While removing or installing the go-kart clutch, you may have thought, how does it really work or why do I require it, or perhaps you want to modify your clutch for better performance, and learning how they really work is a great place to begin.

Centrifugal clutch is one of the two popular transmissions utilized in karts together with the torque converters, which makes use of the friction force and centrifugal force for transmitting power from your engine to the wheel.


Your clutch can actually be divided into two components. Other than that, the clutch has springs, shoes, and friction lining at the shoes end. The drum is attached to your driven shaft, while the spiders, springs, and shoes are attached to the driving shaft. On the kart clutches, the springs are circular, but they’re all based on the same code. The clutches on go-karts and minibikes look similar.

How Does It Really Work?

When the crankshaft in your engine begins to rotate, the driving shaft begins to rotate with it. The driving shaft is attached to the shoes with the aid of springs and spiders, so the shoes begin to rotate with the shaft’s axis.

Once the shoes begin to rotate, they’ll have the centrifugal force in the way opposite to their spring force and will move outwards while stretching your springs. Therefore, the spring will put on spring force on the shoes in the way opposite to the centrifugal force, and as it increases more and more, the spring force will continue increasing.

When your engine rpm is high enough for this centrifugal force to be larger than the spring force, the shoes will move outwards until the two forces even out. But at some RPM, the shoes will engage with the drum of the clutch. The shoes have friction lining at the surface end; when they come in touch with the drum, they’ll apply friction force on its drum, making the sprocket and the drum move.

More likely, the clutch contains a circular spring, and the shoes are surrounding its spring. Similar to the clutch with four springs, it functions on the same principle, as your engine shaft rotates, the shoes begin to rotate with the spring.

Then the spring expands because of the centrifugal force and develops the spring force in the opposite course. Lastly, the drum begins to rotate because of the friction force because of the shoes, and the sprocket begins to rotate, and the go-kart begins to move.

Related: Common Go-Kart Torque Converter Problems And How To Fix Them

Advantages & Disadvantages:


  • Fully Automatic
  • Very simple construction
  • Low maintenance
  • Cheap


  • A lot of heat generated
  • Slipping

How Can You Modify The Centrifugal Clutch For The Go-Kart?

If you have got a great quality clutch such as Max Torque’s clutch, then there are some modifications you can actually make.

Increase The Pressure Points:

The clutch will come with six shoes installed, that’s six pressure points on your engine drum when it engages with the shoes. You can upsurge the pressure points to nine by cutting three of the shoes in half. Some things to remember:

  • Blunt out the shoes’ sharp edges before you put them back together in your clutch.
  • Just cut three shoes, the ones that aren’t covering the holes.

Adjust The Kart Clutch For Higher RPM:

If you desire the engines to engage at a higher RPM, then you will need to shorten the springs. If your springs are in the round form, then you can cut two to three loops from the open end, but do remember, if you shorten it excessively, then it’ll be really difficult to reassemble your clutch.

When you cut the spring, the centrifugal force at which they’ll engage upsurges. If you shorten it excessively and the engine isn’t modified, then your clutch may never engage, so two to three loops are sufficient until you upgrade the engine.

How Can You Adjust The Centrifugal Clutch For Higher RPM?

  • First of all, take out the clutch from the mini bike or go-kart.
  • You will see the snap ring that contains the clutch’s drum to the other half of your clutch; take out the snap ring using the snap ring plier.
  • You will locate a spacer/washer between the drum and the cover of the clutch’s other half. Make certain not to lose it.
  • If there‘s another snap ring, you will have to take that out too.
  • Now, you will be capable of seeing the spring after you have removed the cover.
  • Take out the spring.
  • Cut two to three loops from the open end.

Replace The Spring In Your Clutch:

In place of cutting off a few loops from the spring in the existing clutch, you can exchange it altogether with the new one. There are springs available with higher stiffness, denoting that they’ll engage at the higher RPM.

For instance, the Max-Torque has diverse spring colors, with the black one with the highest stiffness. According to how modified the engine is, you can select the spring on the RPM basis at which they actually engage.