Brake Pads

Genuine Yamaha brake pads have been developed specifically for each Yamaha model in order to achieve the best braking performance and balance with the chassis. The brake pads not only provide optimum brake performance for the vehicle, but also meet many other requirements, such as consistent brake feeling, long life, low vibration and controlling braking noise.

The Feature of Parts

  • Superior Braking Performance Developed in conjunction with the Engine, Suspension and Chassis
  • Optimized High Braking Power with Low Wear
  • Controlling Braking Noise and Vibration for a More Pleasant Ride
  • Brake Operation and Balance Designed to Provide the Maximum Riding Enjoyment

Maintenance

Daily Inspection

As you use the brakes, the friction material on a brake pad gets thinner. If the friction material is less than the minimum thickness, poor braking and vapor lock could result. Continued use of the brakes will soon wear away all of the friction material on the pads, and the metal base plate will contact the brake disc. This can result in a significant reduction in braking ability and damage to the brake disc, which requires replacement of the disc. Therefore, it is best to replace the brake pads before they become too thin.

Checking the Fluid Level in the Master Cylinder

Stand the machine upright and turn the handlebar straight ahead. If the fluid is lower than the "LOWER" mark on the reservoir scale, check for brake fluid leaks and for brake pad wear. If the brake fluid is not replaced regularly, the fluid volume can increase due to the absorption of water. For this reason, machine maintenance should always include brake fluid leak checks, and fluid replacement at the intervals listed in the appropriate owner's or service manual, and be sure to always use the correct type of brake fluid as specified.

Checking How Much of the Pad Remains

The distance between the brake disc and the metal pad backing plate is a good indicator of how much brake pad is remaining, as shown in the picture. The pads should always be removed, the pads inspected and the friction material thickness measured, if the backing plate appears to be close to the disc. Grooves in the friction material also indicate the wear of the brake pad, so the groove depth and pad thickness can be used to determine when to replace the brake pad set. Refer to the appropriate owner's manual for the minimum pad thickness. To check for damage or uneven wear of the friction material, the brake pad set must be removed from the caliper.

Table of Items to Regularly Inspect

Refer to the applicable service manual for the inspection and maintenance procedures.

General Periodic Maintenance and Lubrication Chart
ITEM ROUTINE INITIAL ODOMETER READINGS ANNUAL CHECK
1000km
(600mi)
10000km
(6000mi)
20000km
(12000mi)
30000km
(18000mi)
40000km
(24000mi)
Front Brake
  • Check operation, fluid level, and for fluid leakage.
  • Replace brake pads if necessary.
Rear Brake
  • Check operation, fluid level, and for fluid leakage.
  • Replace brake pads if necessary.
Brake Hoses Check for cracks or damage.
Replace. Every 4 years
Brake Lever Pivot Shaft Apply silicone grease lightly.
Brake Pedal Pivot Shaft Apply lithium-soap-based grease lightly.
*Since these items require special tools, data, and technical skills, have a Yamaha dealer perform the service.
Hydraulic brake service
  • After disassembling the brake master cylinders and calipers, always change the fluid. Regularly check the brake fluid levels and fill the reservoirs as required.
  • Every two years replace the internal components of the brake master cylinders and calipers, and change the brake fluid.
  • Replace the brake hoses every four years and if cracked or damaged.
*Performing the above maintenance items is essential to maintain maximum performance of the entire braking system.

Problems and Counter-measures

Fade

Fade is a reduction in stopping power that can occur after repeated hard braking. It is caused by the thermal break down of the phenolic resin in the brake pad. This break down generates a gas which changes the volume of the friction material. This increase in volume creates a force that pushes back against the brake pad.
Grooves help gas escape from the brake pads, and since a motorcycle's brake system is more exposed to the outside air, fade is less likely to occur on a motorcycle compared to an automobile brake system. Avoiding repeated hard braking and brake fluid overheating will help prevent fade. Since worn brake pads have less friction material and therefore heat up faster, they should be replaced as soon as possible.

