Now that we covered the most important points regarding the types of karts you might encounter throughout your journey from a novice to an experienced karting enthusiast, let’s take a look at some other aspects of great relevance. Some might be more technical, some are meant to simply give you ideas to have more fun while karting – everyone will find something they care about here.
Engines and power sources
Those interested in mechanics and technical qualities of cars will find themselves wondering how different the engines of karts can get. While in most cases the power from the engine is transmitted to the rear axle by chain or, in some very rare cases, belt, there two main types of power sources for karts:
- Four-stroke engines. These go into all kinds of karts, from purely recreational to racing. They are air-cooled and range between 4 to 14 kW in terms of power. Some famous names in the industry include Honda, Robin, Kohler among others, while manufacturers like Yamaha, Aixro ir KTM go ahead and offer two-stroke engines for a more powerful karting experience as these engines can offer anywhere from 11 to 36 kW.
- Electric go-karts. These types of karts take lithium-polymer (up to 2 hours of power) or lead-acid (20-30 minutes of power) batteries as power sources – they usually need to be plugged in and charged after a run or two. Needless to say, electric karts are a lot more environmentally friendly and thus are getting embraced more and more in the recreational karting industry.
Sitting and driving
Now that you feel you have an understanding of what karts and engines are out there and can decide for yourself how you want to approach it, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process of getting into the kart and driving it before you try it out yourself. Although it is true that practice makes perfect and that you can never know how you’ll do before actually trying it, some background never hurt anyone!
Whenever we are excited to try something, we tend to disregard instructions and want to jump straight to the experience. Well not this time! Make sure you always listen to the instructors. Getting into a car is a very self-evident process but getting into a kart might not be as easy as it seems! There are specific ways in which you need to approach it, precise spots where you need to place your legs, so I cannot emphasize the importance of instructor’s guidance enough.
When you get into the kart, make sure your back is nice and straight against the seat, otherwise you will start feeling backpains and in general won’t be able to drive the kart very well. Knowing how to drive a car might do you some good here, or it might make it more complicated, all depending on how sensitive the pedals are in your car. Keep in mind that karts are a lot lighter in weight and their engines are a lot different in power, so adjust the strength with which you approach the pedals accordingly. Also, make sure you check out the brakes – how fast and suddenly you can stop – before you pick up any kind of speed.
A couple of tips – keep the distance from other drivers for safety reasons and keep your kart straight whenever possible because avoiding turns ensures a smoother and eventually faster as well as a more fun drive!