The brakes that dominates Side By Side competitions

The brakes that dominates Side By Side competitions

Once again, J.Juan’s brakes win the Dakar

For the fourth consecutive year, J.Juan brakes have won the Dakar in the Side by Side category. Again, in the categories T4 (vehicles closer to the series) and T3 (prototypes with increased performance).

But what about those brakes that have made Casey Currie (2020) and Austin Jones (2022) triumph in the Dakar and that they win in all Side by Side competitions?


The SSV are synonymous of performance. Nowadays, we have designs with almost 170 HP for a weight of over 700kg with a great dynamics and stability. Real racing machines which currently race in the well-known Baja California and Dakar, a high demanding durability tests than allow us to check the limitations of these powerful vehicles.

The brake system is one of the components which suffers the most in this racing events. The average speed of the SSV is continuously increasing, and the need of dissipating such a big kinetic energy puts the drivers into risky situations such as the loss of brake pressure due to vapor lock, the brake pad destruction due to the heat and even to deform the brake calipers due to the high temperature of the aluminum body.

The constant evolution of the SSV brings us a catalogue of models that, again, require a step forward regarding the brake system. Notice that we are taking about vehicles which are sold as ready to race, with 1000cm3 turbo engines and a high-end suspension with fines settings. In order to make sure that the brake system can hold all this power JJuan, with all the know-how from its racing department, has developed a real racing brake kits, designed in order to fit as “plug & play” on the main SSV used in the main championships. As told, the installation is “plug & play”, that means, with no modification on the vehicle!


The content of this kit is quite impressive, let’s see some details about its main features.

  • Brake calipers. On the front, two fixed 4 piston calipers with piston size 36/32mm and two rear 4 piston caliper size 32/27mm, both CNC machined from a solid 7075 aluminum block with a T6 heat treatment and hardened by anodic oxidation. The pistons have non-equal size, to make sure that the pad has a homogeneous wear, and they are machined with gr. V titanium alloy, offering a low weight together with a good thermal isolation in order to protect the brake fluid from the high temperatures generated after the braking operation. Besides, the high friction sintered SBS pads are manufactured with induction heating and use the NRS fixation, which allow a great resistance to shear and overheating.

A fix caliper has a greater stiffness compared to a floating one, specially at high temperatures. At high temperature conditions is where the stock brake system goes down, among other reasons, because the big deformation the stock caliper has. Another key point from this kit is that the JJuan CNC calipers are installed on the original knuckle, with no modification needed.

  • Brake discs. Manufactured by Galfer and with a maximized diameter compared to the stock ones with, looking for an increased effective brake torque. The design of the JJuan race caliper, because of its well simulated geometry, allows the brake disc to increase without modifications on the rim or the knuckle. This is another advantage compared to the stock floating calipers, which can only achieve stiffness by adding material on the bridge area, what leads to interferences with the rim if the brake disc is too big.


  • Accessories. This kit includes as well light racing hydraulic bolts and the anchoring bolts for the calipers, altogether with a nice-looking box presentation, custom made for each vehicle.

The improvements over the stock brake system are clearly noticeable, all the test drivers

 that have joined JJuan for the development of this kit have given such a great feedback, and do really appreciate forgetting about the brake going down. Also, the increased brake power shortens the braking distances and helps in avoiding the foot to get exhausted. All these achievements are not just luck, as JJuan has wisely applied all its know-how and with that, achieved to manufacture such an effective product as this racing brake kit is.


DESIGN. From the very beginning, the development of this kit has aimed for the top racing championships, by hearing to the feedback and complains from the top drivers from different championships, including the Paris Dakar. All of them have indicated that in an aggressive driving style (rally style), because of the high temperatures reached, the brake system fails, as the brake fluid starts to boil and the brake pad and disc get collapsed. At that point, additionally, the drivers can feel a loss of feeling on the pedal, which feels then so soft. All this loses in brake performance make the drivers lose its confidence, and with that, they feel forced to slow down! That is not acceptable in a race.

With these complains on the table, the development team was clear about what path to choose to solve them all:

  1. A caliper design intended to be cooled down with convection cooling was required, having as well, a great stiffness at hot condition, chance to add thermal isolations for the brake fluid and with an increased brake pad surface compared to the stock caliper.
  2. Additionally, a main objective was to increase the brake torque from the stock brake system to achieve more brake power. This has been achieved by larger pistons size and by increasing the distance of the pressure point (bigger disc diameter)
  3. Altogether making sure that the installation on each vehicle was carried out without any modification on any stock component.

