Are you a rider who continues to use OEM brake pads? Have you given much thought about the two primary types of brake pads available?
OEM brake pads aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Motorcycle manufacturers have good reasons for choosing a specific brake pad. However, based on your riding style, this may not be the best brake pad for you.
It’s important to make informed choices about your motorcycle maintenance. When it comes to brake pads, that means understanding the differences between sintered and organic brake pads. Here’s what you should know about each.
Sintered Brake Pads
Sintered brake pads are used by most manufacturers on newer motorcycles. Popular for many reasons, sintered brake pads are a great choice for braking through a wide range of riding situations. They can withstand the heat, but are also very effective when wet.
Don’t let the word “sintered” throw you – it’s not a complicated process to understand. A metal is heated to the point just before melting. Using heat and pressure, that metal is then fused with other materials to create one solid piece.
Sintered brake pads provide great stopping power, are long-lasting, and reduce what is called brake fade. Brake fade is the reduction of braking power that occurs when excessive heat is generated by the pads and rotors.
Sintered brake pads are an excellent choice, offering many benefits. But there is a downside with sintered pads. Unless paired with the right rotor, sintered pads can cause excessive rotor wear. And it’s no secret that rotors are more expensive to replace.
Organic Brake Pads
Organic brake pads are made using non-asbestos fibers, filler materials, and high-temperature resins. The types of fibers used include glass, rubber, and carbon. Kevlar is also a type of fiber used in organic brake pads.
Organic brake pads provide a softer braking feel, with a less violent bite. Softer than sintered pads, they are perfect for custom bikes with polished rotors. Yet another plus is that organic brake pads are quiet.
Due to their softness, there are two downsides to organic brake pads. The first is that they wear faster. The second is that they create more brake dust. Depending on what you ride, both might be small trade-offs to preserving your rotors.
For newer bikes, it’s likely your OEM brake pads are a good choice. Whether sintered or organic, choose a pad that matches your bike and riding style. One that meets your expectations for durability and rotor wear.