Motorcycle Brake Pads Buying Guide

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Motorcycle Brake Pads Buying Guide

Many items that actually have a life-or-death reliability are seldom thought of until they need to be replaced. We take for granted the hours, months, and years that go into the product research and development for small, but meaningful products such as motorcycle brake pads. In selecting such items for replacement, we are limited to what is required by the manufacturer based on the style and model of the motorcycle braking system. Motorcycle brake pads are generally not one of the major factors in purchasing one particular motorcycle over another, although, of course the braking system is something that is a key part in the test driving process when shopping for a new or used motorcycle. Motorcycle brake pads are easily available for purchase at local and national auto part stores, motorcycle dealerships and on eBay. eBay offers a vast selection of motorcycle brake pads of every variety as well as all other replacement and maintenance parts for motorcycles of every make and model worldwide.

Choosing Brake Pads for Motorcycles

There are many factors to take into considerations when purchasing motorcycle brake pads; such as, cost, material, and functionality. If consumers perform their own body word and maintenance, or pay a professional, it pays to have a good knowledge of the parts that are being changed out on the motorcycle. The key objective of disc brakes and pads is to achieve higher braking power while maintaining stability. Disc brakes are also lighter, less complex, and look great.Motorcycle brakes work independently with the front brake take the majority of the load. Safety is the primary concern with brake systems but all modern brake pads may stop the bike, it is the subtle differences can that make the choices confusing.

Motorcycle User’s Manuals are the best way to determine the brake pads that best meet the needs for the particular vehicle. The parts may be purchased before necessary so the owner can be ready when the time comes.Brake pads sizes and materials are easily matched using the motorcycle make, year and model. Tutorials make it easy to change and maintain motorcycle brake pads with the reliability of a professional offering these services.

Determine the Need From the Brakes

Motorcycle owners have different needs and interests that determine the type and style of bike they purchase. If the motorcycle is used for commuting on a freeway, then navigating traffic is a contributing factor in making that decision. If the motorcycle is for recreational purposes or summertime rides on country back roads, that would be a different bike from the one purchased by the thrill-seeker looking for high-speed street riding. There are brake pads designed to accommodate the preference of every rider. Pads are available with a softer feel, while others do not leave the dusty residue on the wheels. Others still may dissipate heat quickly, or simply match chrome rotors. There are pads for racers on and off road, and some that just simply look good. There are some specifics that make decisions easier.

Materials Used in Motorcycle Brake Pads

There are several different materials used in motorcycle brake pads. Organic/non-metallic, ceramic,, sintered,, and semi-metallic materials make up some of the more popular types. These are all manufactured in a similar way; the materials are ground to the right grade, mixed with resins, polymers, and binders, and poured into molds, where heat and pressure are applied. The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) fuses the pad to the plate under heat and pressure, where as most aftermarket pads are glued to the plate. The OEM pads as a result are usually quieter and considered of higher quality.


It might seem odd to see the term organic used in conjunction with brake pads but it simply refers to the carbon that is the organic part of the compound. The most common companion to carbon is Kevlar, a substance used in bulletproof vests. These components make a brake pad that is clean and quiet, while providing a smooth, comfortable stop. Carbon Kevlar Pads or organic pads are best for polished or chrome rotors and will not tear a hole in the owner's pocket book. They are not perfect however as they do not dissipate heat well so are not the safest choice for hard braking applications like racing.

Semi Metallic

The semi metallic pads are basically organic pads with metallic components like copper, brass, or steel wool added. The addition of the metals helps dissipate heat better and reduces brake fade, the loss of braking power due to heat build up. Semi metallics are the most cost effective pads but they wear out more quickly. They tend to be a good all around choice. For those that ride a little more enthusiastically semi-metallics are up for the task, but do not jerk the rider when stopping at a light. Riders should be prepared for more noise and dust though from these pads.


Ceramic brake pads are perhaps the most expensive brake option available. For those that stop hard, fast, and often, the cost may be worth it. They dissipate heat well because of their ceramic and metal content, they wear extremely well, and they are quiet and dust-free. They may not provide the smooth comfortable stopping sensation of an organic stop, but that is not its purpose. These pads are suitable for racing applications, and very hard riding.


The s intered brake pads are for racing brakes. They are metallic pads formed when two metals are fused under high heat and pressure causing them to fuse and fracture. The resulting brake pad they get from this material has an extremely high coefficient of friction, which means it stops the bike immediately. It is very clean and very quiet and dissipates heat extremely well but it is also expensive. The pads do not wear badly but they wear on the rotors and they should never be used on chromed or polished rotor applications.

