superb display of riding smoothness and speed.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Former record Dani Pedrosa also broke his own record by posting a time of 1:59.009 which earned him the second fastest spot.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Cal Crutchlow continues his impressive run with a 1:59.052 lap.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Lorenzo’s Ducati Team teammate, Andrea Doviziso posted the fourth fastest time of 1:59.169.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Jack Miller is also continuing his impressive form in fifth with 1:59.346.

Picture form MotoGP.com

One rider who had been going about his business quietly is Alex Rins of Team Suzuki Ecstar. He had been posting impressive times consistently for the past two days, before posting his fastest lap yet at 1:59.348.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Marc Marquez completed the morning session in seventh after clocking 1:59.382.

Picture form MotoGP.com

Both Marquez and Crutchlow are testing the 2018 bike with the new aerodynamic package. The former remarked yesterday that the team needed to make other adjustments to bike for a better balance.

Although the second through to the thirteenth position seem far apart, the riders were separated by just 0.8 second. Those positions consisted of a good mix of bikes too. If all teams are as competitive throughout the year as what we witness now, we’re in for another exciting season ahead.

Hold on tight as we bring you the conclusion of 2018 Sepang Test later today.

 

  • There are different brake pad compounds available in the market.

  • Each provides a different braking feel.

  • Find a type that suits your riding style and use of the motorcycle.

Brake pads are often overlooked for the majority of riders, “Hey as long as it stops, no problem.” Or we just ride replace the pads when the mechanic tells us that it’s time do so. It’s almost like we have no choice in it, except when it comes to paying, “Brape? (How much?)”

Perhaps, it doesn’t have to be so with a little more understanding, then we could dictate on what we actually need, instead of being led by the nose.

Brake Pad Friction Rating

Before we go further, be aware that there are two current friction ratings for brake pads, GH and HH.

Both those letters signify the brake pad’s coefficient of friction (CoF); the first being the CoF at normal working temperature, and the second at an extreme temperature of 650 oF (343 oC). Therefore, the ratings indicate how much friction is there at certain operating temperatures. The G-rating offers between 0.45 and 0.55, while the H-rating’s CoF is from 0.55 and up. These ratings are usually stamped on the outside of the pad’s back plate, although there are manufacturers who don’t do so but specify it on the brake pads’ packing, instead.

Brake Pad Material

Having the right type of pad material determines how it feels when the brakes are applied and how it stops a bike.

Organic

Organic pads may sound like they’re something grown without chemicals, it just means they don’t contain metal. Instead, they’re a blend of rubber, glass, carbon, aramid, Kevlar (the real contents differ among manufacturers), bonded by a resin.

Organic pads are popular among riders due to their progressive braking feel, which doesn’t “bite” aggressively. Additionally, it’s softer and doesn’t score brake discs. However, they typically wear out faster due to being soft.

Sintered

The pad material, usually copper particles, is fused to the backing plate under extreme pressure and temperature (the process is called “sintering”) to form a friction material that’s wear resistant. They can handle a wide range of conditions, hence well-suited for any type of riding including trackdays.

Sintered pads offer a stable CoF whether cold or hot, and they bite instantly. Apart from that, they are resistant to fade, perform well in the rain or mud, and usually last longer.

However, the do wear brake discs quickly. Most, if not all, motorcycles use the harder stainless steel brake discs these days. However, if you encounter deep grooves or “blueing” on your discs, you may have to consider replacing your brake pads for those of less aggressive material.

Semi-Metallic/Semi-Sintered

Manufacturers infuse organic pads with some metal material to increase the bite, durability and fade-resistance, while still maintaining the progressive feel and low disc-wear of the organic brake pads. This may be a good compromise for most riders.

Ceramic Composite

They are made by fusing high-strength ceramic fibres and ductile non-ferrous (non-iron) metal filaments at extreme pressures and heat. The metal filaments provide the initial bite while the ceramic compound provides high temperature resistance to avoid brake fade.

Besides that, the metal filaments carry away heat quickly to reduce rotor wear and deformation (disc warp).

