Go Kart Engines
If you are satisfied racing cheap go karts at the nearest amusement park or fun center you don’t really need to know anything about go karts, go kart engines, go kart tires, or even the value of a go kart frame. However, if you want to increase the excitement in your life by racing go karts, whether as a novice or as a stepping stone to higher motor sports, you should learn a few things about go kart engines. Learning about 2-stroke, 4-stroke, and electric motors can increase your enjoyment in the sport.
If you have ever watched the Indianapolis 500 motor race you know what open-wheel racing is all about. Straightaway speeds in excess of 250 mph and average-lap speeds of over 230 mph can make for heart-pounding excitement. Go kart racing is a variation of the open-wheel motor sport using smaller four-wheeled vehicles called go karts. These go-karts are usually raced on shorter tracks, but the adrenaline rush can be just as high. Go karting can also be the first step toward racing more expensive and faster cars as a professional racer. But if you want faster speeds you’ll need more powerful go kart engines.
Go Kart Engines Come In All Types and Sizes….
Go karts vary widely when it comes to speed, which is a direct result of the size of go kart engines as well as the quality of the go kart frame. Some karts, called Super Karts, can reach top speeds in excess of 160 mph. They have very powerful go kart engines. On the other side of the spectrum are karts found in fun centers or amusement parks that are intended for the general public. Top speeds in this arena are usually less than 15 mph. Their go kart engines will not supply much power, and will often be electric instead of gas powered.
4-Stroke, 2-Stroke, and Electric Motors – What is the Difference?
Racing karts usually use small go kart engines that are either 2-stroke or 4-stroke while fun center go karts, driven by the general public, are usually powered by 4-stroke go kart engines or electric motors. Electric go karts are gaining popularity among amusement centers because they are very low maintenance. Instead of filling up with expensive gasoline between runs they are simply plugged into a charging unit to recharge their batteries. As a bonus, electric motors do not emit any dangerous gasses or pollution into the environment. And because there are no harmful emissions they can safely be driven indoors in fun centers. The only downside is they can only be driven a maximum of about 20 minutes before slowing down and requiring a recharge.
What Types of Go Kart Engines Should a Novice Use?
4-stroke engines are built by many well-known manufacturers including Briggs and Stratton, Tecumseh, and Honda. These lower-powered varieties will produce anywhere from 5 to 20 hp and are built for novice racers or amusement centers. Some of these will generate speeds up to about 50 mph which is plenty fast enough for most beginning racers.
Go Kart Engines for the Experienced Racers….
More powerful 4-stroke engines will range from 15 hp up to about 50 hp, running as high as 11,000 rpm. As with the 2-strokes, these are run in some National Championship class races.
2-stroke engines can generate even more hp than 4-strokes. They can produce as little as 10 hp or less or exceed 90 hp at about 16,000 rpm. Many of the less-powerful 4-stroke engines are air cooled while the more powerful 2-stroke varieties today are usually water cooled.
Knowing How to Adjust and Tune Engines is Important….
Another aspect to go kart engines is learning how to adjust and tune them for optimum performance. It’s not really that hard to do, but serious go kart racers will need to master this skill if they want to be as successful as possible. Proper tuning of go kart engines will increase both its performance and lifespan and add many hours of enjoyment to your racing hobby.