Go Karts

Published: 23rd May 2009
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Go -kart was initially introduced in the year 1956. It is a small four wheeled vehicle intended for racing. In the year 1958 an American company, Go Kart Manufacturing Co. established the first kart company. McCulloch the first kart engine manufacturer shortly followed in the year 1959.

Go-cart's popularity started to spread globally and has currently evaded most of Europe.

This type of vehicle is composed of many parts with a variety of classification to choose from. The different types or technology of a kart's part can be mixed and matched to create the most suitable go-cart vehicle that you need.

The Internet provides many designs and building plans that can help you build a go-cart vehicle. Some websites even provides "Do It Yourself" go-cart package that are relatively cheaper compared to a ready made one.

When building or buying a go-cart, one should familiarize himself with the parts and funcionalities of a go-cart's structure. This can help you decide which type of motor or material will best suite your need.

Parts of a Go-cart


Chassis is composed of steel tubes. Go kart chassis are flexible and stiff in character, this is to compensate for the absence of a suspension in this machine. It should be able to adjust easily to perform a suspension's function and must be durable enough to absorb impact of sudden maneuvers. Go-cart chassis are classified into four:

- Open kart, which has no roll cage is a CIK-FIA approved chassis.

- Caged kart has a roll cage and is popular for dirt tracks.

- Straight chassis is CIK-FIA approved type of chassis. It is highly suitable for sprint racing that provides a center sit for its driver.

- Offset chassis is the most appropriate chassis for left-turn-only speedway racing, which provides a left side sit for the race driver.

The rigid charactersistic of a go-cart chassis allows it to function on different maneuver and road conditions. Chassis with higher rigidty level performs best on dry conditions while a more flexible one eases work on wet conditions. A high quality chassis offers a detachable stiffening bar that can be set on any of its side to accommodate any given race condition.

Go-cart brakes operate through a disc brake placed on the back axle. Though the use of front brakes are already highly popular it is still restricted to other types go-carts.

Standard professional go-carts weighs 75 to 80 kg exclusive of its driver.

Types of Engines

· Electric go-carts

Electric go-cart engines are smoke-free which makes them suitable for indoor racing or contained racing environment . It is powered by a set of rechargeable lead-acid-batteries that requires a cluster of chargers to repower. Electric go-carts can last a 20 minute fast performance before its batteries gradually run down.

· 2-stroke

A 2-stroke kart type of engine was initially introduced by a group go-cart manufacturers. It is composed of a single 60cc cylinder unit with 8 hp that can be upgraded up to a 250 twin units at 90 hp.

A higher touch-and-go (TAG) 2-stroke engine with 125cc is the most popular category of this engine at present. It was shortly followed by KF1 engine at 125cc that can reach a maximum of 16,000 rpm. This engine technology are now water-cooled designed though most consumers still prefered the prerequisite air-cooled engines.

· 4-stroke

4-stroke engines are industrial based air cooled engines that can be modified from a standard 5 hp to 20 hp. A higher standard 4-stroke engine technology provided by a different manufacturer is also available, which runs at a minimum of 15hp to 48 hp at max. This type of engine are particularly designed for karting that can run at 11,000 rpm.


Go-carts do not have a diffrential technology, which cause one of the back tires to slide while cornering. A structured chassis provides this flexibility by slightly lifting the inside rear tire as the kart maneuvers to a corner.

The tire looses its hold on the ground, which allows it to completely slide or slihtly take off from the ground.

Power is initially transferred via chain effect transfer, which direct power from engine going to the rear axle. A go-cart's engine as well as its axle sprockets are detachable. They are usually reattached base on the track's configuration to achieve the maximum performance of the machine.

The Initially go-carts are designed for direct drive alone that was very inconevenient formany users. This gave way to the development of centrigfugal clutch that is now also known as dry centrifugal clutches. Clutched engines with 125 cc was later on set as the international standard.


Go-cart's tires and wheels are noticeably smaller compared to the ones used in a standard car. A go-cart's rim is commonly made of magnesium alloy and aluminum materials. These tires and rims are designed to contain cornering forces base on the engine, chassis and motor configuration.

Types of Tires


Slick tires are most suitable for dry weather condition. The sofest slick tire provides a steadfast grip on the ground while the hardest give lesser grip benefit but are known to have longer lifespan.

Rain tires

Rain tires are designed for wet weather conditions. This type of tire has a soft finish and are thinner than slicks. It is also specifically grooved to redirect water away as the tire touches the ground while it is running.

Spiked tire is a special tire type which is used for snow.David Bradley is a freelance writer who is the author of articles such as How to build a wooden Go-Kart, How to build a Go Kart, and How to Build a Go-Kart Visit Go Karts.

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