This Year’s Top Brake Pads for Motorcycles Reviewed
When you want to get a new set of brake pads for your motorcycle, it might seem hard to find the ones that are really suited for you. That is why our team created this guide where you can find what the best motorcycle brake pads are. If you’re short on time, don’t worry, our guide is written in a short but comprehensive manner. We have carefully examined the qualities of some of the critically acclaimed brake pads and we have reached the conclusion that the EBC Brakes EBPCK1027 are the ones that you should look for. They are sintered models, meaning that they will last a long time and they are very suitable for harsh weather. Their braking power is ensured by the double-H feature these pads come with. If you are unable to find them, you should consider trying the next product on our list, the ECCPP Kevlar Carbon brake pads.
Our Team Recommends
Some people think that brake pads are not an important part of the bike, as long as they do their job and stop the motorcycle when needed. However, that is not always the case. We’ve taken into account all the positive and negative features that good motorcycle brake pads have and we have written our recommendations based on that.
EBC Brakes EBPCK1027
This kit of brake pads has been made to fit the FLHX Street Glide models from Harley Davidson. It contains two sets of front-end pads and one of back-end brake pads and they are all made to provide excellent brake efficiency.
The pads are sintered so they will last a long time and they will make you feel their grabbiness. The double-H characteristic ensures they have more stopping power than usual sintered models. Because they are TUV tested, they guarantee safety on the road.
Made in a state of the art factory in Ohio, these pads are suitable for extreme weather and they offer great durability, as well as impressive long lastingness. They will appear thinner than the brake pads that Harleys usually come factory-fitted with, but that is because they are not organic. In case you want to use them on another Harley Davidson model, make sure that they fit first.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($91.2)
ECCPP Kevlar Carbon
Made for the Polaris 800 Sportsman EFI quad, these brake pads can also be fitted to motorcycles. They’re made of a Kevlar-carbon composite and that means they are the organic type of pads. Offering great stopping power, they ensure that you have feedback and control when you activate the motorcycle lever.
Noise is not a problem when using them, even on polished discs. For an organic set, they provide enough durability and they are surprisingly good under all riding conditions. You can get these pads if you want to reduce abrasion on the rotor. They are well suited for keeping your disc looking sharp. If you want your brakes to feel smoother, they make for a great investment.
Before purchasing them, make sure that your motorcycle accepts models like these. They are designed to replace original parts so they should fit well. Additionally, they are highly resistant to high heat and wear.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.99)
ECCPP Kevlar Carbon 1988-1999
You might notice the distinctive shape that these pads have. That’s because they are made to fit older Harley Davidson models. But, as brake pads usually do, they can be also used in the braking systems of other motorcycles.
They should be included in the organic braking pads category because the puck is made of a Kevlar-carbon material. A characteristic of the organic pads is that they offer a smooth feeling when braking and they take care of your rotor because they tend not to heat that much. You won’t need to use noise canceling earbuds because these pads make no sound.
Some riders expect these to be even quieter from the first ride. But to achieve silent braking, you must make sure that you mount them correctly and allow them some time to adjust to the rotor.
They should have an identical performance to original manufacturer parts. Please note that screws are not included in the package and you should check that the ones you already have on your bike align correctly with the pads.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($25.99)
EBC Brakes FA196HH
Made in the USA, these brake pads offer the double-H technology that provides ultra-high friction and braking power. They will last a long time on your motorcycle. What makes them special is the fact that they come with heat radiator plates made from stainless steel that reduce heat transfer into the brakes’ hydraulic system.
The pucks offer improved venting and because they have a double-friction compound, they reduce back plate distortion. This design also reduces fade and prevents pad drag and overheating. These pads will function both in cold and hot weather.
Sintered brake pads like these ones made from copper alloy are always reliable in tough riding conditions and they aren’t made for a specific motorcycle. They should fit a variety of bikes, but it’s best to consult your owner’s manual or the opinion of experts before getting them for your motorcycle.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.86)
ECCPP Kevlar Carbon 2008-2014
This is a set that functions excellently on classy bikes like the Harley Davidson FLHTCU. The pack contains 3 pairs of pads, two for the front and one for the back brake. They should fit most Harley Davidson models.
Being made of Kevlar-carbon material, they produce no noise and will make your ride smooth. Furthermore, because they’re an organic type of brake pads, they will protect the beautiful gloss of your Harley’s brake disc and will complement your stylish Harley Davidson shoes. Such pads are excellent for polished rotors.
They offer a predictable brake response and great feedback and fingertip control. You will feel when they are engaged. Although organic brake pads are not considered the most durable, these ones use a combination of high-strength fibers that are meant to reinforce the friction material. That enhances their thermal stability and sturdiness, but at the same time reduces abrasion on the disc.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)
KMG 2005-2008 ZZR600
Built primarily to fit the Kawasaki ZZR600 sportbike, this set of brake pads is made of non-metallic organic materials. The package includes three pairs of brake pads and the ones that are used for the back of the bike have a specific shape. This is why, if you want to get them for another bike, you must first make sure that they fit on it.
