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Rocking Stock Brake Pads? No Bueno!



Bike enthusiasts are quick to spruce up their new toys with all sorts of aftermarket upgrades, from exhausts to windscreens to frame sliders. However, one of the most overlooked parts is the brake pad (yeah, that).

I hope we don't need to elaborate on the importance of a good braking system in general (pads, rotors, brake lines, fluid levels). As fun as riding the bike full throttle is, safety always rules, and well, it's important to also be able to stop the bike. Brake pads work by pressing against the rotors with a friction surface, and overtime, they wear down with the constant pressure. Don't put off replacing your brake pads and only finding out that they are no longer working properly when leaning into an apex of a sketchy mountain road!

The pads that come on stock motorcycles are perfectly functional in the sense that they offer decent stopping power for the average pleasure riders or commuters. However, you may find that they are insufficient for those engaging in more performance-based riding. And isn't better always, well, better?!

Different kinds of brake pads will make a difference to your riding experience. Organic vs. sintered. Kevlar or carbon. And what about those double letters commonly tackled on in the product names? While all this can be an entire post of its own, today we will focus on the HH friction rated (or double-H) pads.

While we generally don't recommend HH pads for a rear caliper application (unless you're looking for a hard bite), they perform wonderfully with front brake calipers in most performance scenarios.

Read on:

What HH means

When the brakes are applied, kinetic energy is converted to thermal energy through friction. Brake pads are typically made from steel or aluminum plates to main heat stability, and then with friction material bound to the surface. The more friction the material offers, the better the braking power.

The Chase Test is a procedure which assigns a two character code to the brake pad on the basis of their frictional characteristics. The 'HH' code indicates that the pads have the highest coefficient of friction. The first H refers to the friction coefficient while at a normal temperature, and the second H refers to the friction coefficient while hot. Having a double H means that the friction is maintained during the braking process, as the brake pads heat up from the applied pressure.

Brake Pads with this code are ideal for high performance street and track day performance riding. They offer the best in street & track dual duty performance since they bite well and work when cold. HH Pads are even considered as a standard by some modern moto buffs. As a downside, these higher friction pads may prove to be bothersome for regular everyday commuting since the the braking effect may be a little too sensitive and may produce a little bit more brake dust.

But hey, we're talking about pure performance here -- especially when engaging the sportbike crowd! In the brake pad industry, two brands rule: EBC and Galfer:

EBC HH Double-H Sintered Brake Pads

EBC launched in the 1970's with an innovative range of motorcycle brake and clutch parts. EBC Brakes produce the largest range of brake pads and brake discs in the world and has become an industry leader with its superior technology, quality control, product performance and customer service.

EBC's HH Sintered pads became the industry standard due to their high friction rating. (Sintered metallic pads are made using heat and pressure to fuse together metallic particles and other elements, which results in a longer life and enhanced heat performance.) They're known in riding circles everywhere as THE brake pad for upgraded braking performance. These are so popular, in fact, they are considered the go to brake pad by many performance riding enthusiasts.

EBC HH brake pads are made in the USA using sintered copper alloy of the highest quality. Most are fitted with perforated stainless steel heat radiator plates to help reduce the heat transition into the caliper and brake fluid. Their "double segment" vented design keeps your brakes cooler and prevents drag and overheat or fade.

Riders report a superb "brake feel" (which uber moto performance geeks know is most important). EBC's HH Sintered pad are ideal for the weekend performance riders, track day events and even for touring because of the fantastic stopping power and long wear life.      

See if they're available for your bike:
http://www.solomotoparts.com/EBC-Motorcycle-Brakes/

Galfer HH Sintered Brake Pads

Galfer is a family-owned company primarily known for their motorcycle brake lines, brake pads, and their patented, state-of-the-art Wave Rotor technology. Galfer works with top motorcycle race teams to develop high performance braking systems that satisfy even the most demanding rider. We recommend pairing Galfer brake lines with Galfer brake pads for the ultimate braking experience but some riders choose to mix and match to their liking.

Galfer HH Sintered pads are made with an advanced ceramic-coated back plate, which helps to dissipate heat away from the brake pad and reduces the amount of heat transferred into the caliper pistons. This gives you a cooler running system that will be able to withstand more heating cycles. This means a very fast heat recovery for more consistent braking.

Galfer's HH Sintered pads are used by sport street riders to racers at the top of club levels and AMA contenders. They are ideal for moderately aggressive everyday riding as well.

Though these pads are available for the front and rear, one thing to consider is that rear has so much stopping power and the potential to lock up that it may be too much for the average street rider. The most popular combination of brake pads for performance street use are the HH sintered pads in the front and black compound pads in the rear.

See what's available for your ride:
By Daniel Relich

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