Go-karting is a fun activity you can enjoy with friends and family. However, most go-karts are relatively small, so you may wonder if there’s a weight limit.
Figuring out what the weight limit is and how weight affects go-karting can make your experience much more enjoyable.
Is there a weight limit for go-karting?
The weight limit for a go-kart depends on the type of kart and what the particular track allows. Some smaller go-karts have a weight limit of around 165 pounds. Other go-karts, particularly those designed for adults instead of children, have a weight limit of between 250 and 300 pounds.
On most commercial go-kart tracks, the track will allow riders of any weight as long as they can fit comfortably in the kart.
Does height affect go-karting?
Generally, there aren’t any height limits for go-karting. However, some tracks may occasionally use a height limit, so it’s a good idea to check ahead.
What the height limit is will depend on each individual track, but it’s usually something over 6 feet.
Height won’t necessarily affect how your go-kart drives, but taller people can have a harder time fitting into a go-kart. If you have long legs, you might feel cramped in the kart.
Height limits are designed to ensure that each rider fits comfortably and safely into the kart.
What happens if a go-kart is overweight?
Unlike many sports or activities where a weight limit is applied because of safety issues, a weight limit is applied to go-karting to make the experience fairer.
Go-karts are relatively small, and the engine is just powerful enough to speed the kart along. When too much weight is added to the kart, the engine has to work harder, so it might not be able to go as fast.
Go-kart racing is usually done on a track with many curves and loops. This means that you’ll need to rely on skill to brake and then accelerate to stay in the lead.
Every time you accelerate, the engine must work harder. If the kart is carrying too much weight, you’ll lose speed each time you need to accelerate.
Even if you’re a more skilled driver, if you’re over the kart’s weight limit, you still might not be able to win your race.
Added weight can also reduce road traction, or the grip the kart has on the track. This can make turning more difficult. When there is less traction, the wheels can slip more around curves, and this can also slow you down, as you won’t be executing turns as smoothly.
Higher weight can also make steering more difficult on straightaways or when you’re attempting to pass or maneuver between other riders.
The discomfort of sitting in a go-kart that’s too small for you can also take away from the experience. Not only will you be cramped and uncomfortable, but the discomfort can be distracting.
Much of go-kart driving is about your focus on the track, and if you’re not comfortable, you probably won’t be doing your best driving.
Some go-kart championships also impose a weight or height limit, so your access to these races may be limited.
The rules for weight and height vary from place to place, but in general, riders must be less than 6 feet, 1 inch tall and must weigh 252 pounds or less.
How can I increase my go-kart speed?
If you feel like you might be close to a go-kart’s weight limit, there are still some ways you can increase your speed.
First, choose a lightweight go-kart. If the kart is light, the engine won’t need to work as hard to accelerate and maintain speed.
It’s also a good idea to learn when to brake and when to steer during turns. Hitting the brake at the correct moment will only reduce your speed a little, so you won’t need to accelerate as much coming out of the turn.
If you know when to steer in a turn, you can execute a smoother curve. This will help to compensate for your reduced traction, and a smoother turn will help you gain speed over other players.
The best way to learn when to steer and brake in a turn is to practice that turn repeatedly.
If possible, opt for a go-kart with a stronger engine. A strong engine won’t need to work as hard, so you won’t lose as much speed while accelerating.
Go-karts often slide. This is particularly common for lighter drivers, and this is one place where heavier drivers have an advantage.
Sliding can be fun, but it causes a sharp decrease in speed and the need to accelerate. If you can avoid sliding as much as possible, you can increase your overall speed.
If you do slide, knowing how to ride through it and stop it as quickly as possible is very beneficial.