How do ATV brakes work?

ATV ride is not only for the fun, but many people use it for farming and utility purposes. However, the crucial part of the ATV is its braking system. You might be riding on uncertain paths and a sudden break can give you a shock and to be safe from it, you need to be careful about it.

The brake system consists of the main components as following:

  • Hand lever
  • Master Cylinder
  • Brake line
  • Brake fluid
  • Brake caliper
  • Brake disc

If you are a beginner for this ride, you have to make a quick decision because it can be between loss/win or life and death. So, make sure that you know enough about the ATV brakes to be safe on the terrain and make a safe decision for yourself.

ATVs might be dangerous to ride, but if you are aware and careful you can have a thrill that you are craving. So, the main factor of concern is applying a break at the right time. So, it is necessary to keep the brakes sharp all the time. Remember that there are different types of brakes for ATVs and have been advancing by the time.

Therefore, while you are purchasing, dig down into the details of the brakes of ATV to understand the basics and then go for a thrilling ride – knowing you will be safe out there. Some of the common types of ATV brakes are:

  • Disc Brakes
  • Drum Brakes
  • Parking Brakes
  • Combination of Disc & Drum brakes

Note: A little tip is to read the manual given by the ATV manufacturer. Always asks the question, so you are already prepared for the ride and its precautions regarding the ATV.

We can assure you that you can buy any ATV after reading it by understanding the system to be safe on the terrain. The following guide will also help you to test drive the ATV carefully and only purchase the one that has a proper control system.

What do you need to learn about the basics of the ATV brakes?

You can also check for the instructions on the manual and adjust the brake controls accordingly.

So, before you go and read the manual or ask people, learn that ATV is not just a thrilling game to play, it is a ride that can cause your serious injuries if mishandled.

Now, as you know about the basic type of brakes. We are going to discuss the working of each of them. By the time you reach the end of the article, you will be able to understand the system and apply the techniques accordingly.  

It is important to understand the braking system because the braking technique depends on the system and type of terrain.

Basics of the brakes:

When you use the front and rear brake, it affects both front and back wheels. Then there is an abrupt need for a brake that also affects both front and rear wheels. Still, it is up to your technique and understanding of the new braking system can help you manage the control in a better way.

Basically, you need to release the throttle, then shift to a lower gear and use the engine to slow down the vehicle. If your ATV has both front and rear brakes, apply both and if you are cornering, avoid the excessive brake. Moreover, in the case of the slippery surface, apply light brakes. These are some of the basic tips to keep in mind while you are trying to take a control of your ATV while applying brakes.

The rest of the help for improving your braking techniques can come from the understanding of the types of brakes of your ATV.

Types of braking systems

There are three basic types of the brake. Regardless of the kind of rider you are, you will always need to know about them for better results. However,

Understanding the working of Disc brakes

The brake system consists of the main components as following:

  • Hand lever
  • Master Cylinder
  • Brake line
  • Brake fluid
  • Brake caliper
  • Brake disc

The hand lever is used to operate disc brakes that activate the brake calipers and mostly on all the four wheels. Or with this, the brakes are applied only on the front wheel along with the one rear wheel.

Some of the bikes offer foot pedals, so you have to check out the system for it too. It works similar to the hand lever, just a main difference is that it may not operate the front brake on all bikes. It is because the master cylinder of these bikes is not connected to the front calipers.

Learning the design will help you understand the slowing down techniques when you are going fast. Or the best way is to test the ATV before purchasing it and try it on the slow and fast speed and with hand lever and foot pedal.

Understanding the working of Drum Brakes

Some of the ATVs will have drum brakes instead of the discs brakes. You can find them in older and cheaper models and some models can have a combination of both.

Drum brakes are simple, but they are also less effective than disc brakes. They are designed with the 4 basic components:

  • Hand lever or foot pedal
  • Brake cable
  • Brake hub
  • Brake shoes

In this type of braking system, the brake cable is connected to a lever and it is on the brake hub. When you will pull the brake shoes outward against the drum, it will create the braking effect.

Understanding the working of parking brakes

Parking brakes are not much of a type of brakes, but they are to keep the ATV still. For the parking brake, you only need to pull the brake lever against the handlebar while you are flipping the locking mechanism with the other hand. However, the locking mechanism can differ from model to model, so you need a manual to be sure about it.

So, Discs or Drums?

This is the right question you ask as you are figuring out the choice for ATV. So, when you manufacturers say disc brakes, you need to keep some benefits in mind along with the way you ride the ATV.

The major benefit of the disc brakes is their efficiency. Although both works of heat and friction, yet the discs have the advantage to be in the open air than closed in drums.

Drum brakes are never recommended if you are using the ATV for sports because it operates at the reduced capacity. So, mostly the advantages of disc brakes are more than the drum brakes as they are more about high-performance and have more control.

Still, it is your call. You can only decide it after the test drive and keeping your need for ATV in mind.

Must-know braking tips for the best riding experience

Ultimately, braking is also about your practice and the techniques you are following. So, here are the few tips to help you improve your techniques.

  • Pick the right place to brake.
  • Keep your weight towards the rear.
  • Keep your feet on the footrests.
  • Use both brakes together.
  • Learn the stopping distance at different speed levels.
  • Never lock up your wheels.
  • 4WD braking requires leaning out while the 2WD requires leaning in towards the turn.
  • Front brakes are used for uphill.
  • Rear brakes are used for downhill.
  • Always keep your weight uphill.
  • Changing the braking pads is useless if other components need your attention.
  • Choose the braking pads wisely.
  • Check the rotors before going for a ride.
  • Flush and replace brake fluids.
  • Always maintain the tires or replace the old ones.
  • Check the tire pressure.

These are tips that people learn with practice and experience. So, do not just rely on the manual, try out the ATV, and experience the ride as a learner before going on a full-swing for it.

How to bleed ATV brakes

Final Thoughts

Knowing your ATV vehicle is as important as understanding any other product you are about to use. So, for the thrilling experience, you must try out the ATV, read the manual, and understand the design and functionality of the braking system for better understanding. Remember, you can have vast knowledge about the braking system, but you must never skip the driving test for the ATV before purchasing the one.

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