World renowned brake manufacturer Brembo is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and is marking the occasion in part by releasing a new motorcycle specific brake caliper. Called the G Sessanta (sessanta means “sixty”), the new caliper does not appear to premiere any significant performance or safety improvements, but instead features colour-changing LED lighting. For some reason.
The title of the YouTube video that Brembo released on Wednesday touted the new calipers as “set to shape the future of mobility”. How LED lighting attached to a brake caliper is going to achieve this is unclear from the video. Bluetooth connectivity allows the rider to customize the colour output of the LEDs “for a visual dialogue between the user and the vehicle”, to “match aesthetics and mood”, and “to communicate the status of the caliper and the vehicle”. The video then mentions “lock and unlock safety systems” and “GPS and courtesy lights”, which may allude to some sort of brake security feature and location functionality.
Building security and communications equipment into a brake caliper seems counterproductive, seeing as most engineers are looking to reduce unsprung weight and increase the cooling capacity of the braking system. Further, using the LEDs on the caliper as a means of relaying information to the rider would be somewhat dangerous when riding. The fact that the caliper is a simple opposed two-piston design mounted to the front of a motorcycle speaks to the performance expected from this setup.
Should this caliper go into production, it will undoubtedly be embraced by the underglow, “all show” crowd, especially if they produce an automotive version. On the other hand, the chances of seeing the G Sessanta on the front of Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP bike are slim to none.