These pads are destined for sportbikes that catch the eye when they are on the road and that is why they will provide enough stopping power without causing damage to the rotor. A shiny motorcycle wouldn’t look the same without a glossy brake disc.
Buyers say that these pads make a bit of a sound only at first, when you start to use them. Additionally, they stop hard but they are easy on the rotor. Surprisingly, there is almost no brake dust coming out of them, even when intensely used.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.99)
EBC Brakes FA209/2
Although EBC specializes in sintered brake pads, they have also created models such as these, that are made of organic components. The puck contains DuPont Kevlar, a type of material that is lightweight, durable and incredibly strong. That’s why it’s used in these pads and in safety equipment, accessories and clothing, too.
Because of the way they are built, these brake pads provide excellent stopping power and ensure that you will hear no noise and you will find no signs of galling on your rotor. You will have the control that you require when your hands sit firmly on your motorcycle grips and you will know and feel when you engage the brakes.
With over 40 million sets like these sold worldwide, they are surely popular amongst motorcycle riders. They are suitable for nearly all road bikes and scooters. These pads are tested and proven against TUV standards and thus they make excellent replacements for original parts.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($32.39)
Foreverun Motor Front and Rear
Coming in two sets, these replacement pads are made for the Honda VTX 1300 model. They are sintered and they will offer quality and sturdiness in extreme riding conditions including wet environments, mud, racing and farm use. The copper and brass alloy composition ensures a longer lifetime, and a better distribution of the heat when braking heavily.
The sets will be enough to replace the brakes for the front and rear calipers. Some customers report that they have used these brake pads for other Honda models and they work fine, fitting just like the ones from the factory.
If you feel that they’re squeaky at first, don’t worry, because the sounds are produced by the rotor accommodating to the new pads. It shouldn’t take long until these sintered plates start to work as intended.
Safer brakes mean more pleasant rides and these brake pads will make you feel comfortable when riding.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.8)
This Year’s Buying Guide
When discussing motorcycle brake pads, the most important aspect that riders should know is the difference between the kinds of brake pads. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each model will help you make a better choice.
Sintered brake pads
The most common type of friction material used for brakes is sintered metal. Most of the bikes made today have sintered pads installed from the factory. This is because these brakes offer great performance and good durability. The production process of this type of pads gives the name.
Sintering means using a big source of heat to blend metallic particles together to form the pad. Besides the metal used, other elements are added in, with the purpose of giving the brakes better friction and an extended life. The materials found in high-performance pads have a very high coefficient of friction and that means these brakes provide great stopping power with a strong initial bite.
This is why most sportbikes should use sintered brake pads. They are also resistant under heat, and that makes them the best brake pads for motorcycle racing. Metal pads offer a longer service life and a better performance than other models, so the investment in them is worth it.
Sintered brake pads function well in many conditions such as mud or rough weather, and despite the fact that they require a bit of heat to work at their best, they are suitable for any bike. Because of their durability and efficiency, they are considered the standard in braking technology.
Although they have many advantages, sintered pads also have their weaknesses. They tend to get very hot if used too much and that causes a lot of friction on the brake discs, wearing the rotor faster. When they overheat, these pads tend to get too grabby, stopping the wheels too fast. This can be an issue for those bikers that like to take long mountain rides.
When going down a hill, the brake pads need to be used more and thus they become overheated and they don’t allow a fluid braking process.
Organic pads are made of non-asbestos materials like rubber, Kevlar or glass and other components that are mixed in with them using binding resins. At closer inspection, you can also see some metallic content added to them. Manufacturers do that to improve their thermostability and service life.
Using these pads gives a smooth feel when riding and braking. It is a comfortable sensation as the organic pads are not really grabby. They offer the softer option, with a gentle initial grab, great feedback at the lever and they’re also very quiet. They are not as aggressive as sintered pads but still offer adequate braking.
Producing more dust than the other models, they are going to wear faster. That may seem like a disadvantage, but that is not the case, because they’re usually made for those riders that want their polished brake rotors to look sharp and clean all the time.
If you want to avoid wear marks on your rotor, these are the pads to buy. Also, make sure that you have a good motorcycle disc lock to protect that rotor even more, especially against thieves.
Another of their advantages is that, although they don’t last as long, they are the cheap motorcycle brake pads. You will usually see organic brake pads on older motorcycles, but occasionally they can be found on newer and less powerful bikes. Riders might even consider using one of these sets in the rear brake of their sports bike when they want to make the rear stopping mechanism a bit more gentle.
These pads will rarely get overheated or grabby and that is very useful when riding for long hours or in warm weather. Of course, a downside is that they don’t last as long as the sintered pads.
