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Replacing motorcycle brake pads isn’t as complicated, and you can probably do it yourself. All you need is time, patience, and some tools. Also, you’ll need the best possible motorcycle brake pads that suit your calipers.
Brakes are possibly the most important part of your motorcycle when it comes to safety. And although many people like to focus on going more than on stopping, it’s an essential component that requires regular maintenance.
However, there are quite a few different brake pads to choose from based on your riding style and motorcycle you have. Continue reading to discover some of the top models and how to choose one.
Top 8 Motorcycle Brake Pad Reviews
EBC Brakes – Ideal for Street Sport Motorcycles
EBC is a reliable brand that supplies the largest range of motorcycle brake pads. These are made with a high-pressure die-cast aluminum platform, featuring bonded linings.
Every shoe is edge trimmed and radius ground. The chamfers are lead in and lead out at the lining ends. Also, it’s important to note that these don’t contain asbestos.
These don’t come with any backing plates or springs. Another thing to keep an eye on is the metal clip mounted on the caliper assembly mounting bracket. This piece is critical for installation, so make sure to check if it’s included in the package as it should be.
The manufacturer states that these require a couple of hundred miles to break in and start performing their best. Still, be careful during the few first rides.
Lyndall Racing Brakes – Ideal for Harley Touring
Lyndall is among your best choices if you ride a Harley Davidson. These are manufactured in the USA and are easy to install.
They’re made from a matrix containing carbon and aramid fiber along with non-ferrous metal. This ensures durability and quality.
These are softened a little so that they can last a much longer time. Another thing to remember is that they must be used on steel rotors.
They’re quiet and produce little dust while providing excellent stopping power at all times. Also, they’re much lighter and cooler than sintered pads. This makes them ideal for street use.
Although Lyndall Racing Brakes fit most 2000-2007 Harley Davidson motorcycles, they are suitable for plenty of other bikes as well. Make sure to check compatibility beforehand.
Foreverun Motor – Sintered
These come in two sets, allowing you to change both the rear and front calipers. These are made from sintered metal for ultimate performance and longevity.
The construction and materials allow durability and resistance. Also, they’re suitable for all kinds of motorcycles and riding styles.
They’re reliable and offer excellent stopping power even during wet riding conditions. The manufacturer recommends them for sudden braking since they can withstand a lot of heat.
Keep in mind that these are made for the Honda VTX 1300 model. However, they would probably fit several other Honda models as well.
You may notice that they’re a bit squeaky at the beginning, but the sound should disappear after a few rides. It takes some time for the rotor to adjust to the new set, which is what creates the squeaking sound.
ECCPP – High Strength
These ECCPP kevlar carbon pads fit most Harley Davidson bikes made from 2008 to 2014. The package includes both back and front ones so that you can replace them both at the same time.
They provide excellent stopping power without producing as much rotor noise. You can use them on polished rotors as well. On top of that, the quality of construction and materials provide durability in all riding conditions.
The materials are combined with high-strength fibers that reduce friction.
Also, it’s important to note that these have great thermal stability and are designed to minimize abrasion on the rotor.
KMG – Non-Metallic
This is a set of two non-metallic organic NAO brake pads. They’re made of high-strength fibers, offering great durability and thermal stability.
The combination of materials reduces abrasion on the rotor. On top of that, these offer excellent stopping power regardless of the weather and riding conditions.
The package includes two sets of front and rear brake pads in black. Many people report that these are much better than standard organic ones. Also, they perform better than semi-metallic when it comes to stopping power.
These are made primarily for 2006 Harley FXDi Dyna Low Rider, although they’d probably work on several other bikes as well. However, they don’t come with any instructions, so make sure to check if they will fit the particular motorcycle you have.
Volar Motorsport, Inc – No Noise
The set comes with six non-sintered and semi-metallic front and rear brake pads. They’re made for 2008-2017 Harley Road King FLHR motorcycles.
They’re designed to provide excellent stopping power and overall high-performance riding experience. Also, it’s important to note that they’re not squeaky and won’t cause rotor galling. The set works on polished rotors as well.
This is probably one of the best choices if you’re looking for a predictable brake response. These have a high tensile strength-to-weight ratio, providing great stopping power regardless of the riding conditions and the weather.