Notes

  1. First and foremost, you should not use any brake pad which or brake lining that contains asbestos. It has been established decades ago that asbestos is carcinogenic and could cause lung cancer should you inhale the asbestos dust. Although the use of asbestos has been banned you may still encounter it in some ultra-cheap drum brake linings.
  2. If you’re replacing your brake pads for daily use, please select “STREET” or “ROAD” varieties. Racing brake pads do bite but they may have to reach a certain operating temperature to provide optimum braking.
  3. Take some time to “bed in” the new pads (usually 300 to 500 km). They need time to conform to the irregularities of your brake discs, and will not grip at their maximum when new. So keep that in mind when riding away with a new set.

  • Day Two closed with both factory Yamahas leading the pack.

  • The factory Ducatis and Hondas finished lower down the field.

  • The times from first to fifth are faster than last year’s race qualifying time.

Yamaha MotoGP fans’ concerns about the team’s performance is allayed at the end of Day Two of the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test, when both riders Maverick Vinalez and Valentino Rossi clocked the fasted times of the weekend so far.

It was another mad dash with about an hour to go for the day, when almost all the riders went on track for one final session. Andrea Davizioso had held on to his fastest time from just after midday with Rossi in second and Marquez in third. The trio were the only riders who cracked the 2:00 minute mark of the day and were separated by less than 0.2 second.

Picture from MotoGP.com

It was Marquez who first went faster by just 0.002 second ahead of Dovizioso, followed by Johann Zarco (1:59.702), then Cal Crutchlow (1:59.443). But just as everyone was looking to see if they could better their times, Rossi went ahead and posted the (then) fastest lap of 1:59.390.

Picture from MotoGP.com

But the Italian’s teammate Maverick Vinalez had other plans, as he overhauled Rossi with a superfast 1:59.355 time.

Looking at the sector times of both Yamahas, they were close to each other’s, which could either mean that we could see their characteristics, or that they were both running similar settings. They seemed to have picked up some power too, as both bikes’ top speeds were close to Doviziso’s. Besides that, word in the paddock has it that the Yamahas were running on the medium compound tyres, which means that they could go even faster on the softs in qualifying trim.

Jack Miller is having a superb time of the Alma Pramac Racing Ducati as he claimed fifth fastest with a time of 1:59.509. That time is already faster than the 2017 pole position time for the 2017 Malaysian MotoGP.

Although there are still many variables in play during any test session, the times recorded so far from first to fifth have beaten last year’s pole position time.

There’s a much better mix of bikes and teams within today’s Top Five, compared to yesterday’s: There are the two factory Yamahas on top, a satellite Honda team (Crutchlow) in third, a factory Ducati in fourth (Lorenzo 1;59.498), and a satellite Ducati in fifth (Miller).

Defending champ, Marquez ended the day in seventh (1:59.730). As he had revealed yesterday, he had been testing the 2017 bike with different engine’s yesterday and the 2018 bike today.

Dovizioso went out again during the last session but couldn’t improve on his earlier time of 1:59.732 and was relegated to eighth.

Danilo Petrucci, who’s riding the Ducati GP18 and Jack Miller’s teammate, finished in ninth after clocking his best time of 1:59.747.

In tenth is Andrea Ianone from Team Suzuki Ecstar. He clocked a best time of 1:59.917.

Rain had stayed away throughout the day. Track temperatures climbed into the lower 40 oC, before hovering in the high thirties due to the strong breeze.

We can’t wait for tomorrow’s testing, and they’ll definitely go faster!

  • Day Two of the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test started under bright sunlight.

  • Only three riders have gone under the 2:00 minute mark thus far.

  • It’s a three-way fight among Ducati, Honda and Yamaha at the moment.

Day Two if the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test opens to bright sunshine and hot weather, providing the teams with a great opportunity to record some useful data.

As at 1500 hrs. (3pm), riders Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez (Honda) trade fastest times.

Rossi had held the fastest time of 1:59.766 going into the hour, but Dovizioso fought back to better it with a time of 1:59.732, just 0.034 second faster. Marquez, who starts testing the 2018 bike today, clocked his fastest time of 1:59.988.

