Hammerhead Designs CNC Rear Brake Pedal with Pro Kit

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Tested: Hammerhead Designs CNC Brake Pedal with Pro Kit

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Thiess Lindsay // Photos by Michael Lindsay

Like most riders, I'm constantly trying to become more comfortable on the bike. In the search for comfort, I've found that the placement of foot controls is almost as important to me as the handlebar bend and location.

Hammerhead Designs has made a name for themselves by providing riders with the ability to adjust the length and height of their foot controls. This made Hammerhead my source for a brake pedal when I was looking to improve my ability to use the rear brake properly.

Hammerhead CNC Brake Pedal Features:

  • Precision machined 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Three optional Read More »

Review by Thiess Lindsay // Photos by Michael Lindsay

Like most riders, I'm constantly trying to become more comfortable on the bike. In the search for comfort, I've found that the placement of foot controls is almost as important to me as the handlebar bend and location.

Hammerhead Designs has made a name for themselves by providing riders with the ability to adjust the length and height of their foot controls. This made Hammerhead my source for a brake pedal when I was looking to improve my ability to use the rear brake properly.

Hammerhead CNC Brake Pedal Features:

  • Precision machined 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Three optional locations for brake tip
  • Precision machined Brake Clevis
  • Brake Snake to prevent damage in a crash
  • Pro Brake Kit for better spring placement
  • MSRP $199.99 ($179.99 without Pro Kit)

Optional Pro Kit, which was tested with the CNC Brake Pedal.

First Impressions

When I ordered the CNC Brake Pedal, I had a choice of colors...black, blue, green, gold, and orange. Since I was ordering for a KX450F, the Hammerhead rep warned me that the green tip is a bit darker than Kawasaki's green, but I felt the color difference wasn't enough to cause concern. Outside of the standard-sized brake tip, you have some additional options. There's a larger tip (1/4" longer and wider than standard) and a rotating tip. Both of these are $34.95. For the weight conscious, there's a titanium brake tip for $39.99. For this test, I tested both a standard and large brake tip to see which I preferred.

Out of the box, I was impressed with the quality of the product and the amount of hardware included. I knew that the CNC Brake Pedal would be significantly stronger and better-looking than my stock pedal, but I wasn't sure how much weight it would add. On my scale, stock was 7.1 ounces and the CNC Pedal was 8.8 ounces. With only 1.7 ounces of added weight, I was very impressed.

In the Shop

Installation was fairly straightforward. The only difficulty I encountered came from installing the Pro Brake Kit. Compressing the spring while attempting to thread on the clevis can take some patience and dexterity. During installation, please remember that the Pro Kit replaces the stock rear brake spring. I played around with using both springs, thinking that someone might feel like it added to the performance of the product. But having both springs caused there to be far too much resistance, which in turn left me consciously telling myself to stomp on the pedal to get a response. I wouldn't recommend using both the stock spring and the Pro Kit, unless you have an unbreakable habit of dragging the rear brake.

The CNC Brake Pedal also offers an adjustment bolt which can be set against the frame. This is to eliminate the brake pedal from pushing up during a crash and pulling the plunger out.

I also found that it was easy to over-tighten the main brake pedal bolt, which resulted in a sticky rear brake. I tried to loosen the bolt slightly, but after a quick moto the bolt would loosen sufficiently to allow the brake lever to bang against the clutch cover. Applying a little Loctite proved to hold the bolt in the perfect spot, allowing the lever to move freely but still remaining tight enough to prevent the bolt from backing out.

At The Track

I should mention that I'm 6'3", and wear a size 12 boot, so the stock control locations feel rather small. I was excited to see if extending the brake pedal tip closer to the toe box of my boot would make things more comfortable and controllable. After some experimentation, I found that I preferred the large brake tip in the standard position. This larger tip helped me feel the pedal under my foot, instead of it being just under the edge of my boot. The change in position wasn't something that made an overwhelming difference, but every little bit helps.

Multiple holes, means multiple brake tip positions. (Note: The residue is from Loctite)

The Pro Brake Kit was also a major improvement. Because of my overall height, I run my pegs on a lower position. This means it can take a few attempts to adjust the pedal to the correct height. The Pro kit make for easier and finer adjustments, with fewer tools. This kit also improved the brake action, making it feel more linear and natural.

Long-Term Durability

After a handful of months, the shape and feel of the Hammerhead's CNC brake pedal has remained excellent. As with any anodized aluminum part, wear marks have developed, but overall it still look great. I have experienced several small crashes where the bike ended up on the same side as the brake pedal, which held up beautifully. This durability was in part due to the included brake snake.

Optional rotating brake tip.

The Last Word

Overall, I've been really happy with the Hammerhead CNC Brake Pedal with Pro Kit. The ability to customize the location of brake pedal tip has added to my comfort and increased my control over the bike. While I've discussed how it can add comfort to a larger rider, I feel that same result could be obtained for a smaller rider trying to decrease the size of the rider’s compartment. For a brake pedal, the price point can seem a little high. But if you don't fit the mold of the "average" sized rider, the product is worth the price. Since I'm a rider that gained from the adjustability, I'd give it four stars. For a rider that's of average size and doesn't need the adjustability, I'd rate it slightly lower because of its price. But if that's the case, Hammerhead offers a much cheaper forged unit that doesn't feature the adjustability.

Vital MX Rating

For more information on Hammerhead's line of CNC (or forged) pedals and shifters, check out HDmoto.com.

About the Test Rider

Thiess Lindsay - born to a moto-crazed father who stole his first name from Greg Theiss, a regular on professional motocross scene in the late 70s. The family is still trying to figure out why the spelling is different, but the running joke is Thiess means “drunken father”. As a taller and “bigger-boned” rider Thiess is proud to give a voice to the large number of riders that were built more for football or basketball than moto. His inherently cheap nature also serves as a good measuring stick for the average guy who is trying to find the best value from the many aftermarket parts available. Between his career as an engineer (which means he can’t spell) / project manager and a young family, Thiess finds every opportunity to ride and enjoy the freedom and comradery that only a dirt bike can provide.

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Vital MX member Tazao
42145 Tazao http://p.vitalmx.com/photos/users/42145/avatar/c50_durham_1392420798.jpg?1392419921 http://www.vitalmx.com/community/Tazao,42145/all 02/14/14 25 4 9

Specifications

Product Hammerhead Designs CNC Rear Brake Pedal with Pro Kit
Construction
Miscellaneous Precision machined using 6061-T6 aluminum.
Three optional locations for brake tip to fit your riding preference.
Four brake tip options to also fit your preference.
Equally precision machined Brake Clevis (included).
Brake Snake to prevent damage in a crash (included).
Pro Spring Kit for better spring placement (included).
Price $199.99
More Info