My dealer carrying out the one year service on my bike has told me I need new rear brake pads and that they are nearly ‘down to the metal’. This is after just 4000 miles of mostly London commuting. This got me thinking about consumables and how often parts should be replaced. So how long for the following:

  1. Rear brake pads…4000 miles?

  2. Front brake pads?

  3. Chain?

  4. Tyres (yeah I should know this one)?

  5. Spark plug?


I’ve only ever replaced one set of rear pads on any of the bikes I’ve owned over the last 23 years - just never use them :slight_smile:
I get through a set of tyres every couple of months or so - I bought the bike in June 07, and am about to fit the ninth rear tyre at the weekend.
Chain - about one a year (15k miles-ish)
Front pads - 5-6k miles-ish, depending on the compound and manufacturer.Got wavey discs now, so that figure will probably come down
Plugs - whenever I do a service…

My rear pads on the VFR lasted about 6500 and that’s with linked brakes so the back comes on with the front lever as well as the pedal. Front pads last a bit longer, strangely. Your 4000 doesn’t sound enough to me so I’d check the brake isn’t dragging, the piston(s) retracting properly and the pads are sliding ok on the pin. Check the disc as well.Chain - depends how you look after it. Mine’s done 8000 with a Scottoiler and has only needed adjusting twice.

Plugs - changed every 8000 as per Honda’s service schedule though they’d probably last much longer but why risk it?

I got 12000 out of a front Avon on the CBR but the VFR has just gone through a pair of Bridgestones in half that, so it depends what you’ve got and how you use it. Cue smutty replies…

How longs a bit of string?

It all depnds on how and where you ride.

  1. Rear brake pads…4000 miles?

  2. Front brake pads?

I’ve never worn brake pads out, current bike has done 11k and they still look nearly ‘new’.

  1. Chain?

How well do you keep yours oiled? Mine has a scottoiler fitted and has only needed a couple mm of adjustment on the reat wheel in 11k.

  1. Tyres (yeah I should know this one)?

Hugely dependant on riding style, power and compounds. I get nearly 10k from fronts and 6k from rears running touring tyres.

  1. Spark plug?

These can often last double the recommended time, as the proper workshop service manual for my bike state the often replacement is due to the poor grade fuel you get in America. However I get mine changed as recommended as I do high miles and need reliability. They probably pay for themselves in economy over using old plugs. In the past I’ve run car spark plugs upto 25k!

I have nearly 10500 miles on mine in just over a year and to date the rear and front pads have not been changed, the chain has not needed adjustment and is fine, tyres last me about 4500 for a rear and about 7000 for a front and the spark plugs got changed at the service at 8000 miles.To need the rear pads changed you must be resting your foot on the brake pedal to wear through them that quickly.

I ride sensibly at all times :wink: mostly in Central London.I was a bit suprised about the rear pads though. I have hardly used the rear brakes recently but I do think the initial problem I had with the pedal lever being set too high/bent up when I first got the bike is actually what caused most of the wear. But then again maybe the brake was binding- I’ll be looking out for this when I get the bike back. They are fitting a new caliper anyway- as they managed to break it while taking out the pads. :w00t:

  1. Rear pads, almost every service except for the last one. Lots of commuting and filtering. Always used the rear brake never the front. Better for slow speed control.

  2. About 12K I think but I double check the service invoices

  3. Still on the original at 28K with no signs of wearing out.

  4. 10K on the last rear and 10K on the last front.

  5. As per service schedule.

My bikes covered 16k miles now had 3k on when I bought it 18 months ago and I’ve not replaced any rear pads as I hardly ever use the rear brake apart from when doing a hill start but at 15k I fitted my 2nd set of front pads & had a new chain & sprockets at 14k - sprockets were fine but chain had loads of tight spots. Not had to fit a new set of discs yet & I fit a new set of plugs every other service.

When is the right time to change a chain?

before it breaks :wink:

once you’ve started to see stretching and tight spots get a new 'un. defo not worth making it last - the potential damage to you and the bike is on the large side (bit like chunky :smiley: )

By tight spots I assume you mean when the slack varies by more than about 10mm across the entire chain?

Thats right yeah - makes good adjustment of the chain quite a pain in the backside :slight_smile:

you will know its gone when you adjust the chain and within a week of normal riding it needs adjustment again…likely its buggered. they get rattly when they are going as well…

I hate spark plugs they should last forever and likely they could but two strokes eat them by the bucket load and fourstrokes go a lot better with new plugs…all cars and bikes should have twin plugs…

2000 ZX9R (E1)

I got her at 9k, she’s now running 20k

I’ve changed front pads twice (but literally only put thesecond set of new pads in last weekend) and rear pads once.

The chain has been replaced once.

The sparks never, cos they’re still good

I’d recommend changing oil filters every 2 or 3k, change oil the same or more often if you can be arsed.

Might also want to give your air filter a check too.

Tyres, as and when they stop gripping :smiley: or the police nick you for riding bald!

jeez…do you lot even ride your bikes:w00t::smiley:

when i had the SV6…

rear pads- approx 4000miles

front pads-approx 3000-4000miles

rear tyre- every few months-KD punctures and tourque take there toll:D

chain- around -6-7000 miles

good knows what teh thou will be like!

bear in mind i rode my bike EVERY day…and during summer i did alot of runs through the lanes.and lots of KD:D

I ride mine every day for work and whenever I feel like going out for a spin.
I average about 15k miles a year (and it’s only a 25 mile round trip commute)
Biggest cost for me is tyres - In the last 18 months I’ve spent over a grand on 'em.
I also get through a lot of brake fluid cos I change it every couple of months.

maybe they’ve heard of engine braking…or chain maintainance? :stuck_out_tongue:

Aww boll***s when did that come in ? :slight_smile:

Rear brake pads: 3.5K. That’s when I discovered what sh*t Italian calipers and pins were. The plot was part sticking on due to corrosion.

Rust aside, the rest depends on use and mileage.

Just to make life complicated, Il Bandito (aka Idiot Boy) got silly mileage from brake pads and chains on his 650 Bandit commuter. And he rides like a maniac each day.

Brakes I can understand, he doesn’t use them, but the rest defeats me. Both bike and rider defy logic.