Picture from MotoGP.com

More interestingly, however, was on which part of the track was Rossi faster compared to Dovizioso. The former was fastest in Sectors 1, 3 and 4. Dovi was faster than Rossi only in Sector 2.

Please refer to the layout of the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) below.

Sector 1 (in yellow) is from the Start/Finish line to the exit of Turn 3, Sector 2 (in red) is from the exit of Turn 3 to before the entrance into Turn 7, Sector 3 (in green) is from Turn 7 to the entrance of Turn 13, and Sector 4 (in grey) is from Turn 13 back to the Start/Finish line.

Provisionally, it shows that the new Yamaha is faster in the tighter twisty sections of Sectors 1 and 3, allowing the rider to carry the speed into Sector 4.

Section 2 consists of the chute into Turn 4, then the sweeping Turns 5 and 6, before a short run into Turn 7. Dovi’s time in this Sector was 27.339 seconds, compared to Rossi’s 27.577 seconds.

Picture from MotoGP.com

A we mentioned that is really preliminary at this time of the day and the riders will definitely go faster later in the day.

Also, do remember that the riders and teams may be testing motorcycles as whole, but if we break it down, these tests are also for important for the suppliers of other components such as electronics, suspension, brakes, tyres, exhaust systems, oil and fluids in the bike; riding gear including the helmet, gloves, suit, boots and almost anything else you could think of.

Picture from MotoGP.com
  • Dani Pedrosa blitzed the field, beating out a late charge by the Ducati factory riders.

  • Dani had always been strong and won at Sepang.

  • Early chargers Yamaha Factory Team were pushed down the order.

Dani Pedrosa staved off the Ducati charge to end the first day of the 2018 Sepang Official MotoGP Test as the fastest rider.

The late afternoon session saw a thrilling tussle between Honda, Ducati and Yamaha factory teams, with their riders swapping fastest times.

It was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) who went fastest after lunchtime, only to see Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati MotoGP) go on top. Desmo Dovi then held on to the top spot for some time before the former fought back to record a 2:00.322 time.

Picture from MotoGP.com

But as the clock counted down to the end of the first day, most riders hit the track en masse. However, it was the Ducati-mounted riders who proved to be faster. Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller of Alma Pramac Racing recorded the fourth and fifth fastest times of the day with 2:00.123 and 2:00.178, respectively.

Picture from MotoGP.com

As for the Ducati factory team, Andrea Dovizioso reclaimed the top spot with a time of 1:59.770, while his teammate Jorge Lorenzo clocked 1:59.802.

It was not to be an all-out celebration for Dovi, as Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) charged into first place with a blistering 1:59.427 lap time. Dani’s time is just 0.235 seconds slower than his record-setting pole time in 2017.

Rossi found himself relegated to sixth, with Marc Marquez in seventh with his best lap of 2:00.290. The morning’s fastest man, Johann Zarco bested his earlier time (recorded on a damp track) with 2:00.421, ending the day in  eighth.

Picture from MotoGP.com

Rossi’s teammate, Maverick Vinalez had put in 72 laps on this first day, more than any other rider. He had posted an initially strong time at 2:00.714 but the advancing horde saw him pushed down to 13th.

Picture from MotoGP.com

With such a fast early pace exhibited by Pedrosa, how will it be tomorrow? The Klang Valley saw a heavy shower late in the evening, so how will that play out tomorrow?

Stay tuned as we continue to bring you more excitement from this test.

Picture from MotoGP.com
  • The 2018 MotoGP season has begun with the Winter Tests.

  • Held at the Sepang International Circuit, the teams are back to test their new machinery.

  • Dorna has put more restrictions on the number of tests this year, making this session all the more important.

While the first race of the 2018 MotoGP is a few months away, the riders are back for the MotoGP Winter Tests at the Sepang International Circuit, in which 2017 MotoGP Rookie of the Year, Johann Zarco sounded his intentions early by posting the fastest time.

