Written on: 20/08/2010 by rachelylbrake (1 review written)
Note: the review is quoted from Kenneth
A few weeks ago, a post appeared on Motorcycle.com from "Rachel," who offered free brake pads from her company for evaluation. I requested a set for my '07 Suzuki DL1000, and after arranging shipping and such, the pads arrived here in the US about a week ago.
Hangzhou Yongli Friction Material Co. LTD. is a Chinese company based in Hangzhou City, China. The 7 year old company specializes in the manufacturing of brake pads, primarily for motorcycles and ATVs, but also for machinery such as lawn mowers. The company has achieved ISO 9001 certification, which indicates they have implemented processes and metrics in their operation that support predictable, quality results. Yongli is also a member of the China Friction Materials Association, not to be confused with the China Sticky Stuff Association, which focuses on the glue used on "Post-It" type notepads. In 2008, the company was awarded the coveted "Demonstration Firm with High Quality and Trustworthiness" title; documenting their deep commitment to quality and trustworthiness.
The company brake pad catalog brings our attention to four key features of the Yongli brake pad:
Steady - stable performance across a wide range of temperatures.
Resistant - stopping power for Long Time.
Safety - Optimal bonding between friction materials and backing plate.
Comfortable - Easy to control, comfy to stop.
The pads were shipped in tidy red packages that display the front and back side of each pad set. I immediately liked the backing plates of the Yongli pads because they have a high-quality powdercoated black finish. Compared to the Ferodo pads I installed about three months ago, these plates look corrosion resistant, which, unfortunately, the Ferodos were not. The Ferodo pads backing plates were noticeably corroded, with surface rust and discoloration. While installing the Yongli pads, I saw that the OEM anti-squeal plates were a good fit on the rear pads, but on the larger of the two front caliper pads, the plates were loose until I bent the tabs in a bit. I don't recall having done that on the Ferodos.
After installing the pads, I proceeded to nearly crash the bike into the side of the house. My driveway has a slope, and I usually back out the door, cut the bars over to get sideways in the driveway, and then pull away. However, having pushed the caliper pistons back in to install the new pads, I didn't have any brakes..at all. So I did a Fred Flintstone with my feet and stopped the bike with an inch to spare. Note to self: Cycle the brake levers a few times to push the pistons back out BEFORE riding away after a brake job.
My initial impression of the pads performance was lukewarm, at best. They just didn't seem to grip that well, and I was disappointed. However, I decided to ride with them for a week and see how it went. It seemed like the pads got better, and as of this morning, I had put over 200 miles on them, including two rides in the rain. In order to get the best possible comparison, I decided to ride the Yongli pads along a set route, then change back to the Ferodo pads, and immediately ride the same route. The fact of the matter is, I couldn't perceive a difference in performance between the two pad sets.
Now, it's worth noting that the brake setup on our bikes is adequete, but not stellar. The front calipers are a two-piston setup with the pistons on the outside and sliders to load the inside. The rear caliper is the same configuration except with one piston. If you really wanted to, you could skid the front tire with hard braking, but it would take some effort.
So, what's the bottom line on the Yongli No-Asbestos, Steady, Resistant, Safe, and Comfy brake pads? Whomever decides to import these pads can buy them in lots of 500 for $5 a set. Considering the Ferodo pads I bought went for around $40 a set, and the EBC "HH" pads can go for as much as $70 a set, these pads are priced at a DEEEEEEP DISCOUNT. I mean c'mon, $5 bucks a set? That's practically free. They fit, they work better than the OEM pads, and at least as well as the Ferodos. What's not to like?
(aside from the fact that the US industrial base is gone and the Chinese can produce a set of quality brake pads for $5, that is...)
Who wants to set up a Group Buy?