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TKART magazine Tech Talk | The transmission of a kart
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Gianluca Covini
22 June 2021
Let’s analyse the set of mechanical parts, after the gearbox or the engine output shaft, which allow the transmission of traction to the wheels. To understand how they can affect the performance of your single-speed or shifter kart.
By transmission we mean the set of mechanical parts, after the gearbox or the output shaft of the engine, which allow the transmission of traction from the engine to the wheels.
Designed to minimise weight and maintenance, the transmission in a kart is very simple and consists of the following elements:

- sprocket
- chain
- gear wheel.

There are also some exceptions, such as for example the Rotax 125 MAX DD2 EVO, which has a gear transmission rather than a chain transmission.
The sprocket is the "driving wheel" that receives motion directly from the engine (or from the gearbox gear cascade) while the gear wheel is the "driven wheel”. Between these two elements there is the chain, which has the task of transmitting the motion from the sprocket to the gear wheel. The number of sprocket and gear wheel teeth determines the transmission ratio, the choice of which is essential in order to adapt the performance of the engine torque to the characteristics of a track. There is no differential, which is the organ that allows different rotation speeds between the axis wheels, because the connection between them is rigid, since they are on the same axle. There is no chain tensioner either, the device that allows the tension of the chain to be kept constant, to prevent excessive oscillations causing the chain to come out from the teeth of the gear wheel and sprocket on which it is installed. Maintenance, which also includes periodic checking of alignment and tightening, is therefore essential to avoid damage on the track.
The transmission in the kart is very simple and consists of a sprocket, chain and gear wheel, for both shifter and single-speed karts
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