MXA TEAM TESTED: GALFER WAVE SUPERLIGHT OVERSIZE ROTOR KIT

December 5, 2012
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WHAT IS IT?
A new, lighter, updated version of Galfer’s trademark oversize Wave rotor kit.

WHAT’S IT COST?
$371.00.

CONTACT?
www.galferusa.com or (800) 685-6633.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Galfer’s Wave Superlight oversize rotor kit.

(1) Demand. Galfer listened to feedback from their sponsored race teams, namely Joe Gibbs Racing, who thought the system was too heavy. Brake components are unsprung weight, so lighter brakes help the suspension. In response, Galfer developed new, lighter rotors and brackets.

(2) Updates. The basic parts of the brake rotor are the outer friction surface, the inner carrier that bolts to the hub and the floating pins that attach the two. Each one of these components, along with the caliper-relocating bracket, has been revised in the Superlight version. The outer friction surface is still laser-cut and double-disc-ground, but it’s a completely new Wave pattern. The floating mechanism has been changed from a rivet system to an E-clip system. The inner carrier is aluminum instead of steel. The relocating bracket has been whittled down by a CNC machine to save weight.

(3) Floating options. The new E-clip floating system lets the rotor/carrier be easily taken apart. Thus, the outer friction surface can be replaced without having to buy the entire inner carrier, floating pin parts or bracket. This saves money if the rotor is bent. Additionally, the amount of float can be changed by replacing the Wave spring washers at the pins. The average user won’t see much benefit in this, but the offer is on the table.

(4) Performance. At 270mm, the Galfer Wave and Tsunami kits are designed to offer peak braking power. The difference is in how the brakes come on initially. The Tsunami has instantaneous response while the Wave is more progressive. We elected to test the Wave on our KX450F. The Wave Superlight was powerful but manageable. We tried to overwork our Galfer rotor by charging into turns, but it always had a little more power than we needed. This was a big plus on the marginally equipped Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki. It is not such a big deal on a 260mm-equipped KTM.

(5) Weight.
Compared to the original Wave, Galfer was able to shave 2.2 ounces from the bracket and about 1.6 ounces from the rotor. That is almost a quarter pound. It should be noted that the Tsunami lost a half-pound on the rotor alone.

(6) Lineup. Galfer offers four motocross options:
    (1) The original Wave, $314.00.
    (2) The original Tsunami, $339.00.
    (3) The Superlight Wave, $371.99.
    (4) The Superlight Tsunami oversize, $395.00.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had to read the fine print carefully. The oversized kit comes with Galfer’s sintered brake pads, and Galfer’s 180-day warranty is void if you use other pads.

MXA RATING

Galfer’s Wave Superlight oversize rotor kit is a factory part that is available to the masses, but spendthrifts can save $57 and get almost the same performance from the original Galfer kit.

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