Royal Enfield’s Himalayan mini adventure bike has been a great success, thanks to its charm and keen price, of less than £5,000 brand new. However, it is not without its limitations and one has been an-almost universal panning of the bike’s front brake. Generally described as wooden, with little to no feel and with very poor bite and ultimate braking performance, it’s a good thing the bike only has 24bhp and can’t pile on the speed!
The brakes do actually work but they need a lot of pressure on the lever and that lack of bite and feel can be quite un-nerving at times; you have to remind yourself it will stop, even if it doesn’t feel like it. However, like many bikes with a similar problem, it can be improved, to varying degrees, with a change of brake pad.
Typically, HH-rated pads are a good step up from standard, OE-fitment pads. These give a higher (in some cases, the highest) coefficient of friction in the manufacturer’s range and these, from giant Ferodo, are recommended by numerous Enfield fans and are sold by Enfield accessory specialist Hitchcocks.
Ferodo HH Sintered Brake Pads
Make sure you select the right pair for your model before purchasing
Ferodo describes these pads as giving the highest bite and braking performance of its road-pad range and they use sintered material, which is produced by fusing powdered material under extreme heat and pressure. This helps them to work well in wet as well as dry conditions and are often very durable.
Changing the pads is easy – they are designed as direct replacements so on the Himalayan, you simply remove the caliper, change the pads and put it back on again. Once on, the new pads will need a little bedding-in before they work at their best.
Once that had been done, there was a noticeable improvement in the initial bite; the brakes responded much better to the first application and this helped improve reassurance and confidence in the bike as a whole. However, what was slightly disappointing was that the ultimate braking power felt roughly the same as it did on the factory pads. This suggested that while the bite was improved, more heat might be necessary to get an improvement in outright stopping power.
In terms of wear, the Ferodo pads appeared to wear slightly faster than the OE pads – as you would expect with higher-performing pads, albeit with better initial bite. However, at just £30 for the pair (the Himalayan uses a single front disc and calliper) they are just £10 more than OE replacements and that it a price worth paying for the additional reassurance.
These pads from Ferodo do improve the brakes’ initial bite and as a result, offer more confidence and reassurance in their operation. However, they are not the panacea that one might hope; I didn’t find the bike’s ultimate stopping power was much better though this might improve further if you work the brakes harder. At just £10 more expensive than OE pads though, I feel they are worth the extra spend.
Improve initial bite
Just £10 dearer than OE pads
Manufacturer by braking giant
Do not perceptibly improve outright stopping power