For most Go kart enthusiasts, it is already a known fact that the transmission plays a very important role in the mechanism of the Go kart. Because of the transmission system, the driver gets to manage the speed of the kart.
What is the Transmission?
A transmission system, simple in its kind, consists of a number of gears and these are responsible for controlling the speed of the equipment.
Engines have this rev limit and going past this, expect that the engine will blow up. This limitation is commonly known the “redline”. This is where transmission comes in. it allows the changing of gears in order for the gear ratio connecting the engine and the drive wheels changes the moment you speed up or slow down. This mechanism allows the engine to stay below the “redline” while still keeping up with the optimal revs per minute or rpm. The transmission is vital to maintain the greatest possible rpm while making it sure that the engine does not overheat and eventually blow up.
Having a manual transmission is definitely more challenging than riding one that has an automatic transmission system but definitely more exciting and fulfilling to drive. The mechanism of manual transmission systems requires the driver to learn the necessary changing of the gears to be able to operate the karting machine.
Getting used with changing the gears usually takes time and a lot of practice and sometimes, it can be quite frustrating especially for starters, but once you get to learn to basics, it would not be difficult to carry on. It will be a lot easier by doing the activity often and sometimes it can end up to be one’s second nature.
Another advantage of manual transmissions in karting cars is that the driver can select better which gears that he wants. There is also a driving technique called a heel-and-toe downshift, to better match the gear ratio for a given speed with the engine's powerband, keeping it in the thick of the horsepower output, meaning, that the RPM of the engine is always where there is most power. This translates into better lap times as well, because the engine is outputting more, and able to propel the vehicle better.
One driving technique common to manual transmissions is the “heel and toe downshifting”. At an instance of hard braking for an approaching slow corner, the driver will downshift to a particular gear that is appropriate for the corner without overstressing transmission or upsetting the car.
This kind of technique is, however, complicated to execute. Once the driver will downshift to a gear while braking, with the use of the right foot for the brakes and the left foot to the clutch, the go kart will lurch once the clutch is released and this will strain the drivetrain which will lock up the wheels. So it would really come handy to have a third one with which to use the accelerator to match revs when the clutch gets released. But as they say, practice makes this maneuver perfect!
Advantages Of A Manual Tranny Over Automatic
The power is always flowing in a manual tranny, and during cornering there is no power lag when exiting corners, because by the time that the automatic is downshifting, the manual is already in a lower gear and putting the power down when it counts the most.