BrakeTech CobraMX 270mm Front Rotor Review

Can an aftermarket rotor of the same size as stock perform better?

BrakeTech’s CobraMX 270mm rotor
BrakeTech’s CobraMX 270mm rotor is 3.5mm thick in an effort to improve overall performance, provide a firmer lever feel, and better thermal stability.Allan Brown

There are a few reasons you might start shopping for a front brake rotor, and you may be surprised by how many options are out there. The front brake is possibly the second most important component on your motorcycle, second to the suspension. I mean, who cares how fast your engine is if you can't slow down for corners, right? For this application, we are reviewing an OEM replacement front rotor for a Yamaha YZ450F. It is understood that a larger-diameter rotor will offer more braking power, but the question is, can a stock-diameter aftermarket rotor outperform the OEM one?

BrakeTech introduced the CobraMX 270mm rotor based on knowledge and experience gained from years of development with its Axis roadrace series of full-floating rotors. The CobraMX rotor uses special spring washers on the floater buttons to produce a semi-floating rotor. Its 270mm blade is 3.5mm thick in an effort to improve overall performance, provide a firmer lever feel, and better thermal stability. It also undergoes a cryogenic treatment to help wear characteristics and achieve a more consistent performance. You can even add a personal touch with its optional bobbin colors. To top it off, the rotor assembly is completely rebuildable.

BrakeTech’s CobraMX 270mm rotor
Installing the rotor was relatively simple, as you only have to remove the front wheel and six rotor bolts that attach it to the hub.Allan Brown

Yamaha OEM brakes are good but slightly on the spongy side. If you like a brake with a “firm” feeling, or more of an on-off feeling, you probably aren’t a fan of stock Yamaha brakes. One of the benefits of the BrakeTech CobraMX rotor is it is claimed to help firm up the lever feel, so we thought the Yamaha would offer a perfect test.

Installing the rotor was relatively simple, as you only have to remove the front wheel and six rotor bolts that attach it to the hub. When you compare the OEM Yamaha rotor with the BrakeTech, side by side, you can see and feel that the BrakeTech is built a little bit beefier. One note of caution is the Yamaha OEM bolts are countersunk and have Loctite on them, so if you aren’t careful, you can strip them. Preheating the hub around the bolt area with a small butane torch makes it much easier to remove the bolts.

CobraMX rotor
The CobraMX rotor is equal to the OEM Yamaha rotor in braking power but superior in lever firmness and consistency during longer motos.Allan Brown

An ideal track to test brakes is Glen Helen Raceway as it’s a high-speed course that features some seriously steep downhills with heavy braking zones. Initially when I first went out, I noticed a firmer feel at the lever. I did about four laps working the front brake fairly hard in an effort to get the pads worked in. Once I took a break and let the rotor cool, it was time to go back out and see how it really performed. At first I felt it was comparable in braking strength to the stock rotor but with a firmer feel. I personally like the more progressive feeling of the Yamaha brakes and was glad the brake did not become too touchy. The longer I rode it, the more I noticed it maintained a more consistent feel, even after it got hot.

Overall, the CobraMX rotor is equal to the OEM Yamaha rotor in braking power but superior in lever firmness and consistency during longer motos. I raced with this rotor in a 45-minute GP-style event and experienced zero fade throughout the race. At $249.95, the rotor will cost you a decent amount in comparison to the stock one, but you will gain performance, durability, and some personal style with its color options. If you’re building a spare set of wheels, this would be a good option for your second wheel as its 270mm diameter makes it interchangeable with the OEM rotor.

Rated: 84

Installation 20/20
Function 40/50
Durability 10/10
Design 9/10
Price 5/10

Contact: braketech.com/; (951) 471-3476