Maximum Speed Calculations for Various Golf Cart Motors

Row of golf carts
  • 0-50 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-2,000

Tired of putting around the links behind a golf cart motor that chugs and sputters slower than your playing partners walk? Learn more about the maximum speeds that golf carts can travel, and how to increase the quickness and handling of your golf cart around the course.

How to Determine The Top Speed of Your Electric Golf Cart

The equation you can use to calculate the top speed of your golf cart motor is as follows. Multiply the RPM of your motor by your golf cart's tire radius in inches. Divide this number by the golf cart's gear ratio times the standard factor 168. This will give you the top speed of your golf cart in miles per hour.

For example, a golf cart that has 4000 RPM with 10-inch tires, and a gear ratio of 12.5 to 1 will be able to travel: (4000 X 10) divided by the gear ratio X 168 equals 19.1 mph. A golf cart with a 6:1 gear ratio, traveling at 4400 RPM on 12-inch tires can reach a shocking peak speed of over 52 miles an hour.

Golf carts with larger tires, a higher RPM engine, and a higher gear ratio will be able to travel at greater speeds.

Increase the Speed of Your Golf Cart with Larger Tires

golf cart

The simplest way to speed up your golf cart is to enlarge the tires. You can do this by inflating them or by buying a slightly larger set of wheel rims and tires to match. For your own safety, increase the tire pressure only as much as it provides you a comfortable ride and good steering control. Do not compromise either of these factors to get greater speed from your golf cart.

Speed Up Your Cart with a Bigger Motor

If you want to add a larger motor to your golf cart, be aware you must also replace the golf cart motor controller. This is a viable option if you play on courses that are very hilly, requiring both greater acceleration and traction. If you change your golf cart motor to a five-horsepower from 3-1/2 horsepower, upgrade the controller to 500 amps.

You may want to use your golf cart for street or path driving, too. You can upgrade the controller to 400 amps for a 3-1/2 hp motor for street operation. The five hp motor plus 500 amp controller mentioned above will work well on the streets and lanes of your golfing community too.

Switch Your Shifter to an Upgraded Controller

At higher horsepower levels, the standard gear shifter in the FNR (Forward, Neutral, Reverse) configuration might not work well. Upgrade your golf cart motor controller for one that can handle all these functions as well.

Take Sensible Precautions when Driving Your Golf Cart

Note that all golf cart manufacturers recommend you never drive faster than 25 miles per hour in your golf cart. Its high center of gravity, compounded by the weight of passengers and golf bags, can cause your cart to tip at high speed. You and your passengers could be seriously injured or killed.