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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have scads of front pad, and my front rotors are plenty thick. In the dry, she brakes worthy of the Brembo name.

That said, it’s been YEARS since my last wet ride, until yesterday.

I had no recollections of ever having wet braking worries. But yesterday, unless I was under heavy engine braking, the last few feet behind a car stopped at a light made me wonder when the pads would bite. Finally when the water was scrubbed — or so it seemed, there would be bite, usually with a wee bit of front skid.

Where would you start? My braking technique in the dry has been honed over many years and miles. And although it’s been 5-6 years, I’ve done multistate tours where rain was an inevitability with no worries.

Thanks!
 

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Sound like more of a feel thing induced by cold rotors and pad material. You need heat in the brakes for them to work well.

In the wet I drag my front brakes often to scrub the water off of them and get heat in them so they work when I need them to.

That said, when I lived in the UK I rode with DP sintered pads because they gave the best feedback in the wet (in my experience anyway) and got hot quicker than organic pads.

All that said, I live in California now and seldom ride in the wet. Only been caught out in the rain a couple of times in the last 3 or 4 years. .... sean
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, they were “cold” to be sure. I work most weekends teaching motorcycle courses, and the bike had been sitting range-side for about four hours in steady rain. (Meteorologists got the day rather wrong ☔)

I suppose I should practice my “drag and warm” technique. ??

I’ll also Scotchbrite and Contact Cleaner the front rotor just for grins.

Does anyone ever recommend scuffing /
Sanding pads with plenty of life in them?
 

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If you do not see obvious signs of pad glazing the scotchbrite will neither help nor hurt them. Glazed pads are shiny.

Sintered pads tend to warm up quickly even in cold rain so if your rotors are compatible with that type you might consider switching.
 

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When my bike was new, I had some weird effects in the wet - like no brakes below 110 kph (70mph), but instant bite above. It was so bad, I even tried running different pads from one side to the other on the front calipers, to try and improve the wet weather bite (and I thought iron rotors were supposed to be good in the wet?). A bit of age (about 20-30,000 kms), and getting wet/rusty a couple of times helped. Nowadays, I use Ferodo platinum (non-sintered) pads, and the wet weather braking is excellent.
 

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What do you have for pads?
what do you have for rotors?
What is the rotor material?

Stainless rotors are good for anti corrosion and with modern sintered pads ( I also use DP) quite good. There are different levels of stainless rotors as some have more friction material in them and can get a little rust in the surface. Iron rotors that were oem on supersport SP models will have great power and feel but due to the nature of iron it sheds heat almost as fast as it makes heat (heat= power).

I first experienced this on my 851 when I installed a set of iron rotors and tried a top speed run, at a indicated 155 there was a momentary lack of brakes. long enough to think "oh crap" or something similar and then the brakes worked as normal. This same thing would happen when I rode in the rain at normal speeds in that the rotors would need that little bit of warm up time before you had normal brake power. This is normal iron brake rotor behavior.

If you are getting it on stainless rotors Then Yes I would start by deglazing your pads, do a few figure -8's on 220grit sand paper and a piece of flat glass (windows are fine). only go until you see a fresh new surface appear and then remember to bed them in before testing them out. I do this plenty of times and the amount of material lost is not large enough to be a issue. most stock organic pads last 40,000 miles on a street bike so if you shorten that by half it is no big deal.

If in doubt or you simply want stronger brakes look at new design pads as this is where most of modern bikes get their power not in the rotors anymore. If you have iron rotors know that modern sintered pads can/will damage them if you use too aggressive a pad on a soft (iron) rotor. If you have oem irons look at the Ferrodo race pads that are organic or hang them on a wall for a set of snowflake superbike rotors.
 
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