When I first thought about buying my child a go-kart, I had a few worries, mostly related to speed and safety. Here I’ll share with you everything you need to know about the speed and safety of 50cc go-karts so you are able to make a sound decision about purchasing a kart for your child as well.
So, what is the top speed of a 50cc go-kart? Most 50cc go-karts from the major manufacturers will reach a top speed of around 35 miles per hour. The exact speeds reached will be determined by a range of factors such as the weight of the driver and the type of tires on the kart.
I’ll share everything you need to know to make kart safety simple. You will also learn how to make adjustments to the engine’s governor to limit speed. We will go over a list of popular 50cc go-karts and their max speeds, and I’ll even share which one I would buy for my own child, so keep reading!
Example Speeds of 50cc Go-Karts
- Tony Kart Micro Kid Kart 49cc Comer C51 Go-Kart – Max speed: 32 mph
- Margay Racing Wildcat Kid Kart 49cc Honda GXH50 Go-Kart – Max speed: 30 mph
- TopKart Kid Kart 49cc Comer C51 Go-Kart – Max speed: 32 mph
- Coyote Kryptonite Cadet Kart 49cc LO206 Go-Kart – Max speed: 34 mph
- Praga Baby Kid Kart 49cc Honda GX35 Go-Kart – Max speed: 30 mph
How Fast Should My Child Go? What Is an Acceptable Speed?
Acceptable speeds for your child overall depend on your comfort level and your child’s abilities to understand the components and safety. This will be for you to determine if you want them to reach the full 30+ mph or take it a bit slower. In the beginning, both you and your child may feel more comfortable starting out slow, then gradually going faster.
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50cc go-karts are powered by a small 2-stroke engine, similar to one you’d find on a chainsaw. An important thing to know when shopping for a 50cc kart is that these are essentially sold and listed as 49cc. This is primarily because most of the 50cc engines are actually “49-point-something-cc”. There is no difference in the power, speed or safety.
These motors provide a decent level of power and speed but not so much that it will be a safety issue. Again, these karts are made with children in mind. They are designed with smaller engines to get kids involved in learning the basics of go-karts. Though these karts are capable of reaching 30+ mph, remember that they are meant to go that fast and are completely safe to do so!
Because of that, you and your child should feel positive while operating a kart. You can teach and practice safe driving habits. You and your child should understand the proper use of the components, such as the throttle and brakes. And always remember to follow common safety practices and wear appropriate safety equipment.
Is Go-Karting Safe for Kids?
Go karting is absolutely safe for kids. Following the safety steps below will help assure you of this.
Key safety pieces to remember:
- Always wear a proper fitting helmet and keep long hair pulled up
- Safety gloves should be used for added protection
- Wear proper boots that will not untie or fall off
- Check your equipment before riding
- Steering and Suspension
- Learn and practice safe handling habits
- HAVE FUN!
Adjusting the Governor
As far as speed and limiting it, you are able to adjust the governor on the engine itself. The governor arm can be adjusted by taking the kart or engine to a small engine shop. Doing this, you will know it is done properly and they will be able to take care of any concerns you may have. If you are familiar with small engines and have the mechanical knowledge, you can also just do it yourself.
To do this, you must first locate the governor on your specific engine and adjust the governor arm. They are primarily located in the same place on most small engines.
The crankcase cover will need to be removed in order to access the governor arm. These arms are usually held in place by a small nut, bolt or screw. You will need to loosen this using the proper tool. Once it’s loosened, you can adjust the arm clockwise until it maxes out on the carburetor.
Finally, be sure to tighten the nut or screw back down. This may be easier done with two people so the arm does not move while you are tightening it. When you have the throttle maxed out, this arm should have tension to it.
The arm should not move much unless you apply pressure to make it move. And again, you can always take it to a small engine shop and they will be able to adjust it for you as well.
What 50cc Go-Kart Should You Buy Your Kid?
Which kart you decide to buy is ultimately up to you. They have different chassis and body styles to choose from. Some include plastic bumpers that even come in different colors.
When purchasing, you should also consider where the kart will be driven. Some karts are specifically designed for track use only. While others can be used off track and on the street. This can be determined by the type of tires on the kart, although the description should also specify this if you are unsure.
You will also find that some karts even come equipped with a safety flag for extra precautions when it comes to seeing the driver. If you are familiar with small engines and the mechanics of karts already, you can even build your own. There are many different chassis to choose from and you will need to put the engine in yourself.
The most popular 50cc engines include brands such as Comer, Briggs & Stratton and Honda. By building your own kart, you can customize everything to your specifications and get the speed and safety you want.
What Kart Would I Purchase?
My personal choice for purchasing a 50cc go-kart would be the Tony Kart Micro Kart for a multitude of reasons, chief among them being the reliable and widely-available Comer C51 engine that powers it. When compared to some other 50cc engines, Comers are far more common and as such, fixing them and otherwise tuning them to the specifics of your child is a much easier process.
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Between that and the long history of kart development as seen from Tony Kart, this choice is certainly something I’d make with ease! Of course, it would depend on what chassis are available within any given area, and you can easily switch out the Comer C51 for others dependent on which manufactures are most prominent where you’re at in the world.
But, from my own personal experience working with C51s I’d feel the most comfortable to maintain that type of engine, especially since 2-stroke varieties are less complex to deal with.
In conclusion to everything, you should be able to confidently make a purchase of a 50cc go-kart for your child. By understanding the safety behind them and the max speeds, you will know how to get your child on the right track for racing or just having a great time.
Always remember to follow the standard safety measures and wear the proper protective gear. Your child will be racing in no time with your assurance they are safe. On top of that, you will know you made the right decision when you see the smile on their face as they’re driving by!