What’s more awful than discovering a dysfunctional braking system? Perhaps, you couldn’t come up with an answer. We riders often tend to overlook the fact that stopping right in time is far more crucial than accelerating in the first place.
Brake pads might not comprise intricate mechanical parts. Nevertheless, the whole braking mechanism of your motorcycle relies on the friction they provide. Worn-out brake pads will result in squeaky noises at first and a failed braking system eventually. But that should be a scenario we never have to experience.
Even if it ain’t for the importance, brake pad replacement does pique every rider’s interest in passing the annual MOT test. Looks like you can’t help getting hold of the best brake pads for motorcycles after all.
Best Brake Pads for Motorcycle Worth the Money
No matter the effort you put behind studying the qualitative aspects, it’s never easy to place an order right away. Chances are, you will get baffled as soon as you set about searching the plethora of products out there. However, we’ve got your back by cutting the list down to these seven most valued ones.
1. ECCPP Kevlar Carbon Brake Pads
Instead of the traditional semi-metallic compound, ECCPP has used a seemingly new material to construct these. One we’re talking about is Kevlar carbon fiber, an organic compound known best for its silent performance. Therefore, it will provide a much quieter braking experience than metallic formulas.
Aside from the unique material, there’s a bunch of other noteworthy aspects. To start with, it has this purple plate that’s resistant to extreme heat and corrosion. Further protection comes from a thermal insulating coating that reduces abrasion on the rotor. Besides, its longevity is assured by an anti-corrosion material.
Furthermore, its structure has been enhanced with a chamfer. Thanks to this, the abnormal noise that generates each time you use the brakes will get eliminated. There’s also an anti-noise shim to reduce the noise using thermal insulation.
As for performance, it will give you access to an excellent fingertip control and strong, predictable brake response. No matter the riding condition, you’ll achieve the highest stopping power with minimal effort. Despite such power, there won’t be any signs of noise and rotor galling either, even on polished rotors.
Finally, comes the compatibility of this excellent product. If yours is a Harley-Davidson VRSCF V-Rod Muscle from the year 2008 to 2014, it will be a perfect fit. However, you’ll find it compatible with a few other Harley models as well.
- Restricted for use with Harley Davidson bikes only.
2. EBC Brakes FA174HH
What brings FA174HH unparalleled popularity is its excellent compatibility that’s second to none in the market. Almost every model or brand you can think of will be a perfect match for this versatile product. Pretty cool, eh?
However, it is not the only thing that caught our eye. These brake pads have been rated with HH, meaning high-level friction at varying temperatures. Therefore, you won’t face any issues regarding their performance, no matter the riding condition.
For durability, they have used high-pressure die-cast aluminum platforms with bonded brake linings. Thanks to this construction, these pads will be resistant to friction. It will eliminate their chances of wearing out too quickly, confirming a prolonged service to you.
Not only do these have a sturdy build but also trimmed edges for easy fingertip operation. Moreover, they come equipped with lead in and lead out chamfers at each lining end. Hence, you’ll get a noise-free braking experience each time.
Apart from these, you can rest assured knowing that they possess absolutely no health risks. Its non-asbestos linings are the key to such a quality. Their installation is also quite the child’s play thanks to the inclusion of brake shoe springs.
- No major drawbacks found.
3. Lyndall Brakes TRTB5324
Unlike the previous products, TRTB5324 is made of a unique combination of carbon and aramid fiber along with a non-ferrous metal. This exceptional material is its mantra to achieving increased longevity. Once you’ve installed a pair of these, you won’t have to look for replacements so soon.
Aside from the high durability, this material will ensure an overall dust-free and quiet performance. It operates so silently that you’ll barely hear a thing, even while braking hard. It will also come handy in providing the utmost protection for polished rotors.
On top of that, they’ve softened these pads to make them 30% cooler and 50% lighter than the sintered ones. This softening not only makes it more suitable for street use but also adds up significantly onto the lifespan of each pad.
What about compatibility? Chances are you’ll find them as perfect fit if you’re a Harley rider. Though other brands remain out of the list, they’re compatible with most Harley Davidsons released throughout the years from 2000 to 2007.
- Incompatible with most brands.
- Suitable only for steel rotors.
4. EBC Brakes FA196HH
FA196HH is the second one on the list from EBC brakes, securing its place because of an affordable price tag. Despite such affordability, this one will offer you the maximum stopping power along with a prolonged service for years.
The most amazing fact is that it features a unique double segment vented design. Thanks to this exceptional design, the pads will remain cool even though they are asbestos-free. As a result, there will hardly be any dragging issue that causes overheating, preventing them from getting faded.