On the other hand, the FEA simulation makes possible to anticipate the stiffness of the caliper, leaving the weight to the minimum as it’s possible to precisely identify the concrete stressed areas.



The data logged during the tests is hard to believe, but the feedback from the drivers do match the conclusions from the data, and sure is not only a coincidence.

  • Improved brake efficiency by a 70% (less force on the pedal). The fatigue on the foot is one of the concerns of the drivers. The J.Juan race calipers make possible to maintain a 0,85G deceleration on an offroad ground with much less force on the pedal. This is due to the increased piston area and the bigger diameter disc (included in the kit), as the J.Juan caliper design allows a bigger disc without interferences with the rim.


  • Reduction of the brake fluid working temperature to a half, in both front and rear calipers. The stock brake system comes close to 150-160ºC, in a point where the brake fluid will start to boil. This leads to a softer feeling on the pedal, with an increase of the pedal dead stroke, what gives less confidence to the driver by losing his pressure point. The J.Juan calipers show a great improvement as the titanium pistons isolate the brake fluid from the high temperature of the pads and, in addition, the cooling by convection is maximized because the fact these are fix calipers, not floating, where the air goes through them easily.


  • Reduction of the pad temperature by a 30ª on the front and 80% at the rear. This point is very important, because the pads, despite they are from sintered compound, on extreme conditions will get glazed and the friction material will get detached from the backplate because the super-hot temperatures and the high pressure they need to stand. The J.Juan calipers have more friction material surface than the stock calipers and also are constantly cooled down by the air flow going through. This is a key point, because the stock brake system goes down step by step, as the pad is overheated it loses its performance and bite, at that point, the driver needs to generate more pressure on the system to keep a good deceleration. The only way the driver can create more pressure is by pushing the pedal harder and, at the end, this leads to his fatigue. In a long and hot racing day this can be really annoying.


J.Juan brakes success in the Dakar

J.Juan brakes success in the Dakar

J.Juan’s Side by Side brakes have prevailed in the two categories in which these vehicles compete; T4 and T3. The t4 (SSV) are vehicles closer to the series model marketed by the manufacturer; The T3 (light prototypes) performance can be increased.

In T4 J.Juan’s mastery of the brakes has been spectacular. Among the first 30 vehicles, only 2 (18th and 29th) did not have brakes from the Barcelona brand (Spain). The domain has been overwhelming and devastating. The category was won by Austin Jones (USA), followed by Gerard Farrés (ESP) and Rokas Baciouska (LTU).

In the T3 category there were 22 vehicles among the top 30 that fitted J.Juan brakes, who won 7 of the top 10 places, including the triumph of Francico “Chaleco” López (CHI) and the second place of Sebastian Eriksson (SWE ).

This is the fourth consecutive year that vehicles equipped with J.Juan brakes have won the Dakar in the Side by Side category, as is the case in almost all the major off-road events held in the United States and those organized by the FIA (International Automobile Federation)

Tomorrow, we will release how are the brakes that dominate this mythical race.

J.Juan is the world leader in the manufacture of meshed metallic hydraulic tubes and the second European manufacturer of motorcycle brakes. It is a company founded in 1965 in Barcelona (Spain), employs 640 people directly. The company is part of the Brembo Group, world leader of brake technology, founded in 1961 in Bergamo (Italy), with more than 12.000 employees in 15 countries on 3 continents, with 29 production and business sites. Brembo owns prestigious brands such as AP, AP Racing, Breco, Bybre, J.Juan, Marchesini and SBS Friction.


J.Juan equips 80% of the Side by Side competitors in the Dakar

J.Juan equips 80% of the Side by Side competitors in the Dakar

J.Juan faces his fourth Dakar with an impressive success in the participation of vehicles that equip their brakes. No less than 80% of the Side by Side competing in this edition fully trust the calipers produced by the Barcelona company.

Of the 51 vehicles that start in the Side by Side category, 47 are equipped with the brakes manufactured by the brand of the two jacks. If we extend the list to the other Side by Side, the so-called “light prototypes”, altogether it equips 78 of the 98 vehicles participating in the Dakar.

J.Juan decided to bet on this type of vehicle in 2018, when from the hand of the American Marc Burnett, equips his first Can Am, with which he obtained the prestigious Baja 1000 in California, a mythical Raids competition.

