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Squeaking Front Brake

Discussion in 'Mechanical & Technical' started by WizardBeard, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Got rear ended on my 2013 Bonneville back at the beginning of August - low speed, no injuries, bike didn’t even go down - slight bend in frame led to shop/insurance company determining a brand new frame be ordered from the factory. Took the opportunity to make exhaust/cosmetic changes since it was on the insurance company’s dime and the shop was willing to be flexible. Bike was in the shop for 80 days… I picked the bike up a couple weeks ago - new frame and some other mods thanks to a careless driver. About a week after getting the bike back I started experiencing some high pitch squeaking from the front brake when braking at low speed/stop-and-go traffic situations. I should have about 30-40 percent brake life left according to my most recent major service - which was two weeks prior to the accident…

    Is there an easy way to diagnose what is causing the squeaking? Clean the rotor and/or pads? Product to apply? Do I really need to take my bike in for another brake job already?! Any tips and/or advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. Checking/changing brake pads is an easy task. Simply pull the calipers and check/replace the pads. Recommend sintered metallic pads available on eBay. You can add a damping coating to the back of the pads to help eliminate the squeaking if there is still sufficient pad material remaining. Remember to pump your brakes back up after completing the task!!!

    Here's a generic procedure by Delboy's Garage that describes how to change the front brake pads. The video happens to be done on a Suzuki Bandit, but it's pretty much the same for any bike.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    MMcN49 likes this.

  3. Squeaking is caused by a high frequency vibration. This means something is sticking inside the caliper, causing your brake pads to grab and let go, and then grabbing again thousands of times per second.
    An easy fix that may help is to scuff your rotors with a green scotchbrite pad. Do both sides, and don't work around the rotor- go against the direction of travel so you're scuffing from the center of the rotor outwards. If the brake pads appear burnt or glazed, rough them up a bit with a file.
    While you're there, clean the calipers really good so the pistons can move in and out freely. Sticky pistons can cause squealing. You may need to rebuild the calipers to resolve your problem.