Troubleshooting Squeaky Motorcycle Brake Pads

A black and red motorcycle

Squeaky brakes can be caused by grit getting stuck between your motorcycle brake pads and the disc, dust on the drum brakes or unlubricated calipers. Using a soft clean cloth to remove any debris can help, but there may also be other reasons for your brake pad problem. Consider the following as you diagnose and repair your squeaky brake pads.

Inspect Your Rotor

Go for a 15 minute ride on your motorcycle frequently using your brakes, then park somewhere safe and switch off your engine. Check the brake rotor and disc for damage such as black or blue streaking on the rotor, which is a sign of overheating through metal contact, and grooves, which are a sign of unevenly worn shoes. If the rotor is very hot, this could suggest too much pressure is being placed on the brake pad by the caliper or that the brake pad needs replacing.

Increasing squeaking upon acceleration could be due to a warped rotor. Run your hand along the surface to feel if that is the case. Squeaking caused by this will stop when the brakes are applied.

Check Your Brake Lines

Following the brake lines, find the front brakes and check for any leakages. Small fluid and dirt deposits on the caliper can cause squeaky brakes. This means that any leakages spotted on the caliper, pad and the exterior of the pad will mean the caliper will need to be replaced. Brake line leaks can be fixed by using a new brake line.

Put the bike in neutral, and hold on the front brake while trying to move the bike forward. If the bike moves, it could be air in the lines. You can fix this by bleeding the system in accordance to your bike model.