The tests are customarily held in mid-February previously, but has been brought forward this year due the extra round at Buriram, Thailand in the 2018 calendar.

It goes without saying that the Winter Tests or also officially known as the Sepang Official MotoGP Test is one of the most important events of every MotoGP season. Sepang is the chosen track due to the weather which features high humidity, high temperatures and occasional torrential rain, besides the high speeds attainable. That makes SIC as one of – if not the only – track where they will look for “baseline settings” for this similar sort of variable weather and track layout, besides testing their new bikes, equipment and for the riders to get their mojo back after the holiday season.

In the first test session of the first day (28th January), Johann Zarco topped the timesheets with a time of 2:11.863 on his 21st and penultimate lap. Dani Pedrosa posted the second fastest time so far at 2:12.527 (0.664s behind) and Jorge Lorenzo in third with 2:12.897 (1.034s back).

Defending Champion, Marc Marquez is way back in ninth, having posted the time of 2:13.406, which is incidentally the exact time posted by Valentino Rossi in eighth. Rossi’s teammate Maverick Vinalez is seventh, with a time of 2:13.395.

The Yamaha pair is no doubt itching to test their 2018 machines which is utilizes the 2016 chassis, after they encountered the lack of rear grip in the rain in the 2017 season. The new bikes were officially launched just three days ago.

MotoGP: Movistar Yamaha launches 2018 Yamaha M1; Vinales stays until 2020

The times are still far behind the fastest Qualifying 2 time of 1:59.212 posted by Dani Pedrosa in the 2017 Shell Malaysia MotoGP round. Zarco recorded the second fastest Q2 time at 1:59.229 and Jorge Lorenzo was in sixth with 1:59.622.

The weather at SIC is overcast with the occasional light rain and the track is damp in certain spots. Its temperature has dropped from 30 oC to a low of 29.3 oC at the time this report went online.

Stay tuned as we continue to post results and findings throughout the day.

  • The ABS (Antilock Brake System) is now integral with motorcycling.

  • It allows the rider to apply maximum braking pressure without locking the wheel(s).

  • ABS technology has evolved to the stage that it allows for added functionalities.

We covered the basics on how a motorcycle brake system works in Part 1 and now let’s expand it to the Antilock Brake System (ABS). The basic premise of ABS is to prevent the wheel or wheels locking up (stop rolling or jem brek, as we call it locally) when the rider grabs a handful of brake lever or when braking hard on slippery surfaces.

ABS is now an integral part of motorcycling, although there are a number of models not equipped with it in Malaysia. The European Union has mandated that all motorcycles above 125cc are equipped with it since 2016.

BMW was the first to introduce an electronic/hydraulic ABS on a motorcycle, on the 1988 K100. It added 11 kg to the bike. Honda and Yamaha followed suit in 1992, offering the system as an option on the ST1100 and FJ1200, respectively. In comparison, the current system offered by Bosch weighs a scant 0.7 kg for the base version and 1.6 kg for the enhanced variety.

ABS was once viewed as a weight handicap, besides added complexity and cost, as such, most motorcycle manufacturers offered it as an extra option.

The first versions were adopted from cars. Whereas cars have all four tyres on the road and isn’t very prone to large fore-and-aft weight transfers, certain challenges were faced when adopted to motorcycles. For example, the system triggered too early even before a rider could really brake hard enough, in addition to the brake lever and pedal pulsating upon activation and surprised riders into releasing the brakes. It was an unnecessary distraction riders could live without.

However, the continual advancement in electronics has brought on many positive improvements in ABS technology to where it is presently. New ABS systems work almost imperceptibly.

Maximum braking force for any wheeled vehicle is when the wheel is just about to lock. However, it’s a different story when the wheel does lock up as there are many variables depending on road friction which in turn depends on weather and road conditions. Moreover tyre wear, tyre pressure, different tyre sizes, suspension, the dynamics of weight transfer during acceleration or deceleration, and cornering.

This is where ABS comes into play.

