Unlock Supreme Braking Power: A Guide to Upgrading and Choosing the Best Brake Pads for Your Motorcycle

I divide this article into four parts. Organic pads, semi-metallic pads, sintered pads, friction coefficient.

Organic pads

  • When we talk about 'organic' in the realm of brake pads, we're delving into a world where rubber and quartz join forces, complemented by a heat-resistant resin base. The composition, entirely sourced from natural elements, earns them the 'organic' title.

Advantages of Organic Brake Pads:

  1. Cost-Effective: Budget-friendly, making them accessible for a wide range of riders.
  2. Silent Operation: Minimal noise, providing a smooth and quiet braking experience.
  3. Low Disc Wear: Exhibits minimal wear on the brake disc.


  1. Low Friction: While cost-effective, these pads offer lower friction during braking.
  2. Quick Wear: Wear and tear happen relatively faster, especially under high-temperature conditions, like prolonged downhill rides.
  3. Temperature Sensitivity: High temperatures can lead to a further decrease in friction and an accelerated rate of wear.

For those primarily commuting, a replacement is recommended around 3,106 miles. Despite these considerations, the affordability factor keeps them relevant in the market.

Examples of applications include entry-level bikes like 150/250cc models and utility vehicles, where the original equipment manufacturers continue to opt for these organic pads. Embracing the American spirit of practicality, these pads find their place in the diverse landscape of the motorcycle market.

Semi-metal pads

  • True to its name, semi-metallic brake pads incorporate a strategic infusion of metal elements into the formula. Picture it as adding a dash of metal to organic brake pads, typically constituting 15-30% of the composition. Copper or iron is commonly introduced as the friction material, enhancing braking force. The inclusion of metal not only boosts friction but also elevates durability. For daily commuting, these pads can easily go the distance, often reaching 6,213 miles without issues. Many high-performance motorcycles on the market today come equipped with these semi-metallic pads straight from the factory.


  1. Increased Friction: Offers higher braking force compared to organic brake pads.
  2. Enhanced Durability: Longer lifespan, making them suitable for extended use.
  3. Improved Heat Dissipation: Better heat dissipation performance contributes to overall brake system efficiency.


  1. Increased Noise: Transitioning from organic to semi-metallic pads may result in louder braking noises.
  2. Higher Disc Wear: The addition of metal can lead to increased wear on the brake disc.

Embrace the American spirit of power and endurance as semi-metallic brake pads redefine your braking experience, providing a perfect balance of strength and friction.

Sintered pads

  • When your factory-fitted semi-metallic brake pads leave you yearning for more stopping power, it's time to consider the precision of sintered brake pads. The term 'sintered' refers to the manufacturing process involving the heating of metal powder to near-melting temperatures. This heated metal powder is then pressed onto the brake backing plate under high pressure. If we were to categorize them based on materials, 'full-metal' brake pads might be a more fitting term. In terms of performance, sintered pads outshine their semi-metallic counterparts, delivering greater friction and remarkable durability.

Key Features:

  1. High Friction: Significantly higher braking force compared to semi-metallic pads.
  2. Enhanced Wear Resistance: Exceptional durability, ideal for prolonged use.
  3. Copper Dominance: Commonly uses copper as the base material, often exceeding 60% composition.
  4. Heat Stability: With no need for a resin base, sintered pads maintain consistent friction even under high temperatures.


  1. Increased Hardness: Harder than resin-based pads, potentially leading to higher disc wear.
  2. Disc and Pad Replacement: Typically, both pads and discs may need replacement between 9,320 to 12,427 miles.
  3. Price Point: Sintered pads come at a premium, priced 2-3 times higher than semi-metallic counterparts.

Designed for demanding conditions such as prolonged descents, aggressive driving, or track racing, sintered brake pads bring unparalleled performance. While the advanced features come at a cost, the investment in superior braking capabilities is an undeniable advantage for enthusiasts seeking peak performance.

Friction coefficient

  • Beyond the material composition that defines their physical characteristics, the true performance benchmark for brake pads lies in their friction coefficient. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has established clear standards, categorizing brake pads into four distinct levels.
Friction coefficient Grade
0.25-0.35 E
0.35-0.45 F
0.45-0.55 G
than 0.55 H


These DOT standards serve as a crucial guide, allowing riders to align their brake pad choices with specific performance needs. Whether it's everyday commuting or high-performance scenarios, selecting the appropriate DOT level ensures optimal braking performance, emphasizing the importance of safety and precision in every ride."


Decoding Brake Pad Friction Coefficients: Finding the Right Balance

In the realm of brake pads, understanding friction coefficients is paramount. Different pad materials exhibit distinct ranges:

1. **Organic Pads:** Friction coefficients typically range from 0.1 to 0.3.
2. **Semi-Metallic Pads:** Wider range, spanning from 0.25 to 0.55.
3. **Sintered Pads:** Offering robust performance, with coefficients ranging from 0.35 to 0.55 and beyond.

### Unveiling the Mystery: GH or HH Ratings

The packaging box holds a key to understanding brake pad performance, especially in varying temperature conditions. The last two letters, such as GH or HH, carry specific significance. The second letter signifies the friction coefficient under high-temperature conditions. For instance:
- **GH:** Good high-temperature friction performance.
- **HH:** Excellent high-temperature friction performance.

Low temperature standards test standards within 212°F. High temperature testing standards are above 572°F.

Considering the composition of brake pads, higher copper content may affect high-temperature performance negatively, while higher iron or chromium content may impact low-temperature performance. Given the diversity in formulations and design priorities among different brands, knowing the high and low-temperature friction coefficient ratings provides valuable insights for making informed choices tailored to your riding needs. It's the key to striking the right balance between performance and safety.

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