Changing the Rear Brakes:

Pictures and text by Adam C.

Hi everyone. I decided to write this article because I hate how everything on a motorcycle is expensive especially when you take it to someone to have things fixed. I’ve changed about 50 sets of car brake pads so I figured how hard could this be? This brief tutorial will hopefully save you time and money on your next brake change. All you need is 4 tools! A flat head screwdriver, a pair of needle nose pliers, a small C clamp, and a 12mm wrench.

First lets start simple, find your rear brake assembly. Next, locate the two bolts that hold the brake assembly to the swing-arm. Click the picture to see arrows pointing to exactly which two bolts you need to loosen. Use your 12mm wrench here.

Next, remove the black cover that sits on top of the brake assembly. It says something along the lines of "Remove to service brakes". The black cover is held in by two tabs that are on the side. Just use your flat head screwdriver on the side of the plastic and push in towards the wheel. If you can't get it off that way just insert the screw driver under the plastic piece somewhere and pry up. Once removed it should look like this:

Now you should try to move the brake assembly off of the rotor if you haven't done so already. This will allow you to work on it easier. You may also take your pipe off although there really isn't any need. I had plenty of room to work with mine intact.

Next rotate the pins with needle nose pliers so that the cotter pins stick up. Here's a picture:

Now remove both cotter pins (one on each bolt) and slide the bolt out that you just took the cotter pins out of. They may be tough but they'll come out. The brake shoes should drop right out now. There are two metal plates that sit on the backs of your brake shoes. Remove them carefully and place them on your new pads. Here is another picture:

Notice the arrows? Those need to point in the direction of rotation (toward the front of the bike). Now here is where I messed up the first time. Go find a piece of thick foam or a small piece of wood or something to put under your C clamp. If you don't put something between the outside of your brake assembly and the C clamp you'll scratch up the paint on your brake assembly. If you just don't care the proceed on, otherwise wedge a piece of wood or whatever between the C clamp and the outside of your brake assembly to cushion the force.

Now, place the C clamp on either of the two pistons that are protruding out of the brake assembly. You need to push them back into the housing so you can fit your new bake shoes into the assembly. Here'se a picture:

Now do the same to the other side. You should push these pistons all the way in. Don't worry if it takes a lot of force to do this, it won't hurt your bike.

Place the new shoes back into the assembly and insert 1 pin through the holes. Make sure the arrows on the backs of the shoes point in the direction of rotation. Now before you put the next pin through, put that metal piece that was on top of the brake assembly, back into place. it really only fits in one way. (sorry I didn't take a picture of this). Now you'll have to press the metal end that's sticking up down, this will allow you to slide the bolt through and on top of the metal piece. Refer to the 3rd picture on this page to see what it should look like when it's put back together. Anyway put the cotter pins back into place and make sure they're in good. Replace the black plastic cover. Re-attach the brake assembly to the swing-arm and you're done! Congrats!

NOTE: Don't forget to pump the brake a few times to rebuild the pressure. Remember you DID just send all the brake fluid back to it's reservoir.

Happy riding and if you have any questions email me at Enjoy all!