Brakes are crucial for any vehicle, and even more true for go-karts due to off-road and racing use. However, many kart owners take the braking system’s importance and complexity for granted. Whether you are planning to purchase a new braking system or fix your current one, you should adequately understand how go-kart brakes work.
So, today, I have discussed the function of go-karts in detail. You’ll also find my recommendations about the best kart brake options. Overall, keep reading if you are after a complete kart brake guide.
Do Go-Karts have Brakes?
Yes, go-karts have brakes. Moreover, the brakes on karts are far more advanced these days than they used to be. Kart brakes are typically located on the rear axle. Go-karts mostly use disc or drum brakes and use friction to reduce speed.
What brakes are used in Go-Kart?
Braking is an integral part of go-karts. So, whether it’s purchasing, maintaining, or knowing how a go-kart brake system works the types of brakes and which one will be most suitable for you. There are several types of go-kart brakes out there. But among them, the three below are the most commonly seen.
- Band brake
You can say band braking is one of the most ancient ones used on a vehicle. This system is a solid and compact one and is used in the most basic karts out there. You should look at this braking system if you plan to get high pressure with little input.
Due to the simple construction, maintenance is pretty easy, too, with this brake. However, the weak point of the band brake is the poor heat dissipation, which results in lost brake force.
- Drum brake
Drum brakes are another widespread brake type for intermediate go-karts. It has been around for years and is only used on the rear axle of the karts out there. However, disc brakes are slowly taking the place of drum brakes.
Still, drum brakes can have more braking force than a same-diameter disc brake. Moreover, drum brakes are easily fixable, and replacement parts are widely available on the market. If we look at the drawback, it’s the same poor heat dissipation and braking power.
- Disc brake
Disc brakes, the latest type used on various vehicles and karts, are no different. While it is the most expensive variant, it’s more effective and reliable. Nowadays, almost all the new karts come with disc brakes.
Unlike other brakes, it has excellent heat dissipation and dries quickly, making it more effective in bad weather. Furthermore, they are easier to clean and have the strongest gripping power.
How do Go-Kart Brakes Work?
Before you choose which brake will suit you, you need to know how these brakes functions. Below, I have discussed how go-kart brake work.
- Disc brakes
A disc brake’s function is a lot similar to the one on a bicycle. Remember, there are three key components, the brake pads, the caliper, and the rotor. A moving kart has kinetic energy, and the brake must remove it to stop it. When you pull the brake, the caliper squeezes the brake pads, and the pads squeeze the discs. The friction ultimately slows down the vehicle.
- Drum brakes
Drum brakes are mainly used rear wheels, and their functionality is more complex than disc brakes. This brake has more key components too. The components include a drum, a shoe, a cylinder, a spring, and a self-adjustor. When you press the brake pedal, the piston pushes the brake shoes against the drum. This friction between the brake shows a drum reduces the motion and stops the kart.
Let’s Check out the best go-kart brakes you should buy
1. TBVECHI 50-125cc Go-kart ATVs Rear Brake Caliper Assembly and Rear Brake Disc
TBVEHI isn’t the most familiar name when it comes to brake manufacturers. However, it’s more like a hidden gem among hundreds of options on the market with all the right features. At a super affordable price, the specification and feature set makes it one of the best go-kart brake.
Starting with the disc, it’s 3mm thick and has a diameter of 158mm. This thickness and diameter are impressive as a disc brake for ATVs and go-karts. The next thing we got to talk about is the ease of mounting. Installing these brakes is easy, thanks to the 8mm mounting hole and 68mm spacing.
Compatibility is a big issue for brakes, but you don’t have to worry about that with this TBVECHI brake. This brake will work fluently if you own a Chinese-made 50-125cc kart, ATV, or any four-wheeler. Moreover, the braking hose is 150 long, which should be long enough to install the brake in your four-wheeler.
There isn’t much going on in the packaging department. The brake comes with the standard disc brake pad and the caliper assembly.
- Hose Length: 1550mm
- Thickness of Disc: 3mm
- Diameter of Disc: 158mm
- Diameter of Centre Hole: 48mm
- Mounting Hole Diameter: 8mm
- Mounting Hole Spacing: 68mm (Diagonal)
- Long braking hose
- Convenient installation
- Compatible with most 50-125cc four wheelers
- Affordable price
- Only for rear wheels
- Single disc size
2. MOFANS 150CC Go-kart Disc Brake Master Cylinder Kit Complete Brake Assembly
MOFANS brings the whole package for those looking for a complete braking solution for their go-kart. One of the key selling points of this braking package is its universal compatibility. Whether you own a trail master or a hammerhead, the brakes work smoothly with 150cc go-karts or ATVs.
Hammerhead and Trailmaster karts are prevalent among go-kart lovers. If the default go-kart braking system goes wrong, you can always rely on the MOFANs 150cc go-kart disc brake system. You won’t feel any difference in braking performance.
The compatibility doesn’t just stop at Hammerhead and Trailmaster. There are other popular ATV models from Yamaha where you can easily install this brake. You can find the compatible vehicles on the product page.
All the parts of this braking system are made out of high-quality materials. So, if you are planning to use it for a long time, MOFANS has got you covered. The front disc has a diameter of 220mm, while the rear discs have a diameter of 128mm.
For their discs, there are three cables, and they are pretty long to install the brakes conveniently. Altogether, we are looking at a very reliable and solid braking system for any ATV and surface.
The replacement part numbers are given on the product page too. So, if your braking system becomes faulty in the future, you’ll have all the parts available online for you to fix it. If you are planning to buy this brake package, don’t forget to keep the bleeder facing up for optimum braking performance.
- Master cylinder brake pedal bolts spacing = 20mm/0.79Inches
- Master cylinder mounting hole = 60mm/2.36Inches; center to center
- Front Left Cable = 860mm / 33.86Inches
- Front Right Cable = 1090mm / 42.91Inches
- Rear Cable = 1900mm / 74.8Inches
- Smooth braking performance on any surface
- Compatible with a wide range of karts and ATVs
- All the replacement parts are widely available
- Long braking cables
- It comes with all the parts and necessary accessories
- Some units have sizing issues
3. BV Parts Replacement Complete Brake Kit
This brake kit is one of the best go-kart disk brakes for all 150cc karts and ATVs. Suitable replacement kits are super important for your kart or ATVs. When your vehicle brakes break down, replacement units like this can come in very handy and save you from the hassle.
As far as compatibility goes, this is one of the most versatile braking kits compatible with almost all 150cc karts and ATVs. Though it’s mainly manufactured as a replacement for Hammerhead R-150, you can also use it with other 150cc vehicles. Trailmaster ATV owners also expressed their satisfaction with the performance of this fantastic replacement kit. This braking kit is furthermore compatible with American SportWorks and Carter Brothers too.
The performance of the BV part’s replacement kit is top-notch, with the best braking results. No matter the surface you are riding on, you’ll reach a steady stop once you use the brake. BV parts are known for delivering reliable replacement parts, and this braking kit is no different.
You’ll get the kit with calipers, hoses, and a master cylinder inside the package. There are no discs included with the package, though.
- Compatible with ATVs and karts from various brands
- Reliable braking performance
- Good value for money
- No disc included
4. Mophorn GO-KART Brake Master Cylinder Kit
Complete braking kits aren’t cheap to get hands-on. So, when Mophorn had this affordable braking on the market for karts and ATVs, we had to check it out. As per our research Mophprn has done a tremendous job of making balanced braking.
The first thing you’ll notice about this kit is its compatibility. This braking can go well with any 150cc kart or ATV your name. If you own a Trailmaster or Hammerhead SUV, you’ll love the off-road performance from this brake.
No matter how demanding the surface or weather is, you can rely on the Mophorn braking kit with your eyes closed. One of the biggest enemies of the hydraulic brake is the heat generated from frequent braking. However, the heat dissipates pretty quickly, even in challenging situations, thanks to slotted and drilled rotors.
