Go Kart Electric Starter
What's a kart?
Karts may seem like little cars, but there are some defining characteristics that separate them from ATVs or other tiny conveyances. Obviously, size is a big factor, but one major aspect of a kart is its complete lack of a traditional suspension; here the axle is firmly affixed to the frame, there is no differential (both rear tires turn at the same speed), and while things like camber and caster may be adjustable, there are no dampers or springs. Overall kart layout tends to feature a driver sitting beside a low capacity engine (generally 125cc or less) that uses either chains or gears to drive the rear axle. Traditionally, a kart has a single brake disc on the rear and nothing on the front (though that's not always the case), and the brake pedal is situated to the left of the kart, with the throttle on the right, forcing the driver to either learn left-foot-braking or go hurtling off course.
A kart should have a very snug, form-fitting seat and no belts of any kind, and while karts rarely have roll-cages or serious crash structures, that's beginning to change. But despite traditional safety features, karting is considered a very safe form of motorsport with injuries rare and generally non-life-threatening. There's always a risk, but if you drive responsibly and take the appropriate safety precautions chances of becoming a pavement stain at your local track are low.
Types of karts
Outdoor "fun" karts
These are the karts that you see baking under the sun (and rusting under the rain) at vacation destinations. They typically have a motor liberated from some unsuspecting lawn mower that puts out somewhere between two and five horses. They're loaded down with heavy body work, gigantic bumpers, thick wheels, and over-built everything that results in a weight somewhere well north of 300 pounds. While they're a fun distraction at the mini-golf course, they're about as close to "real" karting as flying a kite is to manning an F16.
Now we're getting somewhere. Enduro karts are the sort that you'll usually be thrown into at a kart track's arrive-and drive-program, whether indoor or outdoor. Now you've got a reasonably proper racing chassis, but it's often been cloaked in a wrap-around bumper to prevent the most dangerous type of karting accident: wheel to wheel contact. Motors here tend to be in the eight to ten horsepower range, again typically derived from some sort of small motorized utility product, but given some tuning to make them race-ready. Weight drops to around 250 pounds and, with a hard racing tire, you could see yourself pulling 1.5 g in the corners - better than a Ferrari Enzo. Chassis and motor setup tends to be limited because they're generally used as fleets, with the idea being one is as good as another. That's rarely the case, though, so if you're renting try to jump into one that isn't too beat looking.
It's worth noting there's a huge difference between your average indoor karting track (like the fantastic F1 Boston indoors track) and your average outdoor track (like the equally fantastic F1 Boston outdoors track). Indoor tracks tend to have very slick surfaces that allow the karts to drift very easily and turn on a dime despite their live rear axles. Outdoors, on concrete or asphalt, grip levels are far higher and the driving dynamics are quite different. Whether indoor or out, renting this sort of kart for a few hours is the best way to get a feel for the sport and see if it's something you want to pursue - and it's a great time, too.