Best pads,disc,and lines - - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-14-2019, 1:50 AM Thread Starter
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Best pads,disc,and lines

What is the current thinking on the best pads,disc,and brake lines for the most effective stopping power for a 2009 EX-500 stock front brake setup? No dual disc or different MC.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-14-2019, 6:55 AM
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Stainless steel line.
EBC floating rotor.
EBC sintered pads.

Not my choice on those sintered pads mind you. I don't like the abuse the rotor takes when using them. I can stop the bike using organic pads 👍.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-14-2019, 7:50 AM
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agree with the above. although the set up will have a big influence on overall braking. a well serviced calliper with free moving slider. getting all the air out [most only get 99.5% of it out and call it done] those last few air bubbles take time and effort to remove. and setting the calliper to the disc. will have a big effect. I don't have a floating disk [far too expensive on such a old bike] but can still stand it on it's nose during heavy braking. that's good enough for me.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-14-2019, 1:14 PM
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All good points and a few more random thoughts....

Don't forget that a sticky front tire is also part of the equation. The stock system works pretty well if all elements are working as designed.

I can't help but wonder if the electric conversion might have added weight, changed the weight distribution, or raised the center of gravity to the point the front brake feels like it is no longer up to the job.

Too bad the motorcycle pad manufacturers are secretive and don't seem to publish the compound co-efficient of friction curves like the car pad companies do. Don't be afraid to try pads with different friction compounds to fine tune the performance. Once the basic system is working properly its easy (and relatively cheap) to experiment with different pads. A floating disc won't really increase braking performance; its just less likely to warp if extreme temperatures are seen. With modern friction compounds there is no longer any need to sacrifice the rotor to get the high "bite" desired for a performance setup.
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-14-2019, 9:20 PM
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Typically when you notice braking performance decrease, that's sign to bleed and replace fluid. Are you able to lock-up front tyre or do stoppies? If so, you have sufficient brakes and upgrading them won't do much for braking performance... As mentioned, it's ultimately front tyre's maximum-grip that determines braking deceleration.

Unless you race, and then heat becomes concern. I have 2008 & 2009 Ninja 250s, one is street-bike all stock and other's race-bike. Rode street-bike & commuted for over year and braking never lacked. However, I took it to track one day to compare to race-bike and then it showed where upgrades can help.

First was non-linear action of factory pads. Initial braking was very strong, but squeezing harder on levers didn't increase braking deceleration linearly. Next was heat-soak with maximum-braking turn after turn (about 5 full-on braking efforts every minute from +80 mph). The pads faded and braking-distances increased more and more requiring ever harder-squeezes on lever.

My race-bike's 100th braking effort is exactly same as 1st and never overheads. It has in front:

- stainless line
- Galfer floating rotor
- Galfer G1380 HH sintered pads

So far after 2.5-years on track (30 races & 90+ trackdays), Galfer pads finally wore out while rotor remains completely unworn! Not sure how this is possible, I can't feel ridge on edge anywhere! Bizzare...

Anyway, I put same Galfer G1380 pads on my street bike in case I ever take it to track again. Street performance has been exact same as with factory pads.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 7-14-2019 at 9:23 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-16-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Hello [email protected] and Danno, The EV500 is about 40 lbs lighter than stock and the center of gravity seems lower. I think that the feeling of wanting more brake is related to how much quicker the electric version accelerates. I am not sure how to measure it but it is quicker than my
VF 700 Interceptor. We will change line to ss and add HH pads. That with new fluid and a carefully bled system and properly run in pads will, I think, give us good brakes for the street riding we do.
Danno, Can you comment on your choice of Galfer HH pads over EBC HH pads. I looked up Galfer G1380 at your suggestion and could only find G 1370. Thanks for your suggestions and interest.

Last edited by EX-500EV; 7-16-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-16-2019, 1:38 PM
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Yeah, not all pads are available for all bike. There's slight variations over time as they evolve. Here's generic Galfer pad selections. When you drill down to specific years and models, actual list of pads made for it will be subset of all available compounds. I find somewhere in first 3rd is great for street use while somewhere in middle is perfect for race track. Note that track compounds may feel not as grippy at first and needs heavier squeeze to initiate braking.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-20-2019, 7:25 AM
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I suspect some sort of materials difference between factory rotors (cast iron?) and Galfer's. So I called them today about why their brake-rotor isn't showing any wear. All I got out of them about what material it is was vague comment of, "it's strong steel". I supposed they don't want to divulge any secrets and I'm pretty sure front-countre folks aren't exactly engineers anyway. Disc itself only has text giving minimum thickness and "patented".
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-20-2019, 10:27 AM
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Factory Rotors are 410 Stainless steel to be rust proof. not the best CF After market are likely a semi steel of some sort.
But if you knew exactly what they are would that matter, if they work, would you make your own ?

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 7-20-2019, 2:55 PM
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Nah, easy enough to buy off the shelf. Makes sense that factory rotors were some sort of softer material. Thanks for info!

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 7-20-2019 at 4:35 PM.
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