TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION AND PASSION. THE BRAKE SYSTEMS SPECIALIST GALFER, SEVENTY YEARS OF EVOLUTION AND SUCCESS
The Spanish company Galfer, leader in the production and manufacture of high-performance brake systems for motorbikes and bicycles, celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation this year.
Given its experience, leadership and commitment to innovation, Galfer is a benchmark in the sector, contributing to making the braking experience increasingly safer on two-wheeled vehicles as well as delivering high performance for world champion and amateur riders alike.
The brand has grown over time, not only because of its forward-looking vision and technological innovation in its sector, but also owing to the solid ethical and professional values that have enabled it, over seventy years, to become the global brand it is today.
In November 1952 Maffio Milesi (father of Umberto, the current general manager) decided to open an industrial warehouse in Barcelona, dedicated to manufacturing the flexible brake linings that he had invented years before in Italy, to supply his main client: the FIAT group that built the SEAT factory in Spain. This is where Galfer was born, manufacturing the pads for the disc brakes of the SEAT 124 in the 50s and 60s. In the motorcycle and bicycle sectors, the activity focused on the production of original equipment brake calipers and clutch discs for Mototrans (Ducati) and Motovespa, among others.
– 1960s: During the first years of operation the brand continues to supply automotive products and also begins to supply the motorcycle brand Sanglas. It also starts manufacturing high-performance brake linings (Cobalt, HP6) and the first disc brake pads for the Seat 124.
– 1970s: Galfer becomes a pioneer in eliminating asbestos from its products, replacing it with aramid fibre blends. The second generation of the Milesi family takes over the reins of the company, with a greater focus on the motorcycle and bicycle sectors.
– 1980s: The company manufactures the first pads for motorcycle disc brakes for the Mototrans-Ducati brand. A catalogue of motorcycle brake pads is created, which includes 45 products and 2 different compounds (silver and gold). Galfer is the first company to distinguish the compounds of the pads by the colour of their brackets, a practice since adopted by the majority of brake brands in the world today.
Galfer participates in events and becomes involved in competitions such as the 24h of Montjuïc, the AGV Criteriums, the SuperPrestigio, the Promotion Championships and the Spanish Championships. In the 80s its collaboration with JJCobas was key for both parties, with the development of the first pad and disc brake system for a trial motorcycle with the rider Toni Gorgot. The period of intense collaboration culminated in the first World Championship title for Galfer, won by Alex Crivillé in 1989 in the 125cc class.
– 1990s: In 1992 GalferUSA isfounded in the US to supply brake products to the American continent. Manufacturing began on stainless steel brake discs. In 1998 Galfer collaborates in the development of the first brake discs and pads for mountain bikes, with the Magura Gustav M. The ISO 9001 quality management system is established for the manufacture of all brake products. In 1999 Emilio Alzamora wins the World Championship title in the 125cc class with Galfer.
– 2000s: Galfer’s R+D department develops the Disc Wave® brake disc for the motorcycle components market, which is patented in Europe and America and approved by the German TÜV (KBA). The discs are revolutionary in the market, improving on the aesthetics of the traditional round discs of the original motorcycles and reducing their weight considerably. Manufacturing begins on the sintered metal brake pads,which are approved by the TÜV (KBA). Galfer gains new customers such as Hope and Formula for its brake pads for bicycles. In 2009 Galfer opens a new manufacturing plant and its current offices in Granollers (Barcelona, Spain).
Galfer starts supplying disc brakes for original KTM motorcycles, a relationship that is still maintained today. Galfer riders win various World Championship titles, including Jorge Lorenzo in the 250cc class and Oriol Mena in Enduro Junior.
– 2010s: Marc Márquez wins his first two World Speed Championship titles with Galfer in the 125cc classand Moto2 class. Galfer riders claim another 50 world titles during this decade, including Toni Bou, Alex Márquez, Joan Mir, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Steve Holcombe, Jorge Martin, Laia Sanz and Emma Bristow, among others. In 2012 the Galfer Bike brand is created to supply the components market with brake discs and pads for bicycles. Galfer expands its facilities, increases its production capacity and starts developing several new brake pad compounds. It launches new sintered racing compounds, the G1396R for off-road motorcycles and the G1375R for road, as well as several oversize brake kits compatible with most off-road motorcycles on the market, which increase braking power. The company implements the ISO/TS 16949 quality management system, with more exhaustive controls and manufacturing processes to ensure maximum quality and reliability. Brands such as Beta, Sherco, TM Racing, Montesa and Orbea, among others, choose Galfer to fulfil their braking requirements, and fit their original bikes with Disc Wave® brake discs. The KTM group recognises Galfer as a superior quality supplier through an award and incorporates a new, state-of-the-art test bench for testing and trialling its brake products.
