Hammerhead Designs Forged Brake Pedal

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Cheap Trick: Tough But Affordable Components
Vital Review

Dirt bikes take a beating, plain and simple. Any time you combine dirt with just about activity, you’ll need equipment that is either durable or replaceable…or both. This is where much of the motocross aftermarket comes into play, with parts that are meant to replace your worn out OEM parts, or improve upon the performance.

Hammerhead Designs has been in the small hard parts business for quite a while now and their offerings continue to multiply. While the company has a reputation for trick looking CNC-machined aluminum parts, Hammerhead recently introduced a new line of forged aluminum components, aiming for riders who want a lower price-point but a similar look as the higher-end option. We’ve been trying out the new Forged Brake Pedal and Shifter.

Hammerhead Forged Rear Brake Pedal and Shifter Feature Highlights

Forged – Rather than going with CNC-machining (quite costly and time consuming to produce) forging allows higher volume production and the process is far cheaper. However, since Hammerhead used high quality 6061 aluminum, the resulting parts are still plenty strong.

Tasty Bits – While the main portions of the brake pedal and shifter are forged, the replaceable tips are still machined from billet aluminum and anodized (aka strong and colorful).

Bonus – The forged brake pedal also comes with a brake snake and a machined brake clevis.

Initial Impressions

As time goes on, aftermarket companies are filling in the gaps by offering parts that were once only available from the original motorcycle manufacturer or were “works” only items. Think about it. Remember the when quick adjust clutch perches first came about? Or holeshot devices? The only folks who got those items were factory riders, but eventually those types of Gucci pieces began to trickle down to the consumer. Nowadays, thanks to companies like Hammerhead Designs, the gap between factory teams and weekend warriors is that much smaller.

Even though both the main portions of the shifter and brake pedal are forged, they are still fairly trick looking with the black anodizing. While they may not be quite as strong as the machined versions, they are also slightly less susceptible to damage because of the rounded and tapered edges (as opposed to the sharper angles of the billet versions).

I’m a fan of the fact that both the shifter and brake pedal have replaceable tips, both with several different length, shape, and material options (Hammerhead actually makes about 20 different tips for the shifter, so you can get the exact fit and feel you are looking for). The great thing is that all of the tips are the same CNC tips that come on the more expensive versions, and are available in a ton of different colors.

Our brake pedal came with the standard tip, which is a machined triangular piece that is slightly bigger than the stock pedal. I was a little skeptical at first about the size but I do like the tip placement options and it is a major upgrade from the standard stamped steel OEM tip found on most bikes.

On the Track

Foot controls are strange. Unless they are drastically out of place, you usually don’t pay much attention to them…at least I don’t. Since many people keep one or two bikes for a season or more, they will get accustomed to the controls on those bikes, and probably not think much about them again unless they bend or break.

For the shifter, we had the stock length and width tip, so there was no difference in reach. However, because of the knurled and machined tip, the feedback on my toes was a bit more positive than the stock tip, which is far more rounded on the end. After a moto, the sprung pivot also seems to be less susceptible to accumulating mud and dirt…another positive.

Since I wear a size 13 boot, I would be interested in trying out Hammerhead’s different shifter tips that are either knurled or with rubber tips and in different reaches and widths.

I mentioned that, at first, I was skeptical about the size of the brake pedal tip. That was simply because I had never used a pedal that big before and was worried it may be more prone to scraping the dirt while riding, and therefore more likely to be damaged (Hammerhead actually makes a Large-size tip which is bigger still). Even if this was the case, the included brake snake adds a sense of security.

Since the tip has an adjustable reach via three islets along the top of the pedal, I played around with options…basically either short or long. While it was worth a shot, it should come as no surprise that a person with big feet settled on the longer option.

Things That Could Be Improved

These are well thought-out yet fairly basic items. From a design and functionality standpoint, both the brake pedal and shifter have performed as expected. The only thing I can see some consumers wanting are different color options for the main portion of the pedal and shifter.

Long Term Durability

Over the course of testing, the pedal has held up quite well and both the forged piece and the machined tip have certainly proven their strength. The same goes for the shifter.

I would like to try out the optional rotating tip for the brake pedal, as it is designed to move in the same manner as a flexible shifter tip and can probably stand some serious abuse.

The only major evidence of wear are some expected dings and scratches in the Standard brake tip, and a missing set screw tooth (Hammerhead sells replacements for every part of the pedal and shifter). I have actually been impressed with the little amount of cosmetic damage to the main shafts of the brake pedal and shifter so far.

Hard Boiled Truth

There is no doubt that Hammerhead Designs makes high quality parts, and their new Forged Brake Pedal and Shifter are testament to that statement. Then add in the fact that these particular parts are meant to be Hammerhead’s price point offerings, and they are even more impressive.

From a performance standpoint, will these parts make you any faster? Probably not, but they are stronger, lighter…and far better looking than stock.

For more information, visit www.hdmoto.com.

-Bayo Olukotun

About The Reviewer

Bayo Olukotun has been riding dirt bikes since he was nine years old. Far from a child prodigy, Bayo (pronounced “bio”) spent countless hours learning to ride from watching Seals Communications’ epic crash video, Thills, Spills, and Chills hosted by Dave Despain and Larry Maiers, Fox Racing’s Terrafirma series, and endless replays of the 1992 AMA Camel Supercross Series. What he didn’t learn from sitting in front of the television he acquired from racing on AMA District 6 tracks and instructing the Tony D. Motocross Schools for far too long. Nowadays, Bayo considers himself to be a top SoCal pro practicer, but still enters the occasional Loretta Lynn’s qualifier so that he might one day be able to call himself one of the best “never-was-a-pro-over-30-years-old-with-the-resources-to-race-at-Hurricane-Mills” riders in the country!


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Hammerhead Designs Forged Brake Pedal

  • Forged using 6061 aluminum

  • Two 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)

  • Optional Pro Spring Kit for better spring placement (sold separately)

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