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Go-Kart Weight Limit Guide: Common Models Covered

Go-Kart Weight Limit Guide: Common Models Covered

Go-karting relies heavily on the driver’s weight to maintain safety standards for the tracks and drivers. There are different sizes of karts, and knowing which one fits your size/frame could take a bit of research. So what are the weight limits for go-karts?

Large adult sized off road go karts will be able to carry 2 full grown adults with gear or 500 pounds. Smaller go karts designed for children usually have a 100-200 pound weight limit. Adult sized street go karts will carry up to 300 pounds.

Knowing all the requirements for karts and tracks can be time-consuming, leaving you too tired to punch the pedals once everything is squared away. So don’t let it get you down! Read on and learn everything you need to know about go-karting weight limits.

Go-Kart Weight Limits by Size

Like most things, karts can be broken down into different sizes. One of the best ways to classify them is by engine size, as the engines determine how much weight the kart can move safely. Remember that weight impacts how the motor drives the kart and the kart moves on the track.

Go-Karting Classes Dictate the Weights of Karts and Drivers

The kart classes have been around for a while, and they start with young age, lightweight karts, to seasoned professionals with beastly engines on their rides. In addition, it allows younger drivers to cut their teeth while they develop.

The weight requirements for racing go-karts are as follows:

  • Bambino – These are the kid levels of go-karting; both kart and rider can only weigh 152 lbs. This might not seem like much, but the level is low to keep older drivers from competing in the class and destroying the competition.
  • Cadet – The cadet class weighs in at 227. These drivers are older and can handle larger engines than the beginner classes. As the driver’s age, they begin to race with heavier drivers and learn to manipulate their weight in the kart.
  • Junior – The Junior or Mini weight classes are where the action happens. At 270 – 326lbs, you get many drivers of all experience backgrounds, but usually this class is reserved for pre-teens and teenagers.
  • Senior – While it might sound like a lofty goal, the age requirement for Senior sizes is only 16. In addition, the weight limits are the same as the Junior category, with a 270 – 326 lbs weight limit for the kart and the driver. Senior leagues are fun to watch; regardless of weight, racers know how to move around the track.
  • Gearbox – The gearbox class is where you get the largest karts and riders on the circuit. The weight limit is 389 – 441 lbs. The largest karting motors compete at this level, and the riders, though usually under 200 lbs, can come in much heavier weights.

The weight classes of go-karting rely heavily on age at first before opening up the weight limit requirements.

However, the weights are essential because they impact many factors on the track that people might not know about. Always call ahead to karting tracks to ensure no weight restrictions for drivers.

Here’s a cool video showing how weight can affect go kart performance:

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.

Does Weight Matter for Go-Karting?

Weight is pivotal in go-karting. It impacts everything from how the kart handles to lap times. The classes are set up so that the riders and the karts can grow in size, but typically kart drivers are light and rarely approach 200 lbs.

Weight can be a double-edged sword, and the most experienced drivers often struggle with excess weight.

Weight Impacts Several Factors in Go-Karting

Your weight is going to affect almost every category that matters in go-karting. The karts are subject to the laws of physics, and if you are too heavy, your kart could become unstable and be a hazard for you and those around you.

Always keep in mind your surroundings when racing, and your weight should not be a dangerous element.

Some of the things that are impacted by weight in go-karting are as follows:

  • Acceleration – Accelerating at high speed is critical to winning go-kart racing. If you are a heavier driver, you might need more time to accelerate as fast as the competition. There are ways to offset this, but paying attention to your weight seems easier.
  • Safety – Another considerable piece of the karting puzzle is safety. If you weigh excessively, your safety and that of the other competitors is in question. In addition, some karts courses may not allow you to drive their karts if you are too heavy.
  • Movement – If you are heavy, your go-kart moves differently than the others. It will move into corners like a wrecking ball, and the other drivers could be in your path at the wrong time. Also, leaning in and out of corners is heavily impacted by your weight, and heavy drivers can use this to their advantage, but it could be a gamble.
  • Kart Integrity – When it comes to wear and tear, heavier drivers are harder on karts. The axles and braking systems on the kart will wear much faster as heavier weights placed on them force them to work harder to get the job done. Karts that lack integrity are a danger to everyone at the race track. Be a stickler for maintenance issues.

Your weight dramatically impacts your kart’s performance and if it can protect you in a crash. By ignoring the guidelines, you can find yourself in serious accidents that have the probability of killing drivers and others. Always wear the appropriate safety equipment to prevent any unnecessary damage to your body. 

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.


Weight is not a good thing in racing. If you are a larger-bodied racer, you must learn to manipulate your weight to move around corners and close the acceleration gap. In addition, the weight of the driver is a safety factor that trumps almost all others.

Go-Karting requires that you pay attention to the recommendations of the manufacturer. They place weight limits on the karts for usage, and the racing leagues enforce the classes with strict weight policies.

Weight is a critical factor in racing and safety, and the clubs and manufacturers want to ensure their riders are safe and fast.

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