How To Check Motorcycle Brakes

Faulty motorcycle brakes can be both costly and dangerous.  If you just bought, or are planning to buy, a new motorcycle, one of the first things to check is the condition of the motorcycle brakes.  Knowing how to check motorcycle brakes can help you avoid accidents and unnecessary repairs arising from subsequent damage.  This article will describe some of the things to look for when checking motorcycle brakes.

Check your rear brake.  Using your hand or foot, push the rear brake pedal downwards.  It should be hard (but not too hard) and not squishy, soft, or spongy.  Visually inspect the brake pads.  You can shine a flashlight on the pads so that you can examine them more clearly.  The inner and outer pads should be thick enough, otherwise the grip will not be as hard.  The brake pads push on the brake rotors when you engage the brake; the contact results in friction that causes the rotor to slow down and eventually stop turning.  If your brake pads are thin and worn, there will be the possibility of metal to metal to contact, resulting in longer stopping time, or worse, damage to the rotors.

While you’re at it, examine the brake rotors, as well.  The rotors are strong metal discs attached to the wheel.  They come in contact with the brake pads when the brake is engaged and should never be loose or damaged.  Check for scratches, bumps, accumulated dirt, or debris on the rotor surface.  The surface should be clean and smooth.  Rough rotor surfaces can wear out your brake pads faster.

Look for signs of malfunction or damage in the brake calipers.  The brake calipers push the brake pads so that the pads squeeze the rotors when the brake is engaged.  The calipers should be intact.

Check the front brake in the same manner as described for checking the rear brake.  The front brake is controlled by the front brake lever.  If you squeeze the lever, it should be hard (again, not too hard) and not squishy, soft, or spongy.  Check the front brake pads in the same manner as you checked the rear brake pads.

Make sure the motorcycle has enough brake fluid.  Check the brake fluid level and whether the vehicle has the correct brake fluid type specified by the manufacturer.  Be on the lookout for brake fluid leaks, too.  A leak in the brake fluid definitely indicates some problem in the brake system.  It could indicate damage in the pipes or other parts of the brake system.  It could probably signal some loose connections in the pipes through which the fluid circulates.

Your motorcycle’s brake system should be in perfect condition for your motorcycle to function smoothly.  Even the slightest anomaly in any of the brake system parts can cause the entire motorcycle to work improperly.  Therefore, you should know what to check when examining your motorcycle’s brake system so that you can immediately fix the problem before it can cause damage.


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