How to Clean and Lubricate Brake Calipers on a Motorcycle

Most people think that the only thing they need to worry about when it comes to their bike's brake system is keeping the brake pads in good condition. But what a lot of people don't know is that the brake calipers also need some regular maintenance.

In this post, we'll show you how to clean and lubricate your brake calipers so that you can keep your bike stopping safely and smoothly

The tools needed to clean and lubricate brake calipers include a container of solvent, a container of lubricant, a brush, paper towels or rags, rubber gloves (optional), and some disposable rags.

How to clean brake calipers on a motorcycle?


To clean a brake caliper on a motorcycle, you need to open it first. Opening brake calipers on a motorcycle is not as difficult as you might think. You just need to follow these steps:

- Get the correct sized wrench and place it on the caliper bolt head.

- Use your other hand to hold the brake arm and turn the wrench counter-clockwise to loosen it.

- Once you feel that the bolt has loosened, use your other hand to pull back on the brake arm while turning the wrench counterclockwise again.

- Keep pulling back until you have loosened all the bolts, and then remove them from their mounts by sliding them out with your fingers.

- Once the bolts have been removed, use your hands to hold the brake arm and remove any old brake pads or shims still in place.

Now you can initiate the cleaning process.

The first step in cleaning the caliper is removing all the old grease and grime. This will make sure that the new grease sticks properly. To do this, use a wire brush with stiff bristles to get into every nook and cranny of the caliper.

You could also use a toothbrush if you don't want to spend money on a wire brush. Make sure not to use too much pressure when brushing because you don't want to damage the caliper.

Next, you'll need some degreaser. You should use something like WD-40 or another similar type of cleaner. Make sure you apply it liberally around the area where the caliper meets the rotor. Once you've applied the degreaser, let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

Then, wipe off the excess with a rag. The pad's surface should be cleaned properly to let it do its job perfectly.

How to lubricate brake calipers on a motorcycle?

lubricant brake calipers

Once you've cleaned the caliper, you're ready to start applying the new grease. First, you'll need to measure the amount of grease needed. If you are unsure, you can always buy more than you need. However, if you go over the recommended amount, you may have to reapply it later.

You'll need to take the caliper apart once again. Now, you'll need to put the caliper back together. It's important to remember that the caliper must be assembled correctly. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to replace the entire caliper assembly.

After putting the caliper back together, you'll need to add the required amount of grease. Apply it liberally around the entire inside surface of the caliper.

Be careful not to apply too much grease because you don't want it to drip down onto the rotor. Also, avoid getting any grease on the outside of the caliper. Such as the surface of caliper pad.

After applying the grease, close the caliper back up and reassemble it. Make sure to attach the rubber components as well, since they are crucial.

What are the benefits of cleaning and lubricating brake calipers?


Cleaning and lubricating brake calipers have a number of benefits.

First, it helps to prevent sticking and squeaking.

Second, it helps to extend the life of the caliper.

Third, it can improve braking performance.

Fourth, it can help to prevent corrosion.

Finally, it can help to prolong the life of the brakes themselves.

Note: It is essential, not mandatory, to add lubricant to pins and the caliper piston.

How often should you clean and lubricate brake calipers?

Keeping your brake calipers clean and well-lubricated is important to ensure optimal braking performance. Your calipers may need to be cleaned and lubricated every ride or as little as once a month, depending on your riding style.

If you ride in dusty or muddy conditions, it is a good idea to clean your brake calipers after each ride. If you only ride on paved roads, you can probably get away with cleaning them once a month.

When cleaning your brake calipers, use a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft brush. You don't want to damage the finish on your calipers. Once they are clean, dry them completely before applying any lubricant.

It is best to use a dedicated brake caliper grease for lubricating your calipers. This grease is designed not to degrade under high temperatures as regular greases can. Apply a small amount of grease to all moving parts of the caliper, including the piston and sliding surfaces.

What are the consequences of not cleaning and lubricating brake calipers?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you didn't clean and lubricate your brake calipers? Well, brake calipers are an essential part of your braking system, and if they aren't properly maintained, they can cause a number of problems.

For starters, brake calipers can become clogged with brake dust, which can cause the brake pads to wear down prematurely. Additionally, brake calipers can seize up, making it difficult for the brakes to release properly. And finally, if brake calipers aren't properly lubricated, they can create a lot of noise when the brakes are applied.

So, if you're looking to avoid these problems, be sure to keep your brake calipers clean and lubricated.

What type of lubricant should you use on brake calipers?

The type of lubricant you use on brake calipers will depend on the make and model of your motorcycle. However, you should generally use a high-temperature grease or synthetic brake caliper grease. This will help to protect the caliper from corrosion and prevent sticking.

Tips for keeping your brake calipers clean and lubricated.

tips from brakes hub

Here are some tips to keep your brake calipers clean:

Use a dedicated brake caliper lubricant. These greases are specifically formulated for this purpose and won’t degrade when heat exposure.

Clean your brake calipers thoroughly using a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft brush before applying any grease.

Dry your brake calipers completely before applying any grease. It is best to apply a small grease at once rather than saturating the entire surface area.

Make sure you always follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding how much grease to use and where to apply it.

Keep your brake calipers clean by wiping off dirt and grime regularly.

Avoid storing your bike outside during rainy weather. The moisture can seep into the brake calipers through the seals and cause rusting.

Lubricate the guide pins before reattaching them.

Clean all the debris from the caliper piston.

Be gentle with the motorcycle and avoid aggressive cleaning.

Keep your motorcycle in regular maintenance.

Check the brake components at least once a month.

Use a good quality brake cleaner. A good quality brake cleaner does not allow to get the brake rusty. You can also use alcohol solvent to clean the brake's nonfiction area.

While purchasing a braking product, always check the product description and product details.

The rotor and the disc should have a clean surface.

If you doubt anything about your brakes, contact a professional to get an accurate guide.

How to clean and lubricate brake calipers on a motorcycle? FAQs.

1. What is the purpose of brake calipers?

Brake calipers are one of the most important parts of your car. Without them, you would not be able to brake properly and would probably end up in a ditch somewhere. They work by pressing the brake pads against the rotors when you brake. This friction slows down the rotation of the wheels and ultimately stops the car. 

Brake calipers are usually made out of metal, but some newer cars have carbon fiber brake calipers that are even lighter and more effective. No matter what material they're made out of, brake calipers are an essential part of your car's braking system.

2. What tools are needed to clean and lubricate brake calipers?

The tools needed to clean and lubricate brake calipers include a container of solvent, a container of lubricant, a brush, paper towels or rags, rubber gloves (optional), and some disposable rags.

3. How can you tell when your brake pads need more lubrication?

There are two common warning signs that your brakes need more lubrication: squeaking noises and vibrations in the steering wheel or dashboard when braking. These indicate insufficient contact between the pad and drum, so there’s not enough friction to stop your car as quickly as possible.

4. How much grease should you apply to the caliper pins?

Grease is a lubricant used to reduce friction between two surfaces or materials. It is not necessary to apply grease to the caliper pins, as they are already lubricated.

If you apply too much grease, it will end up on the brake pads and cause them to wear out faster. If you do not apply enough grease, the caliper pins will have increased friction, and this may cause brake noise.

5. What are the most common causes of damage to brake calipers?

The most common cause of damage to brake calipers is corrosion. This can happen when they are not maintained, and the brake fluid is allowed to evaporate.


There you have it! A quick and easy guide to lubricating your brake calipers. As always, make sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to clean and lubricate your bike’s brake calipers. And most importantly, get out there and start riding.

John D. Archer

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.