Karting is the best and safest way to get into auto racing when you don’t have the money for full-size auto racing. And among the many types of karts you can race, the shifter karts are undoubtedly the fastest—and that makes shifter kart racing the most exciting of them all.
How Fast Does a Shifter Kart Go?
It all depends on the motor and the weight of the kart. Shifter karts are usually fitted with 125cc motorcycle engines and they typically come with a 6-speed sequential transmission. That’s enough to reach 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, which not many “real” cars can do. And they can get up to 125 mph if you have a straight track long enough.
These carts don’t have any suspension, so they still need flat tracks. But they do have disc brakes at the front and a single disc at the rear. The cornering and braking performance of shifter cars are astounding, and lateral cornering forces can reach 2.5 g’s.
Different races have different rules, although some basic rules apply to all shifter kart races. Since the cornering can stress the neck, neck braces are mandatory along with a full face helmet, shoes, socks, and abrasion resistant gloves. Kart-specific braces and full abrasion kart suits are recommended.
For races, there are minimum weight specifications for the driver and the kart. When the driver is to light, usually the kart will take on ballast so that everyone is on equal footing. Since shifter kart racing is so fast, often there’s a minimum age requirement of 16 years, along with a driver’s license.
Here’s a shifter kart race video that took place in Monaco. Enjoy!