Wheel speed sensors are mounted above slotted rings on each wheel to measure and compare wheel speeds. The signal is sent to the ECU (electronic control unit) for monitoring. The ECU calculates based on information from both wheels for two parametres: whether the deceleration of one wheel exceeds a fixed threshold, and the other whether there is brake slip. These factors indicate a locked wheel.

The ECU signals the hydraulic unit to hold or release brake pressure, just momentarily before reapplying the brake pressure, to get the wheel back to the point of maximum braking force just prior to locking up. This pressure modulation allows the tyres to regain grip and enable the rider to control and steer his bike. In other words, ABS allows the rider to apply maximum braking force without locking the wheels and losing control. That’s why ABS is banned from top echelon racing such as superbikes, and all classes of MotoGP.

There are a few types.

The first and older ABS I (in 1988) was also known as piston systems. Using a spring-tensioned piston, a motor pulls back the plunger piston to open increase the space for the brake fluid, effectively lowering its brake pressure. ABS II (in 1993) still uses the spring-tensioned piston, but replaced the plunger with an electronically controlled friction clutch. Both were used on BMWs although Honda used the second system on their touring and large bikes.

The newer valve and pumps systems uses solenoid inlet and outlet valves, pump, motor and accumulators/reservoirs. When the system is activated, the brake fluid is stored in accumulators to release the pressure. A pump er… pumps back the fluid. That’s what cause the pulsation on the brake lever or foot pedal.

The best ABS systems cycle through this process at 24 Hz (Hertz, times per second). No human could possibility emulate this feat.

Again, with the advancement of electronics, the ABS has seen some intriguing added functionalities, too, such as dual-channel, combined braking, cornering, rear lift-up mitigation (anti-stoppie, or anti-wekang), supermoto, and offroad ABS. Even traction control depends on the sensors and ECU for speed and tyre slip signals.

But those are stories for another time.

  • Moto Guzzi Malaysia has acquired Unit 0001/1000 of the limited edition V7 III Anniversario.

  • Production of the model is limited to only 1000 units worldwide.

  • The bike is priced at RM 80,900 (incl. of 6% GST, but not on-the-road).

Moto Guzzi Malaysia has acquired Unit 0001 of the V7 III Anniversario. It’s of great significance as production of the model is limited to only 1000 units worldwide.

The V7 III Anniversario commemorates the 50th year of the legendary Moto Guzzi V7, and is distinguished from the unlimited run V7 III by numerous exclusive details such as the gold-coloured Moto Guzzi eagle emblem on the chrome fuel tank, brand new genuine leather seat, and billet aluminium locking fuel tank cap.

The mudguards are polished aluminium, the passenger grab bar is chrome plated steel, while the wheels get exclusive polished channels and grey hubs.

Perhaps most importantly, the handlebar riser is laser inscribed with the production number XXXX/1000.

While based on the V7 III Special, the Anniversario’s engine has been tuned for a 10% power gain. The steel frame with dismountable double cradle maintains the same 46/54% front/rear weight distribution, however the front portion has been revamped and reinforced with a new steering geometry for better handling, cornering and stability.

These features produce makes the Moto Guzzi V7 III Annivesario a handcrafted work of art worthwhile for collectors.

“I am proud that we managed to acquire the 0001 unit of the III Anniversario and this would also be a pride for Moto Guzzi enthusiasts in Malaysia,” said Rewi Bugo, Chairman of Didi Resources Sdn. Bhd. Didi Resources is the official importer and distributor of Moto Guzzi motorcycles in Malaysia.

Rewi Bugo, Chairman of Didi Resources Sdn. Bhd.

The Moto Guzzi V7 III Anniversario is available for viewing at The Gasket Alley, Petaling Jaya, and priced at RM 80,900 (inclusive of 6% GST but not on-the-road).

For more information, please visit http://www.motoguzzi.com/my_EN/ or their official Facebook page.

  • The hydraulic brake system’s operation is easy to understand.

  • It consists of only a few main parts.

  • However, pay attention to your brake fluid and hoses.

Everytime we squeeze and press down on the brake levers, the brake system causes the motorcycle to slow down. it works day in, day out, throughout the bike’s lifespan. But have you ever thought about how it actually works?