Now comes the durability, where this one scores way better than its counterparts that come at a similar price. Since they’ve used a sintered copper alloy to build this one, you’ll hardly find any issues regarding its longevity. On top of that, there are stainless steel heat radiator plates for most models to prolong their lifespan.
Just like the previous one from EBC, this one also has been rated as an HH. This means that the pad friction compound exceeds the H friction rating when they’re hot or cold. Therefore, they are likely to withstand excessive heat and the toughest of riding conditions.
- A bit noisy.
5. Foreverun Motor AT196-174
This one’s another package with a pair of sintered metal brake pads designed for Honda bikes. Foreverun Motor has adapted this material since it offers more longevity than most other materials out there. Hence, these will easily qualify for long term use with your front and rear brakes.
When compared to most other rivals in the market, sintered brake pads tend to last way longer. They are made out of low melting point metal powder containing copper and brass alloys. So, they can withstand the heat produced from sudden braking as well. No matter how hard you hit the brake, they’ll eat all the heat up.
Apart from that, they will prove great for use on muddy tracks during gloomy days thanks to the increased friction it offers. Since most other products will fail to do so, this gives AT196-174 a significant advantage over them.
Although they have not gone through any softening process, they somehow manage to perform equally well as the carbon fiber ones. As a result, you won’t find any issues while using them both on and off the roads. As for compatibility, you’ll find them as the perfect fit for VTX 1300s from the year 2003 to 2011.
- The compatibility list is restricted to a few models.
6. ECCPP FA159
A combination of Kevlar carbon fiber is what makes these brake pads from ECCPP virtually indestructible. While most other metallic formulas tend to wear out as soon as you install them, this material will hold up against tough riding conditions.
Where does this tremendous strength come from? Well, it’s the high strength fiber that reinforces the fiction of the pads. As a result, thermal stability and durability get enhanced to a whole new level. All these, as a whole, result in more stopping power and prolonged service time.
As you already know about Kevlar carbon fiber, it’s the best option in the market for quiet operation. Moreover, it has this anti-noise shim that adds up to the silent performance. Therefore, you will be finally free from that squeaky sounds that usual brake pads make while braking hard.
On top of that, the installation of these brake pads is quite a low hanging fruit. With the help of simple hand tools and minimal mechanical understanding, you can get them installed in no time. You neither have to ask for any expert help nor buy any special tools.
Compatibility is also admirable, as you’ll find it easy to fit into a number of Harley-Davidsons. More specifically, you are lucky if yours belongs to any of the Polaris Magnum, Polaris Sportsman, Scrambler, and many more on the list.
- Restricted compatibility.
- Unsuitable for extreme weather.
7. KMG PAD400
Our last pick uses a slightly different component from all the previously discussed ones. A special NAO compound is what we’re talking about, which helps this one to qualify for this list. Basically, NAO stands for non-asbestos organic that is a combination of high strength fibers for better endurance.
Thanks to this one of a kind material, the friction of the pads gets reinforced. And this, in turn, enhances thermal stability. Hence, you’ll get more stopping power than most of its counterparts. Besides, it can reduce the abrasion on the rotor, resulting in an increased amount of durability and a surprisingly long lifespan.
Apart from that, these brake pads are not only environment-friendly but also safe for your health. No matter the color or look of your bike, their black studded color will make it hard for you to spot any difference from the factory look.
As for compatibility, these are specially made for the 2006 Harley FXDLI Dyna low rider. As these are constructed for specific fitting, you won’t find any issues regarding their installation and fitment. One last tiny note is that the front pad comes with tiny grub screws, which further ensure that it never gets displaced.
- Compatible with only one model.
The Route to Best Brake Pads for Motorcycle
Almost every manufacturer tries to fabricate their own methodologies to create more customer value. Ironically, this diversity ends up puzzling the customers. Talk about picking a single product when each of them claims perfection! Having a better understanding of what makes a brake pad best is therefore inevitable.
Types of Material
These pads are composed of sintered steel without any synthetic additives. Due to this construction, they are very long-lasting and therefore used in racing vehicles. They tend to require more force and make loud noises. So, they won’t prove to be a great deal unless your bike is specialized for race tracks.
Various synthetic substances bonded into a composite mainly in the forms of cellulose, aramid, PAN, and sintered glass are used for these. Though they will be gentle on the rotors, they will produce a fair amount of dust. As a result, they tend to have a shorter service life compared to other materials in the market.
These are made of synthetics mixed with varying proportions of flaked metals. If you’re looking for longer-lasting brake pads, these being harder than non-metallic pads are the ones to go for. But you may have to use more actuating force than the non-metallic ones for generating the same braking torque.
