How fast is a petrol go-kart?


A petrol go-kart speed is no doubt one of the most interesting topics that avid go-kart drivers and hobbyists are always curious about. With many different petrol go-karts available nowadays, it is not surprising that their speeds also vary.

Typically, the speed for a petrol go-kart for adults is 40 mph to 300 mph depending on the horsepower produced by the engine. Apart from that, a petrol go-kart speed can be affected by other factors like cubic centimeters (cc), weight, aerodynamics, tire grip, driver’s skills, and even weather conditions.

With that said, knowing how fast petrol go-karts is a bit more complicated especially when different factors and physics get involved. But don’t worry as we will discuss this topic with superb simplicity. Keep on reading as we cover different topics about petrol go-karts and their speeds.

How fast is a petrol go kart?

From the name itself, petrol go-karts are go-karts that are powered by petrol or gasoline. These go-karts offer a lot of advantages in go-kart racing. Not only are they highly responsive, but also have a relatively longer race life. Many are also attracted by their cheap maintenance and utility costs. But how about their speed?

When it comes to speed, petrol go-karts for junior go-kart drivers can reach up to 25 mph. On the other hand, petrol go-karts for adults can run from 40 mph to as fast as 300 mph depending on horsepower and other factors.

Common factors that affect petrol go-kart speed

  • Horsepower

Horsepower basically refers to the amount of power the engine can produce. Go-karts come in different horsepower levels. Generally, a go-kart with more horsepower is more capable of faster acceleration and reaching higher top speeds.

  • Cubic Capacity or cc

We are used to hearing that larger cc means more power as it can hold more air and fuel mixture. However, this is not always the case. Higher cc doesn’t necessarily mean more power and speed in go-karts nowadays, Nevertheless, it’s still possible to calculate top speed according to the cc. Below are the common top speeds for different cc levels.

A 2-stroke 200 cc go-kart can reach 120 mph while a 4-stroke 200cc go-kart can go up to 75 mph. For 250 cc and 300 cc engines, the top speeds would be 150 mph and 50 mph respectively. 400 to 500 cc engines can run up to 60 mph and 1000 cc engines can run up to 200 – 300 mph.

Besides the cc, engine dimensions, purpose, and the state of tune of the engine can also affect the engine’s performance.

  • Weight

As you may have known already, weight can make a huge impact on go-karting performance. Drivers on the heavy side typically are at a disadvantage as their added weight puts more pressure on the engine affecting engine performance and speed.

  • Aerodynamics

A go-kart built with advanced aerodynamics technology can reach better speeds. This is because good aerodynamics reduces drag making the go-kart run faster and with lesser effort. It also helps in saving energy.

  • Driver’s skills and experience

The driver’s skills and experience are just as important as the engine itself. With appropriate knowledge and skills from experience, the driver can operate the go-kart more effectively and run it at its optimum speed.

  • Tire grip

The tires can also play a major role in achieving a good speed. Essentially, tires that provide a high level of grip can improve acceleration, overall handling, and even braking.

  • Weather conditions

Weather conditions influence the state of outside race tracks. For instance, a rainy weather condition can make the tracks more slippery, hence making go-karts run faster and reach top speed easier.

What is a good speed for a petrol go-kart?

Identifying the good speed for a go-kart all comes down to the purpose and racing classes. But generally, go-karts for recreation should run at a speed of 40-50 mph. This speed allows the driver to operate the go-kart comfortably and avoid any accidents on the race track.

How do I improve my petrol go-kart speed?

Improving speed can be a little tricky task to do but it is not impossible. Below are just some of the things you can do to achieve better speed.

  • Change and upgrade your kart’s engine

The engine is the most important part of the go-kart as it produces and holds all the necessary power for achieving good speed. Equipping your go-kart with a more powerful engine can provide more energy to your go-kart and enable it to run faster. However, before doing this, make sure that your go-kart can handle the added power.

  • Adjust the amount of air in the carburetor

Allowing your carburetor to take in more air also promotes better fuel flow in the combustion chamber. By doing this, you can increase your go-kart engine’s power leading to a faster speed.

  • Make your go-kart more lightweight

Lighter go-karts definitely hold an advantage as they can run faster and reach top speeds. Changing some parts of your go-kart for lighter components will surely make it lighter.

  • Practice go-kart driving and learn new techniques

Driving a go-kart is not a joke at all and it takes constant practice to be an excellent go-kart driver. Learning new driving techniques that work for you can definitely help you out in improving your petrol go-kart speed.

Reasons why petrol go-karts get slower.

No matter how much you take care of your go-kart, there are just times when it gets slower and loses its power. If this happens, it’s always best to check from the inside first.

Slow speed is oftentimes caused by engine problems. Having a faulty engine part can greatly impact the go-kart’s acceleration making it difficult to reach top speed. Some common indicators of an engine problem are inconsistent power, overheating, and unusual engine noises.

Next to the engine, the carburetor’s condition can make your go-kart slow too. The carburetor may get damaged or clogged over time. When this happens, air and fuel can’t mix properly resulting in power and acceleration problems.

Another common cause of slow speed is damaged bearings. Having damaged or faulty bearing will not just make you feel uncomfortable but also provide less support to the moving parts and eventually make the go-kart run slower.

The road condition can also be considered a factor for slow speed. Driving a go-kart on tracks under unfavorable conditions will surely slow you down.

Are petrol go-karts safe?

The answer is yes and no. Petrol go-karts are definitely safe to drive for amateur drivers so long as they are knowledgeable enough to operate them safely. However, for first-timers, petrol go-karts may not be the best and safest choice. This is for the reason that the power and speed of petrol go-karts are more difficult to control. This power can overwhelm first-timers leading them to lose control. For first-timers, electric go-karts are a better choice as their speed can be easily adjusted depending on the driver’s level.

In addition. the safety of driving a petrol go-kart can depend on the driver’s character. An aggressive driver in a go-kart is more likely to cause accidents on the race track and put others in danger.

Wrapping it up

Petrol go-karts can definitely provide a thrilling experience for every go-kart driver due to their top-notch speeds. Depending on the horsepower and other factors, go-karts can run from 40 mph to 300 mph, While this speed is enough to put anyone under an adrenaline rush, presence of mind and safe driving should always come first.

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