While the traditional cable-operated drum brakes are available on a certain number of bikes, they are being phased out for the hydraulic brake system, more commonly called disc brake system.

The brake system converts kinetic energy (contained in a moving object) to thermal energy (heat) by using friction. Brakes have evolved over time and some brake systems could actually slow a bike quicker than the latter could accelerate. In a recent overseas test on the BMW S 1000 XR, the bike accelerated from 0 to 160 km/h in 6.1 seconds, covering 151 metres. That fast! But it slowed from 160 to 0 km/h in 5 seconds in less than 100 metres.

The basic working principles of the hydraulic disc brake system is easy to understand. When you press the brake lever, the master cylinder pump pushes the brake fluid through the brake hoses to the calipers. In turn, this pressure pushes on the caliper’s pistons which have brake pads attached to them. The pads are compressed on to the brake disc.

Let’s look at the parts of a hydraulic brake system:

Master cylinder

More commonly called the “brake pump” or (“bulek pom” by your typical Chinese mechanic at the kedai motor), it converts mechanical force (when you press the lever) into hydraulic pressure. The brake lever pushes on a piston that presses on the brake fluid. The force with which you pull the lever is the leverage ratio and the size of the master cylinder piston determine the amount of pressure is subjected through the system, sometimes exceeding 1,000 kPa.

Brake Hoses

Hoses transmit pressure from the master cylinder to the calipers. They are typically multilayered, with a Teflon inner lining surrounded by braided nylon, or Kevlar, or stainless-steel reinforcing layer, and finally wrapped in a protective sheathing.

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel-braided hoses DO NOT stronger braking. They provide a more consistent braking feel as they don’t expand like rubber hoses do when subjected to eyeball-popping hard braking.

Rubber hoses lose their strength over time, thus need to be replaced every four years.

Brake caliper

This is also inexplicably called the bulek pom in the workshops. The real job of pumping braking fluid is handled by the master cylinder.

Anyway, it’s at the caliper where the hydraulic pressure is multiplied. This is because the pressure from the master cylinder is exerted uniformly on the much larger area of the caliper pistons. An adult male’s hand grip typically exerts only between 0.4 to 0.6 kPa, thus that has to be increased to more than 1,000 kPa.

Brake Disc

The disc transfers the brake pads’ resistance to the tyre contact patch. Brake discs are usually made of stainless steel with variable amounts of iron. Modern discs are also drilled to assist in cooling, besides shedding water and debris.

Brake fluid

Another incorrectly named item, usually called minyak brek (brake oil). It has nothing to do with oils. The misconception probably arose from being referred to industrial hydraulic fluids that are petroleum based.

The brake fluid is the medium which transmits force from the brake lever to the brake pads. The brake fluid isn’t as simple as one may be inclined to think. Other than being non-compressible to effectively transfer the pressure, it needs to have low viscosity to work with ABS components, has good lubricity for the master cylinder and caliper piston seals, offer corrosion resistance, and importantly has high boiling point.

There are four grades of brake fluids. Glycol-based ones are DOT 3, 4, and 5.1, hence are mixable. DOT 5 is silicone-based and can’t be mixed any other type.

The glycol-based fluids are hydrophilic, meaning they suck in and absorb moisture from the air. Mixed with water, the brake fluid’s boiling point is lowered, causing brake fade. That’s why brake fluids need to replaced every two years.

DOT 5 on the other hand, is hydrophobic and rejects water. However, after repeated heating and cooling cycles, bad master cylinder and caliper seals, it will also ingest water eventually. However, DOT 5 brake fluid does not pull moisture out of the air own its own, thus have a longer lifespan. Military vehicles usually use DOT 5 since they sit idle for long periods of time.

Additionally, being silicone-based, it’s not caustic leading Harley-Davidson to using this previously.

Does this mean we should all convert to DOT 5? The short answer is “NO.” DOT 5 brake fluids are expensive, has high compressibility and higher viscosity (thicker) and thereby unsuitable for everyday use. Harley-Davdison has since reverted to DOT 4.

