When you need to make an emergency stop is when your brake pads really matter. The truth is brake pads are way up there with your bike tires if you want to rank important motorcycle parts. Good quality brake pads enhance the overall handling of your bike.
If you love riding at high speed and going off-road then for your own safety you need to know your brake pads are up to the task. They are like consumables because they wear out with time. I recommend having regular checks because you don’t want them to fail when you have an emergency.
If I am on the road often, I normally take the dust cover off the brake calipers and visually check the brake pads. When checking if I find the pad material has worn down to 2mm or I can’t see the wear indicator, then I replace my pads. For my bike, I always look for stores that I can get genuine Harley Davidson OEM parts. Also, I find that it’s best to stick to the brake pad grade recommended by the manufacturer.
Types of brake pads
There are different friction levels on brake pads starting from E- H. E has the least friction while H has the most. The major difference in brake pads is the type of material the pads are made of.
● Sintered: if you have a high performance bike and you are doing your everyday riding then this brakes are recommended for you. Their level of braking compound and metal particles is very high.
● Semi-sintered: Also known as semi-metallic. I recommend them for touring because they offer consistency in braking regardless of the temperature.
● Organic: most common brake pads have asbestos which can be hazardous. Organic brakes have kevlar instead. It gives you smoother braking compared to sintered. The only pitfall is that the brakes can fade very fast under frequent heavy braking. For this reason, I recommend that you don’t use them if you are a sports rider.
● Ceramic: I would recommend ceramic brakes for every motorcycle. They give you the braking power of sintered and the smooth feel of organic brakes. They have ceramic particles on the pad material so they are less noisy.
I know there are so many brands in the market today but I always stick to the known brands that already have a proven track record. To avoid the hustle of looking at different brands, I get the OEM brake pads from my bikes manufacturers.