While most buyers dwell on specification and performance, they often forget to consider the material quality. Mophorn has paid particular attention to the material section and used high-quality aluminum for the master cylinder. This cylinder is filled with DOT3 braking fluid to provide optimum braking. On top of that, the discs are made with steel to serve you for a long time.
This Mophorn brake kit can be an excellent investment considering its value. It has all the brake accessories and parts, including the master cylinder, discs, calipers, and brake cables. If you are looking for a complete braking kit at an affordable price, look no further and get this braking kit today.
- Bolt Spacing of Master Cylinder Brake Pedal: 0.787″ / 20 mm
- Master Cylinder Mounting Hole: 2.36″ / 60 mm center to center
- Brake hoses length: 34″ / 860 mm, 43″ / 1090 mm, 75″ / 1900 mm
- Solid performance on any surface
- Adaptable with various karts and ATVs
- Long braking hose
- All the accessories included for easy installation
- Made of high-quality aluminum and steel
- There is no mounting plate included
- Some units have sizing issues
5. MWMNUN Motor Upgraded Hydraulic Brake System The Left Of The 7/8″ Handlebars 50 inch Hose Compatible with Mini Bike Baja Doodlebug DB30 Minibikes Go Karts
The advanced hydraulic braking system will be the best option for compact bikes from the Baja Doodlebug DB30. It can also be installed on small karts. However, the design will look best on bicycles, because it differs in the presence of only a rear disc brake.
Yes, you can install the structure on small motorcycles or go-karts. However, additional brackets will be required. There is fluid inside the master cylinder. Priming will be required before the first use. Otherwise, the cylinder may fail and you will not be able to start the vehicle.
If you will be installing a design on non-small bikes that have disc brakes, make sure the rotor is centered on the caliper. This will ensure correct operation. Because the bikes have manufacturing tolerances, it is possible that a caliper gasket will be required. This guarantees alignment.
You need to install the structure to the left of the steering wheel by 7/8 inches. The brake hose is 50 inches long. Thanks to this, you can be sure that it will not break and will not fail at the most crucial moment. This will guarantee your safety.
The kit is completed with a hydraulic brake system, a pair of brake pads, and a hex wrench. There are also a few screws and cable ties. You need to understand that one model can be supplemented with different details. Therefore, before buying, you should check everything.
The device weighs about 1.5 pounds. Dimensions are 9.8×6.7×3.4 inches. Despite the compactness, the design is very durable. You can be sure that it will serve you for many years. At the same time, it will not take up much space and interfere with movement.
- Hose length: 50 inches
- Mounting Features: 7/8″ left of the handlebar
- Dimensions: 9.8×6.7×3.4 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- The advanced hydraulic braking system
- One model can be supplemented with different details
- It comes with all the necessary parts and accessories
- Small dimensions
6. Hydraulic Brake Master Cylinder Assembly for 90cc 110cc 125cc 150cc 200cc 250cc Go Kart Master Cylinder Twister Kinroad Go Kart Buggy Sunl BMS Kandi Roketa Kinroad Kazuma ATV, Go Kart Master Cylinder
The master brake cylinder is one of the most important parts of the brake system of most vehicles. It helps to increase the load that the brake pedal receives and creates the right pressure for the hydraulic fluid of the brake system.
A failure of the master brake cylinder may be indicated by a failed brake pedal, a decrease in the brake fluid level, and other malfunctions in the brake system. The brake master cylinder can be repairable, but in most cases, you need to buy it as an assembly.
Hydraulic Brake Master Cylinder Assembly is specially requested by users and will fit most 90cc 110cc 125cc 150cc 200cc 250cc karts. It can be installed on Roketa American Sports work Baja Kindi Sunl Hammerhead Twister Kinroad BMS.
You can also start mounting on most Hammerhead karts, which are designed for 150 and 250 cubic centimeters. This is the optimal solution for most Chinese kart brands, which are in great demand due to their affordable price.
In the manufacture of the structure, high-quality material is used, namely, aluminum alloy. The main brake has bolts for fixing, which are located at a distance of 20 millimeters. The distance between the bolts for mounting the cylinders is 60 millimeters. In addition to the brake cylinder, the kit includes nuts and bolts.
