Do brake drum holes increase Honda Shadow performance?

on October 08, 2019

Drilling holes in your motorcycle’s brake drum offers a few key advantages. But what happens if water gets in there? Won't that screw things up? Today’s blog post addresses these questions and more – so keep reading!


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Drilling holes in your Honda Shadow’s brake drum isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that we’ve gotten a few questions on lately, so let’s talk through it.


Why drill holes?

Essentially, drilling holes in your Honda Shadow’s brake drum can help with heat and brake dust management. The key here is to dissipate both heat and dust before it gets out of control.


Brake dust can accumulate very quickly in a Honda Shadow drum brake because the drum brake itself is relatively enclosed (with the exception of a small slit around the outside of the brake drum). Therefore, any dust your Honda Shadow generates from braking stays inside the drum brake.


Our recommendation is to drill a few small holes in the backing plate so that air passing by the brake drum can help blow out any bits of dust that might accumulate in there.

But what if water gets inside?

Some of you might be wondering, “But what if water gets in there? Won’t that screw things up?”

Well, if you’ve ever ridden in the rain, you’ll notice that water isn’t launching itself horizontally—directly into your Honda Shadow’s brake drum! Unless a car slides up next to you at a stoplight and splashes a puddle directly in there (small chance), it’s not a huge issue you need to worry about. And even in that case, the heat the brake drum generates will burn off most of the water that gets in there.


You shouldn’t have any problems braking in the rain, either, unless the water is so deep that it surrounds your entire brake drum. And if that’s really the case, then you need to get off the road, dude! It’s flooding!


Maintenance tips

The key to maintaining a Honda Shadow brake drum with holes drilled in it is to service it regularly. This means you’ll need to blow out the dust in your brake drum with an air compressor every couple hundred miles to eliminate buildup and prevent any future braking issues.


For more on servicing your Honda Shadow brake drum, watch this video!

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