MXA TEAM TESTED: CRFSTUFF BLADE 280mm OVERSIZE BRAKE ROTOR

December 8, 2012
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WHAT IS IT? When it comes to stopping power, the bigger the rotor the better. A version of this rotor is used by the Geico Honda team.

WHAT’S IT COST? $268.00.

CONTACT? www.crfstuff.com or (503) 830-6433

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with CRFStuff’s Blade 280mm oversize rotor.

(1) Construction. The Blade brake rotor is laser-cut and machined from heat-treated, 400-series stainless steel. Its surface is ground to within 8 to 12 thousandths of an inch. The mounting bracket is a machined piece of 6061 billet aluminum that is hard-anodized.

(2) Danger. A larger-diameter brake rotor has more stopping power, but it is also more prone to damage. For this reason, the Geico Honda team runs CRFStuff’s 270mm rotor.

(3) Floating rotors. Brake rotors typically warp at their supporting arms. To keep heat away from the arms, many rotors are made to float (using a two-piece design that is held together by pins or rivets). Floating rotors were once a big deal, but they are now falling out of favor. The CRFStuff rotor is non-floating.

(4) Numbers. CRFStuff’s 280mm rotor has a 36-percent increase in the swept area and an 18-percent-larger moment arm than the stock Honda rotor. If you know your physics, this is a great argument for any oversize rotor. Most aftermarket oversize rotors are 270mm; although EBC also offers a 280mm kit.

(5) Installation. The giant 280mm disc isn’t even close to fitting within Honda’s front brake guard. MXA test riders don’t run Honda’s plastic guard in the first place, but if you do, you will have to remove it to mount the CRFStuff rotor. If you want to run a front disc guard, call Lightspeed.

(6) Performance. The stock 250mm CRF450 front brake had adequate power, but it was not impressive. With the 280mm Blade installed, we no longer had to pull the lever until it hit our fingers to stop the CRF450. The larger rotor puts less demand on the hydraulics and resists fading better.

(7) Useability. When entering a turn on good dirt, the big brake’s power was awesome. When trying to ease the brake in a slippery turn, however, things got tricky. Riders had to judge the amount of pressure put on the brake lever instead of feeling for lever travel. This took a couple of races to learn.

(8) Pro kit. For an extra $80, CRFStuff will throw in a set of AP Racing brake pads, their braided stainless-steel brake line and a can of Motorex DOT 5.1 brake fluid. This entire package costs $348.00.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have two complaints: (1) Some riders thought the brakes were too powerful and wanted more modulation. They should opt for the 270mm kit or an aftermarket 260mm kit. (2) Big rotors are exposed to more danger in crashes and first-turn collisions. That is the nature of the beast.


If you want the most powerful brake possible, a 280mm front rotor is the easiest way to achieve it. Most MXA test riders opt for 270mm.

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