The Introduction of Disc Brakes


The transition from fade-prone, heavy drum brakes to the discs brakes we now all take for granted was not made overnight. Honda claimed them as a mass-produced road-bike first with the hydraulic system on the 1969 Honda CB750.

It would take some time for disc brakes to overcome all of the shortcomings of drum brakes, however, with wet weather performance particularly suffering until the arrival of sintered brake pads. Attempts at inboard discs (also Honda) added complexity while doing little to eliminate the issues.

Discs too have evolved, in the last 47 years, from fixed to floating, with new stainless steel alloys offering friction coefficients to match or surpass iron, the former performance favorite which was prone to corrode and crack.
Opposed-piston front calipers hit the mainstream on 1973 Nortons and Triumphs which used AP Lockheed units, with Yamaha following suit with their own in 1974 on the RD250 and 350. Italian brand Scarab, as seen on Ducatis and others, were being fitted at around the same time and my even pre-date 1973Tag: Brakes Disc-Brakes Honda CB750 Sintered Brake-Pads History
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