Each grade usually denotes the fluid’s boiling point, from the heat resulting from friction, rather than its chemical contents.

The US Department of Transport (DOT) specified each grade’s “dry” and “wet” boiling point. The latter is deemed to be completely free of moisture, while the latter contains 3.7% water, common after a year of regular use.

DOT 3: 205 oC (dry), 140 oC (wet).
DOT 4: 230 oC (dry), 155 oC (wet).
DOT 5: 260 oC (dry), 180 oC (wet).
DOT 5.1: 260 oC (dry), 180 oC (wet).

Observe how much performance drops away between dry and wet. That’s why brake fluid should be replaced every two years. Since the standard was set in the USA, we may need to replace it even earlier due to our climate’s high humidity and constant rain.

Water in the fluid lowers its boiling point, casing the brake lever to feel spongy and reducing braking performance – called “brake fade.”

That’s it for Part 1. We’ll talk about brake pads, caliper mounts, ABS, carbon brakes and so forth next time.

  • Reading is as important as learning how to ride.

  • Riding offroad does wonders for your riding.

  • These are the five best ones, but there are still more!

Whether you ride a dual-sport, enduro or MX motorcycle, there’s no denying how fun these bikes could be, as well as being the most versatile motorcycles on the planet. Besides, being able to ride offroad does wonders for your road riding abilities. Ask Rossi and Marquez!

Attending a school such as Most Fun Gym (MFG) and receiving personalized coaching is the best way to learn the proper techniques about offroading, but supplementing those lessons will complete the entire learning process. Can’t have the practical lessons without the theories, right?

Here are a few great books to have for expanding your offroading knowledge and skills.

You may find most of them at Kinokuniya in KLCC or order online from them. Alternatively, you may also order these books from Amazon.com.

The Essential Guide to Dual Sport Motorcycling
Author: Carl Adams
ISBN: 9781884313714

If you could only find just one book, this is the one. It’s a good choice for beginners and the street rider who’s looking for more information on getting into the wonderful world of dual-sport motorcycling. The author covers everything from offroad riding techniques to what to equip yourself and bike with. There’s also a section on how to setup your bike for offroading, written in an easy to understand manner, with plenty of colour photos.

How to Ride Offroad Motorcycles: Key Skills and Advanced Training
Author: Gary LaPlante
ISBN: 9780760342732

While the title gives the impression of riding fully offroad motorcycles such as enduros and motocrossers, this book is a great companion to road riders who occasionally ride in the rough stuff.

Author LaPlante writes about how certain basic skills are shared for both offroad and road bikes, then building them for one another and ultimately producing the complete rider. Think of it as a cross-training book. That said, it’s covers all aspects of dirt riding in a step-by-step process, so beginners wouldn’t find themselves bewildered by advanced terminologies from the outset.

The Art of Trailriding: 33 Lessons Designed to Improve Your Riding Skills
Author: Paul Clipper
ISBN: 9781540549167

First up, Paul Clipper was the former staffer at Dirt Bike magazine before setting up Trail Rider magazine, and he digs into his 40-year offroad riding experience to describe how you bike works and the means to controlling it in simple terms.

Clipper covers proper setup, before going on to detail what to do and what to expect while riding offroad. As the title suggests, this book is meant for riders who like to “take it easy” in the rough i.e. trail riding, instead on motocross riders. However, a dirtbike is a dirtbike and motocross riders will need to first learn how to ride in the dirt before progressing to the more serious stuff. This means motocross riders may also find some to lots of useful info in this book.

The Total Dirt Rider Manual: 358 Essential Dirt Bike Skills
Author: Pete Anderson and the Editors of Dirt Rider
ISBN: 9781616287276

Finally, a book for the more advanced riders out there. Yes, it starts with the basics of setting up the bike and riding techniques, but these guys who are the Editors of Dirt Rider magazine take it all the way up to pulling tricks like those in the X-Games.

Dirt Rider is well-known for its “Dr. Dirt” feature which provides great step-by-step info on repairs and maintenance, and the selection of the best ones made it into this book.

Archive

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube