Renthal RC-1 Works Brake Pads Review

I slapped them on our 2009 KX450F and ’09 CRF250R-two bikes in our testing fleet that I’ve been personally wearing out-and on our ’09 CRF450R.

Just as power delivery has character, so does stopping all that power. I use a modern Honda stock system for a baseline when comparing brake products because it provides the most middle-of-the-road combination of progressive feel and bite. The more you pull, the slower you go and there isn’t a definite “spot” where it goes from smooth to aggressive. They’re not the strongest, but they’re generally the most usable across the range.

The Renthal RC-1 Works Brake Pads perform fairly typically for a sintered pad in comparison. That is, they have a bit of a soft initial feel to them, sort of a built-in buffer zone for heavy-handed brake grabbers. Then, the pads bite and bite hard providing an aggressive slowdown of the rotor. They’re not the most engaged pads for riders demanding precise progression and direct-to-the-rotor lever feel. Riders who drag their brakes won’t feel much from these until their tires are skidding. Or they’ll stay in the soft spot and not notice much of anything until they grab a handful.

The pads took longer to break in than stock-seems they needed a good heat cycle, not just a lap or two. This was consistent on three different test bikes. Don’t put these on right before a moto-give yourself some break-in time. Once settled, they performed consistently. Some test riders commented on the soft initial performance with more riders noticing the “too grippy” later sensation on the rear brake rather than the front. Under the lighter load of the rear tire while braking, this isn’t surprising.

The pads have proven solid performers nonetheless, and depending on your ability to adapt, you’ll likely be using these in the sweet spot in no time. Besides, they might just match your ideal braking zone. That’s your decision. Now you know where they grab.

Durability and life span are impressive, with all three bikes pushing over 12 hours each on the pads with plenty of life left.

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