Car racing can be very expensive and downright dangerous. However, you can approximate the thrill of car races by driving go-karts. These miniature vehicles offer the same excitement, but with fewer expenses and a greater degree of safety. But while opting to buy a kart over a car is an easy choice, it’s not that simple. You need to pick from among the different types of karts to suit your needs. There are many different go-karts for amateurs, automatic go-karts, to 6-speed manual shifter karts and go-karts for the seasoned competitive professionals.
Before you start towing home a kart, here are some things you should know before you do so.
Should You Buy New Karts or Used?
In most cases, when you’re buying a kart it’s generally a good idea to buy a brand new unit. This is especially true if you’re certain that you’ll use it for at least a year. The problem with pre-owned karts is that buying one only seems to be less expensive at first. But when you start fixing one up, the expenses can pile up quickly as you replace worn out or outdated parts with newer replacements.
The only time used kart is a good idea is if you’re buying your first kart, and you’re not entirely sure that you will retain your interest in the long run. And you also have to make sure that you get at an insanely good bargain for the kart. If the price isn’t low enough it may still be a better bargain to just buy a new one. At least you know everything works, and that you can maximize your safety.
What Types of Karts are Available?
Are you buying a kart for yourself or for your child? Who your drivers are will help you determine the most appropriate type of kart to get.
- Kids Karts. These are the smallest and the safest, and they’re designed for children ages 4 to 7. It’s only equipped with a modest 50cc engine, and it allows children to develop their karting skills in many different karting tracks. They seem bare bones, but they have all the parts the need. These can go for about $3,000.
These karts offer a lot of fun and excitement for young drivers, and as a parent, you’re at least assured that your children can drive around safely in a controlled setting. Also, you’ll be relieved to know that these vehicles don’t need much in the way of maintenance.
- Oval Karts. These come with a curved shell for the kart body, and they’re designed for the whole family. Find out whether the track nearest to your home uses dirt or pavement for the track surface, and then you can pick the right type of oval kart for that surface.
These generally use 4-cycle engines that can go for a long time without needing too much maintenance on your part. The basic package can go for $2,800 although gauges can add at least $300. You’ll also need to assemble this yourself, but another $300 can get your professional assembly.
- Cadet Sprint Karts. These are the next vehicle to get once your child outgrows the Kids Kart. They’re designed for children ages 8 to 12, and the vehicle is powered by an 80cc air cooled engine. These can go up to 60 mph, and an unassembled vehicle like this with no gauges can go for as high as at least $4,800.
- Touch and Go Kart. This is a newer class of karts equipped with a 125cc engine. The slower and smaller models are for children ages 12 to 15, but older kids can go up to vehicles that can reach 115 mph and corner at 3 G’s. This type of kart is very easy to use, and you can buy one for $4,900.
- 125cc Shifter Kart. This can go up to 125 mph and take corners resulting in more than 3 G’s. It comes with a 6-speed sequential gearbox and it can run on sprint or endurance tracks. These are for veterans who are at least 16 years old, and you can buy one for about. While these normally cost about $12,000 it’s still possible to find bargains for about $9,000.
These may also seem like a lot of money. But when you try the various types of karts, or when you see the look of sheer glee on your children’s face as they speed around the tracks, you’ll realize it is money well-spent!