Go Kart Tires

Go kart racing tires, go kart tires, kart tires

Go kart tire, kart tires, go kart tire pressureThere is a lot to consider when attempting to get the best performance out of your go kart, tires are an important component to examine to ensure success.

As I’m sure you will have seen, when watching other forms of motor racing such as Nascar, Formula 1 etc., tires and their condition are monitored and discussed at length, highlighting their importance.

Obviously tires are the contact point between a go kart and the track (as with all race cars), so to be fast and accurate through your racing line, your tires’ condition is of paramount importance.

A number of things can impact the performance of your tires:

  • tire pressure,
  • the quality of construction,
  • tire temperature,
  • wheel alignment and
  • balance of the vehicle.
Tire Pressure

Tire pressure, make sure you get the right tire pressure for optimum race performance. This will be determined by the manufacturer’s specifications, the weight of the vehicle, including the driver, and even the weather conditions – if it is extremely hot this can cause the PSI (pressure is measured by Pounds per Square Inch) to increase slightly and vice versa.

Quality of construction.

Generally speaking (but not always), the more you pay for your tires, the better they will be. But there can be a trade off between a tire’s traction (softer tires tend to warm up faster and adhere to the road better, giving you better control faster) and its durability, softer tires will wear faster than tires made of a tougher compound. So cost can be a factor in your decision making.

Also, make sure the tires you have chosen are appropriate for the size and weight of your go kart, again check the manufacturer’s specifications.

Tire Temperature

Go kart racing tires, go kart tires, kart tiresThe temperature of tires increases as they are driven. Getting them to the right temperature allows the tires to adhere to the track surface at an optimum level – enough stickiness to have really good steering control but not so sticky that steering becomes difficult.  Warming up your tires before a race, during a warm up lap, gets your go kart to be at its peek performance at the start of the race, rather than working your way into the race. You don’t want to waste time by starting the race on cold tires – as we know, in speed races, every tenth of a second can count. Cold tires don’t have as much grip as warm tires so you may end up sliding around corners wasting precious time and control.

If the tires get too hot, they will start to blister and parts of the tire’s surface might fly off, this can potentially become dangerous, so you should not continue on blistered tires.

Wheel alignment and balance of the vehicle.

Ideally you want all 4 tires in contact with the track surface working in unison to enable the best control of the go kart. As with skiing, you are moving the fastest and have the most steering control when in contact with the racing track.

Poor wheel alignment, that is if the wheels aren’t running evenly across the width of the tire, will lead to faster wearing of the tire, or feathering, in the area that has the track contact. Balance of the go kart will also impact the wear of tires, if more weight is over one of the tires, then try to remediate that by re-balancing the kart itself, or changing the pressure of the tire to compensate.

When racing go karts, as with all racing cars, tires are an important and integral component of your success. So it is essential to keep a thorough check on the quality of your tires’ condition.

Small Go Karts

Go karts for kids, small go kart, youth karting

Go karts come in many different sizes, but to the beginner or average Joe who doesn’t know anything about karting, all go karts look small. Well, compared to any other 4 wheel vehicle, they are small! In the go kart world, small go karts are made for smaller drivers, usually meaning those who are younger. The small go karts cater to their shorter limbs and obviously are very much the same as a regular or large, just scaled down a fraction with a bit less power.

Small Go Karts

Small go karts can often beat the bigger karts because of their lightweight frames and also because they usually carry a lightweight driver. These two things allow a small go kart, with a smaller engine to beat a bigger go kart with a bigger engine because the power to weight ratio may be better for speed in the small go karts. For this reason, in professional go karting, the drivers are usually on the small side, like jockeys, the lighter they are, the faster their vehicle can travel around the track enabling them to win more races.

Light Weight Karts

In fact, there has been a concerted effort from manufacturers to reduce the weight in go kart components in order to reduce the overall weight of the kart, modifications include the introduction of carbon fiber panels and lightweight steel frames. The move to lighten the kart frame and structure has shaved seconds off quarter mile times, and new technologies keep adding to this impressive record. Every place a pound can be saved, it is. But, I digress, back to small go karts!

Go Karting for Kids

Small go karts for kids, small karts, children's kart trackSmall go karts allow young drivers to partake in the exhilarating sport at ages as low as 3 and 4. Obviously these go karts have smaller engines to keep the speed manageable for young kids, so there is less risk for them. Getting kids into small karts at a young age gives them the opportunity to learn how to drive in a relatively safe and fun environment which tends to foster a love for motor sport at a young age, and as we all know, go karting is a very common stepping stone for youngsters into professional race car driving, all the way up to Formula 1.

Many parents, especially protective mothers, do not want their precious children to race go karts, but having such a variety of karts, like small go karts that only have limited power, allows them to ease into the sport with a significantly reduced chance of incurring any sort of injury. Go karting is a great recreational sport for all ages and small go karts allow even the youngest childen to have a great day in a kart!

Go Kart Driving – What is the Risk?

