New Brake Pads for Your RzR: What to Buy and How To Install Them

The types of brake pads offered for UTVs are almost as varied as the types of conditions and environments that your typical SxS is driven in. Depending on how you ride and the type of environment you usually prefer can make a big difference on what is the best brake pad for your vehicle.

First, swapping out your brake pads is very simple on your Polaris RzR and can be done with tools that are most likely already in your garage. You can get professional results as long as you pay attention to some critical steps along the way.

First, jack up the side you are changing out and remove the tire. You will need to remove the brake caliper from the rotor. For the front it is as simple as removing the two 15mm bolts. For the rear, you may need to remove your lower radius rod to access to the lower bolt.
Break each bolt loose with a 15mm socket and slide the caliper up to remove it from the rotor.
Back off the 5mm allen head adjustment screw.
With the old brake pads still on, use a c-clamp to apply even pressure to collapse the brake caliper pistons as far as they will seat.
Push the backing plate back along the sliders and slip the old brake pads off. Now is a good time to make sure the slides move easily back and forth. If they do not, pull back the rubber material and add grease to the pins and slip the rubber seal back into place.
Clean your caliper and rotors with brake cleaner. Replace the old pads with new ones and install everything back in reverse order. Note that the factory service manual says that you should replace your caliper bolts anytime that your brakes are serviced, however if you do decide to reuse your factory bolts, you MUST use a thread locking compound otherwise your calipers will eventually back off. Torque the bolts to 40 ft lbs.

Next you will need to tighten down the 5 mm allen head adjustment screw. It is very important to get this adjusted correctly. If you do not tighten it enough, you will not have full braking power. If you tighten it too much, you will prematurely wear out your new pads. The procedure is to tighten down the allen head until fully seated and then back off one half turn. After the adjustment screw is set, get in your RzR and pump up your brakes and repeat the steps for each side you are replacing.

See? Very simple! So now that we’ve shown how easy a job that changing brakes is, we move on to the most difficult thing. What are the best brakes to buy for your UTV?

The main types of brake pads available for the SxS community are semi-metallic, organic and sintered brake pads.

Sintered Brake Pads

Sintered brake pads are generally the longest lasting brake pads and are used in many racing applications. Most have a very high copper or bronze content and use a lesser degree of softer organic materials. This results in a long lasting brake pad that is highly resistant to brake fade and holds up to heat very well. They also tent to be top performers in terms of stopping power regardless of conditions such as water, dirt and mud. They’re not quite as touchy at slow speeds as a softer compound like organic pads, but offer strong consistent stopping power at higher speeds. Another benefit is that they do not glaze like organic and semi-metallic pads.

The key drawback to sintered brake pads is that they do cost a bit more and they will wear your brake rotors more than other types of pads. They also are not as quiet as the other two main types of brake pads.

Check for the Best Price on Sintered RzR Brake Pads on Amazon

Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads on made up of bound fibers and fillers and are a much softer compound that sintered brake pads. The biggest benefit of an organic pad is that they have much more progressive feel for braking than other types of brakes. Organic pads are also very quiet and wear brake rotors the least out of any brake pad material available. Organic pads create very little brake dust and as such, make it easier to clean your wheels.

One of the cons for organic pads is that because they are a softer material, they will wear significantly quicker than other types of pads. They are prone to glazing more easily and performance suffers significantly with high heat or wet and muddy conditions.

Check for the Best Price on Organic RzR Brake Pads on Amazon

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Semi-metallic brake pads are the most commonly used brake pads and generally the best types for all around riding. These pads combine the properties of sintered and organic brakes to provide an excellent compromise by offering good stopping power and extended wear. Semi-metallic pads are generally affordable and are good at higher temperatures.

However, not all semi-metallic brake pads are created equal. The ratio of organic and metallic compounds can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another. Semi-metallic brakes are also prone to glazing. The performance does decrease in wet and muddy conditions and they don’t handle heat as well as sintered, yet they do perform better in those conditions than organic pads. If you’re looking for a good all around brake pad for general use, then semi-metallic brake pads may be your best choice.

Check for the Best Price on Semi-Metallic RzR Brake Pads on Amazon
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