[Kartbuilding] Go kart Builing question?

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Sun Mar 11 22:35:49 GMT 2007


Building a gokart is an excellent project and you should do very well. The 
advantage of building a gokart - is you can make it as simple or as 
complicated as you like, depending on your level of skill, ability and 
money available.

Starting off having a running motorcycle engine is a DEFINATE advantage. 
It will give you motivation and something to work towards. A 5 speed 
gearbox would be loads. I only every had 3 or 4 speed gearboxes. A 5 speed 
tranny/gearbox requires a lot of shifting.
Anyways, onto your questions:

1. The manual clutch works fine when connected up to a clutch pedal. There 
was one issue however. On a motorcycle - the clutch is the left handlebar 
lever and there is a HIGH degree of control and accuracy in the handlever. 
When connecting the clutch cable to a clutch pedal on my kart - the pedal 
was very sensitive - i.e. there was VERY small movement in the pedal 
between engaging and disengaging the clutch. I put a "roller" (piece of 
pipe which could spin freely) onto the clutch pedal - allowing for better 
control in disengaging (letting off) the clutch. I dont have a great photo 
of this. You can see at the bottom of this page -> 
http://www.kartbuilding.net/pictures.htm   the 3 pedals, and the clutch 
pedal has a piece of pipe which can spin freely.
Also if you take a look at this page -> 
http://www.kartbuilding.net/racingkart/Old_Racing_Kart/pedals.htm  You 
will see the bolt welded to the clutch pedal (on the racing kart) through 
which the cluctch cable is fed through a small hole, and a nut and washer 
tightened in. The height up of this bolt above the pivot of the pedal will 
adjust how sensitive the clutch engaging/disengaging will be.
Anyways - the clutch pedal is a very minor stage and can be tweaked 
afterwards to work better. I definately had no problem in getting a clutch 
pedal to work the clutch in a motorbike engine.

2. The gear shifter linkage. Well - I used both methods. I used a linkage 
on the general purpose kart. It worked ok. It could have been smoother - 
but it worked. On the racing kart - I simply welded a short lever to the 
gearchange shaft. The layout of the chassis on the www.kartbuilding.net 
website - is such that the engine is to the right of the driver. This puts 
the gearchange shaft close to the right hand of the driver. Therefore on 
the racing kart - a simple short lever welded to the gearchange shaft on 
the left of the engine worked best. Again - this is something which can be 
adjusted and tweaked to suit.

3. On the general purpose kart - I used Wheelbarrow wheels. These could 
simply be welded to the axle - as they have a hub and all. Although maybe 
not the best - they worked fine for me. On the racing kart - I got parts 
from an old crashed/donor racing kart and used these on a remade chassis. 
It is best to have pnuematic wheels/tyres as when there is no suspension 
the air in the tyres help to soften the bumps in the road.

4. Didnt see a question 4.

5. Hummm...closer pics of the gear shifter and clutch. Although the 
following images were only used on 1 motorbike/tranny setup - they may 
help you. Note: I only used the following setup for 2months as it was too 
heavy and complicated. Photos of a gearchange linkage are at: 

The clutch lever connection can be seen here:

Here is another gearchange lever directly welded to the gearchange shaft 
on another gearbox/tranny setup:

Apologies I do not have any close up photos of the gearlever and clutch 
connection on a working kart.

6. The estimaged max speed of the racing kart. Well I could have went 
adjusting sprockets etc. to get more speed - but I was easily able to 
achieve 45mph.

Best of Luck,

On Sat, 10 Mar 2007, Carson wrote:

> Hey i saw your write up on how to build a racing go kart, GREAT JOB! I am planning on building a gokart for my senoir exit and i am very excited. I am going to start this summer. I have a couple questions though. I am going to get a motorcycle engine for my cart with, hopefully, a 5 speed tranny.
> 1. I was wondering how the manual clutch works with the clutch pedal and what type of clutch would i get?
> 2. Also about the gear shifter linkage, does it work smooth? Is it hard to apply to a motorcycle tranny?
> 3. Where did you get your wheels and tyres?
> 5. DO you have any closer pics of how the clutch is installed and of the gear shifter linkage?
> 6. What is the estimate of the max speed for that racing cart?
> Thanks

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