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How to Drive a Go-Kart for Beginners

How to Drive a Go-Kart for Beginners

Go-karts are serious fun but can be intimidating for those who have never driven them. However, knowing a few things and having the right gear can introduce you to hours of fun on the track or cutting up the nearby field. So how do you drive a go-kart?

To drive a go kart, put on the proper safety gear like helmet and gloves and strap on the safety belt or harness. Most go karts only have accelerate and brake pedals so no need to worry about shifting. Steer with the steering wheel and follow the track guide flags.

Karts can be dangerous, so slow your roll for a minute and think about the situation. Before heading out, you need to know some things to enhance your journey and keep you safe. So read on and learn everything you need to know about driving a go-kart.

Go-Karting for Beginners

Nothing beats the thrill of getting behind the wheel of your first go-kart. For younger drivers, it signifies a new stage in life that offers more freedom with a touch of responsibility. For enthusiasts, it brings back fond memories of childhood and times spent karting with friends.

How to go Karting for the First Time

Regarding karting, safety equipment is the first thing to take care of before hitting the track. The exposed nature of the kart means that rolling or being thrown from the vehicle could cause serious injuries or death.

Also, always keep other drivers or obstructions in your sight as running into a fence or other drivers could bring the hurt.

The safety equipment needed to go Karting for the first time is as follows:

  • Helmet – Protecting your head from high-speed impact with the ground or other drivers is imperative if you are racing for the first time. Remember that even though your kart could be in your yard, having a helmet is an excellent way to protect the rider.
  • Gloves – Another thing to keep handy when racing is a good set of gloves. Gloves help to protect your hands when they are on the wheel. The steering wheel is another exposed piece that could crush the hands if the kart flips.
  • Suit – The suit is an optional piece for those who are competitive racing. It is made from a kevlar material that cushions the impact of high-speed impacts and protects the skin from nasty road rash.

Once you have all the safety equipment you need, you can head onto the track and learn how the kart handles and what it can do. Remember that some karts could have no safety equipment, and protecting yourself with a helmet and gloves could be the only thing between you and serious injury.

Here’s a good video showing the basics of riding a 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 do you Control a Go-Kart?

Controlling a go-kart on the track is similar to driving a car. The pedals and steering wheel are in the exact locations, and learning to handle them finely can be the difference between a smooth ride and a herky-jerky motion that destroys the neck muscles.

A few things to look for when trying to control a go-kart are as follow:

  • Learn the Pedals – The first thing you must understand is what the pedals do when pressing them with your feet. By learning how they respond when prompted, you know the capabilities of the kart.
  • Reverse – Another thing to look for when karting for the first time is if there is a reverse. For example, some high-end kart racing models will have a lever or button that allows the driver to back into the kart if they progress too far past an entrance.
  • Steering – One of the best things to do when you get out on the track is to shift the steering wheel from side to side. This will show you far it needs to be turned to make a curve or to swerve around a spun-out teammate.

By learning how the kart operates, you increase your chances of having a sage outing. In addition, it unlocks a sense of freedom in young drivers that could usher them into the world of mechanical engineering or professional driving.

The Track is the Last Piece of the Puzzle

Now that you have your kart firmly grasped and your safety equipment in place, it is time to pay attention to the track and the other drivers. You can sweep past the competition safely by looking for a few things.

Some of the track features to pay attention to are:

  • Rules – Each track has its own set of rules. Ensure you know them before heading out with experienced drivers, as they could bump-pass or slam you into walls with simple gestures of their karts.
  • Drivers – As mentioned earlier, the drivers are the most important thing to pay attention to while driving a go-kart. They can be erratic and downright nasty, depending on your racing type. So always keep the other karts in your sight but eyes on the track.

Once you have the track figured out, the larger chess game unfolds. Drivers are one of the most dangerous things on the track, and paying attention to their movements and what they do around the turns keeps you safe and your lap times on the downward trend.

Is a Go-Kart Easy to Drive?

Go-karts are easy and fun to drive. They have a shortened frame, allowing them to get up to speed and drift in and out of turns with finesse. They are often base vehicles with no special gears or fancy bells and whistles.

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.


Knowing how to drive a go-kart is a simple and fun task. Once you have a helmet, gloves, and optional suit, you can get on the track with your kart.

By checking the kart’s ability to turn and move, you get an idea of what can be done with other drivers on the track. Always remember safety is paramount, and colliding with other drivers isn’t good form.

Go-karting is an easy sport to get into. The karts are easy to drive, and the equipment needed is readily available or easily sourced.

In addition, tracks are located in malls across America, and used go-karts are on sale in the local paper. So no matter your driving level, you can have a good time on the track and get some wind in your teeth.

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