How Long Do Motorcycle Brake Pads Last?

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When talking about brake pads in general, the average brake pad should last you at a minimum of 20,000 miles or 32,000 km. Still, there are a variety of factors that affect the durability and lifespan of a brake pad.

Depending on those factors, your brake pad’s life can be stretched even further beyond 30,000 miles or be cut down even further.

There’s a lot to consider when talking about how long do motorcycle brake pads last? So for that reason, I will be listing out key areas relevant to the topic which should give you a better understanding:

  • Average Lifespan of Motorcycle brake pads
  • Types of brake pads and how long they last
  • How often should you replace brake pads

Make sure to read the entire article to broaden your understanding of motorcycle brake pads and learn how long they last and when to replace them.

General Knowledge On Motorcycle Brake Pads And Their Longevity

Finding out when is the time to change your motorcycle brake pads

Before I get into the specifics of the brake pads and how long they last, you should be aware of what affects the lifespan of your brake pads and how it does so.

This also includes knowledge on the difference between the front and back brake pads, how to inspect your brake pads to identify faults, and finally, habits you should avoid to increase how long your brake pads last when driving.

Inspecting The Brake Pads

You should first make it a habit of checking your brake pads every 2500 miles or during maintenance and service to check for wear and tear.

Make sure to do this for both the front and back brake pads and replace left and right brake pads simultaneously.

While few motorcycles have indicators to show high wear, most do not offer this, so to check the extent of how much your brake pads have worn out, you must measure their thickness and make sure it is more than 0.07 inches. Otherwise, it may be time to get a replacement.

Front & Back Brake Pad Durability

These brake pads are made from the same materials, so they should generally have the same durability however, depending on your preference, you may prefer the front brakes to the rear ones or vice versa. This causes both brake pads to last different amounts of time, with the brake you use less often lasting more.

This will lead to one set of pads wearing out faster. While you can easily replace both sets simultaneously, you may not need to however, you should keep track and change them when they show signs of wear.

Habits Affecting Brake Pad Longevity

While most brake pads should offer you their advertised amount of miles, some bad habits on the driver’s side can easily cut down on the lifespan of these pads and reduce the miles they are usable for. On the opposite end, braking slowly and infrequently can increase their lifespan.

Riders who like to speed up quickly and brake hard will have a much harder time getting their brake pads to last.

Preferring one brake to another, as mentioned above, can also cause a lot of wear on one set of brake pads and is a habit you should break.

Brake Pads Lifespan & Replacement

While your brake pads may not last forever, you can easily figure out how much you have been wearing them out as well as how much time you have left with the current set of brake pads before you need to have them replaced.

Most brake pads let you know how long they will last and generally last as much as they advertise, but that does not mean that they cannot wear out prematurely.

As explained above, there can be many different factors that can cause your brake pads to last less than expected. With that out of them, now I will explain in detail how long your pads will last on average.

I will also be explaining how often you should have your brake pads replaced and what material of brake pads you should consider.

This will keep your braking system working efficiently and prevent accidents and help you understand how long the pads last and when it is best to get new ones.

Average Lifespan Of Motorcycle Brake Pads

As I mentioned above, there are various factors to consider when talking about brake pads and how long they last, but most of the time, your brake pads should last you around 20,000 miles.

While this is not a definitive answer, and your brake pads may last more or less than this time, it is a good estimate based on the average biker’s habits and manufacture expectations.

While this is true for most people, it may not stay true for you as, depending on your habits, your brake pads may last considerably less than this average or much higher than expected.

Many riders have reported using the same brake pad without any issue for more than 30,000 miles, which is a result of good driving habits and quality brake pads.

On the other hand, poor driving habits and low-quality pads have resulted in many drivers complaining about constantly changing their brake pads.

The number of miles your set of pads will last is also dependent on the brand and material of your brake pads, as certain types of pads will last much longer than others.

Types Of Brake Pads

There are four main types of brake pads I will be discussing in this article, each made for its specific quality and built to achieve a specific task, having different lifespan altogether.

The first one I will talk about is the semi-metallic brake pads built to last and give out high performance. These pads are extremely durable and made for racing, which is why they can last up to 65,000 miles at the maximum.

This is quite a lot compared to Non-Asbestos Organic brake pads, which generally do not last very long as they wear out pretty fast.

Luckily, there is a middle ground between the two with the addition of Low metallic, Non-Asbestos Organic brake pads, which form a good middle ground between the two and offer a good amount of durability and lifespan.

However, the best and most expensive brake pads are the ceramic ones which last even longer than the metallic brake pads and outperform organic brake pads by a lot.

How Often Should You Replace Brake Pads?

According to most sources and people, the most suitable time to change the brake pads of your motorcycle is when the average brake pad gets too worn out, i.e., 20,000 to 25,000 miles.

This is a good range to replace them as brake pads can generally last a long time under normal conditions.

However, if you are living in harsh weather conditions or ride in adverse conditions such as heavy traffic and hills, then it is best to keep track of your brake pads and carry out routine checks every 2000 miles.

One thing to note is that the life expectancy of your brake pads is measured in miles and not based on time.

This is because the life of the brake pads is only decreasing as it is being used while braking. Having your bike stand in the garage for a couple of days will not affect the brake pads at all.

Many people think that they should replace their brakes only when the pads start to make noise which is not true.

It is best to keep track of your brake pads visually so that if you see that it is quite worn out and below the required level, then it is a good time to have them replaced.

Other Factors Which Affect Brake Pad Lifespan

Here, I will talk about a few other factors that also affect the life of the motorcycle’s brake pads and how they do so:

1. Weight & Speed

While speed is quite understandable, many people do not consider that affects brake pads is the weight.

Heavier motorcycles will require more force and friction to stop, which is directly related to the wear and degradation of their brake pads.

This becomes even more severe at high speeds, where the pads will be subjected to even more force and wear to stop the bike.

Lightweight motorcycles do not have to deal with this problem but still suffer when braking at high speeds.

2. Terrain

The place you ride also has a huge effect on how long your brake pads will last. Riding in highways and open areas will have you braking less often, meaning it will have less impact on your brake pads and increase their life.

Contrary to this, busy roads with heavy traffic will have you constantly braking, which will hurt how long your brakes last.

3. Rotor Malfunction

Faulty rotors may be expensive to repair. However, doing so can save you from replacing your brake pads as warped or bad rotors can easily wear down your brake pads.

This also affects your general ability to stop the bike, so having good rotors is also essential to the braking system and to allow your brake pads to last longer by not suffering from unnecessary wear.


The life span of your brake pads is related directly to the materials they are made on, the habits of the driver, and the terrain you drive your bike on, along with a lot of other factors which have their degradation and wear on the pads, causing them to decrease in their lifespan.

Regardless, brake pads remain a crucial part of your bike, and as a responsible motorcycle owner, it is your job to make sure they are in good condition.

Now that you know how long do motorcycle brake pads last and what affects them, you should maintain them much better.

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