The battery on a kart is very important. Without a battery, your kart won’t operate properly. It is really important to charge your battery regularly as having a half-charged battery has a performance effect and a negative effect on the battery’s lifespan.
You need to recharge your kart’s battery at least once a week. Remove the battery from the kart, connect your battery up the charger for at least 12 hours, then reconnect your battery in the standard procedure you would use for a car battery.
The battery in a kart is often overlooked and not charged as often as it should be. Having a battery on low charge can mean that your next karting session will have to be delayed or cancelled. A dead battery also means that you will most likely need to get a new one.
Why Should You Regularly Charge Your Battery
Your kart battery is extremely sensitive. Unlike regular road cars, your kart can’t recharge the battery while the engine is running. This means that if your battery is not charging, it is depleting. Being a sensitive piece of equipment, your battery will begin to struggle once its charge level falls below 50%.
Karts do not have any parts on them that charge the battery because they are designed that way. Kart engines were designed with reliability and performance in mind. Choosing not to implement an alternator or charging element to the kart means that there are less parts that can break, therefore making the engine more reliable and easier to maintain. Less parts also mean that the engine is lighter, and therefore increases the performance of the kart.
Of course, there is no way to check your battery percentage level, so it is best to just regularly charge the battery. Many drivers charge their batteries once a week, but I found that it is best to just take the battery home with you after a day of running. This way you will make a habit of keeping your battery charged at all times and you won’t show up to the next race day with a dead battery.
Always take note of the correct storage temperatures for batteries. These can normally be found written on the front of the battery. Always make sure it is kept away from moisture and direct sunlight, especially when charging.
If you need to check how old a battery is, you can find the production date on top of the battery. This can be used to check how old a battery is if it comes with your second-hand kart or if you are buying a second-hand battery from someone else. The code on top of the battery will show you the year and the month of production.
How To Charge Your Kart’s Battery
Charging your kart’s battery is a simple process, however if you don’t do it right, you could damage the battery or even electrocute yourself. There is a simple way to charge your battery without disconnecting the battery from the kart.
If you have a power output in your storage unit where you keep your kart, you can simply connect the kart’s battery up to the charger without disconnecting it from the kart. This is fine, but always make sure that your storage unit is safe. Make sure that there are no extreme temperatures inside or any moisture or water leaking in.
The way that most people charge their batteries is by disconnecting it from their kart and taking it home with them. Now it is important to disconnect your battery the correct way. The steps are the same as with a car battery.
The first step is to unscrew the housing for the battery. Each engine type is different, but it will be the same, simple procedure. There will most likely be a bar or a metallic element over the top of the battery that can be unscrewed from one side. Newer karts have a nice hard plastic housing cover. Once this is done, the battery will be loose.
Next is the important part. When removing the battery, disconnect the negative terminal first, then the positive cable. When reconnecting the batter, you do the opposite, and connect the positive terminal first and then the negative terminal.
Most Rotax and other major kart engines will have an adapter that you can simply plug the battery into, but some much older batteries don’t have an adapter and will require you to use a trickle charger. In this case use the same procedure with connecting and disconnecting the battery from the charger.
Some Batteries To Consider
Batteries can vary in price depending on what kind of battery you want to go for. You can find some cheaper brands for around $30, and the official Rotax battery can cost you up to $300-$400 depending on where you buy it from.
You need to make sure that you are buying a good quality battery. Of course, it does not have to be the best of the best since it won’t affect your kart’s performance that much, but it can be relatively important.
It is also best to have a backup battery ready in case your main one lets your down in the middle of a race meeting. Ideally you could even use a cheaper battery for testing sessions and the more expensive and better-quality battery for race meetings.
The Rotax branded battery seems to be the popular option since it is specifically designed for karting and for Rotax engines. I have found various prices for these, ranging from $120 all the way up to $300. I think if you shop around enough you could find a good price for this battery.
The other battery you should consider is the Yuasa branded battery. It is really similar to the Rotax one, if not exactly the same, and can be found for a fair price. This battery will give more or less the same performance as the Rotax branded battery.
The Rotax battery chargers will cost you around $30 and can be ordered online or most likely also found in your local karting store as well. There are some other chargers on the market for different prices, however most are around the same range and quality.
Battery ‘maintenance’ is often overlooked in kart ownership. Most people will not charge their battery often enough. The battery is a crucial element to your kart, and since your kart can not charge the battery through running the engine, it is important that you take care of it.
Batteries need to be connected and disconnected the correct way in order to do it safely, and to preserve the lifespan of the battery. These steps are important to follow when connecting batteries both to cars and to karts.
Always ensure that your battery is fully charged and that it does not drop too far below 50% battery life. Running the battery below half charge can cause damage to it and significantly reduce its lifespan. It is best to have a backup battery ready and not need it, rather than risk being stranded without a working battery on a race day.
There are some different batteries to consider but remember you don’t always have to buy the most expensive one on the market.
I hope that this article has helped to guide you through replacing and charging your kart battery!