5 Warning Signs of Brake System Maintenance

by Galfer Girl

Motorcycles are so fun that often times we get so caught up in the fast factor that we forget about the STOP. Your braking system is one of the most important safety features on your ride -- it’s important that you pay close attention to the tell tale signs it may be giving you when you’re riding.


LEVER FEEL

Mushy, squishy, soft… these are the unpleasant signs of waning brake lever feel. When you grab your lever to stop -- does it feel mushy? You want a firm feel.

If your lever is feeling mushy, it may be time to check your brake lines. OEM brake lines or rubber brake lines have a tendency to wear and expand over time. This can lead to that spongy feeling in your lever. Having less pressure in your brake lines can lead to less responsive braking, and can be dangerous.

NOISE

Noise is a common sign of braking system issues. It’s important to note that during initial break-in, you may hear some squeaking when you apply the brakes, but other noises may be cause for you to check out.

VIBRATION

A good braking system will not have heavy vibration -- if your levers or bars vibrate heavily while applying the brakes, you may have a warpage problem. Warped brake rotors are common among OEM brake rotors or poorly made rotors. If you believe you are experiencing this, you may be able to visibly inspect the problem by removing your brake rotors.

If you have warped rotors, we recommend trying a Galfer Wave rotor. Our rotors are specially designed to withstand higher temperatures and lower the likelihood of warping.

WHAT’S THAT FLUID?

If you happen to notice fluid on your brake lines, near your brake line fittings or around your calipers, you may have a line leak somewhere. A leaking braking system will lead to unresponsive braking and could potentially put you in a dangerous spot.

If you are running Galfer USA lines, there’s no need to worry. Every Galfer brake line kit has a lifetime warranty.

If you are running brake lines other than Galfer, you may want to pressure test your lines, or just toss them out.

We offer custom brake line building services, and have stock brake lines for a wide variety of bikes. Check out our custom line building page by clicking here.

Most manufacturer’s recommend that you change your brake fluid one a year. If you are unsure of when to change your fluid, check in the manufacturer’s service manual for the best recommendation.

LOOKING FOR BRAKE FLUID?

Check out ours by clicking here.

WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

If you are out riding and notice a burning or burnt smell, this may be cause for inspection.

With some cheaply-made rotors and braking systems, overheating is a widespread issue. If you are braking aggressively, riding a heavier bike, or taking track days without an adequate braking system, you may be abusing your brakes.

Brakes that can’t handle the heat may overheat, causing warpage in the discs. This can also lead to boiling brake fluid, which softens and delays your braking system reaction in your brake lines and lever.

If this is a common occurrence for you, we recommend checking out our laser-cut and heat treated rotors. Galfer USA rotors were made to handle high-heat, aggressive braking, and heavy bikes.

Often times, we get so caught up in the speed that we forget the importance of braking. Not every little noise, or sprinkle of brake dust is warrant for worry. However, it’s important that you keep an eye on your brake system and keep it in top condition. You never know when it might save your life -- or someone else’s.

If you have any questions regarding your braking system, or if you're looking to upgrade -- feel free to contact the braking experts at Galfer USA.