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  • Writer's pictureKai

Brake callipers overhaul

Updated: May 3, 2020

I wasn´t particularyhappy with the look of my current BMW R100 front break callipers. They are very visible as on all motorbikes, just not shiny enough. In fact, they are just black and I was looking for something more outstanding.

I just bought a used pair from the internet while keeping my current breakes on the bike. The state actualy doesn´t matter as everything, every part, will be replaced anyways. Please sure wearing handgloves while working with breakes at any time. Hydraulic oil is very agressive!

Step one, loosen the screws. Easiest way is clamping the parts in a vice, just protect the parts with felt. Most srews in breakes are press fitted and will not come out easy. Which isn´t a big surprise on breaks.

These break pads have seen better times I guess....

The only way getting the pistons out of of the callipers is using air pressure. Attention! The pistons will explode out of the callipers when putting air pressure on them. Always hold the callipers down, not over your face!!! Afterwards you´re good removing the rubber seals.

Afterwards it´s time cleaning everything up. In this case we use break cleaner. (Not Never Dull). Again, use appropriate gloves to protect your skin. Maybe even glasses is a good idea.

There are lot´s ways closing all wholes and threads as preparation works for spray paint. In my case wooden dowels in different sizes helped a lot. The dowels are soft enough not to damage anything. Wrap tape around the dowels until they gently close all wholes.

For the bigger wholes use a whole puncher and maybe cardboard. These puncher are available in all different sizes, although admittedly not cheap.

That´s the most time consuming part for spray paint preparation. But the end result will just be as good as the time you put into the prep works. I´m using a scalpel cutting the tape and a very tiny scissor. All right, we´re good for the spray paint job!

We want to make sure we can spray paint in one go. The only way for that is the parts are rather hanging than lying.

Inside view after spray paint. Note, the parts not painted very left out on purpose. The black surfaces are parts of the overall sealing. The breaks would leak oil if painted!!


The Brembo logos will be hand sanded back to silver, so they will add a nice detail to the breaks.

All required spare parts, new seals, pistons and screws arrived today. What a beautiful puzzle! So let´s get these together.

Not too shabby. Let´s put them where they belong to.

Hope you´ve enjoyed this little story.

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