From Speed To Scale: How Much Does A Go-Kart Weigh? (Lighten Your Load)

How much does a go-kart weigh?

Go-karting enthusiasts whizzing down the track may often wonder, ‘How much does a go-kart weigh?’ After all, weight influences everything from speed to stability, like any other motor vehicle. 

An average kart weighs in at 150 to 175 pounds (without driver) recreational go-karts in local tracks may weigh 150 to 300 lbs. However, the size, build, and the kart’s intended use can add huge variations to weight. The kart’s weight directly affects its handling, stability, and performance. 

Today, I’ll dive into how a go-kart’s design, build, and how engines are usually considered, along with the minimum weight limit that affects the weight of the kart.

How Much Does A Go-Karts Weight Matter In Karting?

Yes. Weight plays a crucial role in the way your kart performs and operates. It can determine everything from speed and control to safety and stability. 

Let’s take performance as an example. A heavier kart accelerates slower, while a lighter one accelerates faster. So, racing karts generally carry a lighter build because accelerating quickly out of turns or corners provides a clear edge. Go-karts with the same power but different weights will also perform differently in terms of efficiency and control. 

Overall weight and its distribution across the kart also affect handling and control. Lighter karts may handle better sharp turns because there’s less weight to pull around or go off-balance. But a heavier kart may provide more stable control during top speed. Light karts also perform better in complex circuits and corners because they remain more responsive to your steering and braking. 

Heavier karts may prove safer because they’re steadier and less prone to swerve during faster sprints. The extra weight can also offer padding or shock absorption during collisions or impacts. 

Ultimately, the optimum balance between the kart’s weight and power is what matters most. And this balance may vary depending on whether you’re racing professionally or simply enjoying a day out at the circuit in leisure. 

The Fundamental Weight Components Of A Go-Kart

Chassis Weight

Like any other motorsport vehicle, the chassis provides the central framework that carries other kart components. Aluminum chassis is lighter but not as strong as steel. Steel remains more rigid but also adds more weight. 

Also Read: How to identify a go-kart chassis

The chassis tube’s thickness and additional reinforcements can make the kart heavier. Racing performance karts may sacrifice reinforcements in favor of lighter weight. On the other hand, recreational karts may sport heavier chassis to ensure steadiness and balance during sharp corners or when avoiding obstacles. 

Manufacturers attempt to provide the appropriate chassis weight so that the kart enjoys stability, speed, or structural strength depending on its intended use. 

Engine Weight

2-stroke engines found on racing karts provide more horsepower but are generally lighter. Meanwhile, 4-stroke designs are more efficient and durable but heavier. Lighter engines allow faster acceleration and more responsive handling. 

The goal should be to combine optimum engine power with the rest of the kart’s weight and design for the best performance. For instance, a 4-stroke recreational kart with heavier chassis may suit amateur riders because the additional mass provides stability and less risk of tipping over. 

Body and Frame Weight

Go-kart bodies are typically made of plastic or fiber composite, with the latter being heavier. The frame’s material (steel or aluminum) also adds to the mass already imposed by the engine and chassis. 

Racing karts will have minimal bodywork and fewer additional frames to ensure that total weight remains light and responsive to the driver’s maneuvering. 

Steel frames and fiberglass bodies are heavier but offer more stability and safety. But aluminum frames and plastic bodies may provide better maneuverability during sharp corners and higher speeds. 

Additional Weight Factors To Consider

Fuel Load

Go-karts may carry a couple of gallons depending on its design and use. So, a full tank on these designs may add 15-20 lbs to the total weight. In most instances, recreational go-karts do not run on full tanks as visitors continue using up the fuel on every lap. 

Smooth braking and gradual acceleration are good ways to optimize fuel consumption. Also, four-stroke engines provide better mileage, and you can run below full capacity for longer periods. 

Driver Weight

Adult go-kart designs can generally support weights of 250 lbs or more. In many instances, this addition equals or exceeds the kart’s mass. So, heavier drivers can change the handling and dynamics of how the kart operates. 

Also Read: Does go-karting have a weight limit?

The driver’s weight puts additional pressure and inertia on the kart, especially during corners or stops. Maintaining good posture, a stable position, and fastening your body securely will minimize the additional pressure of your weight on the kart. 