Water Fade

Water fade is caused by a layer of water that gets between the brake disc and the brake pad. Water fade can be described as "hydroplaning" just as a tire can hydroplane on a wet road.
Current braking systems have holes in the brake discs, and grooves in the brake pads that allow water to escape, thus reducing the risk of water fade. However, care should be taken with older vehicles that might not have holes in the brake discs. You should always reduce your speed and drive carefully in bad weather, and also be sure to wipe any water off the brake discs after washing the vehicle.

Vapor Lock

The brake system works on the principle that a liquid, like brake fluid, cannot be compressed. When the brake is applied, the brake fluid is "trapped" between the master cylinder and the piston in the caliper. The brake fluid will not compress, so it forces the caliper piston outward, pushing the brake pad against the brake disc and generating the braking force. One characteristic of brake fluid though is that it absorbs moisture. During braking, the heat generated by worn brake pads can boil any moisture in the brake fluid, changing some of the fluid to steam vapor.
This vapor is very easy to compress, and acts like a spring, or cushion that prevents pressure buildup and reduces braking force.
This is why it is very important to replace the brake fluid at the service interval outlined in the owner's or service manual. Regularly replacing the brake fluid removes any water moisture in the brake system.
Worn brake pads cannot absorb as much heat as new ones, so worn brake pads end up transmitting more heat to the brake fluid during braking.

Brake Judder

Brake judder is the pronounced vibration that can occur when the brakes are applied. It is usually caused by a warped or damaged brake disc, or thickness variations in the brake disc. Another reason can be uneven brake pad wear between the inner and outer brake pads. If the brake caliper pistons are not freely returning when the brake is released, or in the case of a single-action caliper not free to "float" on the mounting pins, then the pads can wear unevenly or cause brake judder.
In any case, be sure to replace the brake disc with Genuine Yamaha parts whenever brake judder occurs. To prevent brake judder, it is recommended to keep the brake calipers regularly maintained and free of corrosion.


Frequently Asked Questions

[ Questions About Brake Pads ]

Q1: How long do brake pads last?

A1: Even if identical models of the same motorcycle are ridden for exactly the same distance, brake pad life will still depend on patterns of brake usage (frequency and speed) and how much the rider weighs. Since neither mileage nor unit age can accurately gauge brake pad life, please be sure to check brake pad wear regularly.

Q2: Does long-term storage of the motorcycle affect the brake pads?

A2: During long-term storage, the friction material may rust, which could not only negatively affect the braking performance, it could also be dangerous. You can prevent the friction material from rusting by periodically riding the motorcycle. However, if the motorcycle is stored for a few years without being ridden, have a Yamaha dealer check the motorcycle.

[ Questions About Brake Performance ]

Q3: Are there brake pads from other manufacturers that work better?

A3: Some brake pads from aftermarket manufacturers may have a higher braking force at high speed. But, that higher braking force does not mean the total braking performance is better in various driving conditions. Genuine Yamaha brake pads have been designed and tested to provide maximum braking force and best overall braking performance in a wide range of usage and conditions. Also, aftermarket brake pads sometimes exhibit other issues, such as brake squealing or lower durability.

Q4: How can I get the most performance from the brake system and pads?

A4: The most important aspect of brake performance is regular maintenance. This helps keep your vehicle performing like new. Worn, under-inflated, or over-inflated tires will keep your brake system from performing at its best. Replacing worn brake pads and brake system parts with Genuine Yamaha parts, replacing the brake fluid at the proper service intervals and keeping the tires in good shape will help the most.

[ Questions About Maintenance ]

Q5: Can I replace the brake pads myself?

A5: Like most service work on motorcycles or automobiles, if you have the skills, the necessary tools and service information to properly complete a particular job, then you certainly can replace brake pads. But brake pads are obviously vital to the safe operation of the vehicle, so it's always best to refer to your local Yamaha dealer for work on critical systems, such as brakes.

Q6: Do I need to replace the front and rear brake pads at the same time?

A6: As long as the brake pad set on the other wheel is in good condition, there is no need to replace them. However, on a model with dual disc brakes in the front, always replace both the left and right brake pad sets at the same time, regardless of condition.