The 8 Best Go Karts

Updated October 26, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

8 Best Go Karts
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. No matter how many cool electronic toys come out, your kids will still be blown away if you put one of these go karts into your shopping cart this year for Xmas or a special birthday present. We've included pedal-driven models good for younger children as well as battery and gas-powered models capable of moving as fast as 40 mph, which are best suited for adults and teens. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best go kart on Amazon.

8. Hauck Hauck Thunder II

The Hauck Hauck Thunder II is a great beginner's cart for kids between 4 and 6 years old. It has 3-point steering, making for quick response times, and cool race styled pedals. Plus, its large rubber wheels give it a smooth ride on rough concrete.
  • comfortable padded backrest
  • handbrake is easy to use
  • steering wheel is placed too high
Brand Hauck
Model T91006
Weight 42.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Razor Dune Buggy

With its hand throttle and brake controls, padded bucket seat, and built-in seat belt, the Razor Dune Buggy will give your little one hours of both safe and exciting fun. It tops out at 8 MPH, which is enough to provide thrills without any of the danger.
  • compact design for easy storage
  • powerful enough for off-road use
  • doesn't have a reverse gear
Brand Razor
Model 25143511
Weight 86 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Kettler Kiddi-o

The Kettler Kiddi-o has been crafted with a high-carbon steel frame and a fade-resistant powder-coated finish. It has a high-back racing seat with 3 adjustable positions and oversized anti-slip pedals that are great for young kids without fine tuned motor skills.
  • dual rear wheel handbrake
  • fully enclosed chain for safety
  • doesn't have a seat belt
Brand Kiddi-o by Kettler
Model 0T01015-3000
Weight 25.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Trailmaster XRX Mini

The Trailmaster XRX Mini has all of the same features of a real car, including an electric start, bright headlights, a working horn, and seat belts, so your kid can ride it day or night and stay safe. It is powered by a 163cc single cylinder, air-cooled engine.
  • wide wheel base
  • over 7 inches of ground clearance
  • backup pull starter
Brand Trailmaster
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Monster Moto MM-K80RT

The Monster Moto MM-K80RT is the ideal way for kids to get started learning how to drive in a fun and safe way. It has green on the gas pedal and red on the brake, so they won't panic and forget which is which, plus it has a stable feeling, low center of gravity.
  • safety padding on the steering wheel
  • knobby all-terrain wheels
  • protective roll bar
Brand Monster Moto
Model MM-K80RT
Weight 170 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Trail Master XRX

The Trail Master XRX has a 300cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder engine that can fly down the street at speeds of up to 40 MPH. It holds two passengers, so you can take your kids for a spin, but it's probably best if you don't let them drive.
  • comfortable bucket style seats
  • 500 pound weight capacity
  • can handle steep inclines
Brand Trail Master
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Razor Ground Force Drifter

The Razor Ground Force Drifter has a chain driven motor that pushes it along at 12 MPH, which isn't all that fast, but its super slick rear wheels that will let you drift around turns make it tons of fun no matter how fast you are cruising.
  • premium race-tuned chassis
  • thumb controlled accelerator
  • eco-friendly electric motor
Brand Razor
Model 25143400
Weight 72.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Kandi D-150GKA-2

The Kandi D-150GKA-2 lets you race around the course, or your neighborhood at speeds up to 36 MPH, so it's definitely not a toy for kids. Ensuring that it is durable enough to stand up to years of abuse, it features a thick-gauge steel frame and an air-cooled 150cc engine.
  • key controlled electric ignition
  • smooth automatic transmission
  • 4-point safety harness
Brand Kandi
Model KD-150GKA-2
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

A Motorsport For Just About Anybody

Regardless of a person's age or level of competitiveness, there is always a place for participation in organized sports, particularly as it pertains to the benefits of one's mental and physical health as a result. While this is true for many traditional sports like baseball, basketball, and football, the same can be said for the world of car racing and go-karting. Just as a car is seen as a functional object and mode of transportation from one place to the next, it also has applications for the racing and hobby industries with respect to the go-kart.

Different from a car's design, the go-kart is an open-wheeled vehicle equipped with either one or two seats, a total of four wheels, accelerator and brake pedals, and is usually driven around some type of a circuit (or track). Go-karts typically sit very low and close to the ground and are completely exposed to the elements, as there is no front, back, sides or roof to their design. However, due to the vehicle's low center of gravity, the go-kart is more likely to spin on its own axis during high-speed runs in the event of a mistake or accident, as opposed to flipping over, making it a safe alternative for both young and old hobbyists.

