The suspension in a vehicle is essential as it allows the driver and passengers to have a stable and smooth ride. It stabilizes the driving experience when going at fast speeds or over potholes. Similarly, have you ever wondered if go-karts have suspension?
Go-karts don’t come with suspension like other cars, but the chassis in the go-karts give enough suspension for the drivers to have a smooth race. Knowing whether a go-kart has a suspension is essential, as this knowledge can make you understand how go-karts function.
In this article, we will be trying to understand how suspension works in a Go-kart. We will discuss its importance, and the types of suspension and give you a better insight into how a go-kart functions.
Understanding Suspension In Go-Karts
We should understand the suspension in go-karts before we let you in on the different types. They do not have suspension as it does in conventional vehicles.
The chassis works as the go-kart suspension and is designed to have enough flexibility to function on the racetrack. Go-karts are not supposed to have suspension between the road and the driver, as it depends on direct road feedback.
This allows the driver to experience vehicle cornering in its purest form. Yet, the chassis of a go-kart has become the key to unlocking its suspension systems.
Here are three things you should understand about the impact of having flexibility and suspension in Go-karts.
- The purpose of suspension in a go-kart is to offer improved traction with the racetrack’s surface.
- It helps the go-kart achieve better stability.
- The suspension in go-karts depends on the way you control your bodily movements.
Types Of Suspension In Go-Karts
Go-karts have different parts that help them achieve the right amount of suspension on racetracks. These parts allow the drivers to enjoy the best possible cornering while racing on the tracks. Go-karts depend on other mechanisms to achieve flexibility and maintain stability.
The go-kart was initially designed to be a lightweight vehicle, so it was not necessary to have a built-in chassis. The chassis would have made the go-kart frame heavier, resulting in lesser cornering capabilities.
However, the growth of go-karts in recent years has seen the implementation of chassis-like parts for these racing cars. Let us look at some go-kart parts that help improve the suspension.
The axle is a crucial part that helps decide the flexibility of a go-kart. It is a rod that connects the rear wheels in a go-kart, and its flexibility depends on the raw material and its chemical composition.
There are laws in the go-karting world that direct the use of a specific rigidity to assure the safety of the drivers. When an axle is rigid, it will allow the tires on a go-kart to stay in contact with the racetrack. This prevents the tires from lifting off the surface when the driver is cornering.
Softer axles will provide more flexibility while cornering on the racetracks. It decreases contact with the surface and allows more flexibility. The chassis in go-karts are different, so a professional must understand which ones are more flexible.
However, newer designs are beginning to introduce more flexible axles. It is always best to consult a professional if you want to change the go-kart’s flexibility according to your necessity.
Also Read: Do Go-karts Have Power Steering?
- Weight Contribution
The driver plays a vital role in implementing flexibility while racing in a go-kart. It is only possible to achieve the highest flexibility by knowing how to distribute your weight in the go-kart while racing.
It doesn’t matter if your seat is placed on a high level, but you will still be close to the ground after you are seated. This has an impact on the way the kart is maneuvered. The driver can use their weight to shift the kart according to their movement.
Go-karting professionals lean into corners, putting their heads down while going in straight tracks, etc. This is why you must use your body weight to move the go-karts while racing.
- Torsion Bar
The torsion bar is the closest a go-kart will come to using a suspension in its built. It connects the left and right of the chassis in the go-kart. The torsion bar lowers the stiffness at the front and rear chassis of the go-kart.
This bar is a removable cross member connecting the left and right chassis rail at the front and rear wheel positions. The bar’s flexibility can depend on its chemical composition, as it can be made of different materials. The shape of the bar also plays a crucial part in tuning the lateral rigidity of the chassis.
- Seat Position
Where you place the position of your seat is also essential for the go-kart’s suspension. You can manipulate the flexibility by adjusting your seat in specific parts.
Your body is vital in understanding the feeling of the kart’s handles. Once you get a feel of the kart, you can manipulate its movements differently.
Most Go-karts have seats in the center, but some drivers strategically position their seats to get the best out of specific racetracks. If some tracks have many cornering, the drivers tend to set their seating position towards the sides to get more leverage. If your seat is placed at a high elevation, it will give more flexibility to your go-kart.
However, your chassis will become stiffer if the seat is placed on a lower level. This is how the seat positioning impacts the flexibility of the go-kart on the racetracks.
Do Go-Karts Need Suspension?
Go-karts need suspension as it gives more flexibility while racing on the tracks. Cornering on the tracks is only possible with flexibility on the go-karts.
Looking at most go-karts, you will notice they have little-to-no suspension. This is done to save weight and increase predictability while cornering. However, there are suspensions on off-road go-karts.
The go-kart will break down if there is no suspension, especially in the case of off-road go-karts. Different go-kart types require additional suspension, so let us look at the different types and their requirements.
- Off-Road Go-Karts
You can experience better off-road adventures in more oversized vehicles than the standard ones. The same goes for go-karts, as off-road go-karts are much more prominent in build.
You require more extensive suspension in off-road go-karts, almost as similar to or more prominent as standard vehicles’ suspensions. They have much bigger wheels, which necessitates the use of suspension.
The suspensions on the front wheels are separate from one another. The shock from any bump will have independent impacts on both front wheels. However, the rear suspension can have different suspensions on both sides of the rear wheel.
It depends on the type of off-road go-kart you have. The high-end ones have suspensions on both sides of the rear wheels, which makes them far better than the standard ones.
Also Read: Manual Or Automatic Go-Karts
- Racing Go-Karts
Racing go-karts are not known for having suspension traditionally, but it depends on the rigidity and stiffness of the karts. The material with which the racking kart is built will have a lot to play in the kart’s stability and flexibility.
The length of the spindle and the axle’s strength also determine the go-kart’s suspension. They are responsible for the relationship between the tires and the surface (tracks) and how the kart deals with corners and bumps.
What If My Go-Kart Doesn’t Have Suspension?
The racing go-karts do not need suspension, as the ground clearance is not over a few millimeters. So, the more suspension there is, the more likely the go-kart will hit the surface of the racetracks.
However, depending on your requirements, you can add more flexibility and stiffness to the go-kart. You can do this by changing the axle or adjusting the position of your seat. Handling the cart and controlling its movements depends on how you maneuver your body and adjust the tire alignment.
There are two factors to consider if you add more suspension to your kart. They are:
- Add more suspension if your go-kart is meant for off-road adventures.
- You must consider the structural rigidity of your racing go-kart before adding more suspension.
How To Add Suspension To Your Go-Kart
The only way to add suspension to your racing go-kart is to change the axle or torsion bar. Companies use different materials to build the parts of a go-kart, so the rigidity and flexibility differ.
You can change the suspension in off-road go-karts, as they are more significant than racing karts. They use the same suspension as standard motor vehicles. You can use various tools to change the suspension in a go-kart, but the best option is to call for professional help.
Suspension in go-karts is essential to reduce the shocks, as go-karts have very little ground clearance. However, you will notice that off-road go-karts are larger in build, so they use suspension like standard vehicles.
You should consider changing the material of the torsion bar, axle, etc. if you want more or less suspension. Another way to influence your kart’s suspension is to maneuver your body weight when taking turns and cornering.