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Do Go-Karts Have Reverse? How to Tell

Do Go-Karts Have Reverse? How to Tell

Go-karts are somewhat like miniature cars. They have a steering wheel, a seat, a gas pedal, and, sometimes, a seatbelt. However, there are some notable differences, and one of the most significant dissimilarities is that most go-karts do not have a reverse.

Traditional gasoline go-karts are not commonly able to reverse. A reverse gearbox must be installed to allow for reverse capabilities. Electric go-karts are built with reverse capabilities automatically, with no installations required.

Are you wondering whether or not go-karts have reverse capabilities and how to tell if they do? Then keep reading. Below, you will find all the must-know information about go-karts and reversing.

Do Go-Karts Have Reverse?

The most straightforward answer to this question is: some do, and some don’t.

However, it’s far more common to drive a go-kart that does not have reverse capabilities. That’s because it is unnecessary for the bulk of go-kart drivers. They can simply push the go-kart backward when necessary.

The other reason why most go-karts don’t reverse is the weight that would be added with a reverse gearbox. Extra weight means the go-kart will run slower and cut down on overall performance, which can lead to losing races and difficulty driving the go-kart.

Which Go-Karts Typically Have Reverse?

Whether or not a go-kart has reverse depends on one main factor: the type of go-kart.

Gasoline go-karts typically do not have reverse capabilities unless a reverse gearbox is installed. This is simply due to the fact that reverse gearboxes will add some weight to the go-kart, which will slow it down and reduce its performance.

On the other hand, electric go-karts are designed with reverse capabilities, and there is no need to install one separately.

Here’s a cool video showing how to add an electric reverse to a gas go kart:

This is where we got our Offroad Go Kart Buggy for the kids off Amazon. We went with the Trailmaster buggy but they also have smaller karts and all electric options with great reviews.

How To Tell if Your Go-Kart Has Reverse

It is relatively easy to tell whether or not your go-kart has reverse capabilities. The first thing to do is to determine the type of go-kart you’re using.

If you’re driving an electric go-kart, it will have reverse capabilities. All electric go-karts are designed with reverse capabilities. So, when driving an electric model, there should be no question as to whether or not you’re able to reverse it.

  • Knowing whether or not a gasoline go-kart has reverse is slightly more complicated.
  • That’s because traditional gas go-karts are typically single-speed and have one gear.

The driver will focus mainly on the gas and brake pedals to drive the go-kart, and the automatic transmission will take care of the rest. If the gas go-kart does not have a gear shift, it likely does not have reverse capabilities.  

If your go-kart contains a reverse gearbox – essential for reversing in a gas go-kart – it is defined as a “shifter go-kart” and has reverse capabilities.

These go-karts will have gearboxes and manual transmissions. The number of gears depends on the type of gearbox installed. A basic model will have three gears: accelerate, neutral, and reverse. However, some gearboxes have six gears to choose from, including a reverse gear.

That said, if your gas go-kart has a gear shift, it has reverse capabilities. All you need to do is shift the gear toward you (downward) to put the go-kart into reverse. Keep in mind that reversing is typically much slower than acceleration.

Can You Install Reverse on a Go-Kart?

If your gas go-kart does not have reverse capabilities, and you’d like to add this component to your go-kart, you can. You will need to install what is known as a “reverse gearbox.”

A reverse gearbox is a unique mechanical component allowing your go-kart to go in reverse. The gearbox is connected to the transmission and rear axle, allowing reverse capabilities.

It is important to note that installing a reverse gearbox on your go-kart is not the most straightforward task. Unless you purchase a kit with everything included – mounting equipment, hardware, etc. – you’ll need an array of tools to complete the job.

It’s also beneficial to have a good understanding of mechanical components and how go-karts work.

Luckily, most reverse gearbox kits are relatively easy to understand. Although it may take some time and effort, those new to the realm of go-karts should be able to install a reverse gearbox without too much hassle.

Do You Have to Have Reverse on a Go-Kart?

Your go-kart does not have to have a reverse. In fact, most go-karts, especially gas-powered go-karts, do not have reverse capabilities. This is due to the fact that reverse gearboxes add extra weight to the go-kart, causing it to go slower and not perform as well.

When an individual finds themselves in a predicament where they need to back up, it’s much easier to push the go-kart back and out of the way of the obstruction. This can be done by the individual driving the go-kart or a bystander watching the race.

However, it’s easy to see why someone might want to add reverse capabilities to their go-kart. It can be hassling to get out of the go-kart or have someone help you whenever you find yourself in a troubling predicament where a reverse option would come in handy.

With that in mind, your go-kart does not need to have a reverse, but you can install a reverse gearbox if you want the added convenience of being able to reverse when necessary or desired. That, or you can opt for an electric go-kart and skip the nuisance of installing a reverse gearbox on your gasoline go-kart.

This is where we got our Offroad Go Kart Buggy for the kids off Amazon. We went with the Trailmaster buggy but they also have smaller karts and all electric options with great reviews.

Go-Karts Typically Don’t Have Reverse

One of the most significant differences between regular cars and go-karts is that there is no reverse option. However, this is because go-karts are built for speed and propelling forward.

The added weight of a reverse gearbox will slow down the go-kart and wreak havoc on the performance. Yet, you can install a reverse gearbox on your go-kart if desired. You can also opt for an electrical go-kart with reverse capabilities automatically installed.

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