Whatever you do, don't break it
Brand A or Brand B?
Until recently, if you wanted to upgrade your sportbike's master cylinder, you bought a Brembo. Now, the Italian company Accossato has made their products available in America, distributed exclusively by Galfer USA. With renowned riders such as Martin Cardinas and James Toseland using Accossato M/Cs, the racing pedigree of these parts is clearly established. Would the upstart Brand A be able to compete with long-established Brand B? We decided that a test was in order.
For out test, we selected the $249.48 "recommended for track use" 19x18 radial forged aluminum master cylinder. This piece has a very upscale look which would complement even the most exotic motorcycle. We mounted it to TradkdayMag.com associate Lee Dean's 07 GSXR750. The included dual-line banjo bolt and crush washers worked perfectly with the Spiegler brake lines which were already in place on the Suzuki. The only issue we encountered was that the Accossato's reservoir nipple was a smaller size than the stock GSXR unit had been. We ended up sourcing a piece of clear vinyl hose intended for a Brembo MC and making it work by clamping it to the Italian barb and stretching it over the one from Japan. The obvious solution here would have been to buy an Accossato reservoir and hose kit to match the master cylinder, however the company does not currently list those parts on their USA website. Once we'd sorted the hose issue, we bled the brakes. Because we'd never removed the GSXR's calipers during this installation and had kept the brake lines from falling to the floor and draining, we were able to purge air from the system quickly via the bleeder screw on the Accossato M/C.
Lee's desire was to have a rock-hard brake lever that would allow him to feel the friction of the GSXR's pads in his fingertips as he trail-braked his way into each corner. The Accossato did not disappoint in this regard. It was a definite improvement over the stock Suzuki pump. So far, so good! Then came the crash....
You're Kidding, Right?
When the crash truck brought Lee and his machine back to the pits, we could see that this had been a light impact. The front tire had washed out over some bumps, causing the GSXR to fall on its side and slide to a stop. There was minimal body damage; one frame slider had ground down and there was some road rash on the tip of the Accossato brake lever. Then we noticed that the lever had cracked where the adjuster barrel goes through it and the actuator pin had gotten bent. Lacking spares, we were done for the day. Still, we could easily order what we'd need to fix it before the next event, so no sweat, right? Well, that was what we thought....
Come Monday, we placed a phone call to the 800 number on the Accossato web page. First we spoke to Customer Service. It went something like this:
"Yes, unfortunately, we crashed our Accossato master cylinder and need some parts." "What parts are those?"
"We need a lever and the activator pin that connects the lever to the piston"
"That pin is not available."
"What do we do then? We can't install a new lever without a new pin."
"If the pin is bent, you need to buy a new master cylinder."
"You're kidding, right? Brembo sells that pin in a crash kit for around forty dollars."
"Accossato does not sell that pin. I'll connect you to Tech Support."
The news from Tech Support was no better:
"Accosato considers this to be a safety issue. The customer is unable to determine if the master cylinder has been damaged in any other way. The assembly is not owner-servicable."
"But Brembo sells a kit to replace that part! If the lever breaks, there's about a fifty-percent chance the pin will take damage!"
"Accossato does not sell any replacement parts other than the lever. If you want to send your master cylinder to us here in California, we could forward it to the factory in Italy and they could determine if it is rebuildable."
"You're kidding, right?"
The Accossato master cylinder that we tested could easily have been mistaken for a Brembo unit. Its fit and finish were impeccable. The performance of this part on the racetrack left nothing to be desired. Unfortunately, it was ruined in a crash that was not even severe enough to break the tip off of the lever. We've never encountered this in any other master cylinder that we've crashed, either stock or aftermarket. In the end, Lee put what we were thinking into clear focus with just a few simple words. "They told me to buy another master cylinder. I will, but it won't be an Accossato."