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Author Topic: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.  (Read 2618 times)

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RedFXR2

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Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« on: December 29, 2008, 03:42:26 PM »

I saw a front brake rotor recently that was styled to look like a laced wheel--figured it would look good on my laced/spoked front wheel, but it's a one-piece design as opposed to the floating rotor I now have.  I know how the floating rotors work and why it's a good idea, but how much real-life difference would a one-piece rotor make?  Vibration? Noise?  Rapid or one-sided brake pad wear?  Reduction in braking force?

Anybody know if there's a down side?






« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 03:51:24 PM by RedFXR2 »
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fxr4mikey

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 09:45:20 PM »

I saw a front brake rotor recently that was styled to look like a laced wheel--figured it would look good on my laced/spoked front wheel, but it's a one-piece design as opposed to the floating rotor I now have.  I know how the floating rotors work and why it's a good idea, but how much real-life difference would a one-piece rotor make?  Vibration? Noise?  Rapid or one-sided brake pad wear?  Reduction in braking force?

Anybody know if there's a down side?




I don't, please educate me a little bit. Thanks !
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hd-dude

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 12:37:07 AM »

Generally speaking two piece rotors are better because of the heat and warpage. With one piece rotors the heat is at the outer edges of the disc and it gradually cools as you get closer to the hub or center. This change in tempurature is what causes warpage. With two piece the heat is even along the braking surface as it does not transfer as easily the the center.

RedFXR2

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 09:21:57 AM »

"I know how the floating rotors work and why it's a good idea..."

I don't, please educate me a little bit. Thanks !

In addition to what hd dude said (thanks, hd dude) the two piece rotors allow for self-centering of the rotor braking surface as it passes through the caliper.  Most cars have floating calipers and one-piece rotor, just the opposite of our bikes, but the idea is the same--to allow for centering through slight movement the friction surfaces against each other when pressure is applied.  Our rotors have the outer ring mounted on the hub piece with flanged ring shaped pieces shaped sort of like little pulleys, which hold the ring onto the hub, but allow the outer ring to slide slightly inboard or outboard when squeezed between the brake pads in the caliper.  I hadn't thought about the heat transfer part that hd dude brought up, I was only thinking about even braking pressure.

Hd dude:  Do you think a floating rotor is enough of an advantage over a one-piece rotor to eliminate the one-piece models from consideraton?

Back to my attraction to the "laced look" rotor.  Right now, both of my rotors are the same, front to rear.  While neither match the wheels they're mounted to, at least they match themselves.  If I do the front rotor with this laced model, I'm going to feel compelled to search for a rear rotor that matches the HD "Bad Boy" slotted rear wheel back there, and I haven't ever seen one.

It seems I'm always on a quest for some obscure part. ::) ;D
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 09:55:21 AM by RedFXR2 »
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FXR2evo99

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 04:10:15 PM »

Our HD "floating" rotors aren't actually "floating".....in the truest sense.....well at least they are not "floating" like the crotch rockets use......so in essence I firmly believe you would not loose any performance in going to that rotor you desplayed in the photo Mike......I also think the "evo" brakes are a bit weak on our FXR2's and FXR3's while the FXR4's have been presented with the oem brakes of our twin cam counter part bikes.....I think you would be better served also changing out your caliper.....with either a PM or a Brembo....I know that my stopping performance has markedly improved with the presence of having placed one on my front wheel vs the OEM caliper provided on the bike originally.

By the way that rotor looks VERY nice!!!!  Keep us posted on your decision to either change or not....

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

but how much real-life difference would a one-piece rotor make?  Vibration? Noise?  Rapid or one-sided brake pad wear?  Reduction in braking force?

I think with our OEM FXR2 and FXR3 rotors vs the one piece you are showing above...that there would be absolutely no difference between either when it comes to vibration, noise, or one sided brake pad wear, and that there would be absolutely no reduction in braking force.....the OEM rotors we have on our FXR2's and FXR3's as well as FXR4's while they are not "one" piece.....they are surely nothing special.....thus offering none of the benefits as you carefully noted above, I have always simply appreciated the "design" of our OEM FXR2 rotors in how they appear and never placed any merit into them working better than a regular one piece rotor.....so it's simply been a "cosmetic" appearance thing to me....now if we want to talk about "true" floating rotors then ok, I am with you.....but HD doesn't produce a "true" floating rotor.....they are simply offering a "design" "cosmetic" appeal alternative.......

With everything that HD Dude said above I agree....BUTTTTTT lol I don't feel those are the type of rotors we truly have......I ran the OEM (what I call omebias) stock rotors provided on my RKC for years before modifying them to the "floating" rotor alternative provided by HD...and all I got in my opinion was a "better looking" rotor vs the "omebia" look of the stock oem rotor......certainly WITHOUT doubt I DID not get any better performance by putting them on.....but I CAN tell you the evo brakes while they work.....they CERTAINLY can be improved upon by either brembo or a PM caliper.....now that's where you are getting some performance......in my opinion the evo oem brake leaves a lot of room for improvement......but it's like anything you get use to them and they work too.....but if you put something else on you get better performance.....

So what's the bottom line....put the rotor you like the best visually on your FXR2....and leave the "floating" rotor element for bravato....but the reality is no better performance.....

Regards,

Tim

« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 04:25:37 PM by FXR2evo99 »
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elvislee

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 04:59:48 PM »

Hey Tim...Welcome back after a few days off; hope ya had a good Christmas  :2vrolijk_21:  ;D

Now....Back to the thread folks  ;D
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hd-dude

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 12:26:47 AM »

.......

