How do I know my brake pads will suit my discs?

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I would like to fit Ferodo Sintergrip road ST HH brake pads to my 2000 Yamaha R6. But Ferodo say the discs must be stainless steel or cast iron for their pads to be suitable. I have emailed Yamaha UK, but they say they don’t have information on the exact material composition for the brake discs. How can they not know what the discs are made of?
Anthony Gardner, email
That's a good question, so I took the time to call Yamaha UK too. The fact is that like other importer operations, they are primarily a sales and servicing operation, so they don't have access to the drawings or material specs for each model.

Depending on the bike concerned, certain aspects of that information could also have a commercial value to their rival manufacturers, so they don't want to see it in the public domain, hence the blank you received.

Ferodo in the UK have spoken to their Italian-based technical department on your behalf, who reiterated that the pads suit stainless steel discs, and as the vast majority of road bikes use stainless steel discs of one type or another, you shouldn’t have a problem.

But if you are still uncertain, there are plenty of other pads out there. After all, when was the last time you heard one of our road testers complaining vociferously about brake performance on standard pads, even at a track launch? But then if the others are cheaper, go with the firm that has the confidence to recommend their product for your bike.

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Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs