How to Install Brake Pads on a Goldwing

Updated July 20, 2017

Installing brake pads on a Honda Gold Wing is a fairly easy task, but there are many factors to consider. Methods vary slightly, depending upon the year and model of Gold Wing that you are working on, and whether you are installing the brake pads on the front or rear. For specific instructions, see a shop manual for your year and model Gold Wing.

Begin with the front brakes. Remove the disc covers, if applicable. Release the tab of the front fender side cover from the hole in the fender and the two tabs from the fender grooves. Then remove the upper bolt and the clamp that secure the disc cover. Remove the two lower bolts, taking care not to loosen the two collars that will come out with the lower bolts. Remove the disc cover and set it and the parts aside.

Remove the pad pin plugs and loosen---but do not remove---the pad pins. Using the proper size Allen wrench, remove the bolt securing the caliper to the caliper bracket. Then remove the bolt securing it to the anti-dive piston. Remove the caliper, and using a screwdriver, spread the pads till the pistons are compressed all the way to allow room for the new brake pads.

Pull the pad pins out of the caliper and remove the brake pads. A pad spring will fall out when you remove the pads. Position a new pad spring in the caliper, ensuring the tabs are to the wheel side of the caliper. Reinstall the brake pads. Install one pin pad and push the brake pads to compress the pad spring while you install the other pad pin.

Reinstall the caliper. Install the bracket bolt first. Apply grease to the needle valve of the anti-dive bolt and reinstall it. Tighten both the caliper bracket bolt and the anti-dive bolt to the manufacturer's specifications, taking care not to overtighten them. Tighten the pad pins and install the pad pin plugs. Install the disc cover and the front fender side cover. Repeat the same process for the other side of the front brakes. When complete, press on the front brake lever a few times to seat the caliper pistons against the new brake pads.

Remove the boot lower cover by removing the four screws that secure it in place. Release the cover groves from the boot tabs. Remove the cover and set it aside. Remove the left saddlebag lower cover by removing the two screw holders and the two screws that secure it in place. Disconnect the brake light and tail light connectors. Disconnect the opener cables from the cable stoppers and remove the bolts and washers that secure the saddlebag. Remove the left saddlebag and set it aside.

Loosen the pad pin retainer bolt. Remove the caliper bolt and the caliper pin bolt, sliding the caliper off of the disc. Remove the pad pin retainer bolt and the pad retainer. Push the piston in all the way to make room for the new brake pads. Pull the pad pins and remove the brake pads. A pad spring will fall out. Replace the pad spring with the tab side facing the wheel. Install the pads and one pad pin, compressing the pads while you install the second pad pin. Put the pad pin retainer in place, and install---but do not tighten---the pad pin retainer bolt.

Align the caliper pin hole with the caliper bracket boot. Apply silicone grease to the caliper pin bolt and insert the caliper pin into the hole. Install the caliper bracket bolt, and then tighten the caliper pin bolt, bracket bolt and pin retainer bolt to the manufacturer's specifications.

Replace the left saddlebag, remembering to reconnect the brake light and tail light connectors. Reinstall the saddlebag lower cover and the boot lower cover. Pump the rear brake pedal a couple of times to seat the caliper piston against the new brake pads. Check brake fluid levels in both the front and rear reservoir. Sit on the bike and roll it back and forth gently, first using just the front brakes to stop the bike and then using the rear. When brake pads are gripping properly and the brakes feel solid, take the bike for a test drive.


Inhaled asbestos fibres are hazardous to your health. Do not use compressed air or a dry brush to clean brake assemblies. Use approved brake parts cleaners or a cloth dampened in solvent to clean brake dust from motorcycle surfaces and brake assemblies. If adding brake fluid, do not allow it to come in contact with painted surfaces, as it will severely damage them.

Things You'll Need

  • Metric socket set
  • Metric Allen wrench set
  • Large flathead screwdriver
  • Brake pads
  • Brake pad springs
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About the Author

Based in North Idaho, Troy Lambert has been writing how-to pieces and historical articles for magazines such as "Woodworking" and "Outdoor Idaho" since 1994. Lambert is also a novelist and has a diverse technical and philosophical education. He holds a technical certification from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix.