Go-Kart Chain Size Chart: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you’re a seasoned go-kart racer or a beginner, understanding the dimensions and terminology of go-kart chains is crucial. From chain size to tensile strength, each component has a vital role in the performance and durability of your go-kart. This article will explore the importance of comprehending the go-kart chain size chart and why it matters for your ride.

Go-Kart Chain Size Chart

Chain Size Pitch Roller Diameter Roller Width Pin Diameter
35 3/8″ 3/16″ 3/16″ 1/8″
40 4/8“ 0.312″ 5/16″ 0.156″
41 4/8“ 0.306″ 1/4″ 0.141″
410 4/8“ 0.306″ 1/8″ 0.141″
415 4/8“ 0.306″ 3/16″ 0.141″
415H 4/8“ 0.306″ 3/16″ 0.141″
420 4/8“ 0.306″ 1/4″ 0.156″
425 4/8“ 0.312″ 5/16″ 0.156″
428 4/8“ 0.335″ 5/16″ 0.177″
428H 4/8“ 0.335″ 5/16″ 0.177″
520 5/8″ 0.4″ 1/4″ 0.2″
520H 5/8″ 0.4″ 1/4″ 0.2″
520-2 5/8″ 0.4″ 1/4″ 0.2″
525 5/8″ 0.4″ 5/16″ 0.2″
530 5/8″ 0.4″ 3/8″ 0.2″

Chain size

A too-loose or tight chain can lead to poor performance or even accidents. Chain size refers to the dimensions of the chain, and it is calculated using the first digit of the pitch and the roller width.

To calculate the chain size, you must convert the pitch and roller width measurements to X/8″. The pitch is the distance between the links of the chain, and it is calculated by measuring the center of pin 1 to the center of pin 2 of the following link. The roller diameter is the diameter of the roller in the chain, while the roller width is the distance between the two inner plates of the roller. The formula for chain size is as follows:

Chain size = (First Digit of Pitch converted to X/8″) + (Roller Width converted to X/8″).

For example, if the pitch is 3/8″ and the roller width is 1/4″, the chain size would be (3 converted to X/8″) + (2 converted to X/8″) = 5.

Different chain sizes are designed to handle other loads, so choosing the right size for your go-kart is essential. A too-weak chain for your go-kart can break under load, while a too-strong chain can add unnecessary weight and reduce performance.

Always double-check your measurements and choose a chain matching your go-kart’s needs for optimal performance.

The Pitch

Pitch is an important dimension to consider when selecting a go-kart chain. It is the distance between the links of a chain and is an essential factor in determining how the chain will perform under different conditions. The pitch measurement is calculated by measuring the distance between the center of pin 1 to the center of pin 2 of the following link in the chain. The pitch calculation formula can be expressed as Pitch = Center of Pin 1 to Center of Pin 2.

For example, let us consider a go-kart chain with a center distance between pin 1 and pin 2 of 25mm. To calculate the pitch, we divide the center distance by 2, which gives us the distance from the center of the chain to either pin or 12.5mm. Thus, the pitch for this chain would be 25mm since it is the total distance between the centers of two adjacent links.

The pitch formula plays an essential role in determining the overall length of a go-kart chain. It also affects the overall strength of the chain, as well as how well it will perform under different operating conditions. A chain with a larger pitch is typically stronger and more durable than one with a smaller pitch. However, a smaller pitch chain will provide smoother operation and better performance. Therefore, selecting a chain with the appropriate pitch for the specific application is crucial.

The pitch is a critical measurement when selecting a go-kart chain. Its calculation is straightforward and involves measuring the distance between the center of pin 1 and pin 2 of adjacent links. The pitch formula provides insight into a chain’s strength and performance characteristics, making it an essential factor to consider when selecting the appropriate chain for your application.

Pin diameter

The pin diameter, which holds the links together in the chain, plays an essential role in determining the chain’s overall strength and durability. The larger the pin diameter, the stronger the chain and the more weight it can handle. This is because a larger pin diameter provides more material for the chain to resist the forces applied to it during use. As a result, go-kart chains with larger pin diameters are generally more robust and more durable, making them ideal for high-performance applications.

Calculating the pin diameter involves measuring the diameter of the pin itself. The formula used to calculate the pin diameter is straightforward. You take the diameter of the pin and add 0.004 inches to account for the clearance required between the pin and the inner surface of the bushing. The resulting value gives you the pin diameter.

For example, if the diameter of the pin measures 0.187 inches, the pin diameter calculation would be as follows:

Pin Diameter = Pin Diameter + 0.004 Pin Diameter = 0.187 + 0.004 Pin Diameter = 0.191 inches

Roller width

The roller width of a go-kart chain is the distance between the two inner plates. It is an essential measurement in determining the size and strength of a chain. A wider roller width usually means a more substantial chain that can handle more load and stress. The roller width calculation is a simple formula that considers the roller’s width and the thickness of the inner plates. The formula for roller width is as follows:

Roller Width = width of roller (distance between the two inner plates).

To understand the calculation, let’s take an example. Suppose the width of the roller is 0.375 inches, and the thickness of the inner plates is 0.080 inches. The roller width calculation would be:

Roller Width = 0.375 inches – 2 x 0.080 inches Roller Width = 0.375 inches – 0.160 inches Roller Width = 0.215 inches

Therefore, the roller width of this go-kart chain would be 0.215 inches. A wider roller width means the chain can withstand more stress and load, making it ideal for heavy-duty applications. On the other hand, a narrower roller width indicates a less strong chain that is suitable for light-duty applications.

Roller diameters

Roller diameters are the round components that come into contact with the sprockets and directly impact the pitch and the overall width of the chain.
The larger the diameter, the higher the pitch and the width of the chain.

The calculation of roller diameter is quite simple. All you need to do is measure the diameter of the roller using a caliper or ruler. The formula for roller diameter calculation is straightforward:

Roller Diameter = Diameter of a roller.

For instance, if the measured diameter of a roller is 0.4 inches, then the roller diameter would be 0.4 inches.


Tensile strength refers to the maximum load a chain can take before it breaks. The chain size chart usually provides information on the tensile strength of each chain size, which helps determine if it’s strong enough for your specific application.

However, it’s important to note that other factors like wear and corrosion resistance may also be crucial in chain performance. Additionally, the actual strength of a chain depends on various factors, including the type of material used and the manufacturing process.

Thus, while tensile strength is an important consideration, it’s essential also to consider other factors and take a holistic approach when choosing a go-kart chain.

The popular go-kart chain sizes are 35, 40, 41, 420, 428, and 50.

The 35 chains are typically used on low-powered go-karts and mini bikes, while the 40 and 41 chains are more commonly used on higher-powered karts.

The 420 and 428 chains are similar in size and strength, but the 420 is narrower and used on smaller karts, while the 428 is more comprehensive and used on larger karts.

The 50 chain is the largest and strongest of the standard sizes and is typically used on high-performance karts with large engines.

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