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Types of Go-Karts

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 26 Aug 2016 | comments*Discuss
Electric Go-karts petrol-powered

As with most types of vehicles, there are many types of Go-Karts. Although most Go-Karts look very similar to one another, there are actually some subtle variations between them that differentiate them.

Electric Go-KartsWhen we think of the average Go-Kart, we tend to think of the traditional petrol-powered Go-Kart, but they can also be powered by electricity too.

Electric Go-Karts are best suited to those who already have some experience of Go-Karting, as they can accelerate very quickly. On the plus side, they are quick and easy to handle, as well as being lower maintenance than their petrol-run counterparts, and cost less to insure. You can buy an electric Go-Kart for less than £200.

They aren’t particularly competitive, but they suit anyone who wants to have their own Go-Kart, but isn’t bothered about having a top-of-the-range model. The battery packs also make it harder for the Go-Karts to flip over, as the added weight usually makes them too heavy. This makes electric Go-Karts safer to drive, as long as they are driven on flat ground.

Unlike petrol-powered Go-Karts, they can be used in both indoor and outdoor Go-Karting. Go-Karts that are run on petrol can’t be used indoors because of the toxic fumes that they produce. As electric Go-Karts only use electricity to power them, they are also environmentally friendly.

Suitable Go-Karts

Most of the time, the type of Go-Kart that you choose will be influenced by the type of Go-Karting that you take part in.

Speedway races mostly require Go-Karts that are specially modified, as there are only left turns on a Speedway circuit. To counter this, Speedway Go-Karts are designed so that the rear isn’t fully in line with the front, creating an asymmetrical look.

The 125 cc shifter Go-Kart is one of the most popular types of Go-Kart, mostly because it is probably the closest that a Go-Kart can get to a Formula 1 car. For this reason, it is not included in the junior Go-Karting classes as it is designed to be driven by the more experienced Go-Karters who are looking for a Go-Kart that has maximum performance. With a top speed of around 125 mph, it is usually driven at circuits that offer sprint and endurance races.

Shifter Go-Karts allow you to keep the engine at a constant RPM (Revs per Minute) if you know how to change gears. This allows shifter Go-Karts to go faster than most non-shifter Go-Karts that have the same kind of engine. They are more difficult to drive though, mostly because of the gear changes.

Non-shifter Go-Karts mostly come in two forms: direct drive and clutch. With the clutch type, the engine doesn’t drive the rear axel chain until the engine reaches a certain RPM (the stall speed), whereas this happens automatically with the direct drive type. Direct drive types need to be push started though, while clutch types need a separate starter.

Most Go-Karts may look similar on the outside, but underneath, they are not the same vehicles. Certain forms of Go-Kart racing require different types of Go-Karts, so you will need to do your homework before you choose which type of Go-Kart to race in.

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My daughter has just been go karting. One kart hit her from behind, throwing her forward, at the same time as another kart has hit her on the side, throwing her backwards and her legs to go over her head, throwing her out of the kart backwards. None of the karts had seat belts. My question is, are seat belts not compulsory in go karting?Really feel this is a huge safety issue with an accident waiting to happen. Thank you for your time Lisa lidgett
Lisa Lidgett - 26-Aug-16 @ 5:53 PM
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