Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Motorcycle Brake Caliper

  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-50

Your motorcycle brake caliper is an important part of your bike that you need to keep close eye on. If you use your bike really often, you have to make sure that the calipers are maintained well. The task isn’t that taxing though since you only have to remove the pistons off and remove the dirt with the use of brake cleaner. However, if you have no idea how to do things properly the consequences can be really hard on your bike in the long run.

Spray with Brake Cleaner

The first thing that you need to do, in order to keep your caliper in tip top shape, is to spray the inside caliper with brake cleaner. To do so, you need to remove the brake pads in your motorcycle. You can locate them with the use of your manual. Once you have done that, spray the caliper with brake cleaner.

Apply Compressed Air

The next thing you need to do is to apply compressed air on your calipers. To do so, take your caliper off your motorcycle and place it on the bench and sandwich it between the pistons. If you are using a single-action caliper, place the towel on the inboard portion. Doing so will keep your pistons protected. Position your caliper so that the pistons are facing away from your bench and then let compressed air flow into the port for a short while. Make sure that you do not apply too much air unless you want the caliper to act as a cannon and force out your pistons. Doing so will allow you to clean the pistons properly and force out dirt that’s trapped inside.

Cleaning the Bore

Once you have the pistons out of the caliper, you can start cleaning the bores in your caliper. Take the caliper and look at the bores. You will find that there is dirt trapped inside the bores. Using a piece of cloth, remove any grime that you see inside the holes. You should also look for nicks because that will only mean that there is more dirt in between the piston and bore. Slowly remove the seals in the caliper using a screwdriver. Once you’ve done that, you can clean the insides of the bores much better. Clean the bores using ordinary brake cleaner and by using a little bit of compressed air. Replace the seals with new ones.

Cleaning Pistons

Now take a good look at your pistons. Make sure that they are completely clean. If they aren’t use brake cleaner to remove any kind of rust and dirt that is left in the piston. Do not rub vigorously though. Apply brake fluid on the piston before you place them back on the caliper.

Preparing the Seals

Once you have removed the seals off of your caliper, you need to replace them with new ones. Before you put in new seals, make sure to put a fresh coat of brake fluid on them first before positioning them into the grooves of the caliper.