How does a motorcycle’s braking system work?

Its role is to reduce or cancel the work produced by the engine. As it starts to operate, it converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into heat. Braking consists of four distinct elements: the lever or pedal, the hose, the brake and the moving part.

The two types of brakes

There are two types of brakes: drum brake and disc brake. The disc brake seems to be the most widespread in the motorcycle world. The drum brake is still mainly used for the rear wheel. The systems that operate the brakes can be multiple. There are linkage systems, called cable control, or fluid pressurization, called hydraulic control. Hydraulic control is the most widespread in the motorcycle world. This system is a closed circuit. The volume of brake fluid contained in the circuit is always the same. The pressure of the brake fluid is regulated by the master cylinder, and will be led to the wheel by the hoses.

The operation of the drum brake

In the drum brake, the brake system is completely enclosed. Inside the drum, there is the jaw carrier flange. This is dependent on the rotation of the wheel. During braking, the play of the rod rotates the cam which presses on one of the jaws which is articulated around the pivot to press on the braking track. When the brake lever is released, the springs return the shoe to its initial position. The rider operates the brake lever or pedal. His action creates a “pivot” by tilting the cam control. The cam moves the shoes apart. The shoes then come into contact with the drum track. A drum brake is only effective at around 100 km/h (62 mph).

How the disc brake works

The disc brake is the most represented in the motorcycle world. There have been cable-controlled disc brakes, but this system has been largely replaced by hydraulic control. During braking, the brake fluid is pressurized by the master cylinder. This pressure is conducted through the hose to the caliper, which contains one or more pistons that then push the pads against the disc, which is wheel-dependent.