The Science of Braking in a Go Kart Toronto

January 12, 2015

Toronto’s Grand Prix Kartways is dedicated to safety. Obviously, one of the main aspects of safety is being able to stop the karts when you need to and that’s where the brakes come into play.

The electric go kart in Toronto, built by OTL of Italy, are like a combination of Ferrari meets go kart, carrying on the grand tradition of Italian auto design and manufacturing. They feature double self-ventilating disc brakes with a double brake cable (one main and one backup) and double back hydraulic brake calipers.

Go Kart Toronto

Go Kart Toronto

How does it work?

First, let’s look at the components of the brakes:
  • Brake Pads
  • Calipers
  • Piston
  • Brake Discs (Rotor)

To understand braking on a go kart, it helps to imagine how braking is done on a bicycle, where you can easily see the brakes. A bicycle brake has a set of brake pads that squeezes the tire (usually) and stops it from spinning. These pads are controlled by a set of calipers that create the squeezing motion when they are activated by a cable on the handlebars.

In the disc brakes on a go kart in Toronto, the brake pads squeeze the brake discs (sometimes called the rotor) rather than directly squeezing the wheel like on a bicycle (although some of the more expensive bicycles do have disc brakes similar to vehicles).

The squeezing motion in a disc brake is activated by hydraulics. The hydraulics activate a piston, which in turn engages the calipers that hold the brake pads and the entire mechanism squeezes the rotor, which makes the wheel stop spinning.

What is happening?

The go kart’s forward momentum is kinetic energy. The brakes need to get rid of that kinetic energy to stop the kart’s momentum and ultimately stop it from moving. Therefore, the brakes “take” the kart’s kinetic energy and turn it into a different kind of energy. In a disc brake, the kinetic energy is turned into heat energy, which is generated by the friction between the brake pads and the rotor.

Go Kart Toronto

Go Kart Toronto

In the case of the go kart’s brakes, the discs are ventilated, meaning they have air vents built into them. This helps dissipate the heat generated by braking and allows the brakes to cool quicker and easier than if they were not ventilated.

Grand Prix Kartways performs regular maintenance on its karts, making sure that all braking components are working properly for optimum safety. When brake components look like they are getting worn out, they are immediately replaced. The safety of our customers is our top priority, followed closely by our commitment to their enjoyment.

By employing the best in braking technology, Grand Prix Kartways ensures that your go kart in Toronto outing is a safe and fun time for the entire family. Go as fast as you want knowing that you can stop when you need to. Visit Grand Prix Kartways today.

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