Torque Converter vs Centrifugal Clutch – Which is Better For Predator 212 Go-Karts

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There are two commonly used power transmissions for mini bikes and go-karts: Centrifugal clutch and torque converter. Small engines like Predator 212, using 30 series torque converters, can generate a power of 6.5 hp. In this article, we are going to discuss a comparison of the centrifugal clutch and 30 series torque converter (torque converter vs centrifugal clutch). Which one from the above can be the best choice for your go-kart?

Torque Converter vs Centrifugal Clutch – Which is Better For Predator 212 Go-Karts

This article will briefly compare the go-kart torque converter and centrifugal clutch. Before comparing both, we will discuss how they work. Moreover, the go-kart torque converter adjustment is also significant to understand.

Choosing Between Clutch and Torque Converter: A Comparison

Torque converter

Are you wondering how a go-kart torque converter works? Here is its complete working process. Two pulleys, a driver pulley, and a driven pulley, make up the go-kart torque converter for Predator 212cc. A belt links the two pulleys in addition to the pull both themselves towards each other. 

The driven pulley is in touch with a jackshaft, while the driver pulley is in contact with the engine crankshaft. Meanwhile, the jackshaft also contains a sprocket coupled to the axle sprocket by a chain.

Also, the belt that comes into contact with the driven pulley when the engine is idle has a much larger diameter than the belt that comes into contact with the driver pulley.

When the throttle is opened and the engine’s RPM increases, the belt diameter in contact with the driver pulley will begin to increase. Therefore, automatic transmission refers to a gear ratio that increases as engine rpm rises. Therefore, it is perfect for any off-road application requiring greater initial torque.

One significant drawback of a torque converter is power loss, a common problem with all belt drive systems. You will lose 20% of your power due to belt slippage, and the power loss is significantly worse for the 30 series CVT because of its asymmetric belt.

In addition, your speed will be limited in addition to the belts wearing out over time from the heat they emit, necessitating periodic belt replacement. Read on to learn more about the torque converter’s internal mechanisms! 

Centrifugal Clutch

Basically, the go-kart clutch will probably be a centrifugal, multi-plate, or wet clutch system. However, here we will just discuss the centrifugal clutch. For more, you can explore wet clutch vs torque converter or something more like that.

The design of centrifugal clutches is extremely straightforward; they consist of a single drum and a clutch.

The shoes will come into contact with the drum when the engine begins to rotate since the drum has a sprocket that connects to the axle sprocket.

There is only one gear ratio in these systems. The gear ratio can be adjusted in advance, but it must be done correctly, or your clutch will quickly wear out.

A 6:1 gear ratio is great for 13-inch tires, but drop the ratio if you want a better takeoff or bigger tires. The right ratio depends on your tire and the weight of the kart. The major benefit the clutch has over torque converters is that it is considerably better for racing because of the high-power go-kart transmission efficiency provided by the chain transmission.

More torque will help you accelerate better than more power so that the clutch of a go-kart will become faster, and the torque converter will provide a better takeoff. More power will move you farther over a longer distance.

Kart racing

If your goal is to compete on flat courses and you have a powerful engine like the Stage 1 Predator or the Tillotson 212, choose a racing clutch like the Norman GE Ultimate.

Be aware that these racing clutches are pricey; only invest in one if your engine is powerful. Such clutches won’t be used by a Predator 212 engine that is factory stock. 

A stock clutch is far more affordable and suitable for racing on a stock Predator 212 than a racing clutch. The main drawback of utilizing a torque converter for racing is that it restricts the top rpm and results in significant power loss in CVTs (or any belt drives in general) owing to belt slippage.

For a stock predator 212, the rev restriction won’t be an issue; even without the governor, you won’t need to be concerned about rpm limits. But the speed will be impacted by the power loss. 

If you have an engine that produces more rpm, like the Juggernaut 30 series, which performs well at high rpm, you can also solve the rev limit problem. 


A clutch is never even a consideration when using a torque converter for off-road applications.

Why? Because torque converters are variable transmissions, the gear ratio will be quite low when you start your engine. This means that even when the engine produces less power, the wheels will still receive a lot of torque.

Contrarily, a centrifugal clutch will have a fixed gear ratio (teeth in the axle sprocket: teeth in the clutch sprocket), so unless the gear ratio is reduced, the top speed will be very low, and you will quickly burn through your clutches.


If you ensure the proper setup and maintenance, both the clutch and torque converter will be able to last for a long time. If you properly take care, an original comet torque may last up to five to ten years, and even the comet clones may last up to two to three years. The torque converter belts can wear out in a short time, particularly if you are using the wrong belt. If you are using the wrong size belt, it will usually wear down. Moreover, if you use a torque converter, ensure you have an extra belt.

A clutch can also be usable for up to one to two years if you maintain it properly, and it is cheap compared to a torque converter. 

The clutch problems are generally because of the incorrect gear ratio and heavy karts/drivers. Moreover, it can also be due to the usage of tracks, which needs more torque to start, or low-speed driving.

How they work

This section will discuss the working procedure of both the centrifugal clutch to torque converter. 


Both the torque converter and centrifugal clutch can be used for your go-kart. We discussed the necessary factors for both to enable you to decide which one will be best for you (torque converter vs centrifugal clutch). In addition to the centrifugal clutch, there are also other types of clutches that you can explore; for example, you can search for torque converter vs dual-clutch or any other type of clutch. After reading this guide, we hope you will be able to choose the appropriate one for you. Good Luck!


Should I have a torque converter or centrifugal clutch in my go kart?

The decision between a torque converter and a centrifugal clutch for your go-kart depends on your preferences. Torque converters provide smooth acceleration and better low-end torque, suitable for off-road driving. While Centrifugal clutches are simpler and cost-effective, ideal for casual or beginner karting with less maintenance. Choose based on your driving style and maintenance preference.

How does the choice between a torque converter and a centrifugal clutch impact the overall driving experience?

The choice between a torque converter and a centrifugal clutch shapes the driving experience. Torque converters offer smoother acceleration and better low-end torque for versatile terrains. Meanwhile, centrifugal clutches provide simplicity and cost-effectiveness, delivering a straightforward feel ideal for casual or beginner karting.

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