MXA TEAM TESTED: MAGNUM 2KEWL COOLER BRAKE PADS

October 21, 2011
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WHAT IS IT? Magnum 2Kewl Cooler brake pads have a large, finned heat sink built into the brake pads’ base. The heat sink draws heat out of the pads, and the fin allows for air cooling.

WHAT’S IT COST? $36.95.

CONTACT? www.magnum-braking.com or (800) 783-5859.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Magnum 2Kewl Cooler brake pads.

(1) Concept. Heat is a natural byproduct of friction. There is no way around it. If you want to stop, it’s going to get hot. The question is: what can you do to keep a brake system within the optimum operating temperature range? There are many ways for brake draggers to attempt to beat the heat. You have to chuckle about rear master cylinder extender caps, because they are so far away from the heat source. On the other hand, cauliflower rotors, larger brake pads and oversize calipers can make a difference. Many riders even remove the plastic guards on both their front and rear brakes to get more air to the rotors. In light of these attempts, adding a heat sink to the brake pads is not a crackpot idea.

(2) Installation. Our Honda 2Kewl Cooler pads were as easy to install as any brake pads?with one catch, literally. The extra material at the base of the cooling fin interfered slightly with the stock metal retainer clip by the brake pin. Obviously, the MXA test riders didn’t want any interference hampering the pads’ movement?no matter how minor. A quick little tweak with pliers freed the pads.

(3) Market. Magnum didn’t design the 2Kewl pads for pure performance racing, but for durability and economy. Durability is a great feature, but for brake draggers, brake pads that could delay brake fade is the number-one goal.

(4) Performance. The Magnum’s 2Kewl Cooler brake pads weren’t as grabby as the stockers. No crime here, because the stock pads are very good. The problem for CRF brake draggers isn’t that the stock Honda pads aren’t any good, but that the miniature Honda caliper and rear brake pads generate tremendous heat?which leads to a very quick chirp/squeal/fade scenario. The good news is that the Magnum 2Kewl Cooler brake pads actually resist brake fade. Every test rider felt that brake performance degraded slower, and while the overall stopping power wasn’t as good as with the stock OEM pads, there was stopping power long after the Honda brakes had given up the ghost.

(5) Vulnerability. Longevity and heat resistance were Magnum’s priorities when they selected their full metallic compound and extended fin design. No doubt these features help dissipate heat before it gets to the brake fluid, but the protruding heat sink is vulnerable to crash damage. That should be of some concern.  

(6) Availability. Brake draggers rejoice. Magnum’s Cooler pads aren’t a Honda exclusive. There are models for Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM.

(7) Looks. Test riders were torn on the aesthetics of the 2Kewl Cooler pads’ exposed fins. Some thought it was goofy looking and some thought it was trick. Either way, it’s definitely eye-catching. As a side note, you can see the base of the brake cooling fin discolor once exposed to heat.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There were three quibbles: (1) Although more consistent through a long moto, they definitely didn’t have the grip of the OEM pads. (2) We had to bend the end retainer clip a bit to prevent interference. (3) They could be damaged in a crash.


The Magnum 2Kewl Cooler pads address the brake dragger niche by providing more consistent rear brake performance.

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