The History Behind The Go Kart

Published: 04th February 2009
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What began as a way for airmen to pass the time has evolved into a sport known world wide. Gokarts were invented by Art Ingels in 1956 in California. The first go kart that was manufactured was little more than a riding lawn mower. Models available today are equipped with enough power to reach speeds of 160 mph or more. That kind of speed is pretty amazing and it is no wonder why they are so popular worldwide.

Miniature Formula One racing machines are referred to by a lot of names including go carts, go karts, go-carts, shifter carts, gocarts, gokarts, enduro carts, and others. There is one thing that is for sure, getting behind the wheel of a superkart is exciting.

Related to open-wheel Formula One and Indy Car racing, driving a go kart would be your best bet if you've ever wanted to know what it feels like to race a Formula 1 or Indy Car. Professional drivers like Michael Schumacher, Sarah Fisher, Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart and Kyle Petty all got their start on the go kart racing circuit.

So what exactly makes a gokart a gokart? Gokarts have a motor, transmission, chassis, seat and 4 tires. Since they don't have a suspension, the chassis has to provide flexibility while retaining enough stiffness to let the kart grip around the track, especially through the turns. The chassis can be either be closed, also known as a caged chassis, which allows protection for the driver in the event of a rollover, or open, which provides no driver protection.

Engines used in gokarts are typically either 2-stroke or 4-stroke. The 2-stroke engine is usually more specialized and is made by companies like Honda or Briggs and Stratton. The 4-stroke engine is usually the standard type used in lawn mowers. The 2-stroke is typically more powerful than the 4-stroke and can be up to 30 horsepower or more.

As with Formula One racing, the kart tires can be either rain tires or slicks. Slicks have no tread and are used to achieve the best traction on a dry track. Rain tires are used during wet weather and have a tread. Icy conditions warrant specially-made spiked tires that give good grip on slippery surfaces.

Gokarts can be a stepping stone for drivers who want to work their way up to professional Formula One or Indy Car racing. It's a less expensive way to get involved with racing. Of course, go karts are not just for those who aspire to become professional drivers. Mostly go karts are raced by people who want to have a little fun.

Their popularity has reached all over the world. There are kart tracks for every skill level, from the extremely tame tracks located in family fun centers and amusement parks, to high end speed grand prix karting tracks found in larger cities.

A go kart is considered a safer and cheap way to get into racing. Drivers can move up the line until they reach the professional level. It is heartening to think that with the right amount of talent and practice, racing alongside the top pros is not out of the realm of possibility.

A whole world of information about the go kart eagerly awaits you from Mike Selvon portal. We appreciate your feedback at our how to build a go kart blog.

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