What kind of brakes are these?

Hi Gang,

I’ve gotten myself into Karting for some leisure fun with some friends and purchased a used Birel Shifter.

My question is what make of brakes are these, are they Free Line. Is the CIK-FIA the model or type? Which type of brake fluid would I use?

Sorry for the dumb questions, I’m sure that I will have more.

You are correct, they are Free Line/Birel factory parts. They will use non-silicone fluid, preferably at least DOT5.

That style is often referred to as “banana brakes”

Hi Martin, thanks for the quick response. When you say at least DOT5 what other brake fluid could I use?

I thought DOT5 was only silicone based?


That’s right, I should have clarified DOT 5 is Silicone based.

DOT 3, 4, 5.1 are glycol-ester-based fluids.

Okay so use DOT5. Thanks man.

Just to be clear, you want DOT 5.1.

Also, CIK-FIA refers to the FIA’s international karting sanctioning organization, CIK. (www.fiakarting.com)

So that just shows that the part has been homologated for official FIA events, as nearly all European brands are. The corresponding numbers after (75-77/FR/11) give you an idea of when it was homologated so you can narrow down what year the component was from.

Oh Wow, this is great information. Thanks TJ

Okay 5.1, thanks Martin

Hi Martin, so I would be using 5.1 which is Glycol? and not DOT5 as this is silicone based.

Yup! That’s correct.

Lucky I went back and carefully read your message. I will pickup some 5.1. I appreciate the help

Welcome to Karting!

To recap on fluids for anyone reading this in the future…
DOT 5.1 is compatible with DOT 3, 4 and 5.
DOT 5 is NOT compatible with 3 & 4.

It should be noted though that higher DOT numbers are not necessarily “better”, especially in karting where generally we don’t build a lot of heat in the system.

With a used kart I generally recommend that you test the fluid in the system to determine the type that’s in there using the water test as the previous owner may not in fact have used what was recommended by the manufacturer.

Freeline make a lot of (good quality) kart components from bodywork to brake systems, hubs, axles and much more. You will find these mostly on Birel (Now Birel-Art) chassis: Ricciardo, Kubica, LaCerc.

Since I’m on a bit of a freeline kick right now after digging around…here’s their brochure:

catalogo_freeline-min.pdf (5.0 MB)

Wow, thanks James. This is great information. I knew it was a good idea on joining this Forum. Thanks very much

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Do NOT use dot 5 in a birel kart…they need either 3,4 or 5.1.