Yokozuna drops into components w/ Motoko Mechanical/Hydraulic disc brake caliper

yokozuna-motoko-mechanical-hydraulic-disc-brake-caliper-3

Known throughout the bike world for their premium cables and housings, Yokozuna looks to be entering the world of components. Their first product that would qualify? The new Motoko mechanical/hydraulic brake system. Following in the steps of brands like TRP and Ashima, the Motoko caliper is actuated with a standard brake cable but uses a closed hydraulic system to deliver the stopping power. And while it may not be a completely new design, its availability in the U.S. through Yokozuna USA should make it fairly easy to get.

Which is good news, since it looks like a pretty solid caliper design…

When we first saw the Yokozuna caliper on their facebook page, it looked familiar. Then we remembered the Ashima PCD mechanical hydraulic caliper we saw at Eurobike in 2014. Interestingly, the PCD seems to no longer be included in the Ashima catalog, which is probably why we’re seeing it now as a Yokozuna product. Regardless, it’s good to see it come to market because it looks like solid competition to the other brakes on the market.

yokozuna-motoko-mechanical-hydraulic-disc-brake-caliper-1

Photos c. Yokozuna USA

Fairly light at 145g per caliper, the brakes use a closed hydraulic system based on mineral oil to deliver a hydraulic punch with mechanical pull. Designed to work with standard road brake lever pull, the calipers use a dual piston design which can be adjusted with the single knob on the side of the caliper.

yokozuna-motoko-mechanical-hydraulic-disc-brake-caliper-2

Pulling from their cable and housing experience, each brake will ship with their Reaction Compressionless brake cable set along with a 160mm stainless steel rotor and IS mounting hardware. Available in black or grey, single brake kits (front or rear) sell for $124.99 and are in stock now.

yokozunausa.com

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Tim
Tim
5 years ago

Seems like the worst of both worlds to me- the stretch and contaminability of cables, with the mess and heat management issues of hydros. The volume of oil there has to be downright tiny, I wonder how it can handle heat. AMP, Rock Shox and Hayes all had hybrid mechanical-hydro discs, I know for a fact the Hayes ones were crud. Not sure about the other two…

2pacfan187
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

There’s gotta be more conducatble thermal mass in a hydraulic caliper than in something that’s thin metal like a Spyre.

There are definitely downsides, but the upside is better feel and (at least initial) power.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  2pacfan187

How can initial power be better if there is a stretchable cable involved?
My comment about heat management was about the brake lines, not the caliper. Hydros have fluid that can expand because of heat- witness the lengths Shimano has gone to in order to keep rotors cool (three generations of heat shedding rotors). This heat problem has largely been solved, but with methods that aren’t employed on the brake in question. Mechanical brakes in any case do not suffer from this issue in the least- cables don’t bigger or smaller because of heat. Mechanicals’ calipers I am pretty sure are bigger and heavier than those of hydros. These are all theoretical considerations, though- in fact it’s hydros which get the most investment from brake makers. They get heat shedding rotors, finned calipers, and finned, heat-shedding brake pads. Only one of those things can only be retrofitted to a mechanical.

drunk-at-work
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Brake cables don’t stretch. And all of the mech/hydro calipers are spec’d for compressionless housing. Have you even ridden a bike equipped with any of these brakes? Go out to any CX race and look how many sets of HY/RDs you see out there.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  drunk-at-work

Let’s suppose your supposition that cables don’t stretch is true. That still leaves the housing and the ferrules. I personally have a bike with supposedly compressionless housing, and it most definitely compresses.

Juan Sevo
Juan Sevo
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

All of your examples are 20 years old. That’: like saying carbon frames broke back then so must still suck now. Or hell, comparing suspension tech or hydraulic brakes period to that which was 20 years ago. Same logic all that stuff should suck too. But, spoiler alert, it doesn’t. 😉

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Juan Sevo

Good points, designs can be improved a lot in 20yrs’ time. But part of what I said had to do with inherent problems of hybrid hydro-mech brakes. Cable stretch for example is still going to be an issue.

lak
lak
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Cable “stretch” is a load of bollocks – it’s housing stretch/ferrules that make things sloppy not the cable…..

