[Kartbuilding] Go kart Builing question?

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Mon Mar 12 09:38:04 GMT 2007


Well - the motorbike engine I used had 4 gears and was a 100cc engine - so 
ya, 45-50mph was what I got. Again - I could have tweaked that to go 
faster by changing the gear ratio of the sprockets.

Im of the opinion - that if the racing kart is build solidly enough and 
handles well - the speed can be taken up to 60-70 if the driver is 

I made up a PDF drawing of the Modified Clutch Pedal. It is included in 
the racing kart plans on:
and specifically is located at:

Best of Luck,

On Sun, 11 Mar 2007, Carson wrote:

> Thankyou very much!!
> But is 45mph for the 5 speed racing cart or the off road cart? If that was 
> the top for teh racing cart that seems kinda low for 5 gears and 14 hp.
> Could you draw me a quick pic in paint about the "roller" you put on the 
> clutch pedal and explain it a little more if you don't mind.
> Just to let you know i am planning to build a racing kart not a offroad FYI.
> Also i saw that on your offroad kart with the 4 speed 5hp honda engine you 
> needed 4 sprkets and 2 chains...why is this? Could you explain?

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Stephen Burke" 
> To: "Carson" 
> Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 5:35 PM
> Subject: Re: Go kart Builing question?
>> Hi,
>> 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: 
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/ 
>> Specifically:
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC00984.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC00978.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC00982.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01007.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01008.JPG.html
>> The clutch lever connection can be seen here:
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01005.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01006.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC00985.JPG.html
>> Here is another gearchange lever directly welded to the gearchange shaft on 
>> another gearbox/tranny setup:
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01020.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01022.JPG.html
>> http://www.kartbuilding.net/gallery/v/Kart_Clearance_and_Memories/DSC01023.JPG.html
>> 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,
>> -steve
>> 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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