Types of Go-Karts

Updated March 23, 2017

Go-karting is both a professional and recreational activity, though different types of go-karts are designed for different environments. The buggy kart, for example, is mainly an off-road vehicle, while trail go-karts are designed for a mix of mild terrain and street settings. Go-karts can be further classified according to their engine type and transition type, with significant differences between gas and electric kart engines.


Buggy go-karts are most often used in sand dune areas, and are built to withstand minor crashes and pressure. Some models of this type of go-kart drive up to 60 miles per hour and seat up to four people. Buggy-style go-karts tend to have expanded security features since they are intended for more unpredictable tracks and environments. This type of go-kart should only be driven by experienced go-kart drivers, because of their higher speeds.

Trail Go-Karts

Trail go-karts are specially designed for driving on mild terrain, including paths, small hills and rocks. These go-karts tend to perform somewhere between buggies and yard go-karts--for example, trail go-karts are stronger than yard go-karts, but not as strong as buggies. Trail go-karts are also faster than yard go-karts, but slower than buggies. These go-karts tend to reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour.

Yard Go-Karts

Yard go-karts are a basic type of kart that tend to be the most common type of kart. These go-karts are intended for the use children 16 and under, as they are slower and more stable than other types of karts. Most yard go-karts can go up to 30 miles per hour, though some yard karts are made specifically for younger children that can only go up to 15 miles per hour.

Other Classifications

These types of go-karts can be further classified by engine type and gear type. Like other vehicles, go-karts come in automatic and manual gear types. In automatic go-karts, the driver does not need to shift gears, but these karts tend to have lower top speeds. Go-karts are also available in electric and gasoline engine types--electrical go-karts tend to have faster acceleration, which can be difficult to handle for inexperienced riders. Additionally, electric karts have a lower maintenance cost than gasoline go-karts, and can be used indoors.

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About the Author

Alicia Prince began writing in 2006. She has worked for It's Mitz Productions, Native Range Productions and Skyline Pictures at Paramount Studios, as well as for GeoBeats. Prince holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film production with a minor in writing from Columbia College Hollywood.