Brake Pedal Stiffness

Coming from a sim racing background, I love a stiff pedal, but my KA100 seems to be fairly soft on the brake pedal. is there anything I can do to stiffen it a little bit, I like to really feel the modulation in the brake pedal but I don’t have a great feel on the pedal right now.

What chassis do you have?

Most karts offer different hardness of brake pads to change how the pedal feels. You can also adjust the mounting point on the master cylinder for more or less leverage to change the feel.

If your brake pedal feels particularly soft it might need to be bled.

Bleed then frequently. nothing like freshly bled brakes. They fee sharp and have much less travel.


OTK Chassis, I might need new brake pads anyways. I am not sure how worn they are because I have never seen new karting brake pads in person.

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Post a pic!

OTK offers two (I think) hardnesses of pad. There are also aftermarket options for different hardnesses.

The OTK brake pedal has a pretty specific feel as well compared to other karts.


I just checked and the fluid is like a light yellow color. Isn’t that pretty bad.

they look fairly new, but again i have no clue

The fluid is light yellow, that’s not a concern. You’d want to bleed it to make sure there was no air in the line though. And those pads look almost new so you’re good there.

can i do that without an expensive brake bleeder?

You’ll need a bleeder.

If the brakes function fine, I might not worry about it for now. But a brake bleeder might be a good investment at some point. Especially with OTK brakes, they do tend to need bleeding occasionally.

I only mentioned bleeding them because air in the lines could cause a soft pedal, and the OTK typically has a pretty firm pedal where most other karts are more of an on-off switch.

OTK’s pretty easily get air in the master as compared to at the caliper. I bleed my master every other time I run the kart to keep the pedal feel and modulation as best as it can be. It’s almost alarming how quick the feel starts to go away even with fresh seals.

You need the OTK bleeder if you plan on being happy with the feel moving forward.

The kart republic video should be bookmarked so you know the procedure.

Yeah. The brakes get soft because of air getting in the system. I am not sure about color of fluid. It’s the air, however, that makes the pressure drop in the system, not gunk, I think.

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I am unsure what they are called but the little pumps that go in the brake pump, I removed them on accident when I was adjusting the brake pedal and took them out of their little socket. Would that have caused mass amounts of air to get in making the pedal very soft?

Unsure. I would imagine that if it opened up the system, then yes. I’m not much of a wrench, so unsure.

My Intrepid and SKM and Jason Dorans SKM (Same master) both are on original bleed with Castrol SRF from 4 years and 2 years respectively. Water content still measures 0% and pedal is rock hard. Basically zero maintenance has been done and pedal is always predictable and air free.

Makes me think I never want an OTK.

Right, because the minor inconvenience of having to bleed the brakes once in a while far outweighs the excellent build quality, abundance of parts and knowledge, and world championship pedigree. :wink:

I have bled my OTK brakes twice in the past 3 years. I don’t even own a brake bleeder. And I use one set of brake pads a year. Literally almost no unusual brake maintenance on every OTK kart I’ve owned in the past 10 years.

A lot of the issues people have with the OTK brakes are overblown, and a lot seem to come from storing the kart vertically.

how did you bleed without the brake bleeder?

Interesting… what are the downsides to store a kart vertically in your opinion TJ?
I store my kart vertically for saving some space, but if there are downsides to it I’d consider storing it horizontally and safe some other hassle.

@Ronald_Swift and @tjkoyen

I think my 2008 Arrow 4S is still on the pads and bleed from 2008. :wink:

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We store most of the team karts vertically, both Merlin and OTK and don’t really ever have any issues, but I just am noting that of the people who have consistent issues with OTK brakes needing bleeding, storing them vertically seems to be a common thread. Not sure if correlation implies causation.

If you’re storing vertically, all you need to remember is to drain the fuel so you don’t get stuff spilling everywhere, otherwise storing vertically is no issue.

Is that reliability or necessity? :sweat_smile: Who is the nearest Arrow dealer these days?

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