Home Forums Shifter Karts chain length, does it matter? Reply To: chain length, does it matter?

Scott Newton

I too am curious on what the general knowledge is on how this applies to karting…

I know in the Formula 500/600 world, the answer is generally defined by how reliable you want the chain to be.  A longer chain generally means a cooler chain (since each link makes fewer RPM, it has more time to cool each trip around)… but a longer chain also means a heavier chain, which translates into rotating mass and lost horsepower.  For the F500/600 cars, which have a similar power::weight ratio, but roughly double of both – it’s generally preferable to go for the maximum chain length practical.  This is done by either increasing the center to center distance, or by running the largest rear gear practical and then selecting the appropriate front gear for the track.  A longer chain made by gear selection is also preferable to a longer chain made by c2c distance – since this also means the chain needs to bend less around the front gear (and thus less heat, less wear & tear, less parasitic drag).