Yamaha R15 V4: My experience with Vesrah Ceramic Brake Pads

Using ceramic brake pads over the stock ones has its own pros and cons.

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Hello Readers!

After quite a long time, I could manage to find some time to post a small part of my R15 v4's ownership experience.

I will be covering the following topics in this post:

  • Self Maintenance (Chain Clean and Lube)
  • Vesrah Ceramic Brake Pads (2011 km experience)
  • Modification of my tail bag mount straps.

Self Maintenance:

I have been doing the regular chain cleaning and chain lube either at the ASC or when time permits, at my home itself using the paddock stand, Yamalube Chain Clean and Lube along with the 'C' shaped brush. However, recently, I got this curiosity about whether the ASC cleans the front chain sprocket (closed one) or not during the service. Why do I have this doubt? I used to feel a little hardness while shifting gears. Whether the muc and grease accumulation in the front sprocket effects gear shift and power transmission? I don't know exactly.

So, on 03-Apr-2024, I had some time at home, and also my Bengaluru ride was planned for 04-Apr-2024 since I recently changed my company and expected to join in-office at Bengaluru.

I decided to loosen the front left fairing partially, using the Allen key provided in the toolkit. Along with a T spanner, I removed the front sprocket cover. It was all ease. No rocket science as such. I removed the cover only to see the front sprocket suffocating with muc, new asphalt remains, and grease. Recently, my first set of Yamalube Chain Clean was replaced with Motul C1 Chain Cleaner 400 mL). I thoroughly sprayed this liquid in every corner possible to remove the foreign objects. It took 40 mins from my day to make the area look fresh and clean before I began washing my bike.

This is how I could view it from the side!

I took this pic after clearing a few hard deposits, but still, the amount of dirt is clearly visible!

I use Amway Car Wash concentrated liquid for washing the vehicles. In fact, this product has been in my home since my childhood. All thanks to my Dad who has the right choice when it comes to choosing the best products. I washed all the nooks and corners of the bike possible where my hands reached. After the wash, using an air blower that I bought from the local market for ₹900/-, I removed the water accumulation from the cockpit, fuel lid, and the fairings. All thanks to my OCD.

Then I let the bike dry in natural sunlight for some time. After a good homemade tea, I came back to lube the chain, this time with the Motul C2 Chain Lube (400mL). Evenly sprayed the lube over the chain. And yes, I do not keep the engine running while lubing/cleaning. All fingers are precious to me! I prefer to rotate the rear wheels manually while the other hand lubes the chain.

I can keep looking at this view all day long!

Vesrah Ceramic Brake Pads:

During the 6th service (paid), I asked Vinayak Yamaha, Domlur to replace the stock brake pads with the Vesrah Ceramic brake pads which I had brought at India Bike Week 2023, Goa from Torque Block.

The Torque Block salesperson informed me that these brake pads would not eat my brake plate. I was surprised for once, but since I did not have any past experience, I thought it might be true.Who knows, let me try it out!?

Using ceramic brake pads over stock ones has its own pros and cons. This is my initial observation, long term life I cannot comment fully at this moment. The major advantage is that the brake bite is crisp on both wheels. I can feel the bike's stopping power has improved than before. The confidence that I get now to accelerate even in the smallest of the gaps to open highways has increased.During long rides (100+ km), the rear brake's feedback used to be a little spongy when on stock brake pads, with the ceramic ones, this sponginess during long rides is negligible.

Every coin has two sides. What I did not like is that the pattern (impression) this brake pad leaves on the disc plate is not what I saw before when the stock brake pads were in place. Now, I can confirm that ceramic brake pads eat the disc plate comparatively faster, but for me, this is totally fine. So, to track how fast it eats the disc plates, I have noted down the thickness of both the disc rotors. After the 6th service, I have clocked around 20XX km with the Vesrah brake pads and I am happy with the product but with a compromise on the disc plate life.

A few days back before writing this post, I had noted down the thickness of the disc plates using a Vernier caliper.

The front disc plate is 3.91 mm thick while the minimum thickness (3.5 mm) can be seen embossed which is when the plate needs to be replaced.

The rear disc plate is 4.12 mm thick while the minimum thickness is 4 mm.

Let me track, if possible, how quickly the disc plates are eaten up. Will try to record the thickness at regular intervals as and when my job allows me to breathe!

Modification of my tail bag mount straps:

Since the first long ride with my R15 back in June 2022, I have been using the Carbonado Modpac tail bag. It does the job pretty awesome without giving me any kind of fear of my luggage rolling over and creating a bad experience. I used to strap the Modpac using the 4 straps that come with the bag under the pillion seat: 2 straps were tied firmly to the chassis (near the driver's back) and the other 2 were firmly tied to the rear chassis area (away from the driver's back). However, the 2 straps near to my back were causing the Modpac to hit me when I used to brake while encountering speedbreakers which was annoying.

Last week, I thought, why not find an alternate way to ensure these straps are permanently fixed below the pillion seats? I had the relevant tools for this which included cable ties, M8 2.5 inch nut and bolt along with the required size 'T' spanner.

There were two holes through which I could pass these bolt nuts and tighten them. After attaching all the fasteners to the chassis, I passed the straps and checked if I could close the seats with ease. Voila, it worked

Earlier, the left side two straps were a little towards the right, due to which the Modpacs were hitting me from the back while braking. This is now fixed. I recently came to Bengaluru with this setup.Works better than before but the incline of the pillion seat does push the Modpac a little towards me while braking.

This is how the 4 straps look after placing the pillion seat. OCD is also taken care of well!

By mid-April, my (baby) R15 will turn two years. And, I never regret the investment made in this machine. I have had a lot of memories with this machine all these days while clocking miles, having a lot of close calls (due to my mistake as well as fellow commuters), enjoying the symphony while cruising at triple-digit speeds at 9000 RPM, and more importantly, this machine can be tamed in whichever way you wish to!

Looking forward to munching more miles in the coming days.

Ride safe!


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