Nico
Nico
5 years ago
Reply to  lak

Well. Yes, housings and (some) ferrules does have a break in period, but the cables stretching is definitely a real thing.

lak
lak
5 years ago
Reply to  Nico

Relative to the housing and ferrules it is insignificant..

Hai
Hai
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Compressionless housing does not stretch, and neither do cables.

Dinger
Dinger
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Heat control comes primarily from the mass of the caliper, which in the case of these hybrids, is much greater because both the master cylinder and caliper are integrated into the same (larger) housing.

Fluid can expand, but it’s volume is relatively unimportant. If the fluid directly behind the piston reaches a high enough temperature that it separates / gasses, the whole system fails and it doesn’t matter if there is a very large reservoir at the other end of the brake line. The fluid doesn’t flow back and forth fast enough through the system to contribute meaningfully to cooling.

Shimano’s efforts were motivated by the same thing that motivates all component makers: weight. Adding more metal would fix it, but telling the customer that it has to weigh more to perform correctly drops their enthusiasm.

basilfawlty
basilfawlty
5 years ago

I have the TRP brakes and they work great. Really like the idea of being able to use any drop bar shifter/lever combo with a hydraulic caliper. And no awkward reservoir shoehorned in the lever.

Jason Miles
5 years ago

Dual pad retraction and automatic pad wear compensation are the advantages over a conventional mechanical Disc brake. These mechanical to hydro brakes actually have a lot of mass compared to a conventional hydraulic caliper. But I’m sure the TRP HY/RD is not a closed system. If this is truly a closed system it seems like you will get pad rubbing from fluid thermal expansion.

i
i
5 years ago
Reply to  Jason Miles

how would it do pad wear comp with a closed system? Where is the extra fluid volume coming from?

I really feel like these hybrid brakes combine all the shortcomings of real hydros and cables, plus introduce some new problems, all to try to address a problem that Shimano and Sram already have a much better solution.

Rodrigo Diaz
Rodrigo Diaz
5 years ago
Reply to  i

i – there’s no extra fluid mass, extra fluid VOLUME from thermal expansion. That’s why open systems are widely used – they are self compensating. A closed system’s fluid has nowhere to go except to push on the calipers.

For what is worth I have had the TRP hybrids on a commuter bike, used to lug a kid’s trailer. It has worked great, but without as good feel as Shimano Ultegra disc (on a CX bike). If you have the money for a full hydraulic build by all means the full system is much better – if like me you’re piecing together a bike with parts you’ve already got this is a reasonable option.

i
i
5 years ago
Reply to  Rodrigo Diaz

I understand that there’s no extra mass. @Jason Miles said auto pad wear compensation was a benefit of a semi-hydro system; I don’t see how that’s possible on a closed brake. Sounds like you agree.

Rod Diaz
Rod Diaz
5 years ago
Reply to  i

Yeah, we all agree there – there’s no easy way to compensate for thermal expansion on a closed system.

That said, maybe for CX is not such a big deal. With my TRPs under substantial wear the feel was definitely weaker – that got better with a pad change. So maybe those brakes compensating capacity are not that extensive either?

I do have a weight-weenie friend that is interested in these type of options. I’ll let him test them 🙂

Bluefire
Bluefire
5 years ago

I’m going to show my ignorance here; wouldn’t these boil and form air bubbles and then require an immediate bleed? Don’t hydraulic brake systems need reservoirs? Basically, what’s the difference between this closed system and the Hy/Rd’s open system? I feel like they can’t both be right.

PFS
PFS
5 years ago

I doubt much of the heat makes its way up the line very far in a full hydraulic system, its probably mostly dissipated in the caliper. And with a cable you get easier routing for all the new internal frames.

JD
JD
5 years ago

As has been noted on some UK sites/forums, this looks like a rebadge of the Juin Tech R1 which is available for €175-ish for a pair with discs and adapters from online shops and possibly for less from ebay. Apparently they are on par or better than HY/RD’s

Morten Knudsen
Morten Knudsen
5 years ago
Reply to  JD

Juin Tech R1’s ? there are tons of stories of leaking, boiling etc. They are way too cheap, untestd and lightweight.

