Long term review: Volar Motorsports brake pads. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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  • 2 Post By swingset
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-12-2016, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Long term review: Volar Motorsports brake pads.

Disclaimer: These are cheap pads commonly available on fleabay or Amazon. I realize this brings out the hysterics so know this: I don't care if you disapprove, or think spending $12 on a set is foolish, or risky. I've used plenty of EBC's and OEM's and using these was as much a test as it was a long term strategy - if in any way I felt they were poor, faulty, or I experienced danger while braking with them I would have pulled them off and replaced them with haste.

So, with that, I have 15k on a set of front and rear pads using the Volar Carbon Kevlar pads from Amazon. Ordered as a set they are $24 shipped, or about $12 for either end.

The kevlar/sintered debate aside (I prefer carbon kevlar as I ride a lot of wet & dirty conditions and prefer the better stopping in poor conditions verses the dry grip superiority of sintered pads), what I really wanted to know with these pads is are they decent enough to use in the place of OEM or EBC's, and how was their longevity and stopping power by comparison.

So, when my bike was new (to me) it had half-worn EBC HH sintered pads on it, and as a test I did some panic stopping on the side street I live in and marked & measured the distance and then repeated the test with the Volar pads when new, half used, and now near the end of their life, along with comparing overall feel and performance in dry and inclement conditions.

I did a stop at 30mph, and one at 60mph...trying my absolute best to be consistent and stop as smoothly and firmly as possible without wheel lockup/ABS kicking in. I did 3 stops per test and averaged the stops.

So, here's what I found and realize this ain't science just my experience on an '09 Wee that's ridden fairly hard.

1. The Volars did not stop as well as the EBH sintered pads, in dry conditions. But, that difference was marginal...just under 3' longer from a 60mph hard stop (130 feet verses 133 with the Volars). This is not surprising to me, I expected a difference and actually expected more of one.

2. The Volar carbon kevlars did not deteriorate much at all in stopping power from new to half used to nearly gone. In fact, on any given day I had a hard time telling if the braking distance was me or the pads...it was usually within a couple feet, plus or minus. This was a favorable result, and I'm very surprised to see that kind of consistency throughout their lifespan.

3. Their performance in dirt and wet weather was noticeably better than the EBH pads, they shed water very quickly, and gripped hard in mud or heavy rains. If there is a "felt" difference on dry pavement, it was beyond my senses to pick up.

4. Because of #3, I suspect, they did not last long in my use. By 10k miles the fronts were nearly 2/3's gone and have not been ridden hard the last 5k, the rears are about 1/2 gone at 15k. I suspected they were a short-life pad, and that appears to be about what I thought I might get out of them. In general, I'm very hard on chains, tires & pads.

5. They have not been noisy or squeaked at all, and having run carbon kevlars on dirt bikes many times before I was a little surprised, as most have been chirpier than HH or sintered pads.

So, have they done well for me? Yes, absolutely...they have exceeded my expectations and I think the value is hard to deny if you are hard on pads (as I am). I have not so far experienced any erratic, deteriorated or bad braking behaviors from these pads, and having removed them today and given them a good examination they appear to be very evenly worn with no glazing, hot spots or separation from the base plates. In heft and feel, they appear no better or worse than the stockers or EBH pads. Would I buy them again? Already did, have a set coming via Amazon today. So, take this all for what it's worth...just one guy's experience. If you have used these and have a comment, I'd like to hear it, good or bad and if you are considering using them I hope this gives a little perspective from a real world user.
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Last edited by swingset; 05-12-2016 at 04:15 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-23-2016, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for the review. After reading the op's comments I decided to try a set. At $12 a set (front and rear) delivered I wasn't worried if I didn't like them. The pads came in last night so I threw the rears on since they are the most warn. The pads a little snug on the rotors and a quick ride around the block indicated they are to snug. After less than a mile with 6 or 8 mild stops the rotor was to hot to touch. Tonight I plan on taking the squeal pad out but leaving the stainless steel keeper in place. That should resolve the problem. I was wondering if anyone else noticed this with the Volar or any other pads.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-30-2016, 03:48 PM
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Follow up. I took the squeal pads out and left the stainless keeper in. Pads fit with no fuss. I've got only a couple hundred miles on them so far and I'd say they are a little better than the stock pads. Leaving the squeal pads out has had no ill affects. Looks like it is going to rain on my way home today so I'll see how they do wet. So far very happy with the pads.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-30-2016, 05:09 PM
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This is all very interesting and good data. The volar pads are actually generic Chinese pads in Volar packaging. They sell for about 85 cents a pair in large bulk quantities. So don't be surprised if you see even cheaper prices on Ebay for carbon kevlar pads being mailed from China.

I got 35K out of my last set of brake pads before buying new ones. The new pads were still hanging on the wall when I sold the bike. Never did put them on. But at $12 for a whole set they certainly can serve a purpose even if they don't last long.

BTW, I hear EBC has a hybrid pad now. Mix of sintered and organic.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-11-2017, 09:53 PM
 
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What an awesome review. Very professional and very informative. Thank you for doing this, it made me feel better that I bought this set. I haven't installed them yet, my brakes are doing pretty well on my vstar 1100. I was going to install them until I took the bike into the show to have them check the brakes out. They said they are still good to go and don't need to change them.

Thanks again,
David
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