The Best Motorcycle Brake Pads [That Last And Reduce Brake Fade]

Can’t figure out which are the best motorcycle brake pads? I’ve been into bikes for nearly 20 years, so this 2-minute guide is going to be all you need.

Welcome to our 2-minute guide to the best motorcycle brake pads.

As a motorcycle rider myself (both on, and off-road), I know there are two things I want from my brake pads:

  • Durability
  • No brake fade

I’ll be the first to hold my hand up and say I’ve purchased cheap brake pads for my bike in the past. And, it was a complete waste of money.

Not only was there high levels of brake fade, I had to replace them after two races.

Not being used to checking pads after every ride (usually, pads will last 6+ offroad races; at least!), I’d not caught them soon enough.

The pads had warped down to the metal, putting grooves in my brake disks.

What I thought was saving me $20 or so, actually cost me well over $150.

I had to replace the (cheap) brake pads, and both discs too.

So, if you’re looking for the best brake pads for your motorcycle that give you performance, but also save you cash; this guide is going to help.

What Is Brake Fade?

A reduction or loss in braking power.

Heat build-up means brakes are working outside of their optimum temperature; your brakes become less powerful.

It’s common when using low quality and cheap brake pads and discs.

Types Of Motorcycle Brake Pads

Ceramic

You’ll get strong braking power. But, as they are designed to disperse heat, brake fade is kept to a minimum.

Semi-Sintered

A cheap but viable option.

Braking power isn’t at the level of ceramic pads, but you’ll get the extra life.

If you’re not a pro or doing trackdays, you won’t notice the difference anyway.

Sintered

You’ll get better stopping power than a semi-sintered pad, but that comes at a cost; maintenance.

A semi-sintered motorcycle brake pad puts more wear on your rotor.

If you ride off-road, especially on sandy trails, you’ll notice high levels of wear on your discs.

Organic

Organic pads are an excellent choice for the street. They don’t have the snap of sintered or ceramic pads.

So, it’s easier to get used to the feel of braking power at both high and low speeds.

The Best Motorcycle Brake Pads

EBC Brake Pads

When looking for the best motorcycle brake pads, you’ll be looking at two things: 

  • Price
  • Brand

Looking for the best motorcycle brake pad brand?

I’ve used EBC brake pads for motorcycles both on and off-road for years.

Nope, they are certainly not the cheapest of the bunch, but they provide the braking power, durability and the construction to combat brake fade.

When I’m purchasing new brake pads, I literally don’t look anywhere else.

Check Price on Amazon  

How To Check Motorcycle Brake Pads 

So, the types of brake pads we’ve mentioned above give an idea of what type of pad, is suited for which type of riding.

And, we’ve determined EBC is a brake pad brand offering great all-round performance, at a reasonable price.

But, how do you know if your brake pads even need replacing?

On a pad, you’ll see what looks like two parts:

  • The metal
  • The friction plate

The metal section of the pad provides stability and helps to draw away heat from the pad, to reduce brake fade.

The friction plate is what stops you. Once this plate wears completely, you’ll be stopping on the metal section of the pad; they need replacing.

You’ll need to get a torch and shine it at the caliper. If you can’t see any “tread” on the friction plate, they need replacing.

Signs You Need New Brake Pads For Your Motorcycle

If you’ve checked your pads, but are still not 100% sure if they need replacing (personally, I’d just replace them…pads are cheaper than discs), there’s another thing to look out for; noise.

If you notice any vibrations through the bars, squeaking or grinding, there’s a good chance the pads are shot.

When this is the case, you’ll notice scoring on the discs. Hopefully, it’s not too late, and you can just replace the brake pads, and not the discs.

How Often Should You Check Your Brake Pads

Make a habit of doing it every ride. I didn’t after buying cheap brake pads, and it cost me big time.

You want to catch the pads before the friction plate goes below about 3mm.

Even though there’s still wear left on the pad, if a disc is slightly warped, one section of the pad could be down to metal, and that will hammer your discs.

What’s Next?

Thanks for reading our 2-minute guide to the best motorcycle brake pads.

I’m always riding, and always buying new motorcycle parts and gear.

Like what you’ve read? Jump on our email list and I’ll drop you a line when I come across something new.

Written by
Grant Draper

Grant's a motorcycle geek, outdoor enthusiast & confirmed racing nut. He road tests all the gear he buys, and then gives his feedback here on NoobNorm.

He also details any quick fixes he stumbles upon, whether that's to stop brakes on motorcycles sticking, or unusual noises coming from gaming wheels.

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Written by Grant Draper