Simple Go Kart Brake Types
There are a few different ways to stop a go-kart. The simplest way is to use scrub brakes. These use pedals or a hand-activated brake bar to push metal paddles against the tyres. This is pretty effective, but also wears away the tyre tread quite quickly. Band brakes are another simple option that is compact and easy to install. When the pedal is pressed, a metal band tightens around a brake drum, causing more friction.
Performance Go Kart Brakes
Band brakes and scrub brakes are fine for slower karts, but once you get up into faster vehicles like 125cc shifter karts, it helps to have something with a bit more stopping power. Brakes for high speed go karts are a lot like car brakes. Many karts feature disc brakes which use hydraulic calipers to force a brake pad against a rotor on the inside of the wheel hub. This causes a lot of friction and slows the wheel down. Some go karts use a drum brake instead, in which brake shoes are applied to the inside of a brake drum to create friction. Some competitions require disc brakes to be used.
Go Kart Brake Kits
The simplest way to replace the brakes on your go kart is to choose a kit. A typical brake kit contains all the parts you need to build a go kart braking system including brake calipers, brake pads, rotors and a master cylinder. Adding a second master cylinder allows you to set the front and rear brakes up differently to create brake bias and produce different handling characteristics.
Other Go Kart Parts
While scrub brakes can sometimes be operated by hand, other braking systems are controlled using a braking pedal. Go kart pedals, including brake pedals, are an essential part of any kart. Kart modification isn't limited to brakes, though. In fact, building your own kart is a popular activity for many karting lovers. Starting a project kart from just a go kart frame allows you to set up your kart exactly the way you want it.