Accessories and Add-ons

There are innumerable add-ons that can go on a go-kart to enhance performance, comfort, appearance, or personalization. Roll bars/cages, neck braces, performance exhaust systems, speedometers, seat padding, brake pads, headlights, etc., are a few of the common accessories.  

All these accessories add mass to the kart, which risks poorer handling or lower maneuverability. Add only essential accessories and avoid redundant add-ons that put excessive weight on the kart. 

Different Go-Kart Categories And Their Weight Compared

Racing Go-Karts

Racing go-karts can weigh as low as 140-150 lbs, depending on design and kart construction materials. But the frame, tires, engine, and suspension remain highly customized for the driver and the racing conditions. These carts feature the least body work, so drivers enjoy lightweight control and agility. Even the frame is made of lightweight construction (Eg. aluminum). 

Precision controls and unmatched acceleration are capabilities present in most racing karts. The engines are generally two-stroke designs and offer a lot of power expected on competitive tracks. Racing go-kart specifications are all tailored according to the racer’s driving style and racing conditions. 

These karts allow fast and accurate turns in corners and instant acceleration and represent the lightest of all go-kart designs. 

Rental Go-Karts Weight

Rental go-karts are the regular karts you see at recreational tracks and circuits. These karts weigh more than professional racing cars, weighing about 200 or 300 lbs on average. 

Their designs include karting safety measures for passengers, and the construction aims at resilience and durability owing to constant use. So, they come with sturdier frames, more protective body works, and roll cages for additional safety, which all add more mass to the kart. 

Rental karts will also require more maintenance due to frequent use and changing drivers. Oil changes, refuels, and lubrication will all take place more frequently to ensure smooth functioning. 

The heavier weight on these karts allows amateurs and casual drivers to operate the kart without hassles. Racing karts are incredibly sensitive and responsive, which can prove risky for first-time drivers or occasional go-karting visitors. 

Electric Go-Karts Weight

Electric go-karts are much heavier than racing and recreational karts running on gas. Most electric karts weigh upwards of 400 lbs, and models with additional components can go up to 700-800 lbs too. 

The additional weight comes from the batteries, motor, and associated electrical components that run the kart in the absence of a mechanical engine. High-powered electric karts may feature AC motors that require bigger batteries leading to even more weight. 

However, the heavier weight does not lower performance or handling in recreational sessions. Manufacturers will place the battery closer to the ground, which provides more stability thanks to the lower center of gravity. 

Motors also transmit power and torque more uniformly than ordinary gasoline engines. With fewer mechanical and moving parts, electric karts also experience fewer vibrations making for a smooth and comfortable ride. 

Are 2-Stroke Go-Karts Lighter Than 4-Stroke Go-Karts?

2-stroke karts and 4-stroke karts do not differ greatly in overall weight. 

In internal construction, the 4-stroke engine is generally heavier than the 2-stroke model. That’s because the 4-stroke engine carries additional components like timing chains, additional valves, and camshafts. However, the engine weight is among multiple items contributing to the kart’s overall weight. 

The weight of the chassis, frames, additional accessories, bodywork, and fuel load all matter regarding overall weight. So, a heavier 4-stroke engine with a lighter chassis and frame may weigh the same as a 2-stroke that sits on a dense frame and heavy chassis. 

Also Read: Access insider knowledge with our exclusive go-karting tips

The general confusion between these two kart models usually appears because racing karts are lighter and carry a 2-stroke engine. However, racing carts are carefully designed and constructed, with minimal weight being among the top priorities. 

So, the combination of the lighter chassis, body, and other components makes it lighter compared to recreational or electric go-karts.  


Major components like the engine, chassis, frames, and bodywork contribute to how much does a go-kart weighs. But other additions like accessories or safety gear also come into play. And this final weight can influence stability, handling, agility, and even safety matters when riding on the track. 

Remember that your driving skills remain crucial in ensuring an enjoyable experience and safe driving. The safety gear, condition and age of the kart, and type of track can also influence how your ride pans out. 

Finding the optimum balance between the kart’s weight, power output, and your own handling of the kart can ensure the best driving experience on any type of kart or track. 



Meet Charles, a passionate writer and avid go-kart enthusiast. With a background in motorsports, Charles brings a unique perspective to the world of go-karting and motorsports. When Charles is not behind the wheel, you can find him crafting compelling stories and informative articles on the latest trends and technology on the PK's Go-Karts blog here.