How Brembo handles a half-ton MotoGP bike + rider (under braking)


But an F1 car has four big tires, the lower and longer it is and the driver is strapped in like a fighter driver.

When a MotoGP rider brakes, he takes most of his weight – around 80 kilograms with his riding gear – through his wrists, although he dissipates some of that force through his crotch, thighs, back and its feet, which are completely wedged against the fuel tank, the seat. and footrest.

At 2 o’clockg the weight of the rider generates a force of about 1570 Newtons, which is a lot. The most powerful weightlifters in the world lift around 200 kilograms. Of course, MotoGP riders don’t lift their weight, but the 1570 Newtons equates to a rider resisting up to 160 pounds each time he uses maximum braking force, maybe twice per lap, or 50 times. during a 40 minute race. And obviously he hits forces close to that much more frequently throughout the race. It is an extraordinary achievement.

It took a long time to get here.

Carbon disc rotors (made from carbon-carbon – carbon fibers in a graphite matrix) were first used by Team Roberts Yamaha during the 1988 UK GP. They were so good right away that Wayne Rainey first won with them, because not only do the carbon brakes make it possible to stop the bike faster, but they also reduce the weight of the front wheel, which decreases the gyroscopic effect, which makes the much faster bike.

In the early 1990s, a 500cc GP motorcycle was pulling about 1.5g on the brakes. And the g wasn’t much taller ten years ago.

Wayne Rainey using carbon discs in 1991 – rotors are much bigger now due to increased machine speeds and weight


Motorcycles brake much less hard than F1 cars mainly because they are so short. It’s simple physics – the bike wants to come full circle when braking hard. That’s why increasing braking power or grip beyond certain levels doesn’t make any difference.

It’s the same when the rider releases the brakes and steps on the accelerator. When accelerating hard, a MotoGP bike wants to come full circle back, so the acceleration limit isn’t power or traction, it’s wheelies. This is why factories have spent so much time and money creating front end points with their new aerodynamics.

“G-force has grown so much in the five years since MotoGP aero became a big thing”

What are the reasons for the sharp increase in braking force in recent years?

MotoGP aero engineers design their aero to increase downforce during acceleration, but the aero also helps when the rider is on the brakes. The strakes, fenders and swinglets on the swingarm make the bike more stable, the extra drag they create helps stop the bike and while they increase the front load, they don’t reduce the rear load. , which improves braking at all levels.

This is why the braking force in deceleration has increased so much in the five years since MotoGP aero became a big thing.

At the same time, the engineers rebalanced the MotoGP motorcycles, taking advantage of the improved stability to allow the riders to make more use of the rear brake, so that the Michelin rear can help the Michelin front stop the motorcycle, which further increases deceleration. g.


About Todd Wurtsbach

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