Shortly after, and with the help of South Racing, they started in the Dakar and since January 2019, J.Juan has counted as success each one of his participations in this prestigious desert competition. He won in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions. And he not only won, in the three previous editions the side by side that J.Juan equipped won the Top Ten of the final classification.

This type of vehicle is becoming the most common in this type of competition. For example, in the present Dakar it will be the second category of participation, with 98 Side by Side, just behind motorcycles (144) and ahead of cars (92), Trucks (57) and Quads (21)

With just 667 kilos of weight, these sports UTVs are propelled by 120 HP of power. Its agility and maneuverability give it a sporting spirit that is convincing the best car and motorcycle drivers.

J.Juan, which employs 640 workers, is a company created in Barcelona in 1965, specialized in hydraulic braking tube, production of brake calipers, hand master cylinders, control cables and clutches. It has recently been acquired by Brembo, the world benchmark in brake systems.

J.Juan will equip the brakes of the official Can Am, favorites to win the Dakar 2019 in the SXS category

J.Juan will equip the brakes of the official Can Am, favorites to win the Dakar 2019 in the SXS category

South Racing is the official Can Am team that will compete in the Dakar 2019. The team directed by Scott Abraham will use the powerful Can Am Maverick X3, starting as clear favorites to win the Side by Side (SxS) category Side by Side.

South Racing has chosen to face the most beautiful race in the world, equipping the vehicles with the J.JUAN racing braking kit. A choice born from tests that the same Scott Abraham has achieved, equipping over 2018 more than 50 Maverick in the race with the brakes produced in Barcelona (Spain) for this type of vehicles. With only 667 kg of weight, these sports UTVs are powered by 120 horsepower. Their agility and maneuverability, gives it a sporty spirit that is convincing and converting the great drivers and riders of rally cars and motorcycles.

There will be three official drivers of the South Racing at the Dakar in Peru, all potential candidates for the final victory: the Brazilian Reynaldo Varela, already winner of the category in 2018 with the same Team, Gerard Farrés, the Spanish rider passed by the two wheels – third at the Dakar ’17 – to the Side by Sids and able to conquer several successes in the season on this new caterogy, in addition to the American star Casey Currie, great winner in the American trials of Best In The Desert and Baja California.

J.JUAN started working at best on this competitive braking system in 2018, after the success achieved in 2017 at the BAJA 1000 in California, where his driver Marc Burnett won the World Score Championship.

Since then, the presence of this braking kit counts its participations with successes of the aforementioned pilots as well as the Stéphane Brunet (France), Brett Comiskey (Australia), Jesus Cucharrera (Spain), Chrtistine Giampaoli (Spain), Austin Jones (USA), Werner Mostert (South Africa), Monica Plaza (Spain), André Vilas Boas (Portugal).and, also, the pilots presents in the next Dakar’19

  • 340- Reynaldo Varela (Brasil)  – Gustavo Gugelmin (Brasil)
  • 343 -Cassey Currie (USA)
  • 358- Gerard Farres (Esp) – Daniel Oliveras (España)
  • 344- Sergei Kariakin (Rusia) – Anton Vlasiuk (Rusia)
  • 348- Claude Fournier (Fra) -Charly Gotlib (Belgica)
  • 360- Francisco López (Chile) – Álvaro Juan Leon  (Chile)
  • 366- Hernan Garcés (Chile) – Juan Pablo Latrach (Chile)
  • 368 -Joan Font (España) -Juan Félix Bravo (España)
  • 372- Miguel Jordao (portugallo) y Lourival Roldan (Brasil)
  • 378- Ricardo Porem (Portugal) – Jorge Monteiro (Portugal)
  • 385 -Anette Fisher (Alemania, Andreas Mayer (Alemania)
  • 397 – Bruno Varela (Brasil)
  • 398- Cristian Baumgart (Brasil) – Alberto Andreotti (Brasil)
  • – Emilio Ferrando. (España) -Guillermo Gómez de las Heras (España)-
  • 412-Marcos Baumgart (Brasil) Kleber Cincea (Brasil)
  • – Dani Sola (España) – Pedro López (España)
  • 416- Roberto Carranza (España) – Juan Carlos Fernández (España)
  • – José A. Hinojo (España) – Xavier Blanco (España)
  • 431 – José Salaverry (Perú) – Raúl Aray (Perú)
  • 414- Diego Heilbrun (Perú) – Juan Pedro Cilloniz Duclos (Perú)