Owning a go-kart is pretty great, right? You have a rig to call your own and take to tracks for exciting races or even just practice sessions. I don’t know about you, but it gives me a huge sense of pride in that kart; especially with how much time I can spend maintaining and fixing it!
Through the course of this article, I’ll go over the absolutely essential tips to remember if you want to keep your go-kart secured at all times and to help give you peace of mind. Don’t go anywhere, because opportunistic thieves won’t be going away any time soon!
Chances are that if you own a kart, you have a garage or some kind of outer storage location to keep it locked up when it isn’t being used. If not, I’d recommend that you get that sorted out as soon as possible!
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Not only is it useful to have a garage or shed location for maintenance purposes, keeping the kart dry and free of rust and all the other benefits of keeping it out of the elements, but having somewhere to keep it locked up will keep it away from prying eyes, too.
Even if you trust your neighbors without a shadow of a doubt, something like a multi-thousand-dollar bit of kit might pique a bit too much of their interest. While you’re at home with the kart, always make sure to conduct any maintenance inside the garage/ shed/ secure location with your rig out of sight.
As a long-time kart owner myself, I know how important it is to start your kart’s engine and see how it runs; especially after a maintenance session. While you’re at home, it’s always best to test out the engine for brief periods of time in the backyard.
Because kart engines can sound pretty similar to lawnmowers, this will be a good way to hide the fact that you own a kart unless somebody is peering over your back fences…!
If you need to wash or clean the kart, try to do so in your backyard where not as many people can see your pride and joy. Having the kart out front is essentially an advertisement to passersby that you’ve got a kart, and it won’t take much imagination from there to know what else people will think.
You might have the most secure garage in the planet, but I always advise fellow kart owners to chain their kart to something strong inside of their garage, too. Go-karts have wheels, after all, so all it would take is somebody to break into the garage and roll it away.
Having a good quality lock and chain attached to something that can’t be removed in the storage location is a surefire way to keep it safe. Not only that, but these extra precautions can help to keep insurance costs on your kart lower than average; always a bonus!
At The Track
Your kart buddies would never betray you, right? I can attest to the fact that go-kart folk are pretty trustworthy and overall won’t try anything funny with your kit, but you have to remember that kart tracks won’t always be full of your friends.
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Whenever I travel with my kart, I always do so with a notebook that’s pretty multi-purpose. I use it to record lap times, make a note of kart-related stuff I need to pick up/ replace and, most importantly, keep a copy of my kart insurance plus its chassis and engine numbers.
If the worst does happen and your kart is stolen during a day at the track, having a copy of important identifying numbers is an absolute must. That way, it can be circulated to the police and anybody who tries to sell that stolen kart will be caught red-handed.
I’m also one of those people who keeps a photocopy of my car insurance policy in the glovebox, but it can be super handy and hassle-free to have that kind of stuff on-hand for whenever you might need it.
While you’re off the track, always make sure to keep your kart in sight at all times. Invest in a ground anchor and keep it on your kart whenever you aren’t racing/ practicing, because that’ll make it infinitely harder for somebody to swoop in and wheel it away.
If you have to walk away for a period of time, like joining friends for lunch, don’t just leave your kart out in the open. Lock it up in your trailer for extra security, even if it’ll take you a long time to get it race-ready when you return.
Or simply invite people over to your trailer/car, or wherever you’re keeping your kart. That way, you can look after the kart without loading and unloading it all over again.
A Definitive Checklist
To combine and add to everything I’ve gone over about kart security at home and at the track, I’ll lay out a simple checklist to think about and check off at any point in time with your kart. Owning a kart should be exciting and liberating, after all, so let’s keep things nice and simple!
- Insurance: An absolute must for security and racing reasons. Companies like All State offer really good insurance policies for all kinds of vehicles that don’t meet normal road standard, including go-karts. The more you do for at-home security, the cheaper the policy will be! Think of it like your road car insurance and how much keeping that car in a locked garage will lower your policy cost.
- Use Your Garage! Pretty simple-sounding, but it’s an absolute must to keep your kart secured at home or in a separate garage unit. Not only will it be a great place to keep all your tools and essentials, but it’s a security must-have.
- Chains and Locks: Further to the point above, invest in some good-quality padlocks and chains to secure your kart even inside a garage unit. If you use a ground anchor for extra security, you’ll find that insurance will be cheap n’ cheerful, so it’s honestly a no-brainer.
- Eyes on the Kart: Just don’t ever let it out of your sight when you’re at the track, simple! Even if you have to leave your race set-up, get a friend or somebody to stay and look after the kart. Or lock it up in the trailer.
- Clean Smart: Don’t be washing/polishing the kart on your front lawn; it’s basically an advertisement that you’ve got an expensive piece of kit in your possession! Try to do the cleaning in your backyard or at a separate garage location if you have one.
- Essential Numbers: Write down the engine and chassis numbers of your kart so that if it does get stolen, you can make sure it gets found again! And hey, having these numbers on-hand will make it easier to find replacement parts specifically for your kart, so it’s a win-win.
- Invest in a Wheel Lock: For the price of a locking bar to put across your kart’s steering wheel, it’s totally worth the potential heartbreak of it being stolen. Invest in one of these locks and use it when you’re either putting your kart away for the day/ night, or when you’re at the track for an extra layer of security.
If you think about it, you’d never leave your car unlocked while you’re at home or if you’re out at a restaurant or something. When it comes to kart security, I first of all think about how I’d conduct myself with my road car.
Sure, they aren’t one and the same, but a lot of the same thoughts and rules apply when it comes to keeping them safe. You spend so much time maintaining and driving your own kart and likely bought one to enjoy the freedom of ownership, so of course you need to be careful and conscious about how to continue loving that kart!
If you follow the checklist and think about everything you can do to improve your security mindset, you’ll have no issues with it going forward; leaving you with more time to do what matters… racing that kart!