Clutch Band Brakes: Pictures and Information

This thread will attempt to provide information and illustration regarding the Clutch Band Brake as stopping power for your mini bike, trike or go-kart....

There are pros and cons to this type of setup....the main "pro" being that when properly mounted and adjusted it will stop the vehicle like nothing else due to the large contact area of the friction material's coupled with the mechanical advantage provided by the gear ratio. Let us suppose your final gear reduction ratio is 6:1. With the brake on the clutch, that little band brake will have 6 times the stopping power as it would on the axle.

The "con" is that if the chain breaks or jumps have no brakes unless you consider dragging your feet on the ground "brakes" :shrug:

Some bikes, like the Bird Engineering Foremost Pinto had a factory installed band brake as well as a scrub brake which could be used in tandem or as a "backup" brake in caser the other failed.

Another advantage of using this type of system is it's simplicity...

Typical design for a clutch band brake:

Many of the parts available through the OldMiniBikes:

Last edited:
Technically the example below would be considered "wrong" because the counterclockwise rotation of the clutch bell wants to "unwind" the band when applied .

The anchor point should be switched so as to provide a "self-energizing" effect when the band is applied....that is, the rotation of the drum/bell wants to wind the band tighter when applied.

I should point out however that some people have used this "backwards" design effectively.....

I had a problem with my band working a little too well and it would lock up the tire and stay stuck on even with a return spring. So i swaped its mounting points and now it releases itself when released. Works much nicer and stops good
My Super Bronc will lock the tire up on pavement if you are not babying it, works perfect off road so that's where I ride it now exclusively. I nearly went down the 1st time I grabbed the lever on the blacktop. Gotta watch you don't have too much brake.:doah:
Last edited:
Here's a factory clutch band brake setup on a Bird Engineering Foremost Golden Pinto:

Notice the spring threaded over the cable and situated between the ends of the band...this can be helpful if your band brake is "grabbing" too hard and locking up the rear wheel.....

Last edited:
I have a 4.5 inch clutch and have ordered a 4.5 inch band.

I attached a sketch of how the setup works and from what I understand once the band is attached to the anchor pin there is enough spring to keep it off the clucth.
If you order a band brake to large, the ends will touch and it will have no brakes.

Size for size is the way I'm going - give it a bash]

Tank's drawing is correct...the clutch is turning counter clockwise so it will want to wind the band tighter when applied.

....when possible use a hole through the anchor bolt so the cable passes through and draws the band up uniformly around the drum or bell providing the maximum contact area.....(blue line)

Last edited:
Here's a pic of a stock Tecumseh band brake bracket found on mini-bikes and karts....

Can be rotated and mounted in either of 4 different posititons using the square pattern on the tecumseh side cover

Note: not all tecumseh side covers have the tapped holes...
Just wanted to say thanks for guys and threads like this :thumbsup:

If you're trying to slow down a toy that has a Predator (212cc) engine, here's the skinny:

Last edited by a moderator:
A question for you guys with clutch brakes:
On the side of the clutch brake that is mounted on the bolt- should this be tightened down so that it does not move, or does it need to be able to pivot freely?:confused:
Thank you,