Is It Normal for New Motorcycle Brake Pads to Rub?

When you invest in a new motorcycle or perform routine maintenance, one of the essential components you may need to replace is the brake pads. While new brake pads are crucial for your safety, you might notice a slight rubbing sound or sensation when you first install them.

This can leave riders wondering if it’s normal for new motorcycle brake pads to rub.

In this article, we’ll explore this common concern and provide insights into what you can expect when fitting new brake pads.

1. When Is It Normal For New Break Pads To Rub?

In general, experiencing some rubbing or noise from new motorcycle brake pads during the bedding-in process is perfectly normal. This is a sign that your brake pads are adapting to the rotor’s surface, and the performance will improve as they wear in.

However, it’s essential to distinguish between normal break-in sounds and potentially problematic issues.

2. Why Do Brake Pads Rub?

Before we delve into whether it’s normal, let’s understand why new brake pads might exhibit rubbing behavior. When you install new brake pads, they come with a certain amount of initial material that needs to wear in. During the bedding-in process, some rubbing or friction may occur. This is a natural part of the brake pad’s integration with the rotor.

3. The Bedding-in Process

Brake pad manufacturers recommend a bedding-in process to ensure optimal performance and longevity. This process involves gradually wearing down the surface of the brake pads until they conform to the shape of the rotor. During the bedding-in period, it’s common to experience some rubbing or squeaking sounds. This is because the rough edges of the fresh brake pad material are settling in and conforming to the rotor’s contours.

The bedding-in process typically consists of several gentle stops from moderate speeds, allowing the brake pads to heat up and transfer a small amount of pad material onto the rotor. This creates a smoother, more efficient braking surface and reduces the chances of uneven wear or brake fade in the future.

4. When Should You Be Concerned?

While some rubbing or noise during the initial stages of brake pad wear is normal, there are instances when you should be concerned:

  1. Excessive Noise: If the noise persists after the bedding-in process or becomes extremely loud and unbearable, it could indicate a problem. In such cases, inspect your brake pads and rotor for irregularities.
  2. Vibration: Excessive vibration or pulsation during braking can be a sign of misaligned or improperly installed brake components. This should be addressed promptly to ensure your safety.
  3. Uneven Wear: Uneven wear on your brake pads or rotor can lead to performance issues and potential safety hazards. If you notice uneven wear patterns, consult a professional mechanic for inspection and correction.


In conclusion, it is normal for new motorcycle brake pads to exhibit some rubbing or noise during the bedding-in process. This is a crucial step in ensuring optimal braking performance and safety.

However, if the noise persists or if you notice any other abnormal behavior, it’s essential to investigate further to rule out potential issues with your braking system.

Regular maintenance and proper installation are key to ensuring your motorcycle’s braking system operates smoothly and safely.

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