Motorcycle Brake Shoes

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Drum brakes might not be as popular as they used to be, but we still like to pay homage. They were one of the first brake designs ever used on a motorcycle; they are simple, reliable, and served motorcycles well, back before bikes reached the size and speeds of today’s models. Plenty of these brakes can still be seen out and about today, and that’s why we’ve made sure to keep a great selection of brake shoes in stock, so that when you need a replacement, we can be your helping hand.

Drum brake design is one thing that has been relatively constant over time. Despite the development of improvements to help with things like heat buildup, the drum brake you see today is not all that different than the those designed at their inception. One place that improvements can be seen, however, is in the brake shoes.

Brake shoes used to be made with asbestos, that oh-so-handy material that turned out to be terrible for you. Naturally, manufacturers have quit with the asbestos and moved onto other materials. Which brings us to the options available today. Nowadays, the main kinds of brake shoes you can buy are either sintered, semi metallic, or organic.

Organic brakes shoes are made of materials like carbon, Kevlar, rubber, and glass. They make for a quiet and smooth braking experience. However, they tend to wear out faster than other types, and they don’t handle heat or wet conditions as well.

Sintered brake shoes are made primarily of different metals. This makes them responsive, durable, and more resistant to damage from heat. However, they are less smooth, less quiet, and harder on your drum.

Semi-metallic shoes are something like a cross of these two, being made with roughly 50% metal. They fall in the middle ground in pretty much every way.

Which brake shoes you choose is entirely up to you. If you want similar performance to what you are used to, it might be worth looking up what type was originally in your motorcycle. If you have any other questions, don’t be afraid to ask us; we are always happy to help here at Dennis Kirk.