Front Brake Pads and Disc Inspection

Subscription Options

Fix My Hog Membership with automatic renewal

Please select from the available subscriptions above

  • Learn at your own pace
  • Access to our extensive library
  • Videos at all skill levels
  • Knowledge when you need it

Select your membership plan and get our best Harley how-to videos with 24/7 access to tips and techniques from our professional crew, automatic renewal and our ‘cancel anytime’ policy.


Learn More

Harley front brake pads and discs should be inspected at every scheduled service interval or whenever the components are removed for service procedures.

Brake pads must always be replaced as a matched set. Always replace inner and outer pads together. If your Harley is dual disc; replace both sides. Never mix different manufacturers pads and never mix pads of different compounds.

Replace all Harley front brake pads (inner and outer pads – left and right side) if the pad friction material is worn down to 0.016 inch (4mm) or less above the steel backing plate. The minimum acceptable brake disc thickness is stamped on the side of the disc. Use a micrometer for an accurate measurement. Brake disc lateral runout can be measured by using a dial indicator mounted to a stationary surface. Measure near the outside diameter of the disc. Maximum lateral runout is 0.008 in, or 2mm.

To replace Harley front brake pads, start by (if present) cutting left side ty-wraps to release front wheel speed sensor cable and front fender tip lamp wires from the left brake line. Also, if ABS equipped, release the front wheel speed sensor from it’s retaining clip.

Before removing the caliper retaining hardware, we recommend removing the caliper screen and retaining clip. Then loosen, but do not remove, the brake pad pin with a 5mm allen. The brake pad pin is easier to loosen with the caliper secured to the motorcycle. It is not uncommon for the pin to become frozen as the caliper body and the pad pin are dissimilar metals.

Back to the Checklist

Tags: brake pad inspection, Harley Milwaukee 8, harley repair, Member Videos, Milwaukee eight maintenance, motorcycle repair videos