Today is the first day of a massive recall for Brembo brakes, as our inbox just received the first official notice of what is expected to a recall that touches a multitude of brands that use the Italian company’s high-performance line of brake master cylinders.
The issue stems from the Brembo’s popular PR16 radial master cylinder unit (the master cylinder that is often paired with the Brembo M50 calipers), which apparently can crack internally at the piston, which can then lead to front brake failure.
Because of the physical properties of the piston material used on the master cylinder, and the porosity generated during the injection process used to create them, the piston could crack when used on race tracks, or with frequent ABS intervention, or when the motorcycle falls to the ground.
As such when the piston cracks, the front brakes may not operate properly during a braking procedure, which can lead to the front brakes failing entirely.
Brembo has been able to identify that the faulty piston is made from a type of plastic (polyphenylene sulphide), and to remedy the situation, an aluminum piston will need to be used as a replacement piece.
According to documents filed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 1% of the 1,800 affected Aprilia units are expected to show cracking of the master cylinder piston.
However, noting that several other brands use the same master cylinder setup on their superbikes and high-performance sport bikes, our sources have indicated to us that other recalls can be expected in the coming weeks from a multitude of other brands, including Ducati and KTM.
It is not clear at this time how this recall affects those who bought Brembo radial master cylinders as an aftermarket replacement for their bike’s braking setup. Hopefully we can find more information on that, though the PR16 is typically not bought as an aftermarket part.
For now, concerned Aprilia owners may contact Aprilia customer service at 1-212-380-4433, but know that Aprilia dealers will replace the front master cylinder free of charge. The Aprilia recall is expected to start January 15, 2018.
We will post subsequent notices from NHTSA for other brands that are affected by this Brembo brake recall. Stay tuned.