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when you feel they aren't providing stopping power any more.

or just before metal on metal contact. your choice.
 

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To get a better idea of what you're looking at I would go buy a set of new pads and compare what's on my bike to the new ones and I change em at about 10-15 %....the nice thing is it only takes 5-10 min to change front pads (or rear pads)....
 

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thank god you spelled "brake" correctly! Who knows what carnage might have ensued otherwise.
 

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braking my breaks would be a bad thing ;)
Sorry folks, SkydiveSonic will be staying behind in detention for an hour because of his blatant misusue of the terms "breaking" and "braking". Any further attemtps to misuse the Queen's English in this manner shall be dealt with by application of the sternest sort. A giant Webster's Unabridged in bold print that will be dropped from a great height onto the miscreant's domicile in a scene of Python'ish proportions.

If you're doing track days I wouldn't let the pads get to much less than half thickness if you can avoid it. The pad material is a pretty effective heat insulator and the thinner it is the more heat will be conducted through the backing plate and into the caliper with a chance of it causing problems with the fluid. But on the street even if you consider yourself a fairly aggresive rider this won't be an issue and running them down to a couple of mm's or even down to 1 is OK. I'd hate to see it get less than 1 at the least since the material can loose it's ability to support itself and chunks ca begin breaking out. I've seen that on my trucks and cars when I went too far in one case and had metal to metal going on. The pad material for quite a ways back from the metal scuffing was crumbled away. So 2mm's is probably not just a marketing ploy.
 
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