Lyndall Paul Kittrell started Lyndall Racing Brakes in 1998 with a background in premium friction materials from his seven years at Porterfield Enterprises, the largest supplier of friction material for racecar applications. Paul’s love for racing motorcycles was what got him to start thinking about improving the stopping power of the brakes on his own bikes. He was unimpressed with what was available on the market for motorcycle racing brakes, let alone a stock bike. So, in his spare time, Paul began hand-cutting brake pads from the same premium friction materials he used on the racecars for his AMA super bike.
Paul was able to get time on the same racetracks he raced on for all the testing of Lyndall products. Once Paul had what he felt was a premium set of pads for sport bikes he took all the same ideas to the V-twin market. After getting on and riding a Harley one day, Paul felt a need for better brakes in the Harley market. One year later, in 1999, Lyndall Racing Brakes was born and production of brake pads for Harley-Davidson motorcycles hit the market.
One-piece rotors, like the ones that come on most stock Harleys are just a solid shape usually stamped out of stainless steel. Solid rotors of this variety are easily mass-produced and are usually limited in stopping performance and service life.
Lyndall Racing has since expanded its products to fit all American V-twin applications as well as many others. Because Lyndall has chosen to focus strongly on the V-Twin segment, his production runs are typically smaller than other brake pad manufacturers. This allows for better quality control and more time for focused research and development of their products and commitment to 100 percent customer satisfaction.
There are three types of friction materials commonly used for motorcycle brakes: sintered (formed into a mass by heat and pressure) metal, ceramic, and Carbon-Kevlar. Sintered metallic brake pads, which have a very high metal content, are typically very hard and abrasive to the rotor surface while offering moderate stopping power and mechanical strength. Service life tends to be significantly lower and sintered metallic pads tend to be dirtier and noisier than other types of friction material. They are also inexpensive to manufacture and are the least expensive pads on the market. Ceramic brake pads usually have a very high copper content and are sintered as well. While ceramic pads generally offer a slightly longer service life and run cleaner than sintered metallic pads, they offer only moderate stopping power. Carbon-Kevlar pads, often referred to as organic pads, usually have a small percentage of iron or non-ferrous metal and are softer than other friction materials. Carbon-Kevlar pads typically run very clean and quiet and offer good stopping power. They have extremely long service life and are not abrasive to the rotor because they generate less heat than other friction materials.
Lyndall’s brake pads are the Carbon-Kevlar variety. What makes Lyndall’s pads unique is that they contain a premium blend of Carbon-Kevlar and non-ferrous metal and have a high heat transfer rate. Once the pad material has transferred a layer to the rotor, the rotor effectively becomes one big brake pad stopping against the two smaller brake pads positioned in the caliper. The result: increased stopping power, no dust, no noise, no drag, no measurable rotor wear, and the higher service life of any pad on the market.
The brake pad is just one component of an entire braking system, rotors provide a unique opportunity to enhance a motorcycle’s stopping performance and improve its aesthetics at the same time. Motorcycle rotors are typically offered in three different mechanical designs: one piece, two-piece, and fully floating.
The two-piece rotor has a carrier that is separate from the friction ring. The two-piece rotor is essentially the same as a solid, one-piece rotor because the carrier is attached to the friction ring in a fixed manner. The carrier and friction ring are bolted together with hardware or with a rivet and high-pressure cone washer in a manner that offers zero movement between the two pieces.
Fully floating rotors have a carrier that is completely independent of the friction ring. The carrier is attached to the friction ring via buttons with low-pressure spring washers and c-clips. On a fully floating rotor all three of these pieces will move independently of each other with little effort. “Float” or movement is about twenty-thousandths of an inch. Floating rotors offer superior mechanical advantage over solid rotor types because when the friction ring gets hot, it grows in diameter. Keep in mind that the outer diameter of the rotor gets much hotter than the inner diameter. This variance in temperature causes a variance in material expansion. The fully-floating rotor design compensates for this variance by allowing room for the friction ring to grow independently of the carrier dramatically increasing rotor stability, stopping performance, and service life, while also diminishing the possibility of warppage under extreme conditions.
Some performance rotors are made of ductile iron, it has the highest coefficient of friction of any other rotor surface. But, iron rusts and is not as stable as steel. Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) by definition is a type of material with at least two constituent parts, one being a metal. The other may be a different metal or another material such as ceramic or organic compound. Recent advances in MMC and the processes associated with manufacturing from this material have made composite materials a new-comer to the rotor industry (commonly referred to as composite rotors).
MMC is a material with the measurable ability to shed heat and weight, as well as noise. Now these material options are available for the manufacture of motorcycle rotors allowing Lyndall Racing Brakes to manufacture an 11.5-inch Apex fully-floating rotor that weighs about 1.5 pounds, has a coefficient of friction consistent with an iron rotor but never rusts, and has a durability factor that allows Lyndall the opportunity to guarantee the friction ring for the life of the bike. Furthermore, these APEX Performance rotors can be beautifully finished and customized to match the style and character of almost any customer’s motorcycle.
For Lyndall’s Apex rotors aluminum alloy and ceramic particles are used. The MMC ingot is cast using the patented process developed by Swan Metal Composites, Inc. This unique casting process allows for very tight control over the ceramic particle disbursement throughout the entire bandwidth of the friction ring. Fifty percent of the ceramic by volume is concentrated in the outermost portion of the friction ring, where it will see the highest temperature. Fifteen percent of the ceramic by volume is concentrated in the innermost portion of the friction ring where it will see lower temperature. This effectively balances the internal stresses caused by the difference in temperature between the inner and outer portions of the friction ring.
The newest thing from Lyndall Racing is the Lug Drive Rotor. This is a true full-floating rotor made up of a friction ring CNC machined from 420 high carbon steel and fits flush with the CNC machined 6061 T-6 billet aluminum carriers. This setup will work with all ’04 -’08 models with 11.5-inch to 11.8-inch rotors and comes in five cut styles in both black anodized and polished finish. How the Lug Drive works is that the friction ring has notches that mesh with the carrier’s notches then locks in place with a Spirolox Retaining Rings, also known as spiral retaining ring band. Then to ensure that the two pieces stay in tact the band is heat treated and has a locking notch at the ends. This allows the carriers to be held in place but still has about 0.10-inch movement to grow for heat expansion. From an aesthetics point of view the Lug Drive provides a much cleaner appearance because all you see from the outside is a smooth transition from the carrier to the friction ring unlike traditional floating rotors that have exposed buttons/hardware. All of Lyndall rotors are money back guaranteed and come with a lifetime warranty when used exclusively with our High Performance Brake Pads.