How do I check my motorcycle brake pad wear?

Motorcycle brakes and braking systems are a very integral part of the functioning of a motorcycle. It assures safety to the rider. And must be taken good care, with regular checking and service from time to time. 


What are brake pads?

In the disc brake system, the brake disc remains in contact with a friction surface. The friction surface is known as brake pads, made to a steel backing plate. Brake pads are mostly made of several friction materials. 

So, like the tires, the braking system must be regularly checked, maintained, and repaired to avoid welcoming any mishappening on roads and assuring maximum safety during your rides. 


How to check your motorcycle brake pad wear?


The motorcycle brake pad is checked by checking its groove indicators condition.

Checking if your brake pads are in condition or require conditioning is an easy deal, and you can simply check it, but changing of the thing must be done by a professional only until and unless you are very confident with the mechanics. A small mistake here can cost you much. 


Check if the indicator groove in the brake pad is worn out. The grooves indicate the amount of usable part that is left and thus determines its condition. The grooves in the brake pad are cut on the surface and assure smooth functioning. The brake pads needing a replacement can be predicted if the brake pads are too worn to have the grooves attached. 

Preferably, if the brake pad is down to approximately 2mm, you should go for a replacement. 


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If it has a Drum brake system. A number of motorcycles these days have drum brakes. Drum brakes are more advanced and relate their mechanism and maintenance with multiple parts of the motorcycle. A single way to check if the drum brakes of your motorcycle work properly are to check your motorcycle entirely and thoroughly. The poor braking condition in a drum brake can result from stretched cable, poorly adjusted brake cable, exhausted brake cam, etc.

Problems in the Drum brake systems can be caused by more than one specific reason. 


When should I change my motorcycle brake pads?

As we have mentioned above, checking up on the brake pad wear over time is a must-do thing, to assure safety on roads. However, a certain change in the ride time experience also hints you to go for a motorcycle brake pad replacement. 


Following are the things that indicate, that you should change your motorcycle’s brake pads:


If your motorcycle brake pad is worn out, which is indicated by the grove disappearance or subsidence of the brake pad roughly by 2mm. 

Groove indicator remains a good way to know the condition of your brake pad, but some motorcycles are not equipped with groove indicators. So in that case you can visit a mechanic to know the length of friction material left. 


Note how the brake feels when you are riding your motorcycle. Notice the brake engagement, how quickly the brake holds, and the effectiveness of the brake. Deterioration in any of these mechanics usually should not be kept laid back. Go for immediate service and fix the problem. Braking systems are a major concern and should not be neglected at any cost. 


If your motorcycle makes an unusual noise when you use brakes. Seek quick service. So, the sound of a motorcycle when applied brakes can be an indication factor that your brake pads need a replacement. 


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How many miles do motorcycle brake pads last?

The answer to this question is variable. A  number of factors depend upon the lifespan of motorcycle brake pads. Factors that mark its longevity are riding pattern, road condition, frequency of brake usage, type of brake usage, etc. 


However, from a generalized point, and after consulting and gathering reviews from multiple riders, we conclude that motorcycle brake pads last for about 30,000 - 32,000 km on average. 


Also, the quality of brake pads plays an important role in the determination of their lifespan. 

A braking system in a motorcycle is very system part and safety specifications. So, negligence in this prospect is not recommended, and would be advised to choose a quality product. 


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