Part of the reason we love go-karts is their speed. It’s a lot more fun to go fast when you’re in a kart.
And the best part? It’s making your go-kart go faster.
To make a kart go-faster, you can modify the kart. You can do this by adding a bigger kart engine. You can also add a NOS kit. Even the way you drive matters.
Making them go faster isn’t too hard. Why not?
It’s just a matter of gaining knowledge of weight and power. Then you have to find a balance between the two. If you can’t do this, your performance could suffer.
These are some general tips on how to make a go-kart faster.
Add Weight to The Brakes
Think of the fastest kart driver, you know. They might go fast but guess what. They’re still using their brakes to avoid crashes and safely go around turns. The very best drivers use the brakes for a short period of time during the race. Then they hit the gas pedal again.
You can do it too. But how?
When braking, move your body to put down the most weight possible on the brakes. You will slow down the kart faster. It will help you execute a tight turn and get moving quickly when you exit the corner.
Remember, brakes are on the back of a go-kart. Therefore, when braking in a corner, lean back in your seat. It helps the tires grip on the track. It is good for slowdown and acceleration.
Install A Turbochargers
Another way to get the fastest go-kart engine on your team, use a turbocharger. It boosts the amount of compressed air inside the engine, and it boosts horsepower.
What is horsepower? It is how much power an engine puts out.
What is a turbocharger? This device gets more air into the engine and the kart’s fuel. You might be able to add 50% of horsepower to the engine with some turbochargers.
It all depends on your engine’s size and the turbocharger. It will affect the speed boosts you experience.
I personally do not have a turbocharger, but a friend of mine does. He uses RHB31 VZ21 Mini Turbo for Suzuki and is happy with the performance.
Re-Gearing the Kart
You do this by installing a smaller size sprocket. Alternatively, the sprocket can have less number of teeth. You do this on the drive axle or a larger sprocket on the kart engine output.
Why does this help?
The axle makes more turns or revolutions. It happens each time the engine makes one revolution, which causes the kart to boost speed.
However, there is a drawback to this.
Do not overdo this and use your caution. It causes the engine to work harder when the kart is getting moving. It could lead to the engine stalling out.
Remove The Governor Device
Your standard go-kart comes complete with a governor device that puts a cap on your go-kart speed. Removing the governor will increase the maximum speed of your go-kart.
How do you do this? Well, you have to have the skills to do it and the knowledge. It is recommended only if you can do it safely.
You will have to disassemble some parts to access the governor. Once you do this, you have to disable the sensor indicating low oil.
The heightened speeds of the go-kart with no governor do this. It causes the oil to shift to one side when you make a turn at high speed. A low oil sensor that is working would shut the kart engine down immediately.
Install a More Powerful Engine
Putting in a larger engine with much more horsepower is one option. It is a big job, though. You will need to have expertise in this area to do it. You will have to take out the old engine. Then, put a new one inside.
It is complicated in many ways, one of which is this simple fact. The engine you choose might be too big for the space of the original engine.
You also have to have the right tools for this job. You will also need a workspace. On top of all this, you have to have time.
It is also dangerous unless you really know what you are doing. However, you can learn a lot. If you do this, make sure you have help.
If you need help picking a better engine, read How To Choose The Best Go-Kart Engine.
Install Larger Tires
Larget tires will increase the speed of your go-kart because of physics. What do I mean by that?
If you apply the same force to two different sized tires, they will spin at the same speed; until you put them on the ground, that is. Once they touch the ground is where the size of the tire comes in.
Even though both tires spin at the same speed, the perimeter, or the extent, of the larger tire, allows it to travel a longer distance. This does not mean that you can go ahead and install tractor-sized tires on your go-kart because that’s not going to work due to the engine’s power. However, a small tire size increase will do the trick; a couple of inches in diameter should be sufficient.
Add Rubbing Alcohol to Your Gas
Did you know a simple household antiseptic can help you go faster? It’s true. Adding 91% rubbing alcohol to the gas tank is a winner. A 50/50 formula of alcohol and gas will increase the speed and horsepower of your go-kart.
Why is this? It helps in boosting octane. It is a method that saves money and also increases the efficiency of the vehicle. However, care must be taken.
Why use caution? Too much-rubbing alcohol could have a negative effect. Use it sparingly.
Install Nitrous Oxide Booster
Ever watch The Fast and the Furious? Ever wondered how to get a Nitrous kit of your own?
It is another tough job that will require a lot of work and materials. You will also need the skill to do this.
Some of you will need to work with a friend or parent to add this on. Once again, having an ample workspace and tools, plus time, is key.
Here’s what you need.
- Flathead and Philips screwdrivers
- Crescent wrenches size medium to large
- Bigger tires
- NOS Kit
Once again, we want to emphasize safety. Have a friend around to help you do this. It will give you a second pair of eyes to watch over the work and keep you safe.
How Fast Can A Go-Kart Go?
The speed at which a go-kart travels has many different factors.
What are some of these factors? They can be environmental. For example, the terrain on which you are driving.
The weather outside can matter. Driving a go-kart in wet weather or windy day can affect your kart.
Visibility can affect your speed. You certainly would not go fast in fog.
There are specific methods you can use to make your kart go faster. For example, a nitrous oxide kit can help.
The shape of the kart can also affect how fast it goes.
The weight of the driver also matters. A heavier driver will slow down the kart. Why?
The answer is a higher power to weight ratio. Essentially the kart has to work harder compared to a lighter driver.
The output of the kart engine is also a factor. When it comes to indoor karting, the average track runs anywhere from 5 to 7 bhp. As a result, wear and tear on one kart can be greater than the other.
It can lead to that particular kart being slower or faster than the others.
Other Factors Affecting Karting Speed
Track conditions are also a reason behind kart speed. If a track is wet from the rain, or hot, your driving will be affected. A very cold or very wet track will be much harder to drive upon.
Tire temps play a role in your kart’s performance, too. Cold tires will lead to a lack of grip. It, in turn, leads to a slower lap time for all drivers.
Your ability as a driver also plays into how fast the kart can go. An experienced kart driver will know how to handle technical corners. It leads to a higher exit speed.
Meanwhile, a kart driver who is just starting will not know or have mastered these techniques.
Horsepower and Speed
A 20 Horsepower kart can reach up to 45 miles per hour, according to karts at K1 Speed. That same brand’s junior karts only go up to 20 mph.
These are an example of a commercially available kart—the sort of kart you would find a casual driver using.
But what about professional karts? Superkarts can get up to 260 km per hour, which is 160 MPH.
So there you have it, folks; I hope I could answer the question of how to make a go-kart faster. If not, please let me know.
As always, the most important thing is to be safe and always dress appropriately. Never go faster than you can handle, no matter how fun it sounds.
For other karting tips visit racing tips page.
Good luck, have fun and see you at the finish line!