Do Go-Karts Have Gears

Go-karts are mini versions of race cars you normally see in the F1 circuit. These fun machines run at a respectable speed and are great for both kids and adults.

A closer look reveals that go-karts have the same components as a race car. You have the wheels, the body, engine and brakes. However, you may be wondering, do go karts have gears?’

A gear system is important for a go kart to run. It enables them to move forward and backward. The most complex karts will have six-speed manual transmissions. But at the same time, there are go-karts that are simple and only have several gears.

You can say that go karts are easy versions of cars, and they are meant for use in smaller racetracks and competitive play. All of its parts, including the gears, handling and braking are easier to operate so you can focus on the road ahead.

Do Go Karts Have Gears and Transmission?

For a go-kart to move it must have a transmission. Most popular karts do away with manual transmission so people won’t have to spend time learning it. An automatic transmission system is more common in a go-kart than a manual system. This is so that kids and adults can just dive right in and enjoy speeding around a course.

A go-kart’s transmission keeps the engine under control. Without it, the vehicles might break down or explode because they will go over the rev limit’. Rev limit is the ratio limit between the kart’s wheels and engine- too much, and your engine breaks down and you won’t be able to move anymore.

The go kart has a transmission system so it can keep the gear ratio under control. You’ll be able to see the rev limit in the kart’s dashboard, particularly the tachometer.

You’ll discover that a go-kart’s transmission system is much more simple as the gears are only made up of a few parts. Its main function is to make sure the engine is running and the kart is zipping along as it should. Furthermore, the system keeps the engine cool and under the limit so it will not overheat.

Now you might think that removing the transmission system makes your go-kart faster. However, this is not the case. It’s not just a limiter that makes the go-kart slower- it actually handles the wheels and engine’s ratio so the kart can run from start to finish.

Is Automatic or Manual Transmission Better for Go-Kart?

Beginners tend to ask this question before hopping on a go-kart. They may not know how to make a kart run, and having to deal with manual transmission can put a damper on their plans.

Luckily, there are plenty of different models that have automatic transmission. Although die-hard karters may prefer a manual stick or shift, beginners can jump in without having to learn this mechanic.

Some people may not notice shifting gears as they race around a track, which means they were driving a go-kart with an automatic transmission. This is perfectly normal because go-karting is a hobby for all ages.

Most commercial go karts are made up of automatic transmission systems, and those systems consist of only a few gears. The term automatic means the system does everything for you, from checking the gear ratio to shifting higher or lower as needed. Your kart engine’s RPM, or revolution per minute will stay in optimal levels as you drive around the track.

Once you have a feel for go-karting you can then make the move from automatic to manual transmission. Also, those who prefer a challenge and take their skills further can get a go kart with a manual transmission.

Most professional and competitive go kart racers are actually choosing to race with a manual go-kart instead of an automatic kart. The reason for this is because they have a greater degree of control, and can dictate the speed better than an automatic kart. This applies to real cars as well- those that have manual transmission tend to be faster compared to their automatic counterparts.

Going back to kart racing. Go karts that sport a manual transmission system have the title shifter karts’.

Are Shifter Karts Better for Go-Karting?

Racers have better control over a go-kart with manual transmission. In a sense, a shifter kart offers a more immersive karting experience as you’ll be working with a more hands-on transmission system. However, you might ask, how many gears does a shifter kart have?’

Currently, most shifter karts sport a 6-gear manual transmission, which means the racer will be working with 6 different gears to make their karts move. As a rule, more gears equal more work but you have the ability to manage your kart’s engine better.

Therein lies the problem of simplicity versus usage. Generally speaking, automatic karts have that beginner’s appeal because all you need to learn is stepping on the gas and the brakes. You move the steering wheel left and the kart goes left, and right when the wheel turns right. The automatic transmission system does the rest.

With manual transmission, you will need to learn how to change gears or else you won’t go as fast as you’d like. Then there’s the matter of your kart’s engine overheating, or stalling because of improper shifting. However, when done right, a go-kart with a manual transmission is better for technical and experienced drivers.

The best part of manual driving is it works the same as a regular car’s transmission system. This means that you can drive a go-kart the same way you would a manual vehicle.

The transmission system in a go-kart is to make sure the engine has the right RPM. The right RPM means the engine works without drawbacks such as overheating and such. Experts recommend that you go-kart with an automatic transmission first to get a feel for racing and the track. Then, you can move to manual transmission such as shifter karts and enjoy the hobby at a higher level.

In some cases, road drivers won’t have to settle for automatic go karts if they want. If you’re already familiar with manual transmission, then you can choose a go-kart with that system and drive straight away. It’s the same as riding a bicycle- once you learn it, it’s just a matter of practice before you’re moving along.

Does a Go-Kart Have Clutch and Gears?

As long as we’re talking about gears, we might as well handle the clutch question. It stands to reason that if a go kart has gears, then it may as well have a clutch.

A clutch is only set in place for modern karts, specifically those with a 125CC engine. In this case, having a more powerful engine will require a centrifugal clutch so that it works. Before, go karts only had a direct drive system as they tend to stay within the engine and speed limits inherent in the hobby.

You will know that a go-kart is made recently if there’s a clutch feature somewhere in the product description. It’s a mandatory component for faster go-karts, and it often appears in competitive racing. On the other hand, beginner-friendly go karts will have a direct drive system and automatic transmission for easier handling and acceleration.

Are Professional Go-Karts Faster?

In your search for that right go kart you may have come across two different kinds- beginner and professional.

Although go-karting began as a hobby, it quickly rose in terms of competition level. Today, there are leagues that host professional go karting to racers across the globe.

Then again, you might assume that professional racing karts will have gears and a manual transmission system. If this is your guess, then you’re correct. What’s more, professionals often prefer shifter karts than your average consumer go-kart, mainly because of the manual transmission and extra power it brings.

These experts will know how to push the engine to the limit while making sure it doesn’t overheat. It’s similar to real race car racing, but only smaller and a bit slower.

Even so, some will choose to use automatic transmission where the shift work is done for them. It’s possible that they want to focus on driving and tackling the corners rather than concentrating on the stick. This is especially true if the course is tricky and has a lot of difficult curves.


To answer a common go-kart question, do go karts have gears?’ The answer is yes.

Go-karts typically fall into two categories- automatic and manual transmission. Each of these go karts have gears, but with several unique differences. Automatic transmission is easier to drive, and if you’d look inside them then you’ll see that there are only a few gears.

Manual transmission will have six or so gears, and driving a go kart with one is more difficult. However, the driver gets more control over the engine and speed. This aspect can prove to be the edge they need to win competitive races.

Lastly, newer go karts that have a 125CC engine will also likely come with a clutch.

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