Can You Use A Jet Ski Motor On A Go Kart?

  • By: Go Kart Picks
  • Time to read: 6 min.

A slow go-kart can be very embarrassing for an adult Go-Karter. Since the idea of the game is unleashing the wildest part of you with extreme speed. The speed of any vehicle mainly depends on the motors. Generally, the motors of a jet ski can produce high power.

But can you use a jet ski motor on a go kart? You can use a jet ski motor on your go-kart because there are many similarities between the types of motors of the two vehicles. The basic design, the weight, the size are some of the similarities. However, jet ski motors can produce much higher power than a go-kart motor. So, using a jet ski motor on a go-kart makes it faster in the circuit.

This article discusses all the aspects of using a jet ski motor on go-karts. Apart from some important suggestions, it includes a step-by-step guide to installing a jet ski motor on a go-kart. So, keep on reading to get a full understanding of how to do the swap.

How to Put a Jet Ski Motor in a Go Kart?

Installing a jet ski motor in a go-kart needs a little knowledge about engines and motor vehicles. I have done it successfully twice. And I liked the outcome. Here are the steps that I followed to make my go-kart more interesting with a jet ski motor.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Jet Ski Motor

Different jet skis use different types of motors. Some have a two-stroke design and others come with a four-stroke structure.

Fortunately, you can use both types of jet ski motor in your go-kart.

But you should consider the size of the motor very carefully. You need to make sure that they are not too big or too small to fit in the frame of the go-kart. Though most of them should fit fine.

You need to have a clear idea about what kind of performance you are expecting from the go-kart, after installing the jet ski motor on it, as well.

For faster go-karting, you should choose 4-stroke jet ski motors.

can you use a jet ski motor on a go kart

If you are modifying the go-kart for your kid, a two-stroke jet ski motor should do the job fine.

Step 2: Plan the Procedure

