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Discs and Drums
ATV brakes are just like car brakes. They have discs, or rotors, which are made of metal. These discs are fastened to the wheels. Fitting over the discs are brake pads that are attached to calipers. These brake pads press down on the discs, creating friction to slow the ATV down. An ATV also has drum brakes. With drum brakes, a large metal drum fits over the wheel. Inside of the drum are arched-shaped brake pads. These pads press against the inside of the drum to create friction to slow the ATV down. The major difference between ATV brake pads, discs and drums and car brakes is that the ATV brakes are smaller than car brakes and drums.
On an ATV, the brakes are operated by pressing the handle on the handle bars. This motion sends brake fluid through the brake lines and into the braking system. The brake fluid is pressed into the calipers, causing them to close around the discs. The harder the handle is pressed, the more fluid is pushed into the calipers. The same is true for drum brakes. Fluid is sent into the drum, which pushes both arms of the brake discs against the drum. In both brake systems, depressing the brake handle forces fluid from the master cylinder into the slave cylinders for each brake. This creates a larger amount of force, and allows fluid to flow to all brakes at the same time.
Brakes on Different Types of Machines
Some ATVs have front and back drum brake systems. These systems provide a stable, secure braking system. However, some riders prefer the faster response of the disc brake system.