How to Take Care of Motorcycle Drum Brakes, There are 5 Steps


The brakes on the motorcycle function to slow down and stop the vehicle. Currently, most of the motorcycles sold are equipped with hydraulic brakes (disc brakes) with better performance. However, there are still some motorcycle models that use mechanical brakes (drum brakes) for the rear brakes. Especially for drum brakes, how do you take care of them?

“Given the importance of having brakes on motorcycles, for example, regarding the drum brakes used, consumers need to pay attention to their maintenance. A good and well-maintained condition of drum brakes is certainly very helpful for motorcycle users in driving safety and participating in launching activities,” said Muslian, After Sales Manager of Main Dealer Yamaha. PT Thamrin Brothers, in an official statement.

For your information, the operation of this brake uses a mechanical system with a brake hose/wire connected to the brake handle. The following are tips for performing motorcycle drum brake maintenance:

1. Cleaning the drum brake

The first step in drum brake maintenance is cleaning it. The implementation itself is a bit complicated. So, it is advisable to ask for help from a mechanic so that he can apply drum brake cleaning. Because you have to open the axle and some bolts connected to the drum cover.

When the wheels are open, you will see the brake pads and drums that are densely dusty, sticky, and sticking. Dirt is enough to clean using a brush and soapy water so that the dust that sticks to it is lost.

If necessary, also clean the brake pads using a wire brush/coarse sandpaper, this is intended so that the surface becomes rough which can trigger the clamping of the brake pads to the drum to be more gripping.

2. Check the drum brake system

Next is to always check the performance mechanism of the brake handle, cable, and brake lever. If the brake handle free movement condition is too far or out of specification when braking, immediately make adjustments by turning the nut on the brake lever on the drum.

3. Maintain and regularly check the condition of the wheel bearing performance

In addition, how to care for drum brakes so that they remain durable and gripping, of course, care must also be taken on wheel bearings. If the wheel bearings do not fit, it will trigger the drum brake lining to become uneven.

Therefore, take the time to check the wheel bearings periodically or when dismantling the rear wheels, if necessary, apply grease or grease to the wheel bearings so that the wheel rotation becomes smooth.

4. Immediately clean and rinse with water when exposed to rain

During the rainy season, generally rain water mixed with dirt or sand and dust will also enter the gaps in the axles. This will affect the braking quality. If this condition is left unchecked it will damage or reduce brake grip or make the brakes make a creaking sound when used.

So, if the motorbike is brought in rainy conditions, you should immediately clean it by rinsing the brakes with clean water so that the dirt that is carried during the rain disappears from the drum part. Thus, the condition of the drum brakes is better maintained. You need to do this every time the motorbike passes through a road that is flooded with rain/muddy water.

It should also be understood that cleaning and checking the brake mechanical system aims to avoid jammed drum brakes or brakes not releasing when the brake handle has been lowered or the wheel does not rotate even though the brake handle has been lowered.

5. Always check the brake lining

Next, check the thickness of the brake lining by looking at the brake wear indicator “∆” (triangle) on the brake stem on the drum cover.

If indeed the thickness of the brake lining is beyond the provisions or has begun to thin, then you must replace the brake lining. Even when replacing it, you must use a complete set of brake shoes.

Therefore, it is recommended to replace the brake lining during service at an official workshop so that it can be handled directly by a mechanic.