This greatly simplifies the assembly and installation process. After all, you do not have to look for or buy materials. Thanks to high-quality materials, the master cylinder will be strong, which guarantees its durability. It is always recommended to check the contents at the time of purchase.
You must be sure that all parts of the brake master cylinder assembly will fit you and will be available. The design weighs about 1.7 pounds. The dimensions of the device are 2.45×1.25×1.32 inches.
- Material: aluminum alloy
- Distance between brake pedal bolts: 2 mm
- Distance between cylindrical bolts: 6 cm
- Dimensions: 2.45 x 1.25 x 1.32 inches
- Weight: 1.76 lbs
- Easy to install
- Durable and high-quality material for a long service period
- It comes with all the necessary parts and accessories
- Sometimes the manufacturer does not put all the parts in the kit, so it’s worth checking it
7. RUTU Brake Master Cylinder Caliper Left Hand Rear Mini Bike Brake Kit, 53″ Brake Hose Brake Pads 160mm Disc Brake, Compatible with Kazuma Roketa BMS Taotao 50cc, 70cc, 90cc, 110cc, 125cc ATV
RUTU is known for producing quality vehicle parts. It should be noted that the main brake cylinder, which is installed from the rear surface, on the left, is in special demand. This is the best solution if you need to improve the performance of ATVs and other similar vehicles.
It should be noted that the calipers have been slightly upgraded. They are supplemented with a special spring for returning to their original position, as well as a bracket for additional fixation. This prevents the pads from falling off. In the kit, in addition to the brake pads, there are spare pads. This will help you save a lot in the future.
The main cylinder is more durable. It is complemented by a precision piston. In the manufacture, casting technology was used, which was carried out under low pressure. This will help strengthen the cavity so that it can withstand constant and active braking. This will guarantee your safety.
The disc brake, appropriate for karting, is also characterized by increased durability. It is made of stainless steel, which prevents rapid deformation. There are special holes for cooling. This will contribute to the rapid removal of heat, as well as reduce the thermal recession.
The kit is complemented by a brake hose, which has a length of 53 inches. There are also banjo bolts. The disk has 4 holes for mounting, each of which has a size of 8 mm. The distance between the centers is 68/48 mm. It is recommended to install on various ATV brands, including Tao Tao, Roketa, Kazuma, Sunl, and Coolster.
The main thing is that they all have a 7/8-inch handlebar. You need to install the caliper on the left side of the brake disc, the size of which is 160 mm. Installation can begin immediately after purchase. Friction mileage is 9320 mi. There is a sensitive brake switch that can be pressed up to 100,000 times.
- Material: stainless steel
- Brake hose length: 53 inches
- Diameter of mounting holes: 8 mm
- Hole center distance: 65 and 48 mm
- Caliper height: 13 mm
- Spacer height: 7.2 mm
- Brake disc size: 160 mm
- Weight: 4.55 pounds
- Upgraded calipers
- Durable main cilinder
- Sensitive brake switch
- No cons noted
8. GREHUA Mechanical Disc Brake Caliper and Bracket with Pads Kit
The last option on our list is this caliper and bracelet pad from GREHUA. Like the previous option, this one isn’t a complete braking kit. However, if you are having trouble with the calipers and brake pads, this GREHUA kit can come in handy.
Instead of changing the whole braking kit, changing the pad and calipers can be a great way of saving a few bucks. As far as compatibility goes, this kit is compatible with different braking kits from Manco, American Sportworks, Carter, Yerf-dog, Ken-bar, Bristers, Thunder karts, ASW, and Airheart.
This package includes a brake caliper, a brake bracket, and a brake disc. Kart owners often complain about brake pads and calipers being bigger. Ultimately, the larger size causes installation issues. However, you don’t have that problem with Grehua, as the disc brake is much more compact and straightforward in size and design.
This caliper accepts rot0or thickness of up to 0.25″. You can also adjust it to fit the smaller size. If you are having issues with your old brake discs, you can replace them with the new discs in this package too. Grehua also includes all the mounting hardware to make installation more convenient.
