250cc karts are some of the fastest go-karts around. They’re rarely seen, and absolute beginners may not even have known they existed. This might leave you wondering just how fast a 250cc kart will go.
The top speed of a 250cc kart is about 130 mph (210 kph), but many will reach 150 mph (240 kph) under the right conditions. In this category, all karts are classified as superkarts. These are high-powered karts with a unique chassis construction, and often 6-speed gearboxes.
Below, we’ll go into more detail about the kinds of top speeds a 250cc go-kart will achieve, and we’ll define what a superkart is in greater depth as well. Plus, we’ll list a few examples of some of the fastest 250cc go-karts on the market.
What Are Superkarts?
Superkarts are karts used for racing on relatively long karting circuits. Superkarts usually have 250cc 2-stroke engines. Highly popular in Europe and Australia, superkart racing is the step to bridge the gap between high-level karting and professional car racing.
To look at one, you wouldn’t associate it with go-karts at all! It looks more like a small, incredibly lightweight car. Although superkarts aren’t as popular in the United States by comparison, races do happen here and there are a couple of series you can enter with your 250cc rig. Overall though, many racers consider them to be more of a very fast, very dangerous novelty as opposed to a serious racing machine.
Compared To Sprint Karts
They’re built using specially made and designed chassis. They’re longer than a sprint kart by a fair margin, complete with bodywork. The most popular iterations worldwide are the 250cc 2-stroke engines, typically taken from motorcycle road-racing and tuned.
Due to how high the torque of a 2-stroke engine is at the 250cc displacement, superkarts need a gear shifter. Typically, people use sequential shifters to maximize speed and quick lap times.
High Speed & Stopping Power
The bodywork is semi-enclosed and shaped purposefully for aerodynamics, assisting in the scary levels of speed a superkart can reach. They also have front and rear disc brakes as some of the heaviest components of the build, to make sure it has enough stopping power.
It’s due to the unique build and shape of superkarts that they can reach their top speed of about 150 mph, rather than the large engine alone. Nevertheless, the modified motorcycle engines are pretty beastly in and of themselves!
4 Example Speeds Of 250cc Go-Karts
|Anderson Racing Maverick 250 National Superkart||Yamaha TZ250 Engine||147 mph / 237 kph|
|PVP Superkart||Yamaha TZ250 Engine||146 mph / 235 kph|
|Anderson Racing Maverick 250 Div 1||Honda RS250 Engine||144 mph / 232 kph|
|MS Superkart||BRC250 Modified Kart Engine||142 mph / 229 kph|
Very Few Manufacturers
Due to superkarts being more of a niche racing series, manufacturers who design and produce them are somewhat rare. That, and even in Europe and Australia where the series is more popular, everyone uses these chassis makers as standard due to their expertise in the tricky division.
Unlike in normal kart racing series, with a wide choice of engines and displacements, 250cc varieties are almost all exclusively designed and made for motorcycles and road racing. Three engines became fan favorites and it’s stayed that way ever since, even though the emergence of superkarts happened back in the mid-1990s.
Honda and Yamaha are very popular in go-karting overall, with the engine manufacturers producing multiple models each throughout all series. Their reliable and powerful engines that are loved in many motorsports makes them top choices in superkart building.
The BRC250 is a specially modified engine taken from karts. Although it can be considered a Frankenstein creation, it’s a reliable and kart-friendly design, which a lot of kart racers will be familiar with. People new to superkarts often try their hand with this engine first.
KEY POINTS• 250cc superkarts can reach top speeds of about 130-150 mph (210-240 kph)
• They’re rarely raced in the US
• There are only a handful of active 250cc kart manufacturers
Superkart Racing In The US
With sprint karting, you have a lot of US-based manufacturers to get chassis and parts from. The most popular are Top Kart, CRG and Margay, with European-founded kart brands having set up US dealerships as the motorsport grew in popularity (Tony Kart, BirelART).
However, superkart chassis and parts all have to be imported from Europe and Australia if you want to take part in it here in the US. This is part of why the series isn’t likely to grow that much, because while it isn’t popular yet, it also doesn’t have much of a chance to become so due to the lack of dealerships in the country.
There Are Some Events
In spite of this, there are some race series that have been starting to sprout and take root as of late! These include the International Karting Federation (IKF), who host road races, and more specifically, the US Superkarts Championship series. You can find events at iconic tracks such as Road Atlanta and Portland International Raceway.
Although tough and expensive to get into, due to the lack of manufacturers and high import costs, these 250cc superkarts are amazing rigs and the following is continuing to grow.
What To Look For In A 250cc Superkart
Browse The Manufacturers
As I’ve mentioned already, chassis for superkarts are unique and only produced by specialists such as Anderson Racing and PVP Karting, both of whom are based in Europe. So, first and foremost, I’d recommend that you spend some time browsing their websites to look at what is expected in a superkart.
Check There Are Series Near You
Superkart series are small, so before you decide to purchase one, make sure that there’s a series local to you or within reasonable travelling distance. The last thing you want is to spend in excess of $20,000 (I’m not kidding) on a superkart only to find that nobody is running a series nearby.
There Aren’t Many Differences Between Models
There are only small differences between the various 250cc superkarts, so unlike in sprint kart racing, which has a lot of nuances you can pick and choose from, what you see is what you get: An elongated chassis, partial yet aerodynamic bodywork, front & rear brakes and everything that’s specially designed to keep the whole rig together at speeds topping out in the 150 mph region.
Importing everything from overseas is an expensive process that can quickly send your budget spiraling out of control. As such, I’d really urge you to look at buying second-hand using sites such as eBay or other marketplaces.
You’d be surprised how many people have invested in superkarts only to move elsewhere or go into another field, and this is a far cheaper route to take than buying everything brand-new and then spending huge shipping fees.
Taking this route, ask to look under the kart to check out its wear plate. Go-kart chassis, even superkarts, are made out of moly tubing and not much else, so it’s very important to make sure the tubes aren’t being worn down. If the plate underneath looks good, you count on a structurally-sound kart. If the plate looks badly damaged, it might point to some hard wear on the tubes themselves.
KEY POINTS• Superkarts are fairly rare in the US
• This is largely due to the high import costs and lack of dealerships
• If you can, try and buy your 250cc kart second-hand
What Superkart Would I Purchase?
In all my years spent kart racing, totaling 13 over all series and kart classifications, I’ve never set foot in a superkart – not even when my racing took me overseas to the UK. Nevertheless, there’s something pretty alluring and cool about them, so I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want to potentially jump into one!
Perhaps due to my time spent racing in the UK, my choice is firmly set in the direction of an Anderson Racing Maverick chassis.
Anderson Racing Maverick
They’re a UK-based company and have been designing record-setting superkarts since before I was born, making them both reliable and competitive. Going at speeds exceeding 140 mph, I’d want to feel safe and secure within the lean, mean racing machine, and the Maverick accomplishes that with its collection of safety features.
Every part of the superkart is both lightweight and durable, so I wouldn’t feel slowed by anything that would assist my race. Sometimes, safety is very weighty and can act like a sandbag, albeit a necessary one. But in the Maverick, it’s a compromise I wouldn’t have to make.
250cc superkarts can reach a top speed of 150 mph (240 kph) under the right conditions, although many will reach a maximum speed of between 130 and 140 mph (210-225 kph). These are incredibly fast go-karts, and they are very powerful, with the high torque necessitating a 6-speed sequential gearbox.