Whether looking to build a go-kart from scratch, repair an existing one, or assemble a go-kart with the aid of a kit, there are a variety of go-kart parts and systems. Knowing what parts make up the main systems of the go-kart can help consumers perform quick repairs, make adjustments to increase comfort and efficiency, and determine how to make additional upgrades.
The chassis refers to the basic frame, typically consisting of metal or plastic tubing. Micro karts typically consist of a frame, seat, and minimal engine, steering, and brake systems. Soapbox go-karts do not utilise an engine or motor, using gravity instead to propel them. Thus, soapbox go-karts consist primarily of a box structure with basic steering and braking systems. Off-road go-karts typically use a slightly larger frame, and a chassis without holes, dents, or weak points. Racing go-karts or q use a variety of frames based on the type of race. Some look similar to drag racing cars while others use frames similar to off-roading go-karts with a roll-cage attached.
The steering system refers largely to the steering column and track rods. The upper part of the steering column consists of the steering wheel, the top bush or pivot, and the main supporting arm. The lower part consists of the drop arm, which connects to the track rods, and the bottom bush or pivot at the steering column end, which can also be welded to the chassis once in the driver's preferred position. The track rods come together to create steering arms that attach to the steering column and the wheels.
Though most go-karts use a motorbike engine, go-karts can use other types, including lawn mower engines. A cradle and baseplate come together, welded to the chassis, to create the area for the go-kart engine to sit near or between the pedals at the driver's feet.
Consumers must ensure that seating for a go-kart has both a snug fit and a plenty of side support. This keeps drivers from relying on the steering column for support, which can damage multiple parts of the steering system with repeated use. For added support, consumers can weld side supports vertically into the chassis and cover the supports with padding if a preferred seat does not provide enough side support.
Wheels and Braking
Hub steering arms and a front stub axle connect the steering system to the wheels, with an axle in the back connecting to the braking system and rear wheels. While a drum brake system is less expensive and easier to assemble, they can lock up under force, causing the driver to spin out. Disc brakes utilise callipers, allowing consumers to use a motorbike hydraulic system.