What Type of Metal Do You Use to Make a Go Kart?


Go Karts offer driving enthusiasts an opportunity to unleash their inner race-car driver. Many tracks, both indoor and out, are available for racers of all skill levels. Go Karts also provide a unique opportunity to show off your design and engineering prowess. Many of these machines are home built with an almost endless variety of techniques and materials.


  • Go Kart motors are often borrowed from common household machines such as snow-blowers, lawnmowers and even electrical generators. A Go Kart with a 150-pound driver requires about 10 horsepower for adequate performance, although competitive racers may opt for custom-built engines with 25 or more horsepower.

Frame Materials

  • Go Karts need to be strong and lightweight, so most frames are made from steel or aluminum. These metals are easy to cut, weld and fabricate. Some competitive racers may add carbon fiber to the mix. Stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum, carbon fiber "tubs" or frames are used in race cars and exotic road vehicles. The biggest drawback is cost; a single frame made from sheets of carbon resin is a laborious and painstaking process.


  • Go Karts must be fitted with special tires and rims; they cannot be borrowed or fabricated. The rims are typically make of a steel-alloy material for strength, while the tires are formulated from soft rubber to provide extreme grip.

Other Materials

  • Brake discs are constructed from steel or cast iron, which has a high melting point. The chain, sprockets, axles, clutch components and other linkages are typically made from steel for increased strength and durability.


  • Photo Credit karting image by RomainQuéré from Fotolia.com
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