Brembo 19RCS Corsa Corta Master Cylinder - CW TESTED

Breaking new ground

brembo 19rcs corsa corta in use on the track
Road Test Editor Don Canet was confident in the consistent performance of the new Brembo radial pump master cylinder at Estoril, Portugal.Courtesy of Brembo

There's no slowing of innovation at Brembo Racing. The Italian-based high performance brake manufacturer pioneered the now prevalent radial pump master cylinder as a prototype component on the factory Yamaha YZR500 ridden by Eddie Lawson to the 1986 world Grand Prix title. Fast forward 16 years to the inaugural production road bike application of Brembo's radial master cylinder on the 2002 Aprilia RSV 1000.

In 2007 Brembo introduced its current 19RCS, a MotoGP-derived master cylinder featuring a 19mm piston and adjustable leverage ratio (Ratio Click System) offering a choice of two settings easily altered to suit rider preference. Now Brembo has announced the 19RCS Corsa Corta, an all-new master cylinder that retains the adjustable leverage and lever position of its predecessor, but adds a new adjustment termed “idle stroke” with a selector knob allowing the rider to fine tune the amount of free lever travel, altering the system’s initial bite point.

brembo 19rcs corsa corta product view
While the 19RCS Corsa Corta is due to arrive in the USA with a $318 MSRP, versions with 17mm and 15mm pistons will soon follow to support a wide range of applications including single caliper set-ups such as that on supermoto bikes.Courtesy of Brembo

I sampled the new product on the road and during hot laps of Circuito Estoril, a classic circuit located near Lisbon, Portugal. On the street I rode a stock BMW S1000RR equipped with the 19RCS Corsa Corta set at its 20mm fulcrum-to-piston distance configuration. This leverage setting provides a firmer lever feel with slightly reduced overall power and sensitivity that Brembo views as the preferred street setup. Switching among the trio of idle stroke settings labeled Normal, Sport and Racing is said to alter the feeling and response of initial bite. While I have to say the effect is very subtle at best, the power and modulation feel was superb regardless of which setting I chose. I also found it difficult to see the markings (N, S and R) cast into the knob to check at a glance which setting was selected. Certainly a dab of colored nail polish provides an easy fix, but it's a small detail Brembo could have handled none the less.

don canet examines the brembo 19rcs corsa corta
A hands-on look at the 19RCS Corse Corta during the pre-ride technical brief.Courtesy of Brembo

Riding the circuit on a race-prepped S1000RR equipped with superbike-spec Brembo T-Drive rotors and pads also revealed little detectable variance between the idle stroke extremes. I did however prefer the race-oriented 18mm leverage setting which by its geometry results in increased lever travel while delivering added power and modulation feel. The confidence I quickly gained from the consistent fade free performance and exceptional trail braking control won me over.

brembo 19rcs corsa corta in use on the track
Race-prepped BMWS1000RR provided by CEV, Campeonato de España de Velocidad.Courtesy of Brembo

The rider/control interface is an intimate relationship and performance upgrades you can also see as you ride make a compelling investment. Even if one must be of world class caliber to fully appreciate Brembo’s latest innovation, the aesthetic attraction of the newly shaped forged-and-machined master cylinder and the folding lever’s elegant contour may in itself offer enough appeal to justify the $318 asking price.

close up of brembo 19rcs corsa corta
While the lever is designed to fold in the event of a crash, the hinge point was very nicely snug. A pet peeve of mine is folding levers that begin to fold (even the slightest bit) when squeezing the lever.Courtesy of Brembo
close up of brembo 19rcs corsa corta
A matching cable-actuated clutch lever is currently available for popular liter-class sportbikes, with plans for a like-styled hydraulic clutch arrangement in the works.Courtesy of Brembo
close up of brembo 19rcs corsa corta
Closer view of the adjusters. The knob at top left is for lever position, the rubber plug visible to its right (above the green) allows access to a two-position leverage ratio cam while the newly added 3-position idle-stroke adjuster knob is located near the lever pivot point.Courtesy of Brembo
don canet portrait
The road ride was along a winding route to the Atlantic coast. Although I was aboard an S1000RR during the ride, I sat in for this static photo on the S1000R ridden by a Japanese journalist.Courtesy of Brembo
don canet talks with a fellow tester
Our guide for the street and track test was Portuguese racer Rui Marto, winner of the Copa EasyRace S1000RR España 2016.Courtesy of Brembo
circuito estoril near lisbon portugal
Circuito Estoril is a classic circuit located near Lisbon, Portugal that has hosted many car and motorcycle Grand Prix events over the decades.Courtesy of Brembo