The chart below explains the different materials used in manufacturing motorcycle brake pads with a list of the advantages , disadvantages and characteristics of each.





Less Dust

Less rotor wear

Less noise

Better for chrome rotors

More brake fade

Used in specialized systems only

Less heat dissipation


Good heat dissapation

Less brake fade


More noise

More dust

Higher rotor wear


Good heat dissipation

Less dust

Less rotor wear

Higher durability

Less noise


The majority of manufacturers have been able to create a product consistent with positive satisfaction and results, leaving very few negative options in motorcycle brake pads on the market.

Maintaining Motorcycle Brake Pads

Pads and rotors should be inspected often for uneven wear, grooves, or warping. If any of these signs are present the pads should be change and the rotor turned or replaced. The two brake fluid reservoirs should be checked every year. When adding brake fluid,, it is important to be careful as the fluid is corrosive to paint and to bare metal. It may prove helpful to use funnels, turkey basters, tubing and plenty of rags to protect the materials. It is important to use the brake fluid that is recommended by the manufacturer.


Motorcycle brake pads should be replaced when the pads are worn to 1/8-inch thickness. Some bikes have warning lights activated by sensors in the brakes, and others have a little piece of steel on the pad that hits the rotor and starts to squeal. If the brakes seem mushy, or are not stopping as quickly as they should, it is probably time to change the pads. As always safety is the first concern, if there is question as to the need for the brakes to be replaced, then yes, they do indeed need to be replaced.

How To Change Motorcycle Brake Pads

To properly change brake pads on a motorcycle, one should open the appropriate brake fluid reservoir, for the front or rear brake that is being worked on. Placing rags around the opening collects any fluid spills when the caliper piston is compressed. Using a socket wrench, remove the bolts holding the caliper and slide the piston away from the rotor.

There are either clips or pins holding the pads in place that must be removed before removing the pads. The caliper piston needs to be compressed now so the new pads fits over the rotor. It is suggested that the old pads are taken out at this time using some sort of a wedge or a clamp to pry between the old pads causing the pistons to compress. Channel lock pliers or a clamp also works to compress the pistons. The goal is to get the piston flush with the surrounding surface. All parts need to be cleaned and lubricated. The new pads then slide in place with the pins and clips being placed back in. The brake pad assembly can be easily fit back on the rotor. The bolts need to be replaced holding the caliper. After topping off the brake fluid reservoir, wiping any stray or spilled residue from the bike, the new brakes should be squeezed until they feel firm and controlled.

How to Buy Motorcycle Brake Pads on eBay

Finding motorcycle brake pads on eBay is quick and easy. eBay offers an excellent and extensive variety of any motorcycle brake pads needed, as recommended by the owner’s manual as recommended by the manufacturer of motorcycles worldwide. eBay has a variety of of all motorcycle brake pads for every make of motorcycle worldwide. It is simple to narrow a search by the make and model of the bike, the year, the front or rear pads, and more.

Knowing the brand of pad the bike requires makes it more simple to narrow the search further. Finding OEM and aftermarket brake pads on eBay and the likelihood of finding that perfect match. Many sellers offer free shipping and you can check their ratings to be assured they are reputable sellers. "Seller Feedback&" allows a buyer to rate their experience with the seller and leave feedback for everyone to see. This allows all eBay customers to select the seller based on the feedback provided by prior customers. eBay’s "Ask a Question", allows the buyer the opportunity to communicate with the seller and have any questions or concerns settled before buying.


The brake pads on motorcycles play an important role in the enjoyment, but mostly the safety of the ride, be it as a commute, a sporting competition, hobby or leisure activity. When searching for new replacement motorcycle brake pads keep some basic, simple and very important factors in mind. Make sure that the purchase is in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer of the motorcycle as found in the owner’s manual.

The owner’s manual is always be the best resource for maintaining the vehicle in terms of the best products and replacement parts to be used. Checking the owner’s manual provides all of the specifics about the type of pads that are best for that particular bike. You, the consumer, should consider the riding style and if this is frequently a one- or two-passenger bike. There may be specific concerns about the rotors that dictate one brake pad over another. Always put safety first and check the brake fluids often as well as the pads. Motorcycles can be fun, fast, and functional. The brakes and the brake pads bring all that to a happy ending, so you can live to ride another day.

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