Aftermarket brakes designed to perform better than new
Fast. Heavy. Those words describe Kawasaki’s ZX-14R, and they help explain why the stock front brake rotors on our long-term 2012 model were warped like potato chips after just 8000 miles. Slight vibration while braking became heavy shudder that wasn’t going to disappear on its own.
Rather than purchase another pair of OEM rotors, we ordered a set of Galfer Wave rotors. We’ve raced with Galfer products, and that experience left us with high regard for these Spanish-made pads and steel rotors. In fact, the steel used is proprietary, but it begins with 420 high-carbon stainless, which is then parallel-ground, heat-treated, laser-cut and mounted on black-anodized, machined aluminum carriers.
Galfer pioneered wave-style front brake rotors with trials bikes in the 1990s. The company discovered that the unique design reduces pad temperature and dissipates mud and water better than do conventional discs. Before placing our order, we asked three questions: 1) Are the rotors bolt-on replacements for the stock discs? 2) Do they accommodate the factory wheel-speed sensor? 3) Does Galfer offer pads in different compounds? Yes, yes and yes.
An hour after we opened the box containing the HH Sintered Advanced Ceramic-backed 1375 pads and 310mm Wave rotors, our ZX-14R was back on the road and stopping straight and true. The HH pads are aimed at high-performance sportbikes, and we love the combination of feel and power they provide. We never complained about the feel and power of the OEM front brakes, although they did fade on a photo shoot during which we made repeated hard stops from high speeds. We haven’t subjected the Galfers to that same type of punishment, but for spirited street use, we give them high marks.