Go-karts have been growing in popularity as a fun and exciting pastime for many years as they allow you to experience the thrill and excitement of racing with much less danger and, let's be honest, a lot less money. If you caught the go-kart bug, you might consider buying your own.
Obviously, you want the best go-kart in the world, but it’s not that easy to determine which is the right one. There are many types of go-karts: electric, gas-powered, with different strengths, age restrictions, new or used. There are a lot of things to consider before making a decision. Making an informed decision before purchasing a ride on go-kart is critical because you need to ensure you get the right type, power and kind to match your abilities.
In this blog post, we'll guide you through all the things to look out for when buying a go-kart in Toronto!
Things to Look Out for When Buying a Go-Kart
Types of Go-Karts
The first significant difference to make is between recreational and racing go-karts. If you are just looking to drive it now and then and don't have any grand plans of joining the racing circuit, then a racing go-kart might be one step too far because they pack quite some punch and require advanced skills to handle.
So, your personal preference is one of the most significant factors to consider early in the process because it will influence where you are looking in the first place. Do you need speed, or are you looking more for driving it for hours on end? Age also plays a significant role in your decision process, as you don't want to go too big or fast if you're looking at a young driver who's just starting.
Generally, there are four categories of go-karts:
- Open karts (racing karts without roll cage)
- Caged karts (mainly used for dirt racing)
- Straight chassis karts (standard go-karts used for racing)
- Offset chassis karts (used mainly for oval tracks)
Each type corresponds to a racing style, so it's essential to determine which category is right for you.
Unless you are going for a pedal go-kart, you have two engine choices: Gas-powered and electric. Many people believe that gas-powered engines are faster, but it's actually electric go-karts that give you higher speeds and better acceleration as they give you instant torque, meaning that they don't have to build up to a particular RPM mark to generate the most power. Best example for this is a 36V go-kart that will get you moving quickly, while a 12V go-kart is more suitable for beginners and younger children!
But another critical point to consider is the environmental impact. Where electric engines have zero emissions, gas-powered go-karts will produce all kinds of exhaust fumes, such as carbon monoxide and dioxide, benzene and more, to the point where one hour of karting equals the emissions of a 350 km ride in a regular car. And if you're racing indoor go-karts, this is even compounded if there is insufficient ventilation.
Also, electric go-karts have a clear advantage when looking at the maintenance factor. Gas-powered engines have many more components to care for and require more knowledge of motors to keep running smoothly.
Frame and Chassis
Safety is paramount with any kind of "toy", so the frame and chassis have to be sturdy to protect you in the case of an accident. The two most common materials are steel and aluminium, with significant benefits and drawbacks. While steel is considerably more expensive and heavier than aluminium, it also is far sturdier. So, it's crucial to determine what you will use your kart for, as aluminium may not be strong enough to withstand higher-speed impacts.
Being able to sit in your go-kart comfortably is also integral to the enjoyment of your driving experience and your safety. You must be able to reach the pedals and steering wheel comfortably to ensure you can quickly react to any situation.
As mentioned above, safety should be at the very top of any list you are making, so check for some of the essential safety features, such as seat belts and harnesses and, depending on the kind of go-kart you're looking for, a roll cage for additional protection.
We also recommend the following personal safety equipment to keep your activities safe:
- Helmet: Can prevent head injuries
- Gloves: Can avoid hand and finger injuries and improve wheel grip
- Karting Suit: Can protect your body from abrasions and lacerations
- Karting Shoes: Can prevent foot injuries
- Neck Brace: Can avoid whiplashes and hyperextension
- Rib Protector: Can prevent trauma to the chest and upper body
Any go-kart you are looking for also must comply with all safety standards and regulations to ensure your and others' safety.
Size and Fit
To ensure you get the most out of your go-kart, make sure that the go-kart fits both the driver's age and body type. Some go-karts come with adjustable components, such as pedals, seat positions and steering wheels, to adapt the kart to match the driver. This also allows you to adjust the kart to "grow" with you, avoiding buying a new go-kart because the driver had a growth spurt.
Suspension and Handling
Most go-karts don't have suspension systems, so the frame takes over the leading role of performance characteristics of handling cornering forces and impacts. The frame tubing is designed to flex and bend within clearly defined tolerances.
You'll mostly find suspensions in off-road karts, which fundamentally differ from regular karts you drive on race tracks. As they are generally built for recreational purposes rather than racing, there's a bit more attention to comfort than pure race energy. In these types of go-karts, the suspension is required to maintain the necessary clearance from the ground.
Maintenance and Repairs
Like any vehicle, go-karts require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and durability. So before deciding which go-kart to buy, research the availability of spare parts and the skill level needed to maintain the kart and its motor. Sometimes, a more well-known brand that might be a bit more expensive can save you money in the long run because it's easier to find spare parts. You can talk to other drivers for direct input into their experiences with different types and manufacturers to get a better idea.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
There are many different go-kart manufacturers, and they all come with different standards, prices and features, so it's crucial to research the different brands. One of the best ways to get good feedback on the various available karts is to read user reviews and testimonials on websites like Google and talk to other drivers, which can give invaluable insight into what may be the suitable go-kart for you.
While established brands may be more expensive than new market entrants, the availability of spare parts can be a significant factor to consider. An established brand also has a proven track record, which may affect a decision.
Go-karts come in a wide variety of prices, but this should not be the only thing to consider as you will also factor in maintenance and spare part costs, even if you plan to buy a brand-new go-kart, so you have to set yourself a realistic budget and prepare to stick with it.
Doing thorough research can avoid being surprised by hidden costs you may not have expected, so it's crucial to check into all associated fees.
Where to Buy
When buying go-karts, you have the choice between going to a local dealership or buying a go-kart online, both with their benefits and drawbacks.
While a local dealership has the advantage of being able to see and touch the go-kart and maybe even take it for a test drive (just Google “where to buy a go-kart near me”) and have potentially easier access to spare parts, the online choices have grown more and more competitive.
Without the overhead of brick-and-mortar stores, they are able to offer you the best deals for go-karts with the convenience of getting them delivered right to your doorstep. If you shop around, it can be easy to find go-karts for sale. Online research can considerably compensate for the in-store experience and is not as significant of a factor as in the past.
King Toys is your choice for the best go-karts, whether electric or pedal, available at your fingertips. With Canada-wide shipping and a 24-48 hour turnaround time, we're right here to get you racing in no time!
Many factors must be considered when buying a go-kart, from the type and engine to safety features, price and performance. This variety of elements makes researching crucial to avoid negative surprises and get exactly what you want.
While the price is a significant factor, prioritize safety, quality and suitability to ensure that you will have a safe ride that will give you tons of fun for a long time.
KingToys is a family-owned online business based in beautiful Ontario, Canada.
As parents, we understand the importance of providing our children with safe and enjoyable toys that stimulate their imagination and promote physical activity. Our commitment to quality is reflected in our carefully curated selection of ride-on go-karts, all tested for safety and durability.
As a family-owned business, we take pride in our personalized approach to customer service. Our team is always happy to answer any questions and help you find your perfect bouncy castle. We want you to feel like part of our family and know you can trust us to provide you with the best products and services possible.
Call us today at 289-440-2555 to learn how we can help you get you racing!