Semi-metallic and ceramic models
Semi-metallic models are a hybrid between the organic and sintered brake pads. The fabric in the puck includes some metallic content (like copper) that acts as friction material and it represents about 20 to 40 percent of the total volume. This metal is mixed with other materials to improve friction and durability and to make the pads more fade-resistant when heavily used.
Incorporating advantages from the other two brake pad types, semi-metallic are a popular option for many bikers. They are fairly quiet and they last a long time. Additionally, they are suitable for casual and sport riding as well. In essence, these brake pads offer the middle ground between organic and sintered brake pads, for those riders that don’t have a strong preference for either of them.
Ceramic brake pads are the newest kind that you can find. They replace the metal in the puck with ceramic fiber and non-metal filaments, all bonded together at high heat. They are lightweight and offer performance in all kinds of conditions. Similarly to organic models, they dissipate heat well and they protect the rotor, but they create less dust and have a longer service life.
Being resistant to resonance, they provide smooth and controlled braking. You will notice no squeal and no grind with them.
Choose the pads based on use
Before you start to look for some cool brake pads, you should know that most manufacturers put a lot of time and effort in the pads that they choose for their bikes. This is why it’s easier and safer for a motorcyclist to find an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) set of pads. These models are designed to fit the manufacturer’s bikes and they work very well. They give the most braking power and they don’t damage the rotors.
You can choose to buy a pair of replacement brake pads. These are the ones that aren’t made by the manufacturers to fit a certain bike so they can work on multiple motorcycles. However, do your research before purchasing replacement models because not all types are suitable for every motorcycle.
One of the most important considerations when purchasing a set of brake pads is the type of rotor that your motorcycle has. Because the pads cause more or less wear on the rotor, depending on its type, be sure to read a lot of motorcycle brake pads reviews and find the models that are designed for your disc.
Frequently asked questions about motorcycle brake pads
How long do motorcycle brake pads last?
This is a question that doesn’t have a specific answer because the variables that influence the lifespan of the braking pads are too many. It all depends on the riding style and the location they are used in. Practicing motorsports will consume the pads very quickly. Also, constantly riding in a city will force the brake pads more than cruising on long journeys.
When looking for motorcycle brake pads for sale make sure that they come with wear indicators. Most pads have certain notches on them that when reached, show that their lifespan has ended.
How to replace brake pads on a motorcycle?
Replacing the brake pads is a job that should be done by a professional but if you feel that you can do it, here’s how. Firstly support the bike on a stand and remove the brake caliper mechanism. After that, remove the brake pads, by loosening the bolts with an Allen key socket.
Once that is done, push the caliper pistons back out of the way. Install the new brake pads next and make sure they are well aligned and that the correct pad goes on the corresponding side of the caliper. Reinstall the brake caliper mechanism and tighten the brake pad bolts. Make sure to test the brakes before riding.
How to tell if motorcycle brake pads are worn?
The easiest way to tell if your pads are worn is by looking at them. You can see if the wear groove indicator is almost gone. If that’s the case, they need to be replaced. If your brake pads never had such a groove, you can measure the amount of friction material left on them. If it’s thinner than one-eighth of an inch, you might consider changing the pads.
Another indicator of worn brake pads is given by the feeling of the bike when you brake. If it takes longer for the braking mechanism to engage, this might be a sign of deterioration in the brake pads.
Are motorcycle brake pads supposed to touch the rotor?
The brake pads should always touch the rotor when the bike is stationary. Despite this, at speed, they are usually pushed back into the caliper by air pressure. New brake pads give the feeling that they touch the disc more, but that is because they’re less used and thus thicker.
Although permanent contact is normal, make sure that the pads are not too compressed against the disc. If they have not been properly installed, there might be misalignment issues. You also need to make sure that when you installed the pads you didn’t move the brake caliper by mistake.
Do you have to lubricate brake pads on a motorcycle?
A rule of thumb when taking care of your bike is that you need to lubricate all the metal parts that move against each other, especially your motorcycle chain. In the case of brake pads, they should only be lubricated on the back because the pistons hit the backs of the pads and if the area is not lubricated enough, it produces noise when you brake.
However, you need to be very mindful and only apply a small amount of lubricant there because you certainly want to avoid greasing the front of the pads, where the friction material is. Make sure to avoid greasing the rotor as well.
How much does a motorcycle brake pad change cost?
Most bikers would agree that changing the brake pads is an easy job and a good DIY project for any passionate motorbiker. However, some people prefer to go to a certified mechanic for this job. The price of changing the pads in a professional shop depends on the pads used and if you want replacements in the front or back brakes.
Changing the front pads will cost between $30 and $40 for one side and around $70 for two sides. The back brakes are slightly less expensive, costing between $20 and $30. The working time per caliper is priced at $25 per half an hour. That includes fitting, cleaning, checking and lubricating the elements. These costs were estimates that we used at the time we wrote this article.