I was wondering why motorcycle brakes have so much more stopping power than bicycle hydraulic brakes (Than can be found on mountain bikes for example).
The rotor has a bigger size which gives better leverage for the brake pads and thus more stopping power.
But I don't understand the following:
If the moment (force times lever length) exerted on the brake lever (by the rider's hand) is the same (is this a correct assumption) and the total amount of lever travel is the same... the amount of clamping force the hydraulic brake's caliper's pistons exert on the pads must be equal (I think)(since the same amount of energy is used at the lever.
Or is the free travel (the distance the pads have to travel before they hit the disc) much smaller on a motorcycle disc brake resulting in a shorter (free throw) of the lever which means there is more percentage of the lever travel that can be used to 'build pressure' meaning a smaller piston can be used which would give more clamping force at the pads?
The brake pads are much larger on motorcycles but then again because of the increased surface area one would have to exert more force on the bigger brake pads to get the same pressure/area.
Are my conclusions incorrect?
- Is the pad material a lot softer on the motorcycle brake pads?
- What design changes would enable higher clamping force with the same lever throw/force exerted on lever (if any design changes could accomplish this)?
Another example (light motorcycle vs heavy motorcycle): my motorcycle (Suzuki gn250, 140 ish kg wet weight) has a hydraulic front (disc) brake. A Honda Goldwing (very heavy motorcycle , 380 kg wet weight) also has a hydraulic front (disc) brake. What would be the main differences that enable the Goldwing's front brake to have so much more power?
Another question: The Goldwing has 2 discs/2 calipers in the front. There is more pad material indeed but the same thought (more surface area of pads means more force needs to be exerted in total on the brake pads in order to get the same force/area on the contact patch between pads and disc surface). Is even softer material used on the brake pads for 2 rotor front brake systems? Or am I missing something?
Some disc brakes have 2 piston calipers, some have 4 piston calipers. It is suggested that the 4 piston caliper variants have more stopping power.. Is it true that the 4 piston calipers have more stopping power in general? If so, what is the reason behind this?