Best Racing Go Karts – Top 7 Revealed
The best racing go-karts come with several high-quality components that are also somewhat adjustable to suit the needs of the driver, and the race course itself. These karts are typically high powered and have been designed for the best aerodynamic performance possible.
Many of these karts will also feature upgrades and other components that can be switched out for other brands or models. Tires are often sold separately and will need to be changed more frequently with regular racing.
The age groups in Karting frequently have different names depending on the country, but the general idea is the same across the world. The most common age groups in karting are the following:
5-7 Years Old
This group is called the "Kid Karts" or "Baby Karts" and is the youngest age group in Karting. These races are purely for participation and don't typically award points or trophies. The karts in this class have rather small engines akin to what you might find on a chain saw and are generally 2-cycle or 4-cycle. Top speeds reach around 30 mph.
7-12 Years Old
This age group is referred to as the "Cadet" class, and these drivers typically use carts that have 60cc engines that can move up to 50 mph. Different races and countries will alter this age group slightly to make it into two groups, but they frequently will use the same engine.
12-15 Years Old
This age group is called the “Junior” class and is typically one of the most competitive of all. These drivers use a full-sized go-kart that usually has a 125cc engine, and can race in different kinds of races that are held on different types of tracks.
Speeds can get up to 65 mph on sprint tracks, and when these drivers are ready to move up a class, they can just remove the restrictor on the kart.
15+ Years Old
Once drivers get to this age group, they are considered to be "Senior" and will no longer require a restrictor on their exhaust to keep their kart speeds down. Kart speeds in this class can go above 70 mph, and there are multiple different kinds of races for drivers to choose.
The minimum weight required of drivers in this race group is higher than in younger age groups, and the 4 cycle engines are similar to the engines used in the World Formula races.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Finding the best racing go-karts requires a bit of research to ensure that accurate reviews come from actual users and credible manufacturers. To achieve the most honest list, we've collected data from a number of websites, and recommendations from experts as well as the type of karts that have historically performed well in competitions.
We then considered brand reputation in our ratings and also took into account the level of customer service provided and how customizable each kart is for different drivers and race tracks to ensure buyers would be getting the most exceptional performance for the price.
Top 7 Best Racing Go Karts
The best go karts for racing have made appearances at world championship competitions and other international races with some of the best drivers in the world. Although the kart alone doesn’t win the race, many of these brands have continuously worked to improve their karts, and consistently deliver positive results.
The Sigma KZ kart by Sodi has some impressive features that led it to be the kart used in the World Vice-Championships and the International Super Cup. This kart has a new frame not currently used on another product line, and a braking system which has undergone a complete overhaul.
The hydraulic braking system is present on the front and rear of this kart, and each set features a 4-piston system. This kart also has a very advanced lap timer that is both GPS and wifi connected, called the Mychron 5 which helps the driver keep track of their location and position in the race.
The newly introduced frame features many different components precisely welded together to ensure optimal performance, even weight distribution, and even tire wear. The changes to the chassis also help it to be more agile around turns and more responsive to adjustments.
The floor tray on this kart may look simple, but it has a five-point fastening system that allows for easy changes and removal. This kart also comes equipped with a two-stroke, single cylinder engine that has a 6-speed gearbox.
The Arrow X3 features a homologated CIK chassis with 65mm front wheel hubs that are made from billet alloy that was machined. This kart also has a 32mm front torsion bar and a 30mm diameter Chromoly tube chassis.
The X3 also features a 1048cm wheelbase and 50mm hollow axles with adjustable flanges that support the shaft and also determine the seat height. The rear wheels hubs measure 90mm, and the sprocket is made from a billeted alloy and features a 3-bolt design that is lightweight and makes changes quick.
The brake lines are made from braided steel, and the pedals are two joined pieces constructed from forged alloy material. The floor tray features a custom decal, and the seat has self-centering washers.
The front ride height can be adjusted using the camber/caster mechanism, and there are two positions for enhancing steering sensitivity. The tie rods on this kart are also made from machined alloy for extra strength, and all of the aluminum pieces on this kart have been anodized to be black.
The fuel tank on the X3 can hold 6 liters and is secured using a quick-release mechanism. The engine has a 2-piece mount that allows the engine to slide in and out of place, and there is a top plate made from magnesium.
The RY30 S5 kart by Birel features a wheelbase of 1050mm and an overall length of 1600mm with the rear being slightly more narrow than the front of the kart. The chassis is constructed with 30mm steel and features a Freeline axle.
The front and back of this kart can be adjusted to suit the driver and the track, and the 10-liter fuel tank ensures that it can handle longer races. This kart also has a unique motorsport specific steering wheel for enhanced grip and sensitivity when steering.
The RY30 also has a removable torsion bar which allows for greater adjustment to the kart when needed. This kart also has two hubs, front and back, which are both Freeling Hi-Tech. There are also hydraulic brakes and calipers that connect to a master cylinder and a vented rotor for the brakes on the rear.
