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What's stopping you?

Bespoke Motorcycles recently serviced and tuned a very tidy Triumph 1050 Speed Triple which had just been acquired by the new owner. One of the requested tasks was to replace the front brake pads. The Speed Triple is fitted standard with four piston Brembo radial mount calipers, which should provide brilliant stopping power and considerable 'feel' at the lever, however, on the initial test ride I found the brakes unremarkable.

Closer inspection showed the calipers to be clogged with a build-up of road grime and brake dust. Before the new pads could be fitted, I removed the calipers and stripped them completely to find three of the eight pistons stuck in the bores leaving only the five remaining pistons to do the work of stopping the bike.

The caliper bodies, pistons, clips and pins were thoroughly cleaned and carefully re-assembled with the new pads (further photos). Once refitted and bled up with new fluid, I again rode the bike to find a huge improvement in both feel and stopping power.

The take-away - your bike may be fitted with some of the best brakes in the world (and radial Brembos are just brilliant), but if they are not serviced and set up correctly, all that technology you just spent your hard-earned money on is simply wasted.

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