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On my 700 mile roadtrip last month I began to notice a ‘scraping’ noise from my front wheel/brakes when I rolled the bike backwards or forwards. The noise (and its attendant friction vibration) only occurred in a small arc of the 360 degrees of rotation – like it was a clock that was noisy from 6 to 6:10. I visually inspected the wheel and rotors for debris or damage, but all appeared OK. Aside from this, the bike performed fine – the brakes operated normally, and I could not hear or feel anything hinky while riding.

Took it to the mechanic this week who, after inspection, said I simply needed new pads ( the rotors are OK). I had him do the work, and everything seems fine now. It is just after the fact that I now have some questions. 1) if the pads were worn, why wouldn’t I have some indication when I applied the brakes? 2) the bike just turned 13,000 miles – seems low to me – but the mechanic said for a bike of this weight, 13k is not at all unusual. (I have a smooth riding style, fully utilize engine braking, but I do ride a lot in mountain twisties – so I use the brakes a lot more that if I was just cruising). 3) how could worn pads cause the type of noise I heard when rolling the bike? 4) could something else have caused this, and my mechanic only wanted to sell me some brake pads (which I don't think is the case)? Unfortunately, I didn’t ask for the old parts.

It’s a moot point now, but I am curious. Any thoughts?
 

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Not sure about the wear as I have 16K on my '09 and had 26K on my '03 with original pads (but getting close to need replacing I think at 26K). Most pads are a semi-metallic type and you can see bits of metal in them. Sometimes a piece of this metal that makes up the brake pad can make noise when contacting the brake rotors. Usually it will change or go away as the pad wears. If there was plenty of life left, the brakes worked fine, and the noise was minor I would have just left it until the pad was worn down to need replacement. Brake pads (other than those with wear sensors) require periodic visual inspection to check for wear to see when they need replacing. Motorcycle pads are much thinner even new compared to automotive ones.
 

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Also possible the pad was moving around a little (normal as it wears) and making noise. When new pads are put on one usually cleans the attaching bits and even uses anti-sieze in the right spots for noise.
 

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Sometimes when the only tool you have in your toolbox is a set of new pads............

I suspect there was plenty of meat on your front brakes and the noise could have been cleared either by cleaning or/and a dose of heavy brake application.
 

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Pad wear varies from rider to rider and their braking habits...

Drop the pads and inspect them, rather easy to do... I changed my front pads at 36k miles and they could have made it past 40k.

Elevate the front end and spin the front wheel to see how it does when spun in the forward direction.

you can check this DIY to see how to get the pads off for inspection: DIY -- Front Brake Pads Maintenance

if you have an air compressor, use it after each wash to blow out any lodged debris in there...
 

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jeff_MDR said:
On my 700 mile roadtrip last month I began to notice a ‘scraping’ noise from my front wheel/brakes when I rolled the bike backwards or forwards. The noise (and its attendant friction vibration) only occurred in a small arc of the 360 degrees of rotation – like it was a clock that was noisy from 6 to 6:10. I visually inspected the wheel and rotors for debris or damage, but all appeared OK. Aside from this, the bike performed fine – the brakes operated normally, and I could not hear or feel anything hinky while riding.

Took it to the mechanic this week who, after inspection, said I simply needed new pads ( the rotors are OK). I had him do the work, and everything seems fine now. It is just after the fact that I now have some questions. 1) if the pads were worn, why wouldn’t I have some indication when I applied the brakes? 2) the bike just turned 13,000 miles – seems low to me – but the mechanic said for a bike of this weight, 13k is not at all unusual. (I have a smooth riding style, fully utilize engine braking, but I do ride a lot in mountain twisties – so I use the brakes a lot more that if I was just cruising). 3) how could worn pads cause the type of noise I heard when rolling the bike? 4) could something else have caused this, and my mechanic only wanted to sell me some brake pads (which I don't think is the case)? Unfortunately, I didn’t ask for the old parts.

It’s a moot point now, but I am curious. Any thoughts?
My '09 Exec, and my current 2012 both had the front brake pad noise that you describe.

With only 1000 miles on my '12 scoot, I just put it down to poor quality pad compound, (although like you, I cant understand why it only happens in a small ark of the 360).Maybe cost cutting by Suzook ? just a thought.

davej. :?
 

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Davej said:
jeff_MDR said:
On my 700 mile roadtrip last month I began to notice a ‘scraping’ noise from my front wheel/brakes when I rolled the bike backwards or forwards. The noise (and its attendant friction vibration) only occurred in a small arc of the 360 degrees of rotation – like it was a clock that was noisy from 6 to 6:10. I visually inspected the wheel and rotors for debris or damage, but all appeared OK. Aside from this, the bike performed fine – the brakes operated normally, and I could not hear or feel anything hinky while riding.

Took it to the mechanic this week who, after inspection, said I simply needed new pads ( the rotors are OK). I had him do the work, and everything seems fine now. It is just after the fact that I now have some questions. 1) if the pads were worn, why wouldn’t I have some indication when I applied the brakes? 2) the bike just turned 13,000 miles – seems low to me – but the mechanic said for a bike of this weight, 13k is not at all unusual. (I have a smooth riding style, fully utilize engine braking, but I do ride a lot in mountain twisties – so I use the brakes a lot more that if I was just cruising). 3) how could worn pads cause the type of noise I heard when rolling the bike? 4) could something else have caused this, and my mechanic only wanted to sell me some brake pads (which I don't think is the case)? Unfortunately, I didn’t ask for the old parts.

It’s a moot point now, but I am curious. Any thoughts?
My '09 Exec, and my current 2012 both had the front brake pad noise that you describe.

With only 1000 miles on my '12 scoot, I just put it down to poor quality pad compound, (although like you, I cant understand why it only happens in a small ark of the 360).Maybe cost cutting by Suzook ? just a thought.

davej. :?
My new '12 650 Exec has the front brake squeak as well. Started at less than 1k. I'm thinking of replacing the pads because the noise bugs me.
 
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