Hd dude:  Do you think a floating rotor is enough of an advantage over a one-piece rotor to eliminate the one-piece models from consideraton?

.....

No, I would not eliminate the one piece rotors. I do not think they are going to be much of a difference in performance with the stock single piston calipers. As Tim stated the stock HD calipers are mediocre at best.  Now if you were to change calipers as well then you may see some performance gains under hard braking conditions.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 12:29:14 AM by hd-dude »
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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2008, 12:42:26 AM »

No, I would not eliminate the one piece rotors. I do not think they are going to be much of a difference in performance with the stock single piston calipers. As Tim stated the stock HD calipers are mediocre at best.  Now if you were to change calipers as well then you may see some performance gains under hard braking conditions.


I agree, especially on your 2 Mike. The HD single piston caliper actually floats around the disc, like explained earlier about car disc brakes. If you're leaving stock calipers on, put whatever rotors you want on there. You'll NEVER notice the difference! ;)

Hoist! 8)
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RedFXR2

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 08:11:21 AM »

If you're leaving stock calipers on, put whatever rotors you want on there. You'll NEVER notice the difference! ;)

Hoist! 8)

Thanks guys.  Now you've all got me pondering a caliper change and keeping the stock rotors.

Or maybe I'll just keep the $$$ and enjoy riding the thing like I always have. ;D
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Bullwinkle

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2009, 01:05:48 PM »

I have a couple of FXRs with dual front disks and four piston calipers; one PM the other HHI.  Not much difference in calipers.  The newer has braided brake lines and the older has stock HD.

The older has the HD solid steel rotors and the newer has HD "Floating."  I honestly can't tell much difference between the solid and the floating rotors.  The bigger difference in braking between the two has to do with the sintered metallic material on the PM calipers and the softer pads on the HHI.  When pad change time comes, I'll give Lyndall a shot.

Bullwinkle
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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2009, 02:54:02 PM »

On earlier bikes, 2000, 2004, I found that the replacing stock with the HD two piece rotors eliminated the typical brake squeal.  IMHO, with the two piece, the harmonics would be gone. 
Interesting that HD actually reversed the left to right of the stock rotors a few years ago to eliminate brake squeal.  It's noted in the manuals.
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fxr4mikey

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 10:07:33 AM »

On earlier bikes, 2000, 2004, I found that the replacing stock with the HD two piece rotors eliminated the typical brake squeal.  IMHO, with the two piece, the harmonics would be gone. 
Interesting that HD actually reversed the left to right of the stock rotors a few years ago to eliminate brake squeal.  It's noted in the manuals.

I've never had any squeal from my brakes on the '4'
I've always thought that the braking on the '4' was/is the best braking that I've ever had on a bike

I've been wanting to put PM calipers on the bike .... the only reason that I have for wanting that is 'looks' ........... I might get some braking performance improvement, but that would just be a side benefit to me.  I'm very happy really with the performance of the stock brakes on the '4'

am I a weirdo   :nixweiss:
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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 10:30:18 AM »

I've never had any squeal from my brakes on the '4'
I've always thought that the braking on the '4' was/is the best braking that I've ever had on a bike

I've been wanting to put PM calipers on the bike .... the only reason that I have for wanting that is 'looks' ........... I might get some braking performance improvement, but that would just be a side benefit to me.  I'm very happy really with the performance of the stock brakes on the '4'
am I a weirdo   :nixweiss:

Mike,
I've only had 2000 bike that had the 4 piston calipers.  I've always thought the brakes were excellent.  Most of mine had triples disks, the Deuce had one up front.  My only complaint was the brake squeal.  Lyndall is all I use now and floating rotors on both bikes.
I've often wondered at the big cost to improve brakes.  Can they get that much better?
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fxr4mikey

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Re: Brake rotors--floating vs one-piece.
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 10:41:34 AM »

Mike,
I've only had 2000 bike that had the 4 piston calipers.  I've always thought the brakes were excellent.  Most of mine had triples disks, the Deuce had one up front.  My only complaint was the brake squeal.  Lyndall is all I use now and floating rotors on both bikes.
I've often wondered at the big cost to improve brakes.  Can they get that much better?

I can't imagine that there could/would be that much more in braking performance over the stock on the '4'

HOWEVER, I'm not saying that there isn't more braking performance ..... I'm like you, I think, and am not sure that any such improvement in performance would warrant the cost (at least on the '4').

I've NEVER felt that I needed more braking than what I have on the '4'
It's always provided all the braking that I've needed/wanted.
I'm sure that's because of the dual brakes up front on the '4'
 
Like I said, the only reason that I'd change mine out is for the 'chrome' PM calipers .......... I think they'd look 'real kool' on the bike
HOWEVER, I have a few 'other' things that I'm gonna put on before changing out the calipers .........  ahhhhh, the list is so much longer than my checkbook, whuts up with that  :nixweiss:
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2000 FXR4 Candy Tangerine
The Build -
•   SE Heads w/Cometic .030 gaskets
•   Bob Wood W6 cam
•   Mikuni HSR42 carb
•   Compu-Fire Single Fire Ignition
•   Rivera taper-lite chromolly adjustable push rods
•   Chrome lifter blocks w/HD B lifters
•   Pro-Force One AC and breather kit
•   Vance and Hines straight shots
 

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