Hooniverse Asks- What's the Coolest Go-Kart?


When I was a kid my dad and I ( and by my dad and I, I mean my dad) built a coaster kart. It was constructed from two-by stock and handtruck wheels, and featured a rope loop for steering. It was great for going down hill, but not so much for the return trips. At the time I was leveraging gravity’s pull (science!) I lamented the limitations of such a vehicle. What I really wanted was a real, gas-powered go-kart, just like the one in the window at Feddes’ Sea and Land.

I never got that Briggs and Stratton-powered monoposto, as shortly my interest turned to two wheels and I got a mini bike instead. Still, to this day I have a warm spot in my heart for those original little mini cars, and their derivatives that have popped up over the years. Karting has gone from a cul-de-sac nuisance to an incredibly fun amateur sport (see F1 electric kart tracks and the like), as well as a point of entry into professional racing for many a driver.

With karting going back so many years there have been tons of types from which to choose. Everything from backyard specials built from plans purchased out of the back of Popular Mechanics to 100 mph-plus monsters that put your butt within mere inches of the pavement for about the most visceral racing experience you could want. Have you also developed a love of go-karts? If you have, which one do you think is the coolest?  

Image source: Vaiden.com (warning, auto play audio)

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48 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Coolest Go-Kart?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    Twin Turbonique rocket powered go kart.
    <img src="http://032b0eb.netsolhost.com/site/turbokart.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

      Because 250 MPH GoCart Insanity!

      1. P161911 Avatar

        with no roll bar, no seat belt, and no front brakes.

        1. dukeisduke Avatar

          That's why they invented hay bales.

          1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

            And life insurance.

          2. jeepjeff Avatar

            I'm pretty sure even sitting in the seat of that thing with it off constitutes life insurance fraud.

          3. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

            Slightly more dangerous than Russian roulette, but slightly less dangerous than swimming in the Amazon River.

        2. OA5599 Avatar

          I think I'd rather have a somewhat slower go kart I can be alive to drive multiple times than a bomb on wheels that could take you from zero to dead in 4 seconds. I don't think any tracks have allowed this to run for the past three decades or so, for insurance reasons. And probably if you try to buy the fuel these post-9/11 days, you would attract the attention of the guys with black helicopters.

  2. racer139 Avatar

    My brothers and I built a similar cart to the one you describe. It used a 2×6 spine and a 2×4 bolted to a piece of industrial shelving leg tin angle with large bolts as spindles. The front was the same but bolted through a sleeve in the center of the 2×6. My grandfather got us a bunch of plastic lawnmower wheels that we replaced often. After a while we got bored of pushing my brother around and wanted somthing we all (3)could ride and my grandfather oblidged. He built us a 6 foot by two foot tube steel frame with two bench seats (actually a 2×6 with no backrest) and tge rear axle on two pillow block bearings and the front was sorta like a ride on mower set up with improvised re circulating ball steering. While it was a bear to push up the hills the cops clocked us at 65km/h when they where called because we where flying down the hill. We just found a much bigger hill in a private aera. Ahhh childhood memories

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Ah, I can hear that theme music now.

  3. I Think Not Avatar
    I Think Not

    Being the unabashed Big Red fanboi that I am, I'm going to cast my vote for the original Honda Pilot:
    <img src="http://forum.gon.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=150872&stc=1&d=1213116036&quot; height="auto" width="700px">

    1. guest Avatar

      Which replaced the original Honda Odyssey.

  4. Tim Hogan Avatar
    Tim Hogan

    We have an indoor kart track here… They have 350cc engines and can get up to 70kph. They're a blast to drive.
    Also, unlike America, Germany doesn't have seat belts in the gokarts. Apparently there was a lawsuit over someone getting trapped underneath one, so they figure its safer to be thrown clear.

    1. buzzboy7 Avatar

      The last Karts I drove(USA) didn't have belts. Super low and with hip hugging buckets. I felt quite attached to the kart.

  5. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    To be totally serious about it, I would forget all those silly, unmanageable GSXR-motored contraptions you see, or even 250cc shifter karts. For me, the whole point of karting is to distill vehicle management down to the bare minimum, so you can concentrate less on getting the most out of the machine and more on getting the most out of the track — what line through the corner, when to brake and accelerate. So for me it would be the highest grade conventional racing kart out there. I think that would look a lot like a new triple disc Tony Kart or Comer Top Kart chassis with an Aixro XR-50 rotary engine.

    1. cruisintime Avatar

      Love that little cruiser,The build was one the most interesting series of articles on the Hooniverse.

    2. MVEilenstein Avatar

      Came here to post this.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      So you can go while you go. Brilliant.

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        You're really on a roll!

        1. MVEilenstein Avatar

          Do you have to park it in a stall?

          1. $kaycog Avatar

            It depends in which city urine.

          2. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar
            Scandinavian Flick ★


          3. $kaycog Avatar

            Hi, Flick! Good to see you, old friend. You'll always be #1 with me!

          4. Vavon Avatar

            I'm not angry, just disappointed.

          5. $kaycog Avatar

            Aw, don't be disappointed. I couldn't very well tell him that he was #2, could I?

    1. buzzboy7 Avatar

      Lowered, and with a 1275. They're so much fun.

    2. MVEilenstein Avatar

      The first time a drove one (right-hand drive in Scotland), I told someone it felt like a 4-speed go-kart. Surprisingly roomy, at that.

  6. GTXcellent Avatar

    It seemed like every summer growing up there was always a promotional go kart being given away in town. This was the one I REALLY wanted to win, but of course I never did.
    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/1905/4841/29762420002_large.jpg&quot; width="600">

  7. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

    For a while now I've been fascinated with cycle carts. Racing's done on dirt courses on farms and the like.The rules: Build your own cart from scratch while sticking to some loose guidelines and using a 6.5 hp Honda motor. You don't race unless you built the cart yourself.
    My kids are getting older now. Might be a good project, and a good introduction to motoring.
    <img src="http://www.cyclekarts.com/NewCKHm306.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      It's like miniature grand prix racing. That's awesome.

    2. Rover1 Avatar

      Quote of the day "Our mission, so-to-speak, is to help spread the word about CycleKarting in general, and to provide a place for disenfranchised, alienated, and enlightened eccentrics like ourselves to view the craziness."
      How is this not the official sport of Hooniverse?

      1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

        Agreed. This is awesome.
        [youtube gF5YyeB8p7w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF5YyeB8p7w youtube]

  8. BobWellington Avatar

    <img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y205/rcmaster1029/Carter%20Buggy/P1040005.jpg&quot; width="600">
    My beloved Carter buggy. Sadly I don't have many places to ride it. This is at a friend's place.

  9. FЯeeMan Avatar

    Took the kids to Fast Times for some indoor karting a couple of weeks ago. The two younger ones hadn't shown much interest before. Now all i get is questions about when we're going back…
    So I guess the coolest ones are the ones that got them into karting.

  10. scroggzilla Avatar

    Q: What's the Coolest Go-Kart?
    A: A Hayabusa-powered Go-Kart.
    [youtube U2-ROIibQiI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2-ROIibQiI youtube]

  11. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar
    Scandinavian Flick ★

    [youtube bTwxHCHaoMo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTwxHCHaoMo youtube]

  12. monkey_tennis Avatar

    <img src="http://madzone.net/pictures/albums/senna/normal_bambino.jpg&quot; width="600">
    (The young Ayrton Senna in a go-kart)

  13. Jaclyn Avatar

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!