How to Troubleshoot Motorcycle Disc Brakes

Written by alibaster smith
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The disc brakes on your motorcycle are likely a caliper and piston design. Most motorcycles use this design because of its superior braking and clamping power over drum-style braking systems. Because motorcycles only have two wheels, you need the best possible braking system on your bike. However, even with a good braking system, your brakes do wear out over time. Before replacing any of your brake components, troubleshoot some of the common problems that occur with motorcycle brake discs.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Perform a visual inspection of the brake rotor disk in the centre of the wheel. If it is scored or marred in any way, replace the disc.

  2. 2

    Check for brake pad deposits on the brake disc surface. Brake pad deposits indicate that a low-quality brake disc has damaged the surface of the brake disc and the disc needs to be resurfaced before the disc will perform optimally again.

  3. 3

    Check for rust rings on the brake disc surface. Rust rings indicate that the brake pads are not making full contact with the brake disc. This can happen for a few reasons. The most common reasons are that the disc is warped or that the brake pads have created an uneven braking surface on the disc. The brake disc needs to be replaced in these cases.

  4. 4

    Check the brake pad lining. The brake pad that makes contact with the brake disc needs to be at least 1/8" thick. If it is not, have the brake pads replaced immediately.

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