This paper investigates the response of lead rubber bearings (LRBs) under bidirectional earthquake excitations when lead core heating effect is of concern. For this purpose, a series of nonlinear response history analyses were conducted with a bilinear force-deformation relation for LRBs. In the considered bilinear representation, the strength of LRBs deteriorates because of lead core heating under cyclic motions. Response of LRBs was studied in terms ofmaximum isolator displacements (MIDs) and maximum lead core temperature as a function of isolator characteristics (characteristic strength to weight ratio, Q/W, and post-yield isolation period, T). Nonlinear response history analyses were performed using two sets of ground motions clustered according to their soil classifications. To quantify the interacted effects of coupled analysis and lead core heating on MID, unidirectional analyses were also performed. Furthermore, the efficacy of equivalent lateral force procedure in estimating the MID of LRBs was also tested for the cases in which temperature-dependent behavior of LRBs was considered. The results demonstrate that the temperature rises in the lead core of LRBs in bidirectional analyses are approximately 50% higher than that of unidirectional ones. It decreases with increasing Q/W ratio and T. It is also revealed that equivalent lateral force procedure gives close estimations for MID with some overestimation even for temperature-dependent behavior of LRBs. Copyright (C) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.