Ceramic brake pads are made of a composition of porcelain and clay bonded to copper flakes and filaments. These can prove to be excellent alternatives because of their ability to perform quietly. However, there is a major drawback regarding heat management, as ceramic pads can’t dissipate heat that well.
Asbestos used to be a common ingredient of brake pads due to its heat-absorbing properties. These brake pads also provide better friction for stopping the vehicle. However, they are a bit hazardous to health because of producing dust. Though the use of asbestos is quite uncommon these days, make sure the pads don’t contain it.
NAO (Non-Asbestos Organic)
Non-asbestos organic brake pads are made of natural materials like glass and rubber, as well as resins. As these materials can withstand high temperatures, they are likely to last longer. Kevlar is also an important component for brake pad manufacturing, as it is easy to dispose of. It is also a lot softer and quieter.
Make sure the brake pads you purchase are compatible with the brand and model of your motorcycle. For example, you can’t go for one that has been made for Honda bikes if your’s is a Harley-Davidson, and vice versa. You can use the fitment tools provided by most E-commerce sites to precisely choose the fitment.
The thickness of the brake pads should be anywhere between 2 to 3 millimeters. However, you can aim for thicker ones if you can afford them. Never go for those that offer a cheaper deal in exchange for cutting down the thickness.
Type of Rotor
Not all brake pads are suitable for all rotors. For example, some rotors are prone to excess wearing if you use sintered pads. For chrome-plated or polished aluminum alloy rotors, ceramic brake pads will be required. Organic pads will be the best choice if the rotors on your motorcycle are made of cast iron or stainless steel.
Type of Motorcycle
Try to aim for metallic brake pads to install into racing bikes since they require hard-wearing ones. Sintered pads are a great choice for both racing and off-road bikes. On the other hand, for Harley Davidson and other street bikes, Kevlar carbon fiber and similar non-asbestos organic brake pads will do great.
To stay free from annoying squeaky braking sounds, you should definitely bag one of those NAO brake pads. Organic components being softer will perform a lot quieter than metallic ones. You can also look for chamfers and shims in order to assure yourself a noise-free braking experience.
Well, this one’s for the nerds out there who prefer numbers. Remember that the brake pads should have a low enough friction coefficient to prevent locking of the wheels. The value also has to be high enough to provide adequate stopping power. Anywhere between 0.3 to 0.5 is considered as the optimal figure.
To rest assured about your health, don’t spend on those brake pads that produce too much dust. You’ll easily find asbestos-free brake pads at a fair price. However, a complete dust-free brake pad is perhaps a few years to exist. Till then, ensure that the amount of friction dust remains within 5% of the total weight of the pad.
Brake pads that are better at heat dissipation also tend to perform better in resisting fade. Avoid pads made of only ceramic as they are not so good at dissipating heat. But NAO brake pads will surely have an advantage over others for this job.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if my motorcycle brake pads are worn out?
Ans: Grab a torch or a flashlight and take a closer look. Know that you’ll have to replace the pads if the lining has worn down to less than an eighth of an inch. The whole thing will get a lot easier if the brake pads have a wear indicator. Basically, this indicator is a molded groove that will be no longer there if the pads need replacement.
Q: How frequently to check for worn-out brake pads?
Ans: You should visually inspect them before almost every time you’re about to write the motorcycle. Also, pay attention whenever you change the oil or tires. However, if you haven’t picked up the habit of regular checking, beware of any squeaking or grinding noise and check right away.
Q: Should I use any lubricating on the brake pads?
Ans: Although you don’t have to lubricate them too often, put some copper grease onto the rear surface while fitting new brake pads. It will help prevent the squeaking from the moment you install them.
Q: At what point to replace motorcycle brake pads?
Ans: Most brake pads out there start their life with about 1 to 1.5 millimeters of friction material. Replacement is suggested when they get to 1 millimeter or less. It won’t be wise to wait until you hear the grating sound of pads against the rotor.
Considering the risk factors involved in riding with worn-out brake pads, you can’t help replacing them as soon as possible. Turns out, wandering out in the market will do nothing but killing your precious time. Hopefully, our added list of products helped you find the best brake pads for the motorcycle.
However, we found that the FA174HH from EBC Brakes will be an ideal choice thanks to its unparalleled compatibility. As its durability is also out of this world, you won’t have to think about frequent replacements.
Another product that’s worth spending on is the Kevlar Carbon Brake Pads set from ECCPP. What makes sets this one apart from others is the new material that allows for silent braking experience. Not to mention how much strength and fingertip control you’ll experience each time you use the brakes.