Kart racing, outdoor go karts, go kart safety
Kart Safety

Kart racing, outdoor go karts, go kart safetyOk, let’s face it, Go Karts can be dangerous. They are moving vehicles which if mishandled, can slam into things, like trees, cars, people and garage doors. They also can flip over and skid along with the occupant underneath. (Been there, done that!). Go kart engines are hot. Wheels and axles are spinning. Chains can catch fingers and clothing. There are all sorts of hazards to a go kart.

There are also hazards to chain saws and weed wackers too. You can cut off a leg or lose a toe, if you are not careful. The key word here is “careful.” Proper driving techniques are key to safe driving. What steps are you going to take to ensure a more ‘careful’ approach to karting? For starters I would recommend that everyone undertakes a training program. All kids should be taught how to ride safely, smartly and cautiously. This machine can potentially be a weapon if used recklessly. People outside the go kart are in as much danger, if not more danger than the rider, so be aware of your surroundings as well as what’s happening inside your go kart.

Safety also includes safety equipment like pads, suits, helmets, shoes and gloves.  I would suggest always wearing protective clothing all times when riding a go kart. An accident is just waiting to happen, especially when you are least expecting it. All it takes is a blown tire, or a false swerve and over she goes.

Seat belts certainly protect you in a car, but in go karts they may or may not apply. Specifically racing go karts do not have seat belts because the object of the belt is defeated in the racing style go kart. The occupant is better off breaking free of the go kart than sticking with it. Obviously, however, proper full body safety protection is required. This can be an extensive investment. Seat belts, however, are required in full frame gokarts, (go karts with a cage over the occupant and go kart), because if the gokart were to roll, and the occupant did not have a seat belt, they would get tangled up in the framework and potentially get seriously hurt. The roll cage is just that, a cage, and not being belted in, the cage becomes the enemy.

In addition to a helmet, make sure that guards and shields are considered as part of the safety protocol. Also ensure that your hair is tied back or safely stowed away in your helmet as you don’t want it to be in danger of getting snagged by moving axles on go karts. The same goes for your clothing, never wear anything that has dangling parts. The axles should also be shielded to prevent entanglement.

During kart racing, accidents can never be entirely eliminated, but you can certainly minimize the chances and the risks of an accident by wearing the right protective gear and don’t forget that safety involves an attitude about driving, reckless driving is dangerous driving.



Useful Go Kart Guide – Karting Guide

go kart cost, buying a go kart, second hand kartsIf you want to buy a go kart, then a great way to start the process is to go to a kart track. For a fee, you can drive 2 or 4 cycle go karts for a taste of what type of kart best fits your needs. It is a good idea to do some research on go karts before you make the investment, in order to be fully informed about what is available. This is an ideal strategy to get a feel for go karting.

Here are a few points to consider when contemplating purchasing a kart.

There are two important features to consider when buying a gokart, such as what size do you need and does it come with safety features? Remember to take into consideration the age and driver training of the primary driver operating the go kart. There are gokarts especially designed for varying degrees of experience; from beginner karts for kids under age ten, to intermediate karts for pre-teens, to full-sized karts for the experienced teen and adult.

Since they are so close to the ground, go karts are pretty difficult to roll. In the rare event that a kart does roll over, most have roll bars or brush cages which provide increased safety. Unless they are for racing, the karts have limited speeds; usually less than 50 mph.

New or Used Kart?

Now is the time to decide whether you want to buy a new or used go kart. There are some important things to remember when buying used. Get to know the seller a bit and ask why he or she is selling the kart. You definitely do not want to purchase a go kart that has a worn out chassis or engine.

Take your time and decide how much you are willing to spend on a used kart. You can expect to spend $800 to $1500 or more for what is called a rolling chassis. A rolling chassis includes the chassis, rims, axle, a gas tank and various other go kart parts.

If you want to purchase a new go kart, then there are other expenses to consider. If you buy a new chassis and engine separately, you will increase the total cost of your go kart. When shopping for a new chassis, you need to determine the brand you prefer. The better known the brand is, the more expensive it will be.

General Cost

A new chassis can cost from $1500 to $2500 or more depending on the brand and year. An engine can be bought from a local supplier and will vary in price depending on your preferences, but generally they are anywhere from $750 to $2000 or more.


Hopefully, this has given you some helpful hints to consider before purchasing a go kart. Remember, consider the age and size of the primary driver. Also think about where the kart will be driven and what safety features are available. After purchasing just the right kart, you will be on your way to providing hours of fun for your family and friends!

Indoor Go Karting | Indoor Go Kart Racing

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed – or have even paid attention – but there aren’t a lot of affordable indoor activities for adults to enjoy these days that make us feel like kids again. I mean, it’s not our fault we grew too old for Chuck-E-Cheese.

Where’s our fun??

It’s on an indoor Go Kart track!

indoor go karting, electric go karts, go kartsThere are a number of indoor GoKart venues for us to play at; it’s cool to see so many indoor go-karting places popping up around the country.

Sure, bars and concerts can be fun, but sometimes we just want to act like a kid again.

One of the more popular indoor Go Kart tracks in the San Francisco Bay Area is GoKart Racer in Burlingame, CA.

They stock high-caliber racing karts which can be driven on three European-designed road courses! Their go karts are designed and maintained to be completely safe and stable while providing real racing action. Racing suits, helmets, and instruction are all provided to get you started. You supply the thrills, racing wheel to wheel on any of their three courses, experience the excitement of cornering around hairpins, high speed sweeping turns, and an elevation change! But fear not. It’s easy. It’s fun. And everyone can do it!

In Livermore, CA there is Umigo Indoor Kart Racing.

Fremont, CA has Lemans Karting,  and there are a bunch of K1 Speed facilities throughout Southern California and Seattle, WA.

GoKart racing is also a great way to get out some road rage and driving aggression in a safe and secure environment.

So what are you waiting for? Go and have some fun!

Improve Your Driving Skills on the Go Kart Track

Go kart racing, sprint racing, enduro racing

If your memory of go karts is something similar to the bumper cars you rode as a child, then think again. Think fast and think precision handling on any go kart track and you are getting the right idea. Racing go karts is not only a cheaper and less risky alternative to Nascar-type racing, it is a great way to learn and improve driving skills before advancing to the auto racing circuit.

To get started, just visit a local go kart track in your town. You can then rent a kart for a few hours or for a set number of laps and get on with testing your driving skills. Driving a go kart is not very different to driving a car, except that the gokart has very good acceleration and cornering ability. Of course, proper safety measures must be taken before and during participation in a kart race.

Let’s talk about a couple types of racing karts; namely the Sprint and Enduro:

Sprint karting uses a shorter track and the technology used is less sophisticated. Go karts are downgraded slightly for this type of racing. The circuit is usually 3/4 mile and the racing format is a series of short length races, normally for just a few laps to qualify for a final, with a number of point scoring calculations to determine the overall winner. It is usually three qualifying heats and a final race for trophy positions. Each race is usually 15 minutes or less. The key to success in sprint racing is excellent passing skills, the ability to get through traffic.

Enduro or endurance racing is a longer version of the sprint-type of racing. These races can last for an extended period, typically anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, but there are some events such a Le Mans which run a 24 hour endurance kart race!As a result of the longer time on the track, the karts used in endurance racing are built to be tough and durable. Speed, though important, is not as important as it is in sprint races. It is more like a marathon where the driver makes regular pit stops for fuel, maintenance and a change of tires. Enduro karts run on the same sized road courses as full sized cars. Generally speaking, reliability, consistency and pit strategy are of the greatest importance in endurance racing.

A go kart race is a good way to get your foot in the “motor sport field” door. It is both very affordable and less risky. Go karts are fairly easy to handle in spite of the speed. They have a low center of gravity, making them less dangerous than Nascar-type racing. It is a great starting point to sharpen and improve your driving skills on the go kart track before going to the next level in auto racing.

Go Kart Driving Experience Orihuela Costa

Outdoor go kart track, go karting in spain, kart racing

By Craig Mullins

I don’t know about you, but I love motor sport but when it comes to taking part I am truly rubbish. However there is a way of enjoying the speed of the race track in a safe way and in one where it doesn’t really matter where you finish. I am talking about pleasure go karting, I say pleasure because I do know there are some that take this sport very seriously, in fact this is where Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton started their trade before getting into F1. Because you are low to the ground and these machines respond very quickly to the controls, you really do get a fantastic driving experience, and speed around the track.

Outdoor go kart track, go karting in spain, kart racingA place that I go to regularly on holiday is the Go Karts Orihuela Costa, which is not far from our second home. It is situated on the N332 just south of Torrevieja in Spain. Apart from the fact it is far cheaper than back home in the UK, the weather tends to be better also. There are 3 sizes of Go Karts from the very small for your children then the adult or teenage size, which is what I would go, then the fastest bigger engine go Karts for that ultimate driving experience. As a safety precaution they do not allow, the smaller karts go out with the big powerful machines, so the kids can race with dad and mam, without the risk of colliding with the thrill seekers.

Back in the UK, there is a mixture of outdoor and indoor karting centers, where you can just turn up and race, or book a tournament, for a group, especially popular with corporate events. But you can also book at some centers a Go Kart Driving Experience that takes you beyond this level, by training you to drive faster more powerful karts, with instruction from a qualified driver. These do tend to be more expensive and really only for those who want to be serious drivers.

For me though, I love the sun and the ability to just relax and not worry about the competition around me. It is true that when travelling at 30 mph, just inches off the ground, even on these pleasure go karts, your heart does get pumping and a little bit of competitive spirit comes out. But I gave up trying to win, when I found 13 year old fearless lads racing around the outside of me in just about every turn. In fact my target is, not to be last and not to spin out.

It is surprising how much effort is needed to race these karts say for even 5 minutes. The go karts Orihuela Costa give you between 5 and 7 minutes per race, depending on how busy it is and for most people this is just about the right amount of time to have a good happy experience, rather than a long tiring one. So for you, the next F1 champion, I can understand the real Go Kart driving experience, but for me, I will stick to the Go Karts Orihuela Costa for some fun.