We get customers bringing badly maintained bikes in sometimes but one came in last week that took the biscuit. He'd worn his brake pads right through the friction material. But he'd kept riding. And he'd started wearing the metal away.
And one pad had actually worn completely away and the piston in the caliper was gripping on the brake disc, acting like a brake pad. Word soon spread round the shop and all the staff went for a look. It was probably the worst, most dangerous neglect we've ever seen.
The bike was an old Kawasaki, made from all different bits. I'd have thought someone with the mechanical sense to bolt at least a semi-roadworthy bike together would have known how to check brake pads or at least asked someone what the problem was when the screech of metal-to-metal started. But it turned out he'd bought the bike from someone else who'd built it.He was lucky the piston hadn't come out, if it had it had his brake would have stopped working, brake fluid would have poured over the wheel and tyre, and the piston might have locked the front wheel.
We phoned the owner. Obviously we couldn't let him ride away like that. But two new discs, two sets of pads plus a caliper piston and seal was going to be over 21,000 Baht, plus the calipers looked like they could do with an overhaul, it could have easily added up to 35,000 Baht or more.
In the end he got a mate to collect it in a van and was going to fix it with used parts from a breaker. To be honest, that's probably the best idea, I just hope he doesn't try to do it himself.