Jacking Effect In Go-Karts: Understanding Mechanics And Suspension Forces

the Jacking effect in go kart racing

If you’re a passionate go-kart racer searching for ways to get ahead of your competitors, you should consider utilizing the jacking effect. 

The jacking effect helps you shift your kart’s weight through corners. It allows you to transfer the weight to the inner rear wheels to gain a better grip and prevent the kart from spinning out. 

If you’re into competitive go-kart racing, the jacking effect can help you move faster and more smoothly without losing time while navigating the corners. 

When done correctly, the jacking effect can make a huge difference in your performance among peers. 

How Does The Jacking Effect Work In Go-Karts? 

The jacking effect occurs when you lift the tires like the same effect created with an actual jack. 

When the inner front wheel is lowered, and the outside wheel is lifted while the steering wheel is turned, it helps you to lift your wheels better. 

It has to be done in the right proportion where the wheel is lifted enough without throwing the kart off balance. The intensity of the jacking effect can be affected by the size of the tires; using smaller tires has a lower center of gravity which means they can make jacking more effective. 

Another factor affecting the jacking effect’s intensity is the front-end grip, which makes the mechanical weight transfer more effective. You need to achieve better weight balance to gain maximum performance with the jacking effect. You can move the seats or the engine most from the jacking effect. 

Also Read: Do go-karts have manual transmission?

Adjusting the caster angle of your go-kart is another way to get the most from your go-kart; it helps you solve excessive jacking or possible wheel hops. 

Other areas to consider to get the most out of your go-kart include the Akerman, the front bar, the camber, and rear and front wheel hubs. Ensuring these parts function properly and support the jacking effect will help you gain your desired balance. 

Impact Of The Jacking Effect On Go-Kart Performance

jacking force in karting

Why should you bother about the jacking effect of your go-kart? Here, you’ll discover the benefits of the jacking effect and why you must take it seriously, especially in a competitive space. 

Increased Cornering Speed 

Navigating sharp corners effectively can make a huge difference in your performance as a go-kart rider. The jacking effect gives you an advantage when done correctly. 

Instead of the regular reduction in speed when moving across corners, the jacking effect helps you retain high speed, thus putting you ahead of the competition.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect tires for your go-kart, tuned the chassis, and ensured effective weight distribution, you can race with the confidence that you’ll move at optimal speed.

Improved Traction 

The jacking effect boosts the vertical load on the go-kart’s outside tires, improving their contact patch with the track. 

This then increases the traction and stability of your go-kart through the jacking effect. It allows drivers to distribute weight much better to improve grip and reduce the possibility of sliding or losing control.

Maximizing the benefits of the jacking effect will not only help you increase your speed but also help you move across corners with more precision. Now, you don’t want to hit tires or lose momentum right in the heat of the game. 

Reduced Braking Distance 

The jacking effect helps you reduce the distance required to stop the kart. Since it ensures better grip and weight distribution, you can brake more effectively, reducing the braking distance. 

You can enhance your general performance and improve lap times with a reduced braking distance. 

Also Read: Boost your go-karting performance

Techniques To Maximize The Jacking Effect 

You must have some tricks up your sleeves to get the most out of the jacking effect as a go-kart racer. 

Here are the 3 most important ones that’ll work like magic!

Adjusting Tire Pressure 

Adjusting the tire pressure is an effective way to control the grip potential of the tires. 

In a scenario where the kart is unbalanced in the grip front or back, reducing the air pressure in the front tires and increasing the ones in the air is an effective solution.

One thing to consider when adjusting the tire pressure of your go-kart is the track surface. Are you using a dusty, rubbered-up, or wet track surface? This factor should be considered before you adjust the tire pressure. 

For dry track conditions, keeping the front tires between 10 to 14 PSI and the back tires within the range of 12-16 PSI works well. In wet and slow-speed tracks, the tire pressure for the front tires can be between 8 to 10 PSI while the back tires can be at 10 to 12 PSI. However, higher-speed tracks will require you to go as high as 12 to 16 PSI for front tires and 16 to 20 PSI for rear tires. 

Optimizing Weight Distribution 

If you will gain the full benefit of the jacking effect, then you must understand effective weight distribution. 

The first way to optimize weight distribution is by the driver’s positioning. The driver should shift weight a little towards the front of the kart. 

Positioning the seat appropriately to support the driver’s weight can help you gain all the benefits from the jacking effect.

Also, placing heavier ballast towards the back of the kart can help you distribute weight to the rear. 

Another aspect you should check while experimenting is the Chassis setup to gain the full benefits of the jacking effect. 

Modifying Suspension Geometry 

The suspension geometry impacts the jacking effect because it ensures better handling. Some techniques for modifying the suspension geometry include: 

● Improving the negative camber on the front wheels 

● Increasing the angle between the tires 

● Reducing the ride height 

● Adjusting the stiffness of the suspension

Final Thoughts 

Go-kart racers need techniques like the jacking effect to win the game. More wins equal more recognition and money for any professional racer. 

However, you must understand the right tricks to use with the jacking effect to ensure you fully maximize its benefits. You can take your go-karting game to the next level by following the tips provided in this article.



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.