We all know how important it is to have good quality brake pads (especially on the track), but with words like organic, sintered, carbon, dual sinter and ceramic being thrown about it can all get a bit confusing to know which to opt for.
In this guide we’re going to cover the most popular types of brake pads used on track days and also go over the differences between them.
This should make your buying decision a little easier when you next come to invest in a new set of pads.
Let’s get to it. Here are the most popular and best motorcycle brake pads used at track day level.
Sintering was developed way back in the late 90’s in Superbike and Supersport championships to improve wear rate, but more importantly to improve friction properties and how the pad handles heat.
They are created by the fusing together of metallic particles and the more organic substances found in ‘regular’ brake pads. This blend of metallic particles improves wear rate, friction characteristics and heat dissipation.
I use the term ‘regular’ above quite loosely, because now 99% of manufactures actually employ sintering right out the factory in their stock pads.
While they are considered to be the entry level motorcycle brake pad for track use, they are by no means an inferior budget option.
Yes they’re the cheapest here, but they are a fantastic pad for track use, and in all the years I’ve used them I never felt like they under performed for my ability.
You will see these pads being used right up to club race championship levels.
Moving up the pricing scale we have Dual Carbon brake pads.
In the simplest terms, Dual Carbon pads have a similar make-up to sinter pads, but with an extra blend of special carbon materials.
The benefits of the carbon characteristics are to once again improve thermal stability, stopping power and pad wear. They can be used with your standard steel brake rotors/discs.
To some, the sound of the word carbon will have many running in fear because of their supposed disadvantages in the wet.
However, Dual Carbon pads have been designed to work just as well in the wet as they do in the dry, and provided you get enough heat into them you should find that’s exactly what they provide.
There are tales of some pads crumbling in the wet, but I believe this is because the riders were not getting sufficient heat into them due to the fact they had greatly reduced their efforts (i.e. too much) in the braking zone.
Another thing worth mentioning is that when you are moving to Dual Carbon pads for the first time, you will need to go through a simple bedding in procedure.
For those that like to spare no expense, we have Dual Sinter pads.
They were first developed at World Championship level in 2007, and come in at a much higher price point than the two previous options.
They represent a clear step up from Dual Carbons, beating them in every area – except price. The biggest leap in performance though is in use from cold.
Dual Sinter pads will give superb performance right from the off, whereas Dual Carbons will need to have the temperature built up.
If I’m honest, at track day level these pads are overkill and Dual Carbon, or even the lower spec Sinter pads will be enough for 99% of track riders.
Dual Sintered pads are used most across national, international and world race championships.
As I track day rider, in terms of bang for buck, it is the first two options that you really want to be looking at.
If you don’t mind bridging the gap to the Dual Carbons then they are going to give you the best performance with less fade, a stronger bite and better durability.
If however you’re concerned about getting the heat into the pads in cold or wet conditions then by all means opt for the Race Sinter pads.
They are still going to give you outstanding stopping power, and I will confidently say that they would be fine for all track day riders right up to upper fast group pace.
To put it simply, the Dual Carbons will be a small step up from the Race Sinter pads, and the Dual Sinter will be a large step up from the Dual Carbons (though DS pads compromise a little on wear rate) and all the pads here have been priced accordingly.
Really you just have to decide how much you’re happy to spend, because all three above are outstanding pads. Personally, I believe the Race Sinter pads are the most logical choice for the vast majority of track day riders.
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