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      05-17-2016, 01:23 AM   #1
uberschnell
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R1 Concepts Big Brake Kit Review

I've always had fascination with Big Brake Kits. On my 335i which has a good stock set up I went with a full Rotora 6/4 set up for track use. Ended up not being too impressed with them. Then I fell in love with the bulldog looking 135i and I thought I would be set, great car with stock BBK! Well, quickly found out those brakes were not up to task when it came to serious track time. So I decided to upgrade to the real thing, Brembo GT!

Well, time has come to retire my ride from track duty and focus instead on a fun weekend canyon carver. I came across the R1 Concept BBK offerings. It's been out for a little bit but I could not find too many reviews on the kit. R1 is mostly known for rotors, pads and lines with a fairly solid rep. I've wanted to go front and back and frankly the Brembo GT is so damn expensive. Plus I wanted to go for cross drilled bling. A no-no for track but ok for street.

So I ended up trying out the Front kit to see how it fairs.

I went with the 8 pot, 355 mm front. I upgraded to Stainless pistons and knock-back springs, and full float 2-piece cross drilled rotors.

R1 BBK's are built to order to I went with Yellow calipers and black rotor hats. They color selection is pretty large and the price is the same so that can make it a little hard to pick the right set up for your car.

I ordered these straight from R1, so no special deals or anything, just an honest review of what they offer. I'll post up how the install goes and once I get some miles on them a long term review.

For starters, here is my BMW N54 experience, all but the R1 with track time.

335i - Stock with upgraded pads and fluid
335i - Rotora 6/4 full BBK
135i - Stock brakes
135i - Brembo GT front, ECS Slotted rotors rear, EBC Yellows rear
135i - R1 Concept 355 BBK front, EBC Red rear, R1 Concept Cross Drilled rotors rear

First, a photo of what's being replaced.
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      05-17-2016, 01:32 AM   #2
uberschnell
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got the R1 in the mail, box weighs a ton. First look, pretty high quality. The calipers are clearly CNC. They are forged, but they are two piece unlike the mono-block GT. Size wise, the disk on the R1 is slightly wider then the disk on the Brembo set up. Also, the Brembo GT caliper is slightly larger then the R1. Brembo is superior quality, but these hold up well.

The rotors appear pretty high quality, with the holes drilled in between the vanes at an even space. The holes are nicely beveled at the end to avoid shard angles.

Fit and Finish I give it an A- (Brembo gets and A+)
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      05-17-2016, 01:37 AM   #3
uberschnell
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Package came with all necessary accessories. Hardware look good. The kit comes with R1 Brake lines which look the part. Here is where I found the first "issue". Stock lines include two rubber grommets to secure the line, the R1 lines only had one. The Brembo lines came with two, like oem. Brembo lines are made by Goodridge, so you know they are top quality. Will have to see how the R1 lines do in the long run.
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      05-17-2016, 01:46 AM   #4
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Pm sent regarding Brembo Gt's
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      05-17-2016, 01:51 AM   #5
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Here is a photo of the SS pistons up close. It's a cheap upgrade from the aluminum and well worth it. (Brembo, of course, are already SS)

Without getting into the specifics comparing stock vs R1, piston's are 36mm, 32mm, 30mm, and 28mm. I suspect this will move the brake bias forward, but not by a tremendous amount with the stock 135i rear calipers.

As you can see on the Brembo brakes, the pistons are much beefier. In fact, I'm not even sure where the dust shields are on the R1 brakes. It's clear the Brembo would probably be better suited to track duty, but the reality is I am comparing $3800 BBK to a much more reasonably priced alternative, so something has to give.
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Last edited by uberschnell; 05-18-2016 at 01:43 AM.
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      05-18-2016, 01:54 AM   #6
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Install

So the real test is to see how well these are engineered for a specific car. I mounted everything up without lock-tight or torque specs. One thing that had me worried was the fact that they packed like 30 spacer/shims with the package. I was not crazy about the idea of having to shim these to fit.

Upon installing the pads I breathed a sigh of relief. Everything seems to have been designed to specs. The spacing on the bottom and top of the pads are right on, and the caliper was centered. The only issue I ran into was the right caliper had about a 1/2 mm less space on the inside pad then the outside pad to the rotor. There was not too much wiggle room for the pads to fit and that could be a function of the pad size. Either was was not a problem. Should function fine.

Overall fitment, B+
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      05-18-2016, 11:06 PM   #7
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Nice looking brakes. I guess you will test it out on track too? Let us know how it is !!
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      05-18-2016, 11:50 PM   #8
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Price on this kit? Did you ever get the M3 seats installed? Just curious how that all worked out. Couldn't find your build thread.
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      06-03-2016, 09:29 AM   #9
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Got them on and tool them for a quick drive. So far so good. I'll bed them in and put some miles on and report back on bias and overall performance.

One thin for sure, they look huge behind an 18" wheel
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      01-31-2017, 11:40 PM   #10
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And updates? How much did these cost?
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