Racing Go Karts


Main Home Page
Main site home page.

Go Carts
Full scale go cart fun!

Fast Go Carts
How fast are fast go carts?

Off Road Go Karts
A look at off road go karts.

Honda Odyssey
One of the original off road karts that started it all years ago.

Twister Hammerhead
An example of a popular off road go kart.

Twister Hammerhead Engine
Engine design is based on Honda GY6 engine.

GY6 Engine Mods
Some ways to increase the power of a 150cc GY6 engine.

Manufacturer of  popular off road go karts.

Carter Go Carts
A popular go cart company.

Carter Interceptor GTR250
An exciting off road go kart.

Manco Go Karts
Another popular go kart company.

Build Your Own Go Kart
Ways to build your own go kart.

Go Kart Engines
Choose the right engine for your go kart project.

Go Carts Site Map
All pages related to go carts.

Sitewide Site Map
Directory showing all pages on this website.



The Fast Paced World of Go Cart Racing

Racing go karts can be one of the more economical motorsports activity where a larger number of people are able to compete.  In many other types of motorsports, racing is out of reach of the average person because of strict regulations, high costs, and extreme competitiveness.  In other words, it's hard to be good enough and have the financial backing to compete in NASCAR.  Go kart racing is an activity that can involve both children and adults.  The thrills of competing in these small race machines is hard to match in terms of performance for the money.  Even so, expect costs to run into the $1000's with many different variables affecting the actual final cost.  Many professional racers in full scale motorsports practice and hone their skills on these miniature race cars.  In fact, many professional racers started out this way.  For someone interested in a racing career, this can be an excellent way to become exposed to the basics of racing and also learn important principles that can later be applied to a full scale racing career.  It is interesting to note that many famous racers like Michael Schumacher and others started their careers in this way.  People are sometimes curious how fast these machines will really go.  A lot of it depends on the vehicle design and the specific type of engine that it has.  Some karts are equipped with 4 stroke engines such as those made by Briggs and Stratton.  These type of 4 stroke powered machines may only reach speeds of around 50 mph; however, carts with 2 stroke engines can be MUCH faster.  For fixed gearing 2 stroke karts, top speeds can be close to 100 mph.  Fixed gearing means there is only a single gear ratio and there is no gear shifting involved.  Some fixed gear race machines are direct drive, while others have a clutch that allows the kart to be stopped without stalling the engine.

Race Kart 

The fastest machines are the shifter karts which typically have powerful 2 stroke engines with 6 speed manual transmissions.  The fastest ones can go way over 100mph with some of the best approaching 160mph!  That is FAST!  Not only are these machines fast in terms of top speed, but they are also quick in terms of acceleration because of their extreme light weight.  Racing go carts often only weigh in the 200 - 300 lbs range.  Equipped with a powerful 2 stroke engine pumping out 50HP or more, the power to weight ratio can be breathtaking.

Some of the manufacturers of these karts include: Margay, Coyote, Emmick, and Trackmagic.  Purpose built engines for racing are manufactured by companies such as Vortex, Komet, Comer, Yamaha, and Parilla.  In the past, many karts incorporated motorcycle engines for their powerplants, but now more purpose built engines are being used in the sport.  Briggs and Stratton is also heavily involved in the sport and manufactures specialized 4 stroke racing engines. 

Go Kart Racing - Vortex Engine

Vortex 125cc Engine

The World Karting Association (WKA) is one organization involved in racing.  Other organizations involved includes the International Kart Federation (IKF), Karters of America Racing Triad (KART), and Touch and Go USA (TAG USA).  Depending on the class, there are different rules and regulations that govern different aspects of competition.  Imagine racing go carts capable of speeds in excess of 150mph while flying just inches off the pavement!  The thrill and excitement are intense.  Racing go karts are definitely not for the faint of heart, but they may be a great match for the adrenaline junky looking to enter the world of racing.

Junior Drag Racing

Another area of racing that also probably fits into the category of go cart racing are junior dragsters.  These miniature dragsters are powered by small engines and they can provide small scale drag racing excitement.  Some of these drag karts are powered by Briggs & Stratton engines that have been specifically built for racing.  One of the popular engines used in the past was the Briggs Raptor engine that was based on a Briggs 5HP engine.  When built up for racing, these 205cc engines could produce somewhere in the 10 - 20 HP range.  With these engines mated to a lightweight mini-dragster chassis, these race carts can be quick.  Unfortunately, because of emissions laws in the US, these engines were discontinued by Briggs and Stratton.  

Drag Karts  

If you're interested in getting involved into the racing world and you have limited funds to work with, then you might consider go kart racing as a way to enjoy the sport on a smaller scale (in terms of kart size and also the size of the financial investment).  The shifter karts can be driven by an adult.  Many of the junior drag karts are built for children or smaller drivers.  Getting involved in go kart racing such as junior dragsters can become a family affair.  A child can race the kart while parents or other family members act as the race team.