Go-karts fall into two main functional categories, recreational and competitive (e.g. racing karts). Recreational karts are powered by either four-stroke engines or electric motors, whereas racing karts utilize the two-stroke engine, with the primary advantages being valveless operation, lighter weight, and the potential for twice the power of the four-stroke design due to having twice as many power strokes per revolution. Recreational karts can be rented by the session for use on both indoor and outdoor tracks. They are constructed with sturdy chassis and dedicated bodywork for promoting driver safety. Some tracks also offer the use of low-speed karts that are strictly-designed for amusement purposes. While recreational karts definitely have a place in the hobbyist or family sense, it's the racing category that truly illustrates the uniqueness of both the sport and vehicle itself, depending on the type of track or race in which the driver is participating.

The simplest type of racing kart is known as the Soap Box Derby kart, or gravity racer. It is so named because the vehicle is motorless and propelled by downhill gravitational forces against either a clock or another competitor. The gravity racer reaches a top speed of approximately 70 miles per hour. The three remaining types of racing kart include the sprint, enduro, and oval karts. Sprint karts are the most commonly used in competitive racing circuits due to their available speed and ability to be used on many different types of tracks. Oval karts are most common in the southern areas of the United States, similar to those used as part of NASCAR. Oval kart chassis are built specifically for making tight turns in a single direction. Enduro karts represent the smallest division of kart racing, but they also have the reputation for being the fastest out of all three with an average speed well over ninety miles per hour. Enduro kart racers also typically lie down flat inside the vehicle for achieving superior aerodynamics.

Finding A Balance Between Safety And Fun

Chances are if you have a kid, one of the first things they're going to want is something they have control over, especially if they're still too young to drive a car. That being said, investing in a go-kart offers several benefits to keep in mind when bringing one into your family. In the simplest sense, go-karting is just an all-around fun activity to experience. Unlike some other sports that require training and practice to become efficient, go-karting doesn't require any prior experience, but it's just as exciting to learn how to drive one and to understand its dynamics and subtleties. That said, one must always be prepared for the inevitable and make sure the construction is durable to support potential accidents, even if it isn't designed to speed along like an enduro kart. Some of the best go-karts feature sturdy steel frames with air-cooled engines.

A kart designed for both indoor and outdoor track use can also make the experience more enjoyable, as you won't be limited to certain types of driving environments. For that reason, one should pay close attention to the types of wheels with which the kart is equipped to ensure it can handle a variety of smooth and rough terrains. If you plan to use a kart specifically for competitive racing purposes, the best kart wheels are typically constructed from magnesium alloy due to its overall strength and ability to shed excess heat more quickly and easily than aluminum wheels. In this sense, magnesium wheels are stiff and do not retain heat, making it easy for them to accommodate high-horsepower applications and long races without losing performance. Magnesium wheels are also great for use in rainy conditions, as they provide a superior grip on both wet and dry terrain.

Finally, one must keep in mind that go-karting can be a family activity, especially if your vehicle is equipped with more than one seat. Kids can drive with their parents in a controlled track environment without having to worry about getting pulled over or getting in trouble with the law. In this sense, go-karting can be a great way for a kid to release his or her excess energy in the formative years preceding the time they actually get behind the wheel of a regular automobile.

A Brief History Of Go-Karts

Veteran hot rod lover, mechanic, and race car builder Art Ingels is credited as the father of modern go-karting, having invented the first kart in 1956 while working as a mechanic at the Kurtis Craft Company in collaboration with his friend and neighbor, Lou Borelli. This first kart was made from a combination of scrap metal and a lawn mower engine.

The Go Kart Manufacturing Company was the first kart manufacturer to appear in the United States as early as 1958, followed by the McCulloch Motors Corporation as the first to produce kart engines in 1959.

By the 1960s, the motorcycle engine was adapted for kart use before the rise of dedicated engine manufacturers for the sport.

By the 1990s, the evolution of kart design along with the introduction of regulatory bodies, such as the World Karting Association (WKA) and International Karting Federation (IKF), helped define the sport as one of the first steps for aspiring racing drivers to hone their driving skills. This trend still holds true today.

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Last updated on October 26, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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