There are a few simple things dirt bike owners can do by themselves that will ultimately save them plenty of time and money. But not everyone knows where to start or how to get it done quickly and painlessly.

We’ve put together a short guide to walk you through the process of swapping out your brake pads so you can be ready to roll in no time at all.

Also be sure to look below for the video walkthrough.

Step One: Preparation

Have your parts and tools handy. Nearly every dirt bike on the market will use a fairly standard set of mechanic’s tools. The best approach is to plan ahead and have everything you’ll need accessible. Check your owner’s manual for specific tool requirements.

Next, you’ll need to move the brake pads away from the rotor using a flat-head screwdriver. If the line has too much pressure for the pads to move somewhat easily, loosen or remove the master cylinder’s lid and slowly push the pads apart.

Picture of Moving the Brake Pad Away from the Rotor

Brake pads are secured by pin to the calipers, though they also may be held by clips that need to be removed as well. Once the pin and clips have been removed, the pads are then able to be removed from the calipers.

Picture of Removing the Pin

Removing the pads themselves can sometimes be a little tricky, but if you work them back-and-forth slightly, they should come out easily. If you’re having trouble getting them to pop out, take the time to remove the wheel and give yourself enough space to get your hands on the pads.

Picture of Removing the Pads

Make sure the parts you’ll be reinstalling, like the pin, are free from grooves and wear. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC carries all of the individual components you need for brake repairs on your dirt bike. We even offer OEM and aftermarket updates that will make the job go more smoothly.

Step Two: Installation

Insert the new brake pads one at a time, using the pin to hold them in place. Put the dog-eared portion of the pad in the slot and then tighten down the pin (check manufacturer’s suggested torque settings), replacing the caliper’s clips if necessary.

Picture of Inserting the New Brake Pads

Picture of Installing the New Brake Pads

Check to see if there is binding on any parts that you’ve replaced or worked on, including the rotor, calipers and also the pads. If everything is installed correctly, you’ll want to then get the pads pushed back on the rotor by pumping the foot brake (for the rear) or hand brake (for the front).

Picture of Pumping the Foot Brake

Picture of Pumping the Hand Brake

Step Three: Repeat the Steps

The only real difference between the front and rear brakes will be the disc guard that’s located on top of the forward caliper. Sometimes the pin will also have a small cover in order to remove the front pads. Otherwise, it’s the same process as above.

Move the brakes outward from the rotor with a flathead screwdriver, remove the pin, take out the old set of pads, install the new pair, and tighten it all back up – being sure to get the pistons into braking position by pumping the hand brake.

Picture of Removing the Disc Guard

Picture of Removing the Brake Caliper

Well done! Doing small repairs to your dirt bike can be a way to really get to know your machine and avoid having it laid up in the corner of a repair shop. It also saves you money and lets you share some mechanic know-how with your friends and other riders.

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Technician Disclaimer

By Ryan Gillespie