Have you ever thought about why it's important to regularly inspect your brakes?
Let's take a look at how important it is to periodically inspect your brakes to keep your beloved motorcycle running smoothly for years to come!
This article will take a look at the topic of periodically inspecting your brakes.
Here, we will talk about why this inspection is important to keep you safe on your motorcycle.
Your brakes are mainly responsible for stopping, the most important of a vehicle's three basic functions: running, turning, and stopping.
Let's learn about the importance of brake inspections and how to inspect your brakes, as they can jeopardize your safety if they are not working properly.
Vehicles have two main types of brakes—mechanical and hydraulic—and inspection items will be different for each type.
1.1 Daily Inspection of Mechanical Brakes
・ Check brake shoe wear
・ Check brake levers/pedals for play and adjusting as necessary
Mechanical brakes are generally used in drum brakes. In this system, the force of the rider's brake operation is transmitted by means of a wire or rod to apply the brake.
Therefore, the play of the brake lever can be adjusted.
Since it is difficult to check the wear of a brake shoe by actually looking at the shoe, these shoes may have reference marks as shown in the illustration below. These reference marks can be used to observe the degree of wear of the brake shoes.
Check your owner's manual for details on how to adjust play in the brakes and check for wear in your brake shoes, as these methods vary by model.
1.2 Daily Inspection of Hydraulic Brakes
・ Check brake fluid level
・ Check brake shoe/pad wear
Disc brakes are generally used in hydraulic brakes. In this system, the force of the rider's brake operation is transmitted by means of hydraulic pressure to apply the brake.
(Honda also uses hydraulic drum brakes in some ATVs and other vehicles.)
The brake fluid level must be checked because hydraulic brakes cannot function safely without the required amount of brake fluid.
Brake fluid levels need to be checked on a daily basis, not only when fluid levels are low due to leaks, etc., but also as the brake pads wear down and the fluid level drops.
Brake pads are marked with wear indicators.
Check your owner's manual for details, since how to check your brakes will differ based on their type, including side or bottom.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, your brakes control the most important function of the vehicle—stopping.
Brake failure threatens not only your own life but also the lives of others.
Therefore, periodic inspection and replacement of consumable parts is required to ensure proper function.
So what kind of periodic inspections do dealerships perform?
The following is an example of items covered in a brake inspection.
・ Check the amount of play in the brake pedal/lever
・ Check the effectiveness of the brakes
・ Check the function of and wear/damage to the brake master cylinder and disc calipers
・ Check for leaks in the master cylinder and disc calipers
・ Check for gaps between brake drums and linings
Although inspection items vary depending on the time of year and bike model, dealerships perform a number of inspections on brakes alone.
Brake fluid used in hydraulic brakes deteriorates due to heat and moisture and must be replaced periodically. In addition to brake pads and brake shoes, disc rotors are also consumables for replacement.
Since brake inspection and replacement requires high mechanic skills, make sure to ask your dealership to inspect or replace the brakes for your safety.
3.How to Check Inspection and Replacement Timing
Inspection and replacement timing varies from motorcycle to motorcycle.
First, check when your bike requires inspection and replacement.
Your owner's manual will list the inspection and replacement time.
If you do not have the owner's manual at hand, you can also check it from Motopub.
In the Maintenance chapter, there is a Maintenance Schedule section.
Inspect and replace your brakes according to the maintenance cycle in order to maintain brake performance.
In this issue, we took a look at the importance of periodic brake inspection.
Just like in motorcycle racing, stopping (deceleration) performance is the most important factor in fast—and safe—driving. To maintain brake performance, please ensure they are regularly inspected so you can safely enjoy your Honda motorcycle.
In addition, brakes require such advanced knowledge and experience that some countries require certification for brake overhaul work.
Have your dealership inspect, replace, and consult with you about your brakes.
We hope this article will help guide you ensure you can enjoy a safe and long-lasting life for your Honda bike.
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