Tech Tips: Rear Brake Pads 1

Looking to swap out your worn rear brake pads for some fresh stopping material? Get some quick tips on how to make your removal and installation process a bit easier along with some maintenance advice.

If you want to get your hands on some new brake pads, rotors, or other brake related accessories, check out

For any other motorcycle parts, accessories, or gear needs, you can find them at

Transcribed Version:

"Hey, this is Michael Lindsay from Vital MX. We're at Chaparral Motorsports today and we're gonna show you what to look for when changing out your rear brake pads. So now to get to our rear brake pads, we need to get our rear wheel off. So first thing up is the tools you'll need. You need to be able to get the rear wheel off. So to get the axle nut off, you need either an N wrench or a socket. Most of your full-sized bikes are typically a 32-millimeter. You're also gonna need to be able to get the rear break pad pin out, which is either gonna be an eight-millimeter or possibly an Allen head hidden behind a little screw that will cover the hole. Other than that, you'll probably want a flat blade screwdriver to help spread the pads and spread the piston back out, because of the thinner pads, the piston is now over farther. Other than that, you really don't need much else to do this.

So as you can see, our rear piston has moved over quite a bit and our pads are quite a bit thinner than when we first put 'em on. So this is good opportunity to take either a flat blade or just something you can get in here and pry on the brake pad and push the piston all the way back. Now, if you start to run into a problem, the piston feels like there's too much pressure, it won't push over, there's a high chance that there's actually too much brake fluid in the line and it's pushing back through the line into the rear master cylinder and it's backing up. Now some master cylinders will have a little bit of a ridge and they may push it out, but if you're still running into problems, you may have to take the cap off and let some of that excess out of the system. So in the case of the Honda 450, they have a very simple pin to get to, it's just an eight-millimeter headed bolt. Some of your bikes will have a little black, flat-bladed screw in here and what you'll do is you'll pop that out and you'll find an Allen bolt recess behind it though. In this case, it's just a little bit easier for us to get to.

Sometimes there's a little bit of pressure due to the pads and you just gotta kinda jiggle it out. Now we're gonna talk about a few things you need to look for. This pin doesn't have a lotta time up [SP], but you can already see there's just a little bit of wear here. That's where the pads sit on it most of the time when there's vibration. So before we put this back in, we're gonna clean this off and put a little bit anti-seize on to try and let the pads glide across it. One thing is if your pin has a decent amount of groove here, you're gonna wanna replace the pin because otherwise your brake pads are gonna sit in the pin and they're not gonna wanna slide over as easy when you press on the rear brake pedal.

So another thing we wanna check just real quick while we're here is pull the little carriers out and just take a look at and make sure nothing's broken and that they haven't been nicked in any ways. You can just place 'em back where they came from. So now we have a new pair of Honda OEM pads here to replace our old ones. One main thing that's really nice here with the OEM pads, quite a few of 'em come with this heat shield guard on the back so it doesn't warp the pad and transfer as much heat directly into the pad. In this case, the new set we're using comes with a new set, but in case of using some aftermarket brands, sometimes they don't come with these guards. So if your OEM ones do have them and they aren't too badly worn, it's really good to take a flat blade and pop them off and put them back on the new pads you're gonna be using. 

Okay, so we did have just a small amount of wear here on our pins. So I took a real light grit style sandpaper and just kinda tried to rub off the edges so it was nice and smooth and we could at least get a little more use outta this one. Now as I mentioned before, we wanna take a little bit of anti-seize [inaudible 00:03:32] just to the pads won't gall up and cause as much damage to the pin and try to run across it smoother. So, got that set. It's time to put our pads back in, our new ones. Wanna make sure you get the ends of the pad in the keeper there so the hole will line up. Okay, so now that our pads are back in, we can take our rear wheel, put it back on. So, now that everything's assembled, take a second to remember to pump up your brakes, you know, figure this out when you first get on the track. Take a second to roll through the pits, do some light braking and get those brake pads broken to your new rotor so you don't warp the pads. Get out there, have a good time and check out for some more Tech Tips."

Credit: Joe Carlino
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