As such, they’re ideal for riders who ride all year long. Plus, these have high-temperature stability of up to 500°F.
AHL – Semi-metallic
These semi-metallic pads are designed to provide great load capacity and excellent stopping power. They are long-lasting, durable, and efficient in all kinds of environmental conditions.
Its advanced friction formula ensures stable performance regardless of the temperature. Plus, the formula and materials reduce vibration and noise. This allows you to stop comfortably and efficiently.
The size is 91.95x56x7.05mm, but it’s recommended that you compare it with the size of your original pads. If you’re uncertain about fitment, you can always call the manufacturer for some guidance.
The set includes six pieces that are made of resistant and pollution-free materials. They deliver great stopping power and are long-lasting.
One thing to keep in mind is that these are made for Touring FLHX Street Glide 2008-2015 models. However, they may fit other motorbikes just as well.
Sixity – Ideal Thermal Recovery
Sixity pads are ideal for dirt bikes, ATVs, and motorcycles. They deliver controlled and smooth braking along with a great lever response. Plus, they provide great performance in dry as well as wet conditions.
Its vibration-damping braking composite reduces brake grind. As a result, these are quiet and won’t produce any noise regardless of the weather or road conditions.
The low-dusting formula has no iron compounds. This means that it can’t discolor your wheels or rotor. It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for rapid thermal recovery between heavy-duty stops.
Keep in mind that Sixity is made to exceed OEM specifications. These are simple to install and safe to use in all kinds of conditions.
Still, make sure to check if they will fit the bike you have.
Considerations In Buying A Motorcycle Brake Pad
Eco-friendly brake pads are now made of natural fibers like hemp. It’s a more sustainable solution since the fibers are renewable.
It’s a way to reduce reliance on synthetic materials, allowing all of them to be replaced with safer, more eco-friendly alternatives.
Natural fiber can replace expensive aramid fiber, without any loss of performance. Plus, its impact on the environment is much smaller.
One of the first things you should check is how reliable the brand of your choice is. There are many brands on the market, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. However, not all of them are as good of a choice.
Brands that have a few years of experience are usually more reliable. Also, you may want to check customer reviews and reports as well. These often contain lots of information on customer service.
Not all brake pads are compatible with all rotor types. For this reason, you should check which model you have so that you can choose a compatible set.
Sintered pads will cause excess wear on specific rotors. On the other hand, organic ones are best for steel, cast iron, or stainless steel rotors.
Ceramic models are ideal for polished aluminum alloy and chrome-plated rotors.
Some motorcycles are meant for racing, while others are more suitable for commuting and everyday riding.
Some motorcycles are meant for more aggressive riding, which means they need the most reliable brakes. This is how you know that not every set of pads can work with every motorcycle.
Racing bikes need a hardwearing set, so sintered ones are usually the best choice.
Driving pads are designed to work in different weather and driving conditions. You should go for organic ones if you’re riding in average commuting conditions.
On the other hand, racing often includes heavy-duty braking, which is why you should go for sintered pads. These are more suitable for aggressive braking.
If you’re riding in different conditions and situations, you should consider ceramic pads. These are the most versatile, but also quite expensive.
What You Need To Know About Brake Pads
Disc brakes were first widely used in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, they became the standard in the motorcycle industry.
Disc brakes have two components that are the rotor and the pads. The rotor is a disc mounted to the wheel, spinning along with it. The pads are attached to a caliper that clamps down on the rotor. It slows it down before stopping it.
This process creates a lot of friction between the rotor and the pads. It’s what stops and determines how it stops your vehicle. This is why some allow more aggressive braking than others.
Types of Brake Pads
Semi-metallic pads have excellent durability and heat transfer capability. It’s the most common type used in all kinds of vehicles.
It’s usually made of wool, steel wire, copper, or graphite along with friction modifiers. Also, these contain 30% to 65% metal. As such, they are louder and can wear down your rotor faster.
Low-metallic NAO brakes are made of organic materials. They contain only 10% to 30% of metal, such as copper or steel.
Still, they’re quite loud and tend to create a lot of brake dust. People usually go for these because of their excellent heat transfer capabilities and braking power.
Ceramic pads have very little metal since they’re mostly made of ceramic fibers. The mixture contains bonding agents along with non-ferrous filler materials.
