How to Replace the Brake Pads on a Kawasaki KLR 650

Make a brake pad change on your Kawasaki KLR650 a regular part of your maintenance calendar with just a few tools and a couple of parts.

Tools and Parts Needed - Kawasaki KLR650R Brake Pad Change

Tools

  • 3/8th ratchet
  • 8mm, 12mm sockets
  • 5mm Allen 
  • Flat-blade screwdriver

Parts

There are different part numbers for the front and rear:

Replacing the Rear Brake Pads on a Kawasaki KLR650

Step 1. Remove the bracket near the rear caliper that holds the brake hose in place. 

Kawasaki KLR650 rear brake pad change

Step 2. Break loose the two pins that hold the pads in place without removing them. 

PRO TIP: It's much easier to break these pins loose while the caliper is still attached to the motorcycle. 

Kawasaki KLR rear brake pads change

Step 3. Remove the two bolts that hold the caliper on the motorcycle. This will allow you to lift the caliper away from the motorcycle, but be careful because the brake line is still attached. 

Kawasaki KLR motorcycle brake calipers

Kawasaki KLR650 brake calipers

Step 4. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to spread the pads apart. 

NOTE: On our unit, the pads were nearly new, but we're doing the procedure anyway. The point of spreading the pads is to make plenty of room for new pads with thick braking material. 

Kawasaki KLR 650 rear brake pads

Step 5. Completely remove the pins that you broke loose in Step 2. Once they're removed, you can lift the brake pads out of the caliper. 

Kawasaki KLR motorcycle brake pad calipers

Kawasaki KLR650 brake pad calipers

Step 6. Replace the rear brake pads one at a time, starting with the inboard (side of caliper closest to the wheel of the motorcycle) pad. 

NOTE: This pad does not have a C-shaped hook. There is a spring in the caliper, so you'll need to push down on the pad while pushing the pins into place. 

Kawasaki KLR rear brake pads replacement

Step 7. The outboard pad follows the same procedure, except you'll notice there's a C-shaped hook that goes around a corresponding round resting point. Slide the pins through these pads as well. 

Kawasaki KLR 650 rear brake pad change

Step 8. Replace the caliper and tighten the two 12mm bolts you removed in Step 3.   

Kawasaki motorcycle rear brake pad caliper

Step 9. Tighten the two small Allen screws that secure the brake pads.  

Brake pad replacement Kawasaki motorcycle

Step 10. Replace the bracket that holds the brake line, which was removed back in Step 1.  

Kawasaki KLR650 rear brake line bracket

Step 11. Finally, pump the rear brake pedal a couple of times to get the pads to close in a little on the rotors and build pressure in the system. 

Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycle rear brake pedal

How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on a KLR650

Step 1. Break loose the two 5mm Allens that run through the brake pads. 

PRO TIP: You don't need to remove them yet, but they're easier to get loose while the caliper is still attached to the fork. 

Kawasaki KLR650 front brake pad replacement

Step 2. Remove the 12mm bolts that hold the caliper on the fork. This will allow you to lift the caliper away with the brake line still attached.   

Kawasaki motorcycle front brake pad calipers

Kawasaki KLR 650 front brake caliper

Step 3. Use a flathead screwdriver to push the pads in and compress the brake pistons.  

Kawasaki KLR front brake pads change

Step 4. Remove the two Allen screws you loosened in Step 1. This will enable you to lift out the brake pads. If there's buildup on the pins, use a wire brush to clean them off a bit. 

Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycle front brake pad removal

Step 5. Position the inboard pad first, then push against it to line up the holes so you can send the Allen screws through. Then it's the same procedure for the outside pad, with the same C-shaped hook. Run the Allen screw through this outer pad as well and hand-tighten it.

NOTE: The procedure to replace the front brake pads is the same as in Steps 6-7 for the rear brake pads.

Kawasaki KLR 650 front brake pads change

Kawasaki KLR front brake pad outer

Step 6. Replace the brake caliper, and then replace and tighten the 12mm bolts that hold the caliper in place.  

Kawasaki KLR650 front brake caliper

Step 7. Tighten the 5mm Allen screws that hold the pads in place.  

Kawasaki KLR motorcycle front brake pad replacement

Step 8. Finish the job by pumping the brake lever a couple of times to build up brake pressure.  

Kawasaki KLR 650 front brake pad replacement final step

Now that you're done with the brake pads, are you ready to change out the brake fluid on your Kawasaki KLR650? Before you do, here's how to bleed the brakes on your Kawasaki motorcycle. 

 

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