- Mounting hole distance (center to center, bolt hole circle): 18.2mm (0.71 inch)
- Mounting hole diameter: 7.5mm (0.29 inch)
- Length of brake arm: 50mm (2.0 inch)
- Brake disc diameter: 6 inch
- An affordable way to fix a braking system
- It fits with a wide variety of braking kits
- The caliper is adjustable to fit rotor thickness up to 0.25″
- It comes with mounting hardware
- No brake cable is included with the package
How to Adjust Go-Kart Brakes?
The importance of go-kart brakes doesn’t need mentioning. The braking system becomes even more important as go-karts are used on off-road and for racing purposes. The sensitivity of your brake will allow you to stop the kart instantly and avoid collision or accident. If your brake isn’t adjusted correctly, it can fail when you need the brake most. If you have a manual brake on your go-kart and planning to change it, here are the steps you should follow.
- Step 1: Adjusting the brake means adjusting the calipers. To do that, you need to locate the brake cable on the rear brake of your go-kart.
- Step 2: Locate the braking cable attached to the lever. This cable pulls the lever whenever you remove the brake. This lever pushes a bolt against the piston and the brake pad against the rotor. That’s basically how the brake pads engage, and the brake works.
- Step 3: To adjust the sensitivity of your go-kart brake, you need to target this particular bolt. The tightness or looseness of this screw will determine the movement of your braking cable when you pull the brake.
- Step 4: You want to loosen the nut first and adjust the bolt as you prefer. When the resistance is correct, leave the bolt and tighten the nut again.
- Step 5: Another way to successfully tweak the brake is by adjusting the bolt on the cable. This bolt is located just beside the one you modified above. Adjusting this volt will control the movement length of the cable core.
How to adjust hydraulic go-kart brakes?
These days ago-karting is advancing too, reflected in using hydraulic brakes instead of regular ones. One of the critical benefits of hydraulic brake is that it distributes heat effectively, helping it last longer than mechanical brakes. The fluid in the hydraulic brake system resists this heat and compression. If you have installed a hydraulic brake on your go-kart, here are the steps you should follow to adjust the brake.
- Step 1: Adjusting a hydraulic brake on a go-kart is much simpler than a mechanical one. As the cable is involved, you only need to tweak the caliper to adjust the brake. So, start by locating the caliper.
- Step 2: The brake fluid comes to the calipers through the hydraulic line and pushes the pads onto the discs. So, get an Allan wrench and start by loosening the caliber nut.
- Step 3: You can access the bolt after the caliper nut is loose. Adjust the bold according to your preferred sensitivity. After the caliper bolt is adjusted, tighten the nut again, and the adjustment is made.
How to bleed go-kart brakes?
If you have a hydraulic brake, there is a high chance you have heard about the term brake bleeding. So, brake bleeding basically refers to removing all the bubbles from the fluid. The air bubble strapped into the fluid can reduce the brake strength significantly, and the efficiency of the brake gets affected. So, if you plan to bleed your kart brake’s efficiency, here are the steps you should follow.
- Step 1: You’ll first need a remote brake bleeder. While this isn’t mandatory, a remote brake bleeder will make your work much more manageable. Before opening the brake system, ensure the bleeder has the right thread to adapt to the brake.
- Step 2: Next thing you’ll have to arrange is Allen keys to open up the brake reservoir and the bleed screws on the brake caliper. Start by unthreading the cap of the reservoir. You’ll notice the reservoir has fluid in it.
- Step 3: After opening the reservoir, fill it with extra brake fluid. The excess fluid’s pressure will push the air out when you bleed. You can use any good quality synthetic brake fluid on the market.
- Step 4: Get the remote brake bleed and open its top cap. Then pour some of that brake fluid into the bleeder’s chamber.
- Step 5: Plug the remote brake bleeder into the fluid cylinder. While plugging it in, make sure you don’t cross-thread it. The plugging dint has to be too tight for the bleeder to work.
- Step 6: Now that the bleeder is plugged in, it’s time to put some extra fluid into the fluid cylinder. To do that, you need to open the valve on the bleeder and slightly remove the cap of the fluid chamber so that air can cycle through.
- Step 7: The fluid is ready to move into the fluid cylinder for the bleeder. Now to push the fluid, you’ll have to actuate the brake. As you actuate the brake, you’ll notice air bubbles pop up the bleeder fluid chamber. After a while, you’ll feel the resistance in the system go away, and the air bubbles will recede.
- Step 8: The air bubbles mean the air is out of the system. Now close the remote bleeder valve and put the cap back on the fluid cylinder. The brake bleeding is complete. You can conveniently have an assistant by your side throughout the process.
Why are my go-kart brakes not working?
Go-kart’s brake is one of the most important components of its whole build. It allows the rider to stop or slow down the kart at his will. However, as the brake is also one of the most used components, it often goes bad and stops working. There can be dozens of reasons why your go-kart brake might stop working. Even if you know how go-kart brakes work, these issues can pose a severe challenge. Below I have discussed some of those reasons with a potential solution.
- Old brake band
If your kart has a band brake system and the brake is not working properly, a worn-out band might be the culprit. You can detect this issue in two ways. Either you’ll feel the brake pressure going down, or by a physical inspection when you’ll nice the band is loose and looks worn out. The solution is simple: replace the band the brake will be running correctly again.
- Work brake cable
This issue can occur no matter which type of brake you use. The cable’s tension and strength are essential for a braking system’s efficient function. When this cable wears out, the braking performance can get reduced. You can easily detect this issue with a quick visual inspection. If the tension seems loose, it’s time to change the brake cable.
- Damaged or work-out parts
Drum brakes might have a complex build, but they are built to last the longest. After years of service, the performance of a drum brake might decrease, and damaged or worn-out parts might be the reason behind it. Due to constant use, some parts can even get dislodged too. The most common parts affected are the springs, anchor pins, and brake shoes. If the drum brake is hydraulic, even the cylinder can get affected. If any of these parts get damaged, you’ll have to replace them immediately.
- Rusted parts
If you use the brake long enough, rust and corrosion are bound to build up. As the brake system mostly stays exposed on go-karts, contact with air and water starts to corrode different parts. This corrosion buildup starts to reduce the functionality of the components inside a drum brake. You can see the rust when you open the brake or by the squeaking noise from the brake. You might have to replace the part if the damage is severe from rust. Otherwise, you can wipe the rust off with WD-40.
- Hydraulic issues
If your go-kart has a hydraulic brake, whether a drum or disc one, it can run into problems frequently. If we look at the issues, one of the most common ones is in the brake lines, where the air gets trapped. Hydraulic brakes rely on the even distribution of pressure; when air gets trapped, the distribution becomes uneven. As a result, the brake might feel a bit unresponsive or spongy. You can quickly fix this issue by bleeding, as I described above.
- Damaged brake pads
Brake pads are one of the most critical parts of your braking part. This pad squeezes the disc when you pull the brake, causing your vehicle to slow down. The brake becomes unresponsive and ineffective if this pad is damaged or worn out. When engaged, you can determine this sue by visually inspecting the squealing noise from the brake pads. If the brake pads are worn pit and have less than 3mm of thickness left, you should replace them immediately.
How long do Go-Kart brakes last?
Answers to this question depend on a lot of factors. The quality of your brake, how extensive your use is, maintenance and many things play a role in this matter. Typically, the whole brake doesn’t go wrong; the braking pads or shoes get worn out. Brake pads or shoes usually last around six to twelve months.
Do racing Go-Karts have front brakes?
No, even the racing go-karts don’t have front brakes. Typically, the front and back brake together and stops a vehicle. However, due to the lower weight and speed, only the rear brake is enough to stop and bring stability.
That’s a wrap for today. I hope my article helped you understand how do go-kart brakes work. The brake on your kart might look simple, but they are pretty sophisticated, and there is a lot to understand. If you know how go-kart brakes work, it’ll be much easier to adjust the brakes, bleed them and decide which brake type will be better suited for your kart.