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Go Karts 101

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Go karts are the motor vehicles of choice for those not old enough to get a driver's license. These scaled down versions of an automobile serve as learning tools for aspiring young racers who want to learn how to drive. Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson are two NASCAR drivers who started out racing go karts. Find out how you can get your start!

Go Karts - Types of Go Karts

Go karts come in many different sizes, speeds and styles. Here are the three main types of go karts.

  • Buggies - These go karts are strong and are built generally for sand dunes. They typically reach speeds of 60 miles per hour and can fit up to four people. Drivers under 16 years old are not advised to drive them.
  • Trail Go Karts - Just as the name suggests, trail go karts are designed to go on mild terrain. As far as performance goes, these karts are generally a cross between buggies and yard go karts. They can go 35-40 miles per hour and have the ability to go off road but are not as powerful as a buggie.
  • Yard Go Karts - These are the most basic and common form of go karts. They are generally used by kids under 16 years old, and are often seen in neighborhood streets or parking lots. Some of the yard go karts that are designed for kids under 10 years old only go 15 miles per hour. Other yard go karts can go up to 30 miles per hour.

Go Karts - Prices

Unless you're Bow Wow or Hilary Duff, go karts might be a little out of your budget. The cheapest yard go karts cost around $800 US. Trail go karts on average are $2,000-$3,000 a piece, while buggies start at $3,500. Renting is a good alternative to buying these expensive toys. Generally you can rent a buggie for around $100/hour, but you have to be over the age of 18 to be allowed to rent. A lot of amusement parks have go kart courses where the pre-16 year-old crowd can ride yard go karts for about $20/hour.

Go Karts - Safety

Go karts are motorized vehicles that go a lot faster than a bike or skateboard - so the risk of injury is a lot greater. Don't ride a go kart without adult supervision. Make sure they teach you how to drive one first, because driving a real go kart is a lot different than playing Mario Kart on Playstation. Also, always wear a helmet and safety goggles if you can. When riding in streets and neighborhoods, you must watch out for cars, especially cars backing out of their driveway. Typically go karts are low to the ground and are hard to see - so you need to be extra careful. That's why it's best to ride in parking lots or closed courses.

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