About my bike

  1. Model: Honda CBR 250R
  2. Total Run: 17500kms
  3. Total Time: 1 year 1 month (rotor & break fluid never changed, break pad changed 6 months back)
  4. Break Fluid Level: 3mm above lower line


I just got my brake pads changed, both rear and front from Authorized Honda Service Center.

But there is a problem with the rear brake pad. When I press the pedal, it's ineffective at first, though it does stop the tyre with a harder push.

My mechanic says that brake pads take a while to set into their place, and it's only after 100 - 200 kilometres of driving that you would be able to achieve the pedal's fully sensitive braking.

I have driven 200kms but I still find my pedal initially ineffective on light pressing while very light breaking on medium pressing though rock solid effect on a hard push.


  • I have checked my rotor. The overall surface is smooth on touching and is not greasy. But area near inner end of the rotor looks scratchy and rusty.

Close View of Rotor

Close View of Rotor and Break Pad

Another view of Rotor

View 2 of my Rotor

  • I bleeded the break by opening the valve, pressing the break, closing the valve and releasing the break. I did this thrice and I do think I have achieved a bit improvement but not perfection yet.

What should I do to make my breaks effective as new?

4 Answers 4


New disc brake pads should feel snappy and responsive. If the line is free of bubbles, and the rotor is free of grease, the next step is to check that the brake calipers are clean and slide smoothly, that the brake pedal is properly lubricated and not sticking, and that the master cylinder is sliding freely. Sometimes a shot of chain lube right into the plunger area fixes it. But brakes are no joke. Bring the bike back and tell them your concern and use your gut to decide whether they're taking it seriously.

  • would u have to say about the condition of the rotor seeing from the picture above?
    – Ut S
    Jun 3, 2014 at 19:09
  • The rotor looks fine from the picture but I can't tell its thickness or whether it's greasy. Jun 4, 2014 at 7:35
  • It isnt greasy? And how much thickness is required? I have just drove 17k kms on this rotor n it has never been turned.
    – Ut S
    Jun 16, 2014 at 19:40
  • 1
    Your rotor says "4mm" in the photo above. That's the minimum thickness. Jun 17, 2014 at 2:47

Not sure on a bike, but if this was a car I would tell you that the shop didn't burnish or set in the pads after the brake job, or failed to turn the rotors, or the rotors were turned improperly. Based on the number of miles you have driven without improvement I am leaning toward the rotors not being turned, or turned incorrectly.

As Paulster2 pointed out in the comments they may not have cleaned the rotor off, some new rotors come with a coating on them out of the box that is suppose to be cleaned off before installation. If you didn't get a new rotor then it's unlikely the cause. They could have got grease all over the rotor when doing the brake job and didn't clean it off. Both of these would have caused a smell when you first started driving.

It's also possible that there is air in the line as jman suggests but unless they did something unusual they shouldn't have introduced air into the hydraulic system to do the brake job.

The bottom line is the brakes should function to their full capacity when it leaves the repair facility or they didn't do it correctly.

While all of these things can help you troubleshoot the problem you shouldn't start taking things apart or trying to fix it yourself. As they can then blame you for the issue. You paid a shop to repair your brakes and they are legally obligated to fix it correctly, and give you what you paid for. I would take it back to the shop immediately and demand that they fix the problem, or refund your money so you can take it to a shop that will.

  • 2
    @Paulster2 Can you imagine the litigation a shop would bring on it's self if the standard was the brakes will work correctly after you drive it about a hundred miles... May 12, 2014 at 18:42
  • 1
    One other thing to check is to ensure there isn't any grease or oil on the rotor. If they didn't clean it, this would give you similar symptoms. May 13, 2014 at 1:03
  • 2
    @UtS can you post a picture of the rotor? You really have to look at it or feel it to tell. You could also take the brake pads off and inspect the surface on those as well. But I wouldn't do any of that I would take it back to the shop and demand that they fix it. May 13, 2014 at 13:37
  • 1
    I concur with @Larry. You pay a price for a service; expect to get the service you paid for. May 13, 2014 at 13:46
  • 1
    @UtS I would at least give them a shot a fixing it. We all make mistakes, and we prefer to make them right if we can. May 13, 2014 at 16:59

The brake hydraulic system might have an air bubble in the piping or cylinder unit. You may need to "bleed" the system by pumping the brake handle until firm, holding the handle down and opening the hydraulic nipple (liquid and air should spray out), then close the nipple and repeat if necessary. Remember that faulty brakes could cost you in the end so make sure its done proper. Newly installed pads on a straight brake disk should not give hassles.

  • I bleeded thrice but dint see/not been able to see any air coming. Though it did bring some improvement but not totally.
    – Ut S
    May 13, 2014 at 19:17

That exact thing happened to me before, I replaced the brake line, the master cylinder, bleed the brake 4 times and the feeling was spongy still, what happened was that the brake pad material was not good (the pads where aftermarket). Once I put the originals the brake felt like it always was before, firm and not spongy at all. This is something the I have seen in many occasions, the originals brake pads are more hard on the material, aftermarkets are more soft(unless they are high performance brake pads like Brembo for example) that is why the spongy feeling, even when they feel hard to the touch the force you apply on braking moment is 100 time stronger. Try what I`m telling you, that happened to me a while ago, don't believe that because they are an authorized Honda Shop or what ever, they put the OEM part, believe me that happened to me.

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