What would you do without your treasured dirt bike? It has given you years of thrills and enjoyment. You look forward to the weekends of outdoor fun and adventure all year long. Because you rely on your bike for your favorite hobby, you take excellent care of it. Despite your best efforts, parts are going to wear out, systems are going fail and performance will falter. If you’ve decided to save money and do some repairs and parts replacement by yourself, it’s a good idea to learn how to replace rear brake pads. Because this is one of the most common wear and tear issues with your dirt bike, you’ll be tackling this task sooner than later.
Pros and Cons of Doing It Yourself
When you start hearing that squeaking or grinding sound when you brake, you know it’s time to replace the pads and possibly other components and parts. While many owners prefer to do the job themselves, perhaps you’re accustomed to letting a professional handle it. Taking your dirt bike to a mechanic will cost more than handling the job yourself because you’re paying for labor costs. However, because the mechanic has more expertise and experience than you, it’s a much quicker task. You can also have more assurance that the job will be done right. On the other hand, you can save money by doing the rear brake pad replacement. It’s also satisfying to learn a new skill and take more pride in maintaining your bike.
Step 1: Be Prepared
Before you can successfully remove the worn-out brake pads and put new ones on, you need to have the right tools for the job. A flathead screwdriver is essential for this duty. You should consult the owner’s manual to see which tools are required for your brakes and brake pads.
Step 2: Take Off the Old Pads
Grab your screwdriver and pull the brake pad away from the rotor. Hopefully, the pads won’t have much trouble coming off, but if you’re finding it difficult to loosen them, there are some tricks. You can take off the master cylinder lid and carefully push the pads apart.
Once you’ve taken the pads off the rotors, you next need to remove them from the calipers. These are held together with pins and often with clips as well. Take these off, and the pads should be free from the calipers.
Lastly, taking off the pads themselves can be a bit of a beast. Many experts recommend that you remove the entire wheel so you have more space and freedom to work with. The pads should pop right off with by moving them back and forth a little bit.
Step 3: Inspect
Rear brake installation won’t go smoothly for you if you don’t have quality pieces. When you purchase brand-new pads, you should have confidence that they’ll be in pristine shape and will do their job well. However, if the pins and clips are not up to the task, installing pads could be a fruitless effort. Before moving on to the installation portion of the job, carefully and meticulously examine these small parts to make sure they’re not overly worn and are free from grooves and other flaws. If they pass this inspection, you should feel comfortable using them for the next set of brake pads.
Step 4: Installation
Now, you’re ready to put the new and improved rear brake pads on your dirt bike. Make sure you’re working in an area that offers ample space and gives you free access to the bike. You’ll want to put the pads on one at a time and use a pin to keep them securely in place. Look closely at the pad and place the dog-eared on in the slot. Next, tighten the put and put on new caliper pins if the old ones are getting along in years and you haven’t replaced them in a while. It’s best to refer to the manufacturer guidelines on how tight you should turn the pins.
The following step will require you to pump the foot brake while you put the pads back on the rotors. Take a look at your handiwork and make sure everything is secure and looks to be in order.
Step 5: Test It Out
It wasn’t long ago at all that you didn’t even know how to change rear brake pads. Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll be a pro. Of course, before you can feel comfortable hitting the street and highways, you’ll want to test the brake pads to ensure they’ll work effectively. The last thing you want is to be out and about in traffic, only to experience brake failure. This could lead to an accident or injuries. Take your bike to a safe place and drive a modest speed, braking frequently. You can even do this in your driveway, if possible. Once you’re satisfied, you can have confidence that pads will be up to the task for years.
Get the Right Product
You might be able to change brake pads in your sleep, but if you don’t have a set of pads you can trust and feel at peace with, you might as well go back to the drawing board. There are a few ways you can confirm how to choose the right brake pads for your bike. First, read through the owner’s manual to see if it’s recommended that you purchase a particular brand. You can also speak to reputable mechanics and ask their opinion on which pads will work best with your bike. Reading online reviews can be helpful as well. Choose a few products, and read customer comments. Find out what people like and didn’t like about the particular item.
If you’re ready to take on the responsibility of installing rear brake pads on your dirt bike, it’s crucial that you understand the process first. When you know what steps to take, you can complete the job more quickly, and you can also save money. By going through the procedure correctly, you can feel good about riding your bike in all conditions.