Motorcycle Maintenance: Tips To Improving Braking Performance

Motorcycles typically accelerate fast and offer little outside protection, so brake failure can be catastrophic. Regular brake maintenance can help improve your bike's braking power, ensuring that you are able to stop when you want to.

Many folks assume that motorbike brake maintenance is a daunting task, but this isn't necessarily true if you know the parts to focus on. Read on to learn various steps you can take to improve braking power on your motorcycle. 

Inspect the brake pads

Your brake pads apply pressure on the tires when you brake, prompting the motorcycle to stop. Wear and tear on the pads can thus compromise braking power and lead to a disaster. To access the pads, unscrew the two bolts that usually attach the front caliper to the forks. Next, slide the calipers to have a clear view of the brake pads and spray a bit of brake cleaner in there so as to clean out any sludge that could interfere with braking performance or cause the brake pads to slip.

You can then inspect the pad material for any cracking or wear and tear. If the pad is too thin or appears cracked, call in a mechanic to replace it immediately. Finally, inspect the other side of the brake pads that sit on the casting of the inner brake caliper. You should essentially see metal clips located just beneath the pads that are responsible for holding the pads firmly in place within the caliper. Be sure to check for missing or rusted clips and replace them so your brake pads are stable and effective. 

Bleed the brakes

Bleeding or renewing your motorcycle brakes should be done when the braking fluid turns dark brown or black. Dirty brake fluid can compromise braking efficiency and even corrode your engine cylinders, necessitating costly repairs and reducing road safety.

Begin by fitting a brake bleeding kit to the brake fluid nipple, usually located on the brake caliper, and loosen it so that old fluid flows out. Next, use a screwdriver to remove the master cylinder top and pour in new fluid before the cylinder is empty.

You should then pump the hand brakes so as to force old/new fluid through the tubing until the fluid flowing out the brake bleeding kit is clear brown. Finally, hold pressure on the brake lever as you tighten the brake nipple to ensure there are no leaks and that the brakes hold. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Monarch Honda.