These are known to create less noise than the rest. Also, they wear down slowly and don’t generate as much dust. However, they’re pricier than all other types.
Non-asbestos organic pads are made of high-temperature resins, fibers, and filler materials. These are softer than semi-metallic and aren’t as loud.
However, you may notice that these deteriorate faster. They tend to make more dust as well. Keep in mind that these are often called NAO or organic brake pads.
Replacing Brake Pads on a Motorcycle
What You Need
- A set of sockets
- A set of spanners
- Allen keys
- A torque wrench
- A pair of pliers
- Brake cleaner spray
- Large flat-headed screwdriver
- An old cloth or brush
- Copper grease
- Brake fluid
- Two bungee cords
What to Remember
As we said, the process of replacing brake pads on a motorcycle is quite simple. However, you should keep a few things in mind to make sure that the job goes smoothly.
You should check the disc and whether it’s in good shape. If you waited too long to change the braking fluid, the metal pad backing might have scraped against it.
Also, make sure that there’s no corrosion and that your caliper pistons aren’t seized.
Procedure on How to Do It
Loosen the pins that hold the pads in place using a hex key and remove the caliper from the motorcycle. Once you remove the bolts, you can remove the calipers and the pins.
Remove the old pieces. Smear a small amount of lubricant on the back of your new pads and put the pad that should rest against the pistons in place.
Take one of the pins and push it as far as possible. Take the other pad and insert it so that all the holes line up. Return the calipers and tighten all the pins and bolts.
Most Reliable Brake Pad Brands
Galfer was founded in Barcelona in 1946. It started as a bake component supplier to European brands before marketing in the USA in 1992 with headquarters in Santa Barbara.
Today, the brand is popular with track racers and sportbike riders. It’s among the best names in performance and racing brake pads and rotors.
EBC Brakes is a world leader in braking components. It offers a huge range of pads and shoes. Its facilities are in the UK and the USA.
The brand has been around for some 35 years and is one of the most trusted names that many people different riders turn to.
This Italian brand was founded in 1990, specializing in performance brake pads for bicycles and motorcycles.
The brand is known for its high-performance brake discs. However, Braking manufactures premium pads for its discs, too. It’s a big brand that’s popular all over the world.
SBS is another major name in the industry. It’s a Danish manufacturer that specializes in high-performance racing and track components for cars and motorcycles.
The products are generally geared toward track riders, racers, and sportbike riders. They’re made for aggressive bikers who need responsive and reliable components.
BikeMaster is among the biggest suppliers of motorcycle components, parts, and tools. It’s probably one of the first choices when it comes to all things that have to do with motorcycle repair and maintenance.
The brand offers a wide range of OEM replacement pads that are trustworthy and at excellent value.
Lyndall Brakes is a family-owned American company. It manufactures premium brake pads for Harley Davidson motorcycles for racing and street riding.
Its products are one of the best known among Harley riders. They’re reliable and trustworthy, which is why most people recommend them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if I need to replace my brake pads?
The easiest way to figure this out is by looking at the pads. They have a wear groove indicator, and you can easily see if it’s worn out.
If you don’t see the groove, you could probably tell that there’s a change in how you brake. Deteriorated brake pads cause the braking mechanism to engage slower than usual.
How much will it cost to have your brake pads changed?
Changing the front ones costs somewhere between $30 to $40 for one side. It costs around $70 to have both sides changed.
It costs between $20 and $30 to change the back brakes. Keep in mind that you need $25 per half an hour for each caliper as well.
Do you need to lubricate your brake pads?
You probably know that all metal parts require lubrication as a part of regular maintenance. When it comes to brake pads, only back ones should be lubricated.
The pistons and the backs of the pads hit against one another if they’re not lubricated enough. This creates noise when braking.
Brake pads are among the most critical components of your motorcycle. As such, they should be reliable, durable, and made of quality materials.
Although replacing them isn’t difficult, you should still approach the job with care. It takes some time, effort, and skill.
As we said, this is probably something you can do by yourself. However, you should definitely get a professional mechanic to help you if you’re not sure about your skills.
Take a few minutes to reread our buyer’s guide if you need help to choose one of the motorcycle brake pads we reviewed.