The Signs You Need New Motorcycle Brakes


Your safety is of paramount importance, and this is even more true when it comes to motorcycles. Did you know that motorcyclists are just under 30 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in an accident than drivers? So while motorcycle crashes are far less common than car crashes, the consequences are often worse.

There’s no room for complacency when it comes to safety, and motorcycle brakes are your number one defense – if something goes wrong with them, you’re putting yourself in a dangerous position.

We’re going to take a look at the signs to look out for that will let you know you need new brakes on your motorcycle. Let’s jump in.

They Look Worn

The easiest way for you to check if your brake pads needs replaced is to look at them. In reality, this should be something you do regularly as a precaution, rather than when you think they might need to be replaced.

Many brake pads will come fitted with a wear indicator. These are grooves in the brake pad that show you the minimum level the brake pad should be at. If you can’t see these grooves, there’s a good chance your pads need to be replaced.

To be sure, take your motorcycle to a technician—they’ll be able to use a micrometer to accurately measure the remaining pad.

They Are Making Noises

Motorcycle brake pads manage to run at a relatively low volume, which is impressive considering it’s a high friction action. But there are a few sounds to listen out for that may indicate that your brakes are worn down.


If you hear a squeak or a squeal coming from the brakes as you ride which stops when you brake, this could indicate poor brake pad quality. For peace of mind, look for a quality brand like Wilwood Brakes

Consistent squeaking when you brake could indicate excessive wear on your brake pads.


A grinding sound when you brake is a sure-fire sign that your brake pads have worn right down. The grinding is the sound of the metal of the brake pad rubbing against the disc – this is metal on metal and can end up being an expensive repair, let alone the fact that it’s dangerous to ride with worn pads.

Noticeable Changes to Your Braking

This is more of an intuition than a hard and fast indicator that you need to think about installing new brakes.

You’ll know your bike well, and if you start to notice things like the brakes taking longer to engage, or poor braking quality, it might be time to inspect them further.

Motorcycle Brakes Are Vital For Safety and Performance

Of all the parts that make up your ride, motorcycle brakes are probably one of the most crucial, both for your safety and for achieving optimal performance on your bike.

Brakes are not an area to compromise on, so make sure you’re checking them regularly and replacing them when necessary.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the Automobiles section of the website for more.


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