– 2020-2021: The Disc CUBIQ® is created, an evolution of the Disc Wave®, which reduces the weight of the disc brakes and enhances their performance. The brake pads are approved with ECE-R90 certification, an industry first for two-wheeled vehicles. Galfer develops specific brake pads for electric bicycles and begins updating its packaging with a more ecological and sustainable format.Galfer riders win 24 world championship motorcycle titles and 7 cycling titles in different disciplines and the company becomes a world leader in competition. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Galfer grows exponentially, increasing its turnover and productive capacity considerably.
Industrias Galfer is currently based in Granollers (Barcelona), in exemplary facilities in a new 6,000 m2 plant right next to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where they manufacture brake products (discs, pads and hoses) and employ a workforce of around 150 people. The top Spanish brand exports to more than 50 countries around the globe making it a world leader. During its 70-year history, innovation has continued to be the driving force of the company. This spirit of constant improvement has positioned the company as a major supplier of braking systems to a demanding market and a leader in the sector.
GALFER IS ALL ABOUT COMPETITION
Competition has always been part of Galfer and it provides a formidable testing ground for the most advanced technologies. It is important to Galfer that customers who buy its brake products can enjoy the same service and quality as world champion riders.
From 1952 to the present, Galfer has won no fewer than 95 world titles in motorcycling and cycling with its advanced brake components, providing highly technological products to teams and riders of the calibre of Alex Crivillé, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Márquez, Maverick Viñales, Joan Mir, Toni Bou, Steve Holcombe, Laia Sanz, Kiara Fontanesi and Andrea Locatelli, among many others.
70TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS
The 70th anniversary of Galfer’s foundation is an important milestone for the company and comes at a time of special growth and worldwide recognition of the brand. Therefore, it deserves to be celebrated in the same fashion as we celebrate championship wins in the world of competition.
In particular, Galfer wishes to highlight the solid values acquired and the journey so far, which have made the Galfer brand great over these 70 years of activity.
“RIDING TO THE FUTURE” is the brand’s slogan for 2022, for the occasion of its 70th anniversary. A series of celebration and brand recognition events will take place, with the direct involvement of several riders in different disciplines that have been part of Galfer’s history.
In addition to advertising campaigns in the main international media of the motorcycle and bicycle sectors, there will also be numerous other activities: a main celebratory video, exclusive merchandising and a wide range of audiovisual content on social networks including memories and testimonials from past and present champion riders and collaborators who have travelled some of the road with Galfer or who are still by its side. Indeed, February will see the launch of a video production divided into twelve episodes in which, each month, a Galfer rider will share their personal experience with the brand, recounting anecdotes and stories and explaining how Galfer’s brake components have contributed to their successes over the years.
In addition, during 2022, the traditional Galfer logo will be replaced by a celebratory logo that will be used both for the official communication and promotion of the brand and in competitions, taken onto the track either adorning some of the bikes or emblazoned on the competition clothing of some of the Galfer riders.
During the course of the year there will be opportunities, as in previous years, for the international media to come into closer contact with the world of Galfer and to celebrate this important anniversary together. Specifically, the doors of the Granollers facilities will be open for Press Days in relation to the Bike product range (6 and 7 April 2022), and for the presentation to the press of the Racing range for road motorcycles in the first week of June 2022. Some of the best Galfer riders and ambassadors will be present at both events.
The year of celebrations will culminate with Galfer’s historic participation in the 2022 edition of the international motorcycle trade fair Eicma. There will be a full programme of appointments and events, with the presence of the most important Galfer riders at the stand. In addition, a big, final party will be held in Milan, where the entire Galfer family will have the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary in person with professionals from the sector, including riders, team managers, motorcycle manufacturers, media and customers who have contributed over the years to making Galfer the prestigious brand it is today.