PRODUCT EVALUATION: Friction is key 

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

This brake setup by DP Brakes is a great improvement over stock and is designed to be a direct OEM fit.

DP BRAKES SETUP.  If you want to go fast, you need to be able to slow down quickly. While you may think that is counterintuitive, the quicker you can stop, the longer you can hold the throttle open. With that logic in mind, we went to DP Brakes for a set of $39.95 SDP Pro-MX sintered brake pads and $109.95 Moose Racing OEM replacement brake rotors that are made by DP for a Honda TRX450R. The old pads had seen their day, the rear rotor was bent and the fronts had some warping, so it was time for a healthy upgrade to suit the ATV’s demands.


Most OEM machines come with sintered brake pads these days. They offer greater stopping power and wear resistance than organic pads. Sintered pads are created with a copper base material, with other metal additives, through a high-heat and high-pressure bonding process. Generally, there is an outer coating around the sides and back of the pads that contain heat-transfer material so they can provide long wear. The general negative is that sintered pads may not have optimum power when cold, but they warm up quickly, and then they provide great stopping power and braking feel.

DP Brakes generates multiple versions of its sintered brake compounds that will benefit your ATV or UTV in different ways. Their standard pad is a direct OEM replacement style, while the SDP Pro-MX is designed by factory dirt bike race teams to work well in the toughest weather conditions and stop your machine better than stock pads.

If you add in DP Brakes’ collaboration with Moose Racing to provide high-quality rotors, then you are bumping up the braking performance of your machine even more. These rotors are made of 420 high-carbon stainless steel. They are claimed to add greater strength, stopping ability and durability over stock. They are CAD/CAM laser-cut and finish-ground, so the surface is sure to be flat. Slots cut into the rotors allow hot gases and particles to be displaced to keep the brakes working properly. These rotors can be purchased through your local dealer. 

The sintered pads and high-carbon stainless steel rotors will be an investment, but if you consider how long they will last, it is worth it.



Once we removed the old pads and rotors, installed the new set and bled the brakes properly, we set out to put them to the test. They took a little bit of break-in time until the pads and rotors were gripping each other properly. Once they decided to join forces, we began to notice how much quicker we could slow the TRX down. The braking feeling is more gradual instead of that common on/off feel you generally get with stock brakes. We could hold the throttle a touch longer between each corner since the brakes stopped quicker, which shaved off seconds during lap-time tests. 

One thing we will note, though, is if your tires are old and worn out, don’t expect to feel a vast difference in how well your ATV or UTV stops. Just like you need friction between pads and rotors to slow down, you need good friction between your tires and the dirt as well. 

We expect to have these brakes slowing the Honda down for a few race seasons with this DP Brakes setup. Go to www.dp-brakes.com to check out their brake pad options, and you can look up DP’s rotors by going to www.mooseracing.com.

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