Quality and reliability is far from the HY/RD’s

DaveR27
DaveR27
5 years ago
Reply to  Morten Knudsen

I’ve run the Juin Techs for the last year and a half on my cross bike, and they are ace, zero issues over hundreds of miles in the UK and way more powerful than normal cable only brakes. As a bonus they use easily sourced old style shimano pads as well, so load of different options out there to improve bite or longevity.
I find them to be on par with the TRPs and sure the design lends itself to boiling if you drag the brakes. easily fixed by learning to brake properly…
They are a great alternative to full hydraulics if you can’t/dont want them.

Pete
Pete
5 years ago
Reply to  DaveR27

+1 for the Juin Techs over the Spyres.
and I just ordered from Yokozuna (for another bike) just to see if it’s any different from juin.

Mecanico do Paladar
Mecanico do Paladar
5 years ago
Reply to  DaveR27

+1 ! Juin Tech rules.

Muchachos
Muchachos
5 years ago

“known throughout the bike world” – really? never heard of these guys

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Muchachos

Yokozuna compressionless brake housing is fantastic. It weighs a ton and is a bit hard on the eyes but it makes the best feeling (cable) brakes I’ve yet to find.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
5 years ago
Reply to  Muchachos

Maybe your a motorcycle guy in the wrong place? Or maybe you’ve just never listened to cyclists.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
5 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

you’re*

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
5 years ago
Reply to  Muchachos

Somehow I had the impression that Yokozuna was associated with Shimano, from seeing a lot of people talking about buying Yokozuna hop up cable kits for XTR or DA. I thought it was similar to how Shimano sold those gold bolt kits for XTR a few years back. Is there any association, or was I jumping to premature conclusions?

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

If there is an association its well masked – I used to buy Yokozuna housing from a distributor who at the time wasn’t even wholesaling Shimano.

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
5 years ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Good info, thank you.

uk100
uk100
5 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

You may be thinking of Shimano’s Yumeya line, which did include cable housings.

oldfieldcycles
5 years ago

i have the TRP HY/RD brakes and they work great, the key is to use compressionless brake housing. not sure about these though. the TRP have a reservoir that compensates for expansion.

Maxx
Maxx
5 years ago

These are rebadged brakes from Juinn Tech.

man of steel
man of steel
5 years ago

I just installed a set of Juin Tech R1`s on my new bike, these Yokozuna ones are exactly the same just re-branded.

I wanted to upgrade to disc brakes but didn`t want to go back to cable shifting from my Di2 setup. A hydraulic & Di2 upgrade would have been way out of budget. The tektro Spyre is an option but didn`t like the idea of having to adjust for pad wear all the time.

So it really just comes down to the HY/RD and the R1, with some Jagwire compressionless cable housing it *should* be fine. Hopefully…

r3
r3
5 years ago
Reply to  man of steel

fyi, the Juin tech are not self adjusting I dont think

Klaus
Klaus
5 years ago

They are sold here in germany for a while. They are definitely not for use in any longer downhill because of the heatmanagement. Riders here use them for cx races and flatlandriding only. It’s also pointed out from the reseller.

Maxx
Maxx
5 years ago
Reply to  Klaus

Never had to use them that “hard” while riding but they are a massive improvement over the BB7R’s they replaced on my CX bike, which is 10years today. Both in terms of power as well as control feedback.

They also fit more frames than the TRP Hy/Dr due to the significantly smaller envelope they need. Try fitting the Hy/DR into the rear triangle of a Colnago C59 disc without using anything larger than 160mm discs….

Simon w/ EdgeSports
5 years ago

The UK and European distributor Edge Sports UK sells the original version by Juin Tech. They sell as a box set in pairs with rotors. They ship to the US and Canada.

http://www.edgesportsuk.com/store/juin-tech/road-cx/juin-tech-r1-hydraulic-cable-pull-disc-brake-set-grey-cyclocross-cx-road.html?___store=usa_canada&___from_store=default

Gavin
Gavin
4 years ago

so if Ahima, Juin Tech & Yokozuna are all the same, who actually makes them?