This kart also has a number of optional features that drivers may want to invest in such as a radiator kit and mount, and additional rear torsion.
CRG offers a wide variety of chassis models for their karts, and some of the most famous racers have started their driving careers with this brand. CRG offers models for both 100cc and 125cc classes, and the sprint kart has several options that buyers can choose from in each side.
The KT4 model features tubes that are 30mm and 32mm and a wheelbase of 1050mm. The front of this kart is slightly wider than the back as is customary with racing karts, and the floating brake disc paired with the hydraulic braking system is one of the most high-tech options available.
The steering wheel has a carbon finish, and the wheel hubs are made from lightweight magnesium. The resin-based seat also helps keep things light, and the fuel tank can hold a respectable 8.5 liters for longer races.
This kart also comes with a selection of optional accessories including front and rear torsion bars, and a brake system upgrade.
The Eagle racing kart is a lower cost option of racing kart, but it does not sacrifice performance for the price tag. This kart has welded chassis made from chromoly tubing, and American made brakes that are flat disc brakes with steel brake lines.
The Eagle kart also has 10mm kingpin bolts which help to enhance the strength of the spindle and an aluminum floor tray that has been laser cut to a precise shape. The aluminum wheels can be switched out for magnesium, and the quick release secured fuel tank comes in both 3.5 liters and 8.5 liters.
The steering wheel is wrapped in KG suede and padded for the best grip and handling, and you can choose from three different colors to further customize your kart. Many of the components on this kart can be switched to suit the needs of the driver including the floor pedals which come in a particular design for taller drivers.
The frame is assembled in the USA, and the brake pedals and throttle are machined from an aluminum billet. You can also upgrade the bumpers, customize your kart with a sticker kit, and choose from other KG bodywork.
The base model of this kart retails for a bit affordable price, and the tires are sold separately. If you buy this kart from the Comet company, you can also contact them about further customization and upgrades.
The Fernando Alonso OTK racing kart is an excellent option with its 30mm molybdenum chrome and steel tube frame with adjustable front and back. This kart comes with two torsion bars that can be used to make adjustments to the chassis, and there are various other ways to adjust this kart thanks to the uni-ball washers.
The standard parts for this kart are made from magnesium and are the stock OTK components; however, buyers can choose from a few different braking systems including the SA2, SA3, and BSS which coordinates to the class the kart will enter into a race.
This kart also has forged aluminum pedals which are fully adjustable, and more robust exhaust support brackets for reduced vibrations.
This kart has special OTK M65 bodywork which has been tested for the best performance and highest possible level of aerodynamics. This kart also comes with a starter set of stickers.
When looking to buy a high-quality racing kart, you'll want to consider several factors before making your decision so that you get the most out of your kart. While buying the right kart for the class and age group you intend to race in is important, there is other necessary equipment to leave room for in your budget as well.
When deciding how much to spend on a racing kart keep in mind that there are items you will need aside from the kart itself. Tires are not included with every kart that you purchase, and tires may need to be replaced fairly regularly with consistent racing.
You'll also want to factor in the cost of safety equipment and other equipment the driver will need that is both mandatory and optional. Certain safety items required for all races include items such as a helmet, and there are other optional items to consider such as waterproof clothing.
It's also a good idea to leave some of your budget for additional upgrades and changes for when you have raced your kart and developed a sense for what improvements would be helpful.
The Right Kart for the Class and Age
Buying the right kart for the class and age that you intend to race in is critical as karts with larger engines are not permitted in lower powered races and vice versa. You'll also want to be sure that the kart you purchase allows you to comfortably sit in it and drive without feeling excessively cramped.
Most karts have a recommended age group such as Cadet which also helps to dictate the size of the driver and they will typically come with a recommended engine type that is standard for that age group.
Kid Karts are the smallest of this group and are typically meant for the youngest drivers that are between 5 and 7 years old. Once your child outgrows this age group, you'll need to upgrade them to the next size up of a kart, called the Cadet.
This consistent upgrading of karts will continue until they are around 15 years of age when they will be permitted to drive fully powered and full-size go-karts complete with powerful engines.
Equipment List for Drivers
Racing go-karts require a bit of equipment in order to keep the driver safe during a race. Drivers will absolutely require a helmet that is new, and a racing suit that is abrasion resistant. It's also recommended that drivers wear some rib protection, gloves, and racing shoes and socks to protect themselves more fully in case of an accident.
Go-karts don't come with airbags, and so neck protection has become one of the recommended safety items for drivers. Drivers will also want to secure extra clothing items in case of rain or other weather.
Aside from clothing, there are other items a driver may need in order to keep their go-kart working at its highest level of performance. A tire gauge, air compressor, and some necessary tools such as wrenches, sockets, a screwdriver set, and a drill can be critical when your kart needs last minute repairs.
In addition to some basic tools you may also want some mechanics gloves or nitrile gloves to protect your hands, and a kart stand for working on your kart. There are also optional items such as chain lube, a fuel canister, and a lap timer, but these items can make your life much more relaxed during a race.