What Exactly is a Go Cart

The basic make up of a go cart is actually not as complicated as most people think. It is simply made up of a chassis, 4 tires, a steering wheel, an engine, a simple brake system and, of course, the seat. On some go carts there will be a cage to protect the driver in case they ever roll over. This is appropriately called a roll cage.

The chassis of the go kart is definitely the most important part for safety reasons. In professional go cart racing most racing go carts chassis are made up of a steel tubing but for personal go karts they’re made up of a plastic material or something such as metal. There are a few different designs of chassis which I will go over. There is an open chassis which is basically an open top chassis, these are more commonly found at go kart tracks around the country. There’s a closed chassis which is more like a car, a straight chassis which is where the drivers seat is in the center, and offset chassis which is more like a traditional car in the sense that the seat is in the front and to the left.

Go karts usually have 2 or 4 stroke engines. The difference is 2 stroke engines are usually the norm in most karts but 4 stroke engines have fewer RPMs. Most go cart transmission systems involve a clutch system similar to a cars but a key difference is that there is no differential so if a go kart rounds a corner it is likely that the tires will actually leave the ground slightly or drastically sometimes causing a turnover.
go karts
Go kart steering systems are fairly simple and the most popular one is called a butterfly steering system which is where the steering wheel is connected to the two front tires and whenever the steering wheel is turned the go kart wheels will turn at that angle. Go kart tires are very different from standard car tires in that they don’t have to be changed to fit different driving conditions. They’re already made to withstand wet and dry conditions. The brake system is fairly simple as well. It is just a common disc system usually placed on the rear tires but can be placed on the front of the tires as well.

There is much more to it and to learn more online you can go to places like the go carts guide to get a better idea of what exactly a go cart is and where you can find one.

Photo: raindog