Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Selecting the right brake pad compound for your off-road and dual sport motorcycle.


Brake Pad Compound Comparison for Off-Road and Dual-Sport Motorcycles

By Corey James Scribner – GalferUSA

Brake pads come in a variety of compounds from a number of manufacturers. Each compound is catered to a different type of riding, so your choice of brake pad compound should be made accordingly. Here are the most common types and their different characteristics:

- Semi-Metallic or Organic Brake Pads

This compound makes for a great all around pad. You can expect minimal rotor wear with good performance in most weather and terrain conditions. The feel and modulation of the Semi-Metallic pads are excellent, and this long-lasting compound will give you braking versatility across the board.

- HH Sintered Ceramic Brake Pads

This type of pad is manufactured to withstand higher temperatures than your OEM brake pads. They're best for moderately aggressive off-road use where they deliver excellent feedback, feel, and modulation. HH Sintered Ceramic Brake Pads are capable of handling just about any type of riding you're looking to hand them with their fast heat recovery, which leads to more consistent braking. Since ceramic pads do not have the same levels of metallics in them as many OEM and aftermarket brands that are based on copper, they tend to be easier on your rotors.

- Kevlar® Brake Pads

This compound of choice for many Supercross, motocross and other riders spending a lot of time racing at the track and constantly on and off the brakes. Kevlar® brake pads offer a very predictable, powerful, linear and progressive feel with little rotor wear. Kevlar® brake pads are excellent in dry conditions where they offer great modulation and control.

Brake Pad Maintenance Tips

Once you've chosen your brake pad compound, its important to properly maintain your braking system before, after, and during installation of your new pads. Here are some tips for brake pad maintenance.

  • When installing new brake pads, be sure to clean around the pistons of the caliper according to your service manual. This helps the pistons slide easier and gives you better release for the brake pads
  • Clean the caliper pad slide pins if equipped. This will help the pads retract when the lever is released.
  • Always check your brake fluid level in your reservoir. New pads and rotors are thicker than the old ones and too much fluid in the system can apply the brake when you are not on the lever.
  • Replace brake fluid every 6 months, no more!
  • Brake pads should be bedded in to clean rotors (you can easily clean your rotors with 600 grid sand paper and water then towel dry -- this simple exercise will remove most dirt and old material from your rotor's surface). To bed the pads in, Start with slow stops ranging from 10-15 mph and increasing in blocks of 10 mph until about 40-50 mph. Repeat this step 2-3 times and resume casual riding. Bedding in brake pads helps prevent glazing and helps to mate the pads to the rotor surface.
  • Changes to the brake system are known to affect the suspension of your vehicle. You may need to adjust the settings of your suspension after upgrading your brake system.
  • If you are also installing brake lines with your pads and rotors, you may want to do the brake lines first in case brake fluid is spilled on any of the components. Brake pads can absorb brake fluid and will contaminate them.
  • For installation videos on brake pads (as well as lines & rotors) visit:

Here's a sample:

Hopefully this article will help you select the best brake pads for your application and also allow you to get the maximum performance from them.

All the best!

Corey @ GalferUSA

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

User Feedback

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

  • Similar Content

    • By ThumperTalk
      Built from billet aluminum and machined for a precision fit with a stainless steel pin. This clevis will eliminate the OEM play in the brake pedal from the manufactures, resulting in better pedal feel and more precise braking. Anodized in OEM colors for that factory look and feel.
    • By T311
      Moose Racing Front and Rear Brake Rotors, brand new.  I purchased a 2004 Honda CRF250R wheel set and these came with it.  Have never been used.  $65 OBO  Shipping $8
      PS1106F  (Front)
      PS1110R (Rear)
    • By Bryan Bosch
      FasterUSA Excel A60

      - Full one year warranty on hubs
      - Hubs accept OEM bearings, seals, spacers and spokes.
      - Machined in Southern California from 100% certified US 6061T6 aluminum billet.
      FasterUSA Excel A60 Excel rims have been the benchmark for all other rim companies over the past few decades. The Excel A60 rim is the highest level offered by Excel and is 10-15 % stronger than the legendary Takasago rim and is only available in black. These are the highest level of rims available and are used by countless Factory teams and professional riders. The rims are laced to FasterUSA hubs with heavy duty high carbon steel spokes.FasterUSA hubs are machined in Southern California out of solid billet heat treated 6061 T6 aluminum. For added strength only US aluminum is used (nothing Chinese). Our outer wheel spacers are machined out of 7075 aluminum to prevent 'grooving' and have water deflection contours machined in them to extend bearing life. OEM spokes, nipples and rims will work with these hubs. Hubs come with a full one year warranty against any defects. Our hubs accept OEM spokes, bearings, seals and spacers.
    • By polarbear
      I am looking to buy some new wheels for my crf and have found good deals on DNA Extreme wheel sets. Do any of you have this brand and or know anything about them? I was also thinking of just buying the rim and the spokes and lacing them to my stock hub. If any of you know where I could go to get some good deals I would appreciate it. Also, I don't want to get a crappy set, if there are other brands on wheel sets that are better or anything please let me know what brand and where to buy some. Thankyou.
    • By grayracer513
      This is a question that gets asked often but there's never really been a comprehensive reference for the info. The info here applies to hubs from any YZ model used in a YZ400/426/450. Thanks to Bob Russell at RTR Precision Wheel Lacing for helping collect this.
      Here's how it works out:
      Front Wheels:
      The front hub is the same from 1997 to 2001. Uses 20mm bearings. It can be identified by the four cast reinforcement ribs running across the hub.
      2002 and up use the same hub. This hub also uses 20mm bearings. It is smooth across the center, with no ribs, and has a larger diameter at that point.
      Early Front hubs can be used on 2002 and up by using the 2001 spacers . 2002 hub can be used on earlier bikes by using 2002 and up spacers.
      This information applies to all YZ models from 125-450F.
      Rear Wheels:
      1998 and earlier use the same rear hub, casting number 2VN00 on the hub. Uses 20mm bearings. These will not fit 1999 and later bikes because the axle is too small.
      1999 and up use the same rear hub, casting number 5ET. Use 22mm bearings. Any of these can be used in any '99-'08 model by using the spacers from the year model bike the wheel will be used in. There are four different sets of these, each matching up with a change in the swing arm. You need two for each wheel. They're the same on both sides:
      1999-2001 (5ET-25383-00-00)
      2002 (5NY-25383-00-00)
      2003-2005 (5UN-25383-00-00)
      2006-2008 (5TJ-2530S-80-00)
      Rear wheels from 125's and 250F's have a 1.85" wide rim. All others have a 2.15" wide rims.
      Use the spacers that match the year of the bike the wheel will be fit to, and any '99 or later rear wheel will work on any '99 or later YZF.
      Some have asked about the fact that the drive side bearing and seal on the '06 up hubs are different than the brake side, or than the bearings on earlier hubs. The bearings are the same dimensions as the earlier hubs, however, and have no bearing (pun unintentional) on their interchangeability with other YZ rear wheels.
      Bearing info for '97-up front wheels, and '99-'08 rear wheels:
      Front - 6904-2RS - 20mm ID x 37mm OD x 9mm
      Right Rear - 60/22-2RS - 22mm ID x 44mm OD x 12mm
      Left Rear - 62/22-2RS - 22mm ID x 50mm OD x 14mm
      This information applies to rear wheels from YZ and WR models. YZ fronts will fit WR's, but will not drive the odometer, and YZ spacers must be used.