Manufacturers claim that a motorcycle pad can last anywhere between 20,000 miles (32000 km) to 70,000 miles (112650 km) roughly. It is a huge gap between these two. That is because the brake pads depend more on driving style, terrain conditions, and brake pad type than on the mileage for their durability.
How Long Can I Use the Breaking Pad Before Changing?
A braking pad can last up to 70000 miles and sometimes there have been reports of braking pad lasting as long as 80000 or 85000 miles too. That is because the braking pad does not depend on the mileage, rather than it depends on the driving habit.
Some other reasons are where are you driving, how aggressive the driving is or how fast are you driving and how frequently are you using the brake. These all contribute to the longevity of the braking pads.
How Driving Affects Braking Pads?
So if you live in a city and have to go through traffic and red lights constantly then chances are you are using the brake a lot more than just driving on a highway. The same can be said for aggressive driving.
If you are someone who constantly likes to overtake, then you will be using the brakes a lot more than someone who goes at a steady pace without overtaking too much.
Again, a faster car needs more friction to stop. So the braking pads also need to work more to stop a faster car. So that also impacts how long you can use the braking pads before changing.
Materials Affect Longevity Too
Brake pads come in many different materials. Depending on the material, it can last longer or shorter than another one. There are a few types of brake pads out there. Among them, organic is the one that lasts less time than any other one.
Organic Brake Pad
These are made with fibers and other organic materials like rubber, Kevlar, cellulose. They are very efficient and cost less than any other brake pad. The low cost makes them a very attractive option for many people. But they do not last very long compare to the other ones.
Metallic Brake Pad
Metal pads use metal for the brake pads. They are very durable and can withstand very hot temperatures. Also being a metal, it doesn’t need much pressure on the pedal to hold the brake.
But the cons of a metal pad are they are noisy. Also since the rotor is also metal, it can cause harm to the rotor itself.
Semi-Metallic Brake Pad
Semi-metallic pads contain up to 65% metal and other items like copper, wire, and sometimes organic materials too. As a result, you get the best of both worlds. It can be found on most modern vehicles.
They last the longest and are cost-efficient too. Also, they provide a lot of braking power too.
Ceramic Brake Pad
If you go through a rough area and need a lot more durable pads and ceramic is the best. They can be a bit costly but they also last longer than any other brake pad. So if you need a long-lasting and durable pad then ceramic will be the better one. You will understand it better if you know the comparison between ceramic and metallic brake pads.
How Do I Know When to Replace the Brake Pads?
There are a few ways for you to tell that it is time to change the brake pads. Many people suggest that if your brakes start to make sounds then it is time to change them. But it can often be dangerous.
Visual Inspection is the Best
Then brakes start to make sounds means the pads do not have any meat left. So the metal is touching the rotor and making this noise. If left alone then it can damage the rotor too. And if it goes to that position then there is a high likelihood the brake won’t work resulting in an accident.
So you should change the brake pads before they start to make noise. As for how to know it, visual inspection is the best way to know if they are still usable or not. All the brake pads start to lose their thickness as you use them. So check periodically to find out if they have enough meat left or need a replacement.
Other Ways to Tell
Other than a visual inspection, you can tell it is time to change the brake pad if the brake power becomes low. That means you have to push harder than before to stop your bike. That is because the pads have decayed and they cannot function properly.
Also, if the brake makes noise as if it is grinding with metal then immediately change the pads. If left alone, it can even cause damage to the caliper or rotor.
Motorcycle Brake Pad Thickness
When doing a visual inspection, thickness the one you are checking. If your brake pads become too thin then it is time to change it. Brake pads are usually 12mm thick when they are new. Since they use friction to stop the bike, they decay over time as they are used.
Most of the pads you should change when they reach about 6mm in thickness. But it is safe to use as long as they are over 2mm thick. In some countries, it is illegal to have a brake pad that is less than 1.5mm thick. So you should start thinking about changing the pads if they are 6mm or lower.
How Long Do Motorcycle Brake Discs Last?
Motorcycle brake discs usually do not need to be changed unless it is damaged. But if you are looking for a number to pinpoint how long it may last before getting damaged then the number is around 80,000 miles to 120,000 miles which are around 1,290 km to 193,120 km in the metric system.
So it is safe to say that the disc does not need any replacement for a long time unless it somehow gets damaged. But that doesn’t mean you should not check it. When you are inspecting the brake pads, you should check the disc for any wear, tear, or breaks.
If you find any wear or tear or your bike’s brake disc is way too old, then it is a good idea to change it.
Q: What is the thickness of the brake disc?
Ans: The brake disc is 2mm thick.
Q: How much does it cost to change the brake pads?
Ans: Depending on the material, changing the brake pad can cost from 100$ to 300$ in some cases.
Q: How often should I check the brake pad?
Ans: About every six months you should do it.
Changing a brake pad when necessary is a must for the safety of the biker. It can be a difference between a horrible accident and a happy trip. So checking if the brakes are functional and the pads are in good shape should be one of the top priorities for any biker.