Sandro: I’m Sandro. I’m with Galfer Brakes.
Aaron: And I’m Aaron, and I’m with the same company.
Sandro: We’re gobbaing to be talking about brake pads today. All Galfer Brake Pads are manufactured in Europe. Inside of the Galfer family of brake pads, we have many different composites.
Aaron: Let’s start with the street compound, which is our black 1054 compound, our semi-metallic pad. We call it our workhorse pad, and the reason for that is that it works on just about everything and in all types of environments. So, no matter what you’re doing, if it’s normal trail riding or you’re just commuting back and forth to work, this is the pad that we recommend. Or if you like the type of feel and response and mileage that you’re getting out of your OEM pad, that’s the type of pad we’re gonna recommend for you because it’s gonna give you the similar characteristics.
Sandro: It’s semi-metallic and it’s very, very easy to the rotors. So, compared to your stock pads, it probably give you the same feel. It’s just not as aggressive to the rotor. The next step up from a semi-metallic brake pad would be what we call the HH composite pad. HH is a friction rating. You have friction ratings that are GG rated, GF rated, HH. In this case, HH means that the brake pad has excellent friction when it’s cold, and it can run at a very high temperature when it’s hot. At both ends of the spectrum, the brake pad is giving you a good feel.
The materials themselves are made out of ceramic composites. They give you a little bit more feel and a little bit more bite than semi-metallics, and they take you one step further. If you were, for example, to be doing arena cross racing or track days at the track, that would be the Galfer 1370 and 1375 compound. If you were to be doing more racing than street riding, inside of that same family of HH composites, you would be running the Galfer 1375 compounds, which are easily identifiable with the ceramic coating on the backing plate. The ceramic coating is put in there so that we will have some sort of a say on how much heat is transferred from the caliper to the brake fluid itself. Ultimately, we have one other compound…
Aaron: …and that would be our 1003 compound. That’s our race only compound. The reason that we classify that as a race only is because it’s a full carbon pad, which means it needs a little bit of heat in it built up for you to get to the friction rating where you’re actually gonna feel them grabbing. So, for a guy who’s riding on the street, it’s gonna be a little sketchy for him because he’s not gonna be getting the pad to the temperature that it needs to be in in order for it to operate properly. So, that’s the pad we recommend for our race guys, our AMA guys who like to really get on the brakes coming into the corners.
Sandro: The AMA product, for example, will have always these two choices. You’ll have a guy who wants a brake that’s like a light switch, and that would be the 1300 compound that Aaron was talking about. Or you’ll have the guy who wants a brake pad that they can get on it hard, and necessarily, the brake pad, it’s not gonna slam the door on them, and that would be the 1003 compound carbon-based. Obviously, that’s, again, for racing. And then for street, like we said, semi-metallic for every day or full-metallic, ceramic-based for the ones going a bit quicker and a little bit harder on their brakes. Just like the 1370 is a compound for street, we also have the 1396, which is a compound for off-road, always advanced ceramic-composite materials, HH friction. Then you’ll have the 1397, which is a specific advanced ceramic brake pad for ATV applications. Why so many specifics? Well, a sport bike, it’s not gonna have the same brake needs as an ATV. An ATV is gonna be running through mud and running through water, so it’s gonna wear out brake pads a lot faster, so we need to put a little bit more hardening materials that they’re gonna make that brake but last a bit longer. And finally, the 1300 compound…
Aaron: The 1300 compound is, again, it’s one of our HH ceramic-based compounds, but it is considered one of our race compounds because it has the high friction level much like the 1003. The best thing about that is that it doesn’t need the heat buildup that the 1003 does. So, it’s a brake pad that’s gonna be maybe a little less progressive. So, once you get on it, you’re getting on it. There’s no waiting for it. It comes on right off the bat. So, the 1300 compound is one of our race compounds, but it’s a lot of bite right off the bat. It gets stronger and stronger.
Sandro: Just like the other composites, all of these other brake pad backing plates are all stamped, for example, on the race pads. These brake padâ€¦the backing plate itself also gets a lot of work. The backing plate is laser-cut and double-disc ground, sort of like the same process we use on our rotors. We wanna make sure that when a race team puts these on their bikes, this is a perfectly flat pad. Obviously, the other ones are very well-finished as well, but if a regular set of brake pads may take us, let’s say, 10 minutes to be made, a set of 1003 pads may take 30 minutes. The amount of time invested on that brake pad is much, much longer.
You’ll also see that the thickness on the backing plate, it’s slightly thicker. When they’re being manufactured, the backing plate is on one side, and the component is on the other side. When you’re talking a semi-metallic brake pads such as this one…semi-metallic brake pads go through what we would call an â€œoven process. â€œSo, the backing plate and the material come along together and the material is bonded onto the backing plate with resins. The resins are then pressed against the backing plate, and together they go into an oven process. They cook, and that’s the end of the story for semi-metallics. On full-metallics, the brake pad itself, pretty much about the same story. The brake pad itself, the backing plate comes along. The material is bonded on top of it. That’s done under pressure and under high heat, and that’s how these two bond together. Every composite bonds to the backing plate differently.
Aaron: Now, what do we recommend when someone is changing their pads? We recommend they should change their fluid?
Sandro: Well, you could flush your brake fluid if need be. Every six months to 12 months, you should be flushing your brake fluid. You should be getting some very thin sandpaper and cleaning the rotors a little bit. 600-grit always helps. Towel and dry the rotors off, you know? That’s always…a little bit of maintenance to your brakes never hurts, definitely.
Aaron: For braking period, we recommend 100 miles of riding. That’s not just going out on the freeway, putting on 100 miles on the bike. What we mean by that is take it easy for the first 100 miles, meaning going through normal city driving traffic. Just don’t get on the brakes and just gun it, holding the brakes still. You don’t wanna do that. You want to break them in easily. So, what does that mean? 10, 15 miles per hour, coming to gradual stops. Just don’t do any aggressive braking for the first 100 miles.
Sandro: If you were to do any aggressive braking, it’s not that you’re gonna damage the brake pads, but you will not get the same life and the same performance out of your brake system. So, if you’re on the street, just easy on the brakes for the first 100 miles. If you’re on the track, your first 5, 6, 10 laps even, kind of like when you have brand new tires, you’re not gonna go out and just hammer it. Same story goes for that. And you can find these brake pads throughout almost any store in the country. Cycle Gear stores have them in stock all the time almost anywhere you go.