What replacement pads should I consider?
Deciding on composition
When it comes time to replace your brake pads, there are several choices for the EX250. There is one most popular choice on the 250 board, however, and that is EBC. EBC is also, not coincidentally, the easiest brand to find. There are some rider comments at the end of this article on EBC and SBS pads.
The first thing you have to do when you look for new brake pads is to decide what composition you want them to have. There are two basic categories: sintered metal, and kevlar/organic/semi-metallic/ceramic (lumped together as "standard" or "organic"). All new bikes have sintered metal pads front and rear from the factory. Sintereds have better stopping power and less fade than other kinds of pads, so that is naturally what is recommended for the front pads. You do not want to put anything other than sintered metal pads on the front of your bike.
The rear, however, may involve more personal preference and riding style. Most people, especially for the EX250, probably don't need or want sintered pads in the rear. The bike's tendency to lock the rear is well-documented. The aftermarket pads that we recommend here are all going to have more stopping power than the stockers (Galfer Blacks excepted). You'll have to decide what will be the safest combination for you. You'll still be able to stop just fine with organic brakes out back; if you ride really hard and use your rear brake a lot, you may be a candidate for sintered rear pads. If you are like one of our esteemed Administrators and are really easy on your rear brake, getting over 50,000 miles out of the original pads, you probably don't need sintereds.
Bedding-in the pads: Before you ride the bike really hard, you have to bed your pads to the rotors. Wash the rotors (Water Only, no chemicals or cleaners on them). Then, pay careful attention to the bed-in instructions that came with the pads. They're different for different pad compounds/companies, and what works best for pad X may not necessarily be best for pad Y.
A note on friction ratings: Brake pads are tested, then rated according to the amount of friction they provide. (This is the condensed version). The pads in this survey go from a rating of 'G' for the Galfer Black to HH. The higher the letter, the more friction they provide. In other words, Galfer Greens, at GG, will stop better than the Blacks, but aren't as strong as the HH Sintered. You usually only see companies displaying this rating on their top-end pads, the sintered "HH". Many times you won't see it listed. In general, most Standard pads are GG, and most Sintereds are HH.
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Brake pad companies
Note: The dealers listed next to some of the part numbers are shown as a convenience to you. For some of these pads, it is a virtual impossibility to find them online. You will have better luck with your local shops. EBCs are everywhere; it's the others that take some research, and we thought we would share our findings.
If you've been running the stock pads and feel comfortable with them and don't need an upgrade, you can certainly put OEM's back on. Be aware that most aftermarket pads (excepting DP) are somewhat cheaper. OEM pads, for front and rear, are $81 shipped from Ron Ayers. You can always check with your local dealer, too. They will sell Kawasaki and, most likely, other brands.
Stock part numbers:
SBS brakes are pretty popular (see below) for the Ninja, but they are somewhat difficult to find online. Your best bet is to either check your local dealer or go to Parts Unlimited, find their Dealer Locator, and have one of the dealers that comes up order them for you from the Parts Unlimited Street Catalog.
Front StreetExcel Sintered: SBS 597HS
You want the High Friction ('H' in part number) option for the front (HS, not HF) and the Low Friction ('L' in the part number) for the rear.
Dennis Kirk part numbers:
Front StreetExcel Sintered: 192054
Dennis Kirk doesn't reference these part numbers specifically for the EX250, but you can check against the manufacturer's number to make sure you're getting the right part. Ordering by Dennis Kirk part number is the easiest way to find your brake pads. The rear ceramic may be labeled "615LFS"; disregard the "S" in the number. It's just a packaging code.
Ferodo has been a top brake manufacturer for a century. They deal with many race teams in the US and Canada, but also make street-oriented pads. They have indicated to the FAQ staff that if you can't find a local dealer that can get Ferodo pads, then you can source them directly from their N American distributor, Brake Tech.
Front SinterGrip ST: FDB481ST
A Japanese company that offers a quality, inexpensive alternative to OEM. Vesrah custom-compounds their pads for different-sized bikes and riding conditions.
Front Sintered: VD427JL
Dennis Kirk part numbers:
Front Sintered: 193088
Dennis Kirk's cross-reference may not include the EX250. Order by part number. As long as the part number is right, you're set. They list their number and the manufacturer's part number side by side.
DP Brakes was previously a division of Dunlop Aviation. Dunlop invented the disc brake, originally for airplanes, and developed sintered metal technology as a tool for ever-heavier aircraft to be able to stop in wet conditions. Unfortunately, we don't get their best street pad, the DP "Sport", for the EX250. What we get is the DP Standard, which is, according to their website, "GG friction rated and made with DP Brakes' proven sintered metal material. An excellent replacement pad for touring and street machines where pad durability is the main concern." If your riding is mostly commuting, this could be the pad for you. This should also be a good choice if you want a sintered pad that doesn't grab as much as the HH pads.
Front Sintered "Standard": DP 314 (Dennis Kirk #191617)
Galfers come in a variety of compounds, and are sold under different names.
At least part numbers are easy. You choose the base part number, then specify which compound you want. Front is: FD 090 / Rear: FD 104
All compositions at cyclebrakes.com
Front Sintered & Rear Black at Bike Bandit
EBCs are available everywhere. They're by far the most popular replacement choice for club members.
Front Sintered: FA 129HH
Comments and opinions