Motorcycle Wheel Squeak: Causes & How To Stop It

Motorcycle Front Or Back Wheel Squeak Causes & How To Fix It

It’s common for motorcycle wheels to squeak in the front, back, or both. All the rider wants is to understand why the squeaking is happening.

Whether you’re riding at a slow or fast speed, you can’t seem to escape that squeaking sound. So what causes motorcycle wheels to squeak?

Motorcycle wheels squeak due to uneven contact between the rotor/disc and brake pads. Damaged wheel bearings can also cause squeaking noise. Cleaning the brake pads and caliper pistons will solve this problem. Replacement of rusted or wrapped parts is necessary.

A small gap should be present between the rotor and the pads when the motorcycle is in motion.

The absence of this small space between these two parts can cause uneven wear and tear of brake pads.

Dust, grime, and pollutants gathering between brake pads and rotor can make the front or back wheel squeak.

In some cases, wheel bearings may get damaged, which would cause squeaking or rattling noise.

Or it can be due to wheel alignment issue which can play a major in wheel squeaking and I have written an article on which will help you tremendously.
Click Here To Read: Symptoms Of Bad Wheel Alignment And How To Fix It FAST!

In this article, we will talk about multiple causes that result in motorcycle wheel squeaking and how to fix the wheel squeak problem once and for all.

Motorcycle squeaking is quite common in both monsoon season and polluted environments.

Over time brake pads will lose their efficiency because they tend to disintegrate. Deterioration of the brake pads is a direct result of two things (Natural Brake pad lifespan & excessive hard braking).

If you do an excessive amount of hard braking, it will produce a higher amount of heat and friction between the pads and rotor causing it to deteriorate faster.

Most Common Causes For Motorcycle Wheel Squeaking

Riders often encounter problems with brakes or wheels while riding. Many of these issues, both common and uncommon are often ignored.

So here’s a list of the most common causes for a motorcycle’s front or back wheel to create a squeaking noise.

  1. Dirt Buildup around brake caliper pistons.
  2. Wrong wheel alignment and balancing.
  3. Damaged Wheel Bearings.
  4. Uneven Contact Between Brake Pads & Rotor
  5. Faded Brake Pads

These are the direct causes and reasons behind your motorcycle wheel squeak noise.

How To Stop Motorcycle Wheel Squeaking Noise

Replacing worn-out brake pads and damaged wheel bearings will certainly stop the wheel squeaking noise. Routine maintenance like cleaning grease and dirt around brake components such as caliper pistons and brake pads will prevent wheel squeaking and related issues.

The method to stop the squeaking noise from the wheels is a two-part solution.

First, inspect brake pads and caliper pistons to decide if they need cleaning or replacement. Then check the wheel bearings condition.

Part 1: Inspect The Brake Caliper Pistons & Brake Pads Condition

brake pads

Here’s a step-by-step process of cleaning your pads from dirt stuck on them. Or evening out the brake pad, which might be causing that squeaking noise.

  1. Remove the brake pads from the motorcycle and use 150-grade sandpaper in a circular motion; this action will remove all the dirt.
  2. Repeat sandpaper rubbing on both sides of the rotor.
  3. Apply 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol to the brake pads and ignite it with the lighter; this action will burn off all oil, grease, and contaminants.
  4. Clean the rotor and brake pads with tissue paper.
  5. Use a Brake Cleaner & brush to clean the dirt on the caliper pistons.
  6. Reassemble the brake pads, and remember to enjoy the ride.

If the issue persists, it’s time to replace the brake pads or caliper pistons.

Part 2: Inspect The Wheel Bearing Condition

wheel bearings

Wheel Bearing Noises from the motorcycle is quite uncommon, but there’s a caveat.

If you still feel strong vibrations through your handlebar despite your motorcycle wheels and rims being fine, it indicates that your wheel bearing could be damaged causing the wheels to squeak.

So how should you inspect your motorcycle’s wheel bearing condition? Just read the instructions carefully and you will be golden!

Inspecting and Replacing Motorcycle Wheel Bearings

  1. Place the motorcycle on a center stand or paddock stand, ensuring both front and rear wheels are elevated for inspection.
  2. With the wheel in the air, push and pull it to check for any wobbling sensation.
  3. Pull the wheel from left and right to see if it wobbles.
  4. Clicking sound or play during the inspection may indicate a worn wheel bearing.
  5. For a thorough inspection, remove the wheel and clean the wheel bearing region using a contact cleaner or a similar solvent.
  6. Visually inspect the bearings and rotate them with your finger. Any resistance indicates the need for replacement.

Fixing and Installing New Wheel Bearings

  1. Gather necessary tools including a hammer, long drift, bearing driver kit, torch, flat blade screwdriver, grease, contact cleaner, new wheel bearings, and seals.
  2. Remove the wheel seals with a flat-blade screwdriver, being careful not to touch the hub.
  3. Apply heat to the hub using a torch to expand the aluminum, facilitating easier removal of the old bearings while preserving the hub. (Only apply heat if the bearings are harder to come out)
  4. Use a long drift punch tool to tap on the inner race perimeter to drive out the bearing along with the spacer.
  5. Repeat for the other side.
  6. Clean the bearing race and hub using contact cleaner, then apply grease to the inner and outer race of the new bearing.
  7. Heat the wheel hub and carefully tap the new bearing into place using a hammer, ensuring even tapping around the perimeter. Repeat for the other side. (Only apply heat if the bearings are harder to fit in)
  8. Install new wheel seals by hand, applying grease to the outer and inner edges for smooth operation.

This inspection or troubleshooting process will help you find out what’s wrong with your motorcycle wheel bearing and whether it needs replacement or not to stop the squeaking noise.

But if you are uncertain and don’t possess any knowledge about the mechanics, you can take your motorcycle to a repair shop.

Motorcycle wheel bearings don’t make noises or require maintenance unless it has undergone rough usage.

Overuse of motorcycles for tricks like wheelies, stoppies, offroading, and rough terrain riding causes scraping noises from wheel bearings and increased vibration in the handlebar.


Keeping the wheels and brake pads in good shape is one of the most important factors to prevent wheel squeaking noise. Now you know how to inspect and stop the wheel squeaking noises.

Noises from the wheels are more common than you think, occasional squeaks here and there are not a big deal but if it’s consistent get it fixed as soon as possible.

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