Lower engine displacement categories are ideal for young kart drivers, and the 60cc bracket is one of the most exciting, competitive race series of all. So, you might be wondering about the top speeds of 60cc go-karts.
60cc go-karts can reach top speeds of between 50 mph and 60 mph (80-97 kph). This depends heavily on track conditions, driver weight, engine manufacturer and engine type (Micro or Mini), along with a wide range of other variables. 60cc karts aren’t designed for high top speeds.
Speed is exciting and important, but there’s more to karting than just reaching a higher number at the end of a long straight. Below, we dive into more detail about the speeds of various 60cc go-karts and discuss why this bracket exists in the first place.
5 Example Speeds Of 60cc Go-Karts
|Tony Kart Rookie USA||Rotax Mini Max Engine||59 mph / 95 kph|
|CRG Hero||Mini Rok Vortex Engine||56 mph / 90 kph|
|Margay Brava 60||IAME Mini Swift Engine||54 mph / 87 kph|
|Top Kart SR28.2||Micro Rok Vortex Engine||51 mph / 82 kph|
|Birel ART CL C28-S11||IAME Micro Swift Engine||50 mph / 80 kph|
Micro vs Mini
There’s almost a 20% difference in top speed between the fastest 60cc kart above and the slowest on the list. There is quite a big reason as to why there’s a rather notable difference between something like the IAME Micro Swift and the Rotax Mini Max, for example. It all comes down to whether they are Micro or Mini engines.
Within 60cc karting, there is quite a large age bracket. A change was introduced to accommodate this by using different engines to keep competitions fairer across the board. 60cc engines are used most commonly for Cadet karting, the step-up after Kid karting, so they’ll be starting off aged 7.
Different Age Ranges
Technically, Cadet karting includes all kids aged 7 to 12 (depending on the area), and there are two sub-categories within this wide bracket: Micro (age 7-9) and Mini (age 9-12).
The Micro engines are still 60cc, but they are slightly limited in their top speed as not to jump the gun too much for young drivers. The top speeds drivers would be used to in kid karting are in the realms of 40 mph (64 kph), so jumping straight to 60 mph would be quite the shock! And when you reach the Mini engines, they have the slight limiters removed for full-power 60cc racing!
Top Speed Isn’t Everything
It’s pretty easy to look at the list given above and choose the Tony Kart chassis paired with the Rotax engine, due to it boasting the highest top speed. But as with any motorsport, how fast you go isn’t the only important thing to worry about!
For one, Rotax doesn’t fit within the realms of normal Cadet karting, which is otherwise dominated by the IAME and Rok race series. Due to how technically advanced Rotax engines are, they fetch a high price tag and the racing bracket that does include these bits of kit are no joke when it comes to expenses. Depending on where you race, there might not even be Rotax events to enter.
IAME & Rok
By comparison, IAME and Rok engines are fan favorites within the world of karting due to how reliable they are and how much more mechanic-friendly each one is. No matter where you go in the United States, you’re bound to find a race following for these, and you’ll be able to find replacement parts with ease if things go wrong due to the wide presence of dealerships.
And if you’re pretty handy with engines or you know somebody who is, you can squeeze more top speed out of these otherwise lower horsepower engines! All it takes is a collection of tune-ups, all the while balancing your kart chassis against it and not going too far all at once. It’s a tricky balance between speed and too much engine torque, trust me!
Consider Other Factors Before Buying The Fastest Kart
As somebody who loves high speeds and the thrill of it, especially since I’ve been racing karts since my 5th birthday, I understand why the top speed list could draw you to the fastest rig. But you should absolutely weigh up all of your options first before setting your heart on something!
Consider what your budget for buying a kart and racing it will be. Look at which race series in the 60cc bracket are popular in your area and run consistently. Think about how much you could handle when it comes to engine fixes and maintenance. All of these things should come before the highest speed on the table.
KEY POINTS• 60cc go-karts can reach top speeds of 50-60 mph (80-97 kph)
• This will vary depending on if the engine is Micro or Mini
• Top speed isn’t everything when choosing a kart of any engine capacity
Why Do 60cc Karts Exist?
50cc kart racing is for kids aged 5 to 7. It’s the ideal level for an introduction into karting with competitive speeds once your kid gets more comfortable as a racer. A lot of rental karts also have 50cc engines, just unrestricted to hit slightly higher speeds than the 30-40 mph (48-64 kph) average.
On the other hand, 100cc is considered to be a sort of beginner adult karting bracket. The kart chassis are typically lighter than normal Senior-level karts, and the engines have a slightly lower displacement that gives them a more approachable feel when compared to 125cc brackets.
With 100cc fitting into the adult category, or even experienced Cadets, you can expect that the drivers will be bigger than your average 7 to 12 year olds. This means that the kart will be bigger and heavier, and it’s why there’s a big jump in displacement compared to Kid and Cadet karts (as more power is required to move the bigger, heavier kart).
With there being various experience-level race series within the Cadet classification, the 60cc bracket is perfect for properly honing a young driver’s abilities without being too small (in the case of 50cc karts) or a bit too powerful (100cc) for those still perfecting the fundamentals.
What To Look For In A 60cc Go-Kart
Micro & Mini Capability
When buying a 60cc go-kart, you should always make sure that it has the capacity to be fitted with both a Micro and a Mini engine, or you’ll end up buying two karts as your Cadet racer grows out of the Micro one. There aren’t many cases in which kart chassis designed for Cadets won’t be able to have both engines fitted, but you should always double-check!
Pick A Nearby Manufacturer
You should also do some research on which kart manufacturers and dealers are located nearby. Look into the company’s background and what they focus on when making their karts for the general public.
It’s important to pick a chassis made by a manufacturer with a location nearby, because getting spare parts will be far easier than always resorting to online guessing games! Plus, you can also build rapport with people in your area to help fix issues or otherwise geek out about your kart, which is all part of the fun!
What 60cc Kart Would I Purchase?
Although my Cadet kart racing days are far behind me, looking at all of these chassis and engines have brought back those memories. I’d happily snap up any of the karts I outlined above, especially since I’ve previously raced in IAME, Rok and Rotax race series alike.
Birel ART CL C28-S11
However, if I were to pick only one out of the selection, I’d go for the Birel ART CL C28-S11. Sure, it may have the lowest top speed of the bunch, but it’s a highly flexible chassis that can be fitted with Micro or Mini engines alike, which opens its top speed window much wider!
Birel ART have forged a lot of partnerships with famous racing drivers over the years, and the CL line was founded and designed alongside Charles Leclerc, the Formula One driver. He raced karts competitively throughout his early life, and was able to get up on the rungs of the motor racing ladder thanks to Birel ART’s young driver program, so he knows exactly what needs to go into a good kart.
With sleek looks, powerful hydraulic brakes, and an entirely renewed chassis geometry for maximum aerodynamics, it’s a complete racing machine. If you round off all that with either an IAME or Rok engine, both renowned for reliability, the CL C28-S11 is a truly formidable bit of kit!
60cc go-karts can typically reach a top speed of between 50 mph and 60 mph, or 80 to 97 kph. A big factor to consider is whether the kart is running a Micro or a Mini engine, and things like chassis manufacturer, engine brand, and track conditions will all affect top speed.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.