MXA TEAM TESTED: GALFER TSUNAMI 270MM BRAKE KIT

October 14, 2014
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WHAT IS IT? Galfer’s Tsunami 270mm, oversized, cauliflower-style rotor kit gives you the braking power of the Pros.

WHAT’S IT COST? $371.00 (rotor, bracket and brake pads).

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

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Galfer Tsunami rotor.

(1) Installation. Oversized rotors require a bracket to move the brake caliper back the exact number of millimeters that the larger rotor needs for clearance. The CNC-machined bracket is easy to install and fits well. The Galfer rotor is 270mm. Stock on our test Kawasaki KX450F is 240mm.

(2) Cauliflower rotor. At any point in its rotation, a rotor only contacts a portion of the surface area of the brake pads. As the rotor spins, the contact area alternates its friction area across the face of the brake pad. A scalloped rotor modulates the friction across different parts of the pads at different times. The cauliflower shape allows the brake to run cleaner and cooler. The decrease in heat lessens warping.

(3) Grooves. The Tsunami grooves are designed to let air into the system and help further reduce heat. In our testing, the Tsunami maintained a good feel throughout long motos and never chirped or faded.

(4) Brake pads. The Tsunami comes stock with a set of full-metallic, ceramic-based brake pads. Be careful when first installing these pads, as it takes a couple of practice sessions to break them in. We went back and forth between the Galfer pads and the OEM pads. Most MXA test riders felt that the stock OEM pads offered more grip than the Galfer brake pads but not as long a lifespan.

(5) Modulation. The Tsunami offered abundant braking power with plenty of modulation. The OEM pads were responsive and strong, while the Galfer pads were not as touchy. It goes without saying that in slimy mud sections and low-traction conditions, the rider has to respect the Tsunami brake.

(6) Application. Compared to KTM brakes, all Japanese brands suffer. The quickest way to bring KX, CR, RM or YZ brakes up to modern standards is with an oversized rotor. The Tsunami is available for Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki motocrossers. KTMs come stock with 260mm Galfer rotors.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Do not throw the Tsunami kit on your bike and show up on the line for your first moto. It took us about 20 minutes of riding to seat the pads to the new rotor.

4-STARS

If you think the OEM brakes on your KX450F are good, then never ride a KTM. If you do, you’ll be ordering an oversized Galfer Tsunami rotor the next day.

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