Go kart brakes can range from simple hand brakes to high end go kart disc brakes.
Go Kart Disc Brakes
Go kart disc brakes are the most commonly used, and arguably the most effective braking system used on go karts today. There are two parts that make go kart disc brakes effective. The first part is the disc brake caliper.
The go kart disc brake caliper is usually made of heavy steel with 2 rubber pads. When the driver presses the brake pedal, brake fluid causes the rubber pads to squeeze on the brake disc rotor, causing the go kart to slow down.
As you can imagine, the second crucial part of the go kart disc brake is the brake disc rotors, which are what the brake calipers squeeze down on in order to generate the friction necessary to bring the go kart to a halt. The brake disc rotors can be made of steel, which is fairly standard, or higher end and higher priced ceramic disc rotors. Ceramic disc rotors are generally more expensive than steel disc rotors, since they can withstand higher temperatures generated by the friction between the brake calipers and the rotor.
Go Kart Brakes – Scrub Brakes
Go Kart scrub brakes are extremely simple, simply using metal paddles that push on the rear tires. Most go kart hand brakes utilize the scrub brake mechanism. These are common on lower end recreational go karts, or homemade go karts, but they aren’t suitable for racing go karts.
Go Kart Brakes – Drum Brakes
Drum brakes have a brake drum as well as a brake shoes inside the drum that expands when the brake pedal is depressed. Drum brakes provide good stopping ability, are probably the 2nd best option for go kart brakes next to disc brakes.
Go Kart Brakes – Band Brakes
Go kart band brakes consist of a metal band wrapped around the outside of a brake drum. The mechanism of band brakes is very similar to the more popular drum brakes, but the metal band presses on the outside of the brake drum instead of the inside. Band brakes are not known to perform well when wet.
Go Kart Hydraulic Brakes – Maintenance & Brake Bleeding
One important maintenance tip for go kart hydraulic brakes is to make sure to bleed your brakes. This is to ensure that your brakes staying tight and responsive for the duration of your race. You can bleed your brakes by simply loosening the bolt which holds the hydraulic brake fluid and replacing it with new hydraulic fluid.
With a brake bleeding pump, drain the old brake fluid into an empty bottle and replace it with new brake fluid. Pour the new hydraulic fluid into the brake line with a funnel until full. Pump the brake pedal in order to run the fluid through the hydraulics.