Brembo-Gate Update… It’s official! Global Recall on the PR16 Master Cylinder

Hi, Motorraddicts.

So as promised we’ve been keeping a close eye on the Brembo faulty PR16 master cylinder issue.    As stated in our last 2 posts (click here for the first one, click here for the second one) even though some media outlets were speculating that the recall was only in the US, we had a strong feeling that it was a global one.

Our main reasoning was that it made no sense for Brembo to make the PR16 MC with a plastic piston for the US market but then ship it out with a better one for the rest of the world.  Manufacturing efficiencies, and cost saving measures usually mean they all come off one line and then get shipped out to the various manufacturers.

This week, #Brembo has made it official.  The recall is global, (click here to read their official position announcement on their website)  which says:

Brembo SpA, a leader in the production of disc brake systems for vehicles, following the recent publication of some articles by the international press, mentioning wrong information, points out that:

– Thanks to the constant quality monitoring over its production processes, it has uncovered the possibility of defects to the piston of the front radial master cylinder (diameters 15mm and 16mm), sold between 2015 and 2017 and mounted on some motorcycle models.

– The only manufacturers affected are: 
MV Agusta 
TM Racing 
Moto Morini

– The recall does not affect other manufacturers nor other master cylinders, or master cylinders sold as Aftermarket kits through the Brembo distribution network. 

Brembo promptly informed the manufacturers of the problem so that the owners of the aforementioned bikes could be informed and invited to have the part replaced at the nearest dealership. ​

SO! if you own a late model #Triumph, #KTM, #Aprilia, #Ducati or other brand produced from 2015 onwards, that has the M50 Calipers on it, then its likely you also have the suspect PR16 MC mated with it.    So even if your dealer network does not know about the recall, they will soon.   Brembo has also said that only OEM PR16s are at issue and aftermarket MC kits are not affected.

Owners in the US have already known about the recall but now European owners are starting to get their letters, like this one from one bike owner that posted a pic of it on Facebook.

Since the MC failure can cause a very dangerous situation while riding (read our last post with a good explanation here), We highly recommend you contact your dealer and advise them to get updated on the matter.  If you haven’t had the unit replaced under a recall and are going out on a spirited ride, then be wary and take it easy on those brakes!

Until next time, stay upright and keep that throttle hand strong!


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#Brembo #PR16 Master Cylinder #Brake #Recall Update

Brembo PR16

Hello, Fellow Addicts!

As promised, we’ve been keeping an eye on developments related to the #Brembo Master Cylinder #recall

As we mentioned earlier in the week, the reported fault seems to indicate that under heavy braking pressure, such as heavy braking during mountain carving, or track days, the plastic internal piston Brembo decided to use in the PR16 Model, may crack.  The PR16 MC is usually mated with the M50 Caliper.

Brembo has admitted that they used a ‘polyphenylene sulphide’ plastic piston and for now they are agreeing to replace the US recalled units with an aluminium version.  There is no word from Brembo on recalls in other countries.

As mentioned in our last post on the issue, should the piston crack, front brake pressure will be lost and brake fluid can also leak out of the unit and spill onto the bike.  We all know what brake fluid can do to a nice paint scheme!

Here is a crude schematic of a motorcycle master cylinder.  They vary in design slightly from one bike to another, however this should give you an idea of what this piston (circled in red) looks like.

Those of you watching know that so far the recall is only in the US.    However, due to the potential danger, affected owners in the UK, Canada and Australia are understandably worried.

Some other media outlets have speculated that perhaps Brembo only used the plastic piston in the PR16 MC’s destined for the US market and sent aluminium piston equipped PR16 units out to the rest of the world.    That could be possible.   However relaying on this speculation could be quite costly for potentially affected owners.   After all, failure of the PR16 could spell serious injury or worse.

The fact is, these things are mass produced on an assembly line.  Efficiencies and cost usually dictate that the same internal parts are used in the same unit regardless of where it is going.  Brembo likely used the plastic part to save costs, since moulding plastic is far cheaper than using aluminum.

Unless there is a law within the country it is being shipped to which dictates that part must be of a certain quality or material design, manufacturing efficiencies dictate keeping the units identical.  So our more conservative guess is that its likely that all the PR16 MCs are made the same way.

So it is a global problem, why only a US recall right now?  Well, when it comes to recalls, how they are done depends on the country.  The US has a centralized National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) and they have a centralized their recall system, and that system works very quickly, and mandates that all manufacturers, distributors, and vendors of the part in question immediately address the issue.  In other words they have a strong legal mechanism to sort the issue out fast.

Other jurisdictions often don’t have that and rely on the manufacturer and distributors to make their own announcement about the product and deal with remedies as they see fit.   So in Australia for example, owners would have to wait until the distributors for #Ducati #KTM #Aprilia and #Triumph to consult with the manufacturers in England, Austria, and Italy, and wait until they are given the word that a recall is in play.  Then they would have to send word to the dealers or issue letters to affected owners to get the bikes in.


When you have different companies with different internal protocols at play, and a recall system is not centralized, then news may come at different times.

Further, until the distributors are officially told about a recall, they will simply say there isn’t one in play.  Why?  Well, they can’t speak for Brembo, or the manufacturer.  They don’t have that authority.  They are limited to passing on information from their upstream and not contradicting it.

Also… In the crazy world of litigation, if a company knows about an issue (for example an employee of a dealer or distributor) and admit to it, but don’t do anything about it and a loss is suffered (money, injury, death) then that company would be held liable, since they ‘knew’ of the issue and the courts may rule they had a duty to resolve it.   So for this reason as well, the official word has to be kept.  Even if there are murmurs behind closed doors in the mechanics bay.

In short, while we cannot be sure that the PR16 on worldwide bikes is at issue, we at Motorraddicts think that potentially affected owners should be wary of the problem and keep themselves updated.

So if your bike lands in this list, or you upgraded your MC, or your bike is equipped with the M50 Caliper, then keep an eye out, inquire with your dealers, and if you are really interested have a licensed mechanic open the MC up at your next service and see if the piston is made of plastic.

The USA recall (NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V812000) says that the following models are affected.  (This recall is yet to be updated with the Triumph or KTM data)

  • 2016 and 2017 Aprilia RSV4s fitted with Brembo brakes;
  • 2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100s fitted with Brembo brakes;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati 1299 STD / 1299 S / 1299 FE / 1299 SL produced from March 16, 2015 to September 22, 2017;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati Monster 1200 S / Monster 1200 R produced from March 04, 2015 to October 23, 2017;
  • 2015 Ducati Monster 1200R
  • 2015-2018 Ducati Multistrada S / Multistrada PP produced from March 16, 2015 to October 31, 2017;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati Panigale R produced from March 16, 2015 to June 20, 2017;
  • 2017-2018 Ducati Scrambler 800 Cafe Racer produced from March 01, 2017 to November 20, 2017;
  • 2015-2018 Ducati XDiavel S produced from January 12, 2016 to September 08, 2017.

For Aprilia Owners it seems that the Noale factory is indeed issuing a recall for their European bikes.   If you want to check if yours is affected, visit this link and enter your VIN number for confirmation.

We will try and keep you updated on the issue as things progress.  Until then stay upright, and keep your throttle hand strong!


Ronno – #Like #Follow #Share

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#Brembo Master Cylinder #Recall #Woes. Starting 2018 with some scary news!

When we think of motorcycle brakes, one of the best names out there is #Brembo,  the Italian manufacturer of automotive brake systems, especially for high-performance cars and motorcycles.  Based in Bergamo, near Milan, Brembo is considered the amongst the pinnacle of braking component manufacturers.  In essence, the Brembo name is synonymous with performance and build quality.

Riders with Nissin kit stare longingly at bikes outfitted with Brembo master cylinders and callipers.  Motorcycle owners often opt for upgrading their brakes to install Brembo’s Master Cylinders and mighty M50 Calipers.  Higher end motorcycle manufactures  such as #Ducati, #KTM, #Aprilia, and #BMW, opt for OEM equipped Brembo brakes on their upper echelon supersport bikes.    Racers, including #WSBK and #MotoGP teams, as well as weekend track junkies also swear by Brembo kit to ensure they slow down quickly while mixing it up on the track.

However, this week news broke about mighty #Brembo’s  massive recall that affects a number of sport bikes with Brembo #PR16 radial master cylinder units. The first wave of that recall included #Aprilia’s two steeds, the Aprilia RSV4 superbike and the Aprilia Tuono 1100 street fighter.  #Aprilia focused #Facebook groups and forums globally all had members posting the recall, to warn each other about the potential danger of failing master cylinders.    Rival Italian enthusiast groups were also discussing the issue while poking a bit of fun at Aprilia.

Then on the eve of 2017, the official word from Brembo came down, and the factory expanded the recall to Ducati, and possibly others.

With six affected models, spanning four model years, Ducati is globally recalling roughly 8,000 units because the piston in their master cylinder may crack.  It seems that Brembo chose to use a plastic piston in their higher end master cylinder rather than the aluminum one that was used before.  This plastic one can apparently crack after hard use. If this happens, the master cylinder can stop operating, which can lead to front brake failure.  #WTF?  #WOW!!! :S   I guess plastic parts are cheaper to use.  But using that in your upper end kit?  Really?  Not what I expected out of the well renowned Bergamo factory. Tsk Tsk.

Imagine if you are on the track, rocketing down the straight into a hairpin, and squeeze that life saving lever to shave off speed as you set up for the corner, and there is no pressure!  Imagine having to suddenly slow because traffic has come to a dead stop on the motorway, and you squeeze and nothing!  That would certainly be an ass puckering moment, never mind the potential for serious injury or a loss of life!   Worth swapping in a plastic part to save a few cents per unit?  Hmmm..

To put it simply… This is an obvious safety concern!!

For Ducati, this issue touches the 2015-2018 models from the following lines: 1299 Panigale (including the Superleggera and Final Edition), #Panigale R, Monster 1200, Multistrada 1200/1260, XDiavel S, and Scrambler 800 Café Racer (2017-2018).

To remedy the situation, like Aprilia, Ducati has begun notifying affected owners, and dealers are to replace the front brake master cylinder piston, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 15, 2018 for Ducati owners.

Concerned Ducati and Aprilia owners should contact their local dealer or the inquire with the national distributor.

Now this is not the end of it.  This particular Brembo Master Cylinder is the one that is normally mated with the M50 Caliper, so it is likely that more recalls will be issued.  Manufacturers such as #Triumph, and #KTM are also expected to issue recalls.   Furthermore, some customers have fitted these MC’s as aftermarket kit on their bikes, and there may be word coming down about those.

If you have a late model (2016 onwards) bike with the M50 Caliper, or you upgraded your brakes with a late model Brembo MC, you should definitely look into whether or not your bike is also kitted out with the PR16 MC, and if it is, then it would be a very good idea to:

  •  take it easy riding for a while, and
  • Start hounding your dealer for a fix!

We’ll keep you updated, but in the meantime, stay upright and ride safe!




Here is some technical details on the US Recall for Ducati.

Report Receipt Date: December 15, 2017
NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V812000
Component(s): Brake System
Potential Number of Units Affected: 8,000
Manufacturer: Ducati North America