How to choose the best brake pads for ATVs?
It doesn’t matter if your first set of brakes is worn out and you can’t decide which material to choose. Or if you have already tried various brands and aren’t happy with their quality. Choosing brake pads for ATV can be a real headache.
If this is your problem, we can help. We will explain the three basic types of brake materials that are most commonly used for ATVs and determine the best option according to your purpose and driving conditions. At the end of the text, you will find some valuable tips on maintaining the quad braking system, so you can fully enjoy and have a safe drive!
Types of brake materials for ATVs
Different vehicles have different characteristics, so there are more types of materials to suit a particular quad. It is also important to determine the purpose of using your machine, whether it is for driving in difficult conditions, enjoying sunny days, or everyday driving.
Organic brake pads:
Organic brakes are made of soft materials such as rubber, Kevlar, and a small percentage of metal. They have excellent performance from the very beginning of driving while they are still cold. They provide a much more comfortable ride and better braking modulation – so there is no sudden braking, and braking is quite smooth. Compared to sintered and semi-metallic brakes, they wear faster. Still, they are much cheaper, and the rotors don’t damage easily. They are quiet, and due to their structure, they do not produce a squeaking sound, which can ruin the pleasure of driving. However, these brakes are not recommended for driving in the mud because they can wear out quite quickly. If you get into such a situation, clean and wash the mud between the brake pads and the disc immediately after driving. Depending on the purpose, if you drive recreationally and in dry conditions, organic brakes are the right choice for you.
Sintered brakes are made of hard metals by pressing under high temperatures. They are great for racing and driving under challenging conditions. They have excellent stopping power and are known for their resistance to very high temperatures. However, they often squeak and brake pretty hard. Their performance is relatively poor when they are cold, so they need time to warm up to use their full potential. Depending on the driving style, they may have longer durability than other types of brakes. Still, their braking strength and metal hardness make the discs wear out faster. So, in addition to buying expensive brake pads, it is necessary to set aside a little more money for new brake discs. If you decide on sintered brakes, we do not recommend buying cheap Chinese brands because the lifespan can be shorter than organic brakes. So changing the discs more often is necessary.
Semi-metallic brake pads:
Semi-metallic brakes have the characteristics of sintered and organic brakes. They are intended for more aggressive driving. They need less time to heat up from sintered, and they are longer lasting and more resistant to weather conditions than organic. However, the problem is that quality semi-metallic brakes can cost more than sintered brake pads and can also damage rotors. Compared to organic brakes, they are not so compact and create an unpleasant squeaking sound.
How to maintain the ATV braking system
The quad braking system is perhaps the most important part of your machine. To drive safely and without problems, it is necessary to perform regular brake system maintenance. The two most important components are the brakes themselves and the brake fluid.
When to replace the brake fluid on the quad
Over time, air enters the brake fluid container. Air does not mix with the liquid and can enter the pipe where the liquid passes. This can lead to the complete unusability of the brake system. You can notice the air in the pipes if you do not feel the hydraulic pressure when you press the brake or if the pressure is too weak. To avoid this, it is necessary to change the brake fluid regularly. It is recommended to do it once a year or every 10,000 km. If you are unsure when you changed the brake fluid last time, you can tell by the color. A good liquid has a golden and transparent color, while an old liquid has a darker and duller color. You can change the brake fluid yourself with a bit of tool and technical knowledge or at your local quad service.
When to replace the brake pads on the ATV
Brake life is relative. It can usually take several years, but it all depends on the driving conditions, style, and material type. There are several ways to check if the brake pads are worn out. You can check this by removing the brake pads, and if you see that the thickness of the material is thin, then it is time for new brake pads. Another way is if you hear a scraping sound between the metal plate and the rotor while driving. When replacing the brakes, make sure that the brake discs are in good condition.
Now that you know all about the ATV braking system, driving your machine can be more fun, safer, and without further braking problems.