Tokico brake calipers on Suzuki SV650S

How to refurbish motorcycle brake calipers?

Motorcycle brakes can degrade over time and can result in brake fluid leakage or degraded effectiveness. Dust can build up around pistons preventing them to retract causing the brake pad to constantly drag against the disc. Piston seals also lose flexibility and become stiff, even come out of their place and deform resulting in loss of their designed purpose of providing seal and smooth piston movement.

Steps to dismantle a motorcycle brake caliper

Best to also change the brake pads at the same and the maintenance requires to replace brake fluid. The operation is not costly, but requires one to have basic mechanical skills, new piston seals, (dot4) brake fluid and a socket set. The example photos show a Suzuki factory fitted two piston front Tokico brake caliper, smaller engine motorcycles and rear brakes are likely to have a smaller, one piston caliper. The hardest part is taking the pistons out as they are hard to grab and easy to damage, the key is NOT TO disconnect the brake fluid hose until step #7.

  1. Remove the caliper from the fork with a socket wrench
  2. Remove the brake pads
  3. Place a large tray below to catch some of the brake fluid
  4. Pump the brakes while watching the pistons
  5. They are unlikely to come out evenly, so place a piece of wood in the way of the outmost one
  6. Keep pumping until all pistons are even and ready to come out
  7. When the first piston pops out disconnect the brake fluid hose (as the pressure is lost)
  8. Pull out the remaining pistons carefully
  9. Remove the old rubber seals
  10. Clean off any dirt with brake fluid and a scrub
  11. Replace any damaged part if required
  12. Apply a thin layer of brake fluid to the new seal before fitting them into place
  13. Place the pistons back evenly making sure they are not tilted
  14. Replace the brake pads
  15. Reconnect the brake fluid hose
  16. Secure the caliper back in place
  17. Refill and bleed the brake fluid system appropriately
Dirty brake caliper
Dirty brake caliper
Cleaned pistons
Cleaned pistons
Refurbished caliper
Refurbished caliper

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