How to Replace the Brake Pads on a Harley-Davidson Road King

by Thomas WestUpdated November 07, 2017
itstillruns article image
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • ¼-inch 12-point box end wrench

  • 10mm wrench

  • Flat-blade screwdriver

  • Replacement brake pads

  • Brake pad lubricant

Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer that began producing two-wheeled vehicles in the early part of the twentieth century. The Road King is a large touring bike that comes with a twin-cam V-twin engine, saddlebags and full-length floor boards. The Road King is even available with an optional side car. To slow down the 812-lb. motorcycle, proper brake maintenance is a must.

Locate the brake caliper, which is mounted on the front disc brake rotor. Loosen, but do not remove, the two small brake pad holding pins with a 12-point ¼-inch box end wrench in a counterclockwise direction.

Remove the two bolts that attach the caliper to the front fork with a 10mm wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Set the bolts aside. Slide the caliper down the rotor to clear the front fender. Use caution as the flexible brake line will still be connected to the caliper.

Insert a flat-blade screwdriver in between the two brake pads in the caliper and pry the pads apart, which pushes the piston back into the brake caliper, making room for the new thicker brake pads.

Remove the brake pad holding pins that were loosened in step 1. Slide the brake pads up out of the brake caliper and discard them.

Apply a thin coat of brake pad lubricant to the backside of the new brake pads to keep them from squeaking in the future. Slide the pads into the brake caliper with the curved end towards the rear of the motorcycle. Run the brake pad holding pins into the mounting holes in the caliper, but do not tighten them.

Slide the brake caliper back onto the rotor and tighten the two holding bolts with a 10mm wrench in a clockwise direction. Tighten the brake pad pins with a ¼-inch wrench.


The rear brake pads can be removed and installed without removing the caliper, but the right-hand saddlebag must be removed. Remove the saddlebag holding bolts. Lift the bag from the bike and place it on a towel to keep it from getting scratched. Loosen and remove the brake pad pins with a ¼-inch wrench. Pry the pads out carefully with a flat blade screwdriver. Insert new pads into the caliper and replace the pins with a ¼-inch wrench. Replace the saddlebag and tighten the holding bolts.

More Articles

article divider