Advantages of the 3D Manual Go Kart Clutch – 3D Motorsport Engineering
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    In order to understand the advantages of the 3D Manual Clutch (Patent Pending), it is important to first understand the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative clutches that are available to you. A centrifugal clutch has two advantages: they can be very cheap (less than $25), and they are very easy to use. The rider must only know how to control the throttle in order to get the kart or bike moving since the clutch is controlled by the engine speed and not by a lever or pedal. This is where the advantages stop and the disadvantages begin. To name a few:

    • Centrifugal clutches can significantly hinder standing start acceleration, even on karts and mini bikes that make impressive horsepower. This is for two reasons. First, almost all non-racing clutch manufacturers design their clutch to engage just above idle in order to improve ride-ability at low speeds. The engine makes little torque at this low RPM which correlates to poor acceleration. Second, engines equipped with centrifugal clutches are unable to use the energy stored in the flywheel and other rotating engine components to propel the vehicle off the line. Some very expensive racing clutches (Bully, SMC, Jammer, etc.) enable the engagement speed to be adjusted to match the RPM that the engine achieves peak torque. This improves acceleration, but still does not allow the rotating inertia of the flywheel to be utilized to propel the vehicle forward.

    • Centrifugal Clutches do not allow for decompression braking. Decompression braking is used throughout motorsport to help set up for turns and to also keep the engine at elevated RPM in preparation for the transition back to the throttle.

    • Bikes and karts that are equipped with a centrifugal clutch cannot be bump started (pushing the bike until it starts). On race engines that do not have a pull start, this means buying an expensive remote starter to start the engine. For motorized bicycle enthusiasts, a centrifugal clutch prevents the rider from pedaling to start the engine.

    • Centrifugal clutches are not well designed for slow speed riding. If the vehicle is moving so slow that the clutch has to be disengaged to maintain the speed, the clutch can burn up as a result of the heat that builds up during slippage. This is especially true for race karts that have clutches with high stall speeds. Race karts can only be driven below race pace for short periods of time, else they risk permanent clutch damage.


    A manual clutch offer significant advantages. While it does require the rider/driver to install a clutch lever or pedal to their kart or mini bike, and also requires them to learn proper clutch control technique, the increased performance can not be understated. In fact, no other modification will improve the performance as profoundly and cheaply as the 3D Manual Clutch. Some of the primary advantages are:

    • Improved Acceleration. The laws of physics dictate that maximum acceleration occurs when maximum torque is applied to the rear wheel(s). Maximum torque is applied to the rear wheels when the engine is at the RPM that peak torque is made. A manual clutch is the device that allows the rider to hold the engine at peak torque while accelerating via precise control of the clutch lever. Additionally, a manual clutch allows the rider to convert the energy stored in the flywheel into usable torque for a burst of acceleration off the line and out of turns. Put simply, for off the line acceleration, there is no faster clutch on the market.

    • Ability to bump start the engine. The rider can now elect to start the engine by pushing the bike forward with the clutch disengaged and then quickly releasing the clutch lever. This is a major advantage for motorized bicycle enthusiasts because it allows the pull start to be removed if desired.

    • Greatly improved traction control. With proper clutch technique, rear wheel traction can be improved in and out of turns. This is a significant advantage for race kart drivers.

    • Slow speed riding and 'cow trailing' does not harm the clutch or cause it to overheat because the clutch is not slipping unless the rider wants it to slip.

    • Fun Factor! It's challenging to quantify this advantage. If you love wheelies, burnouts, and donuts, and want your mini bike to feel like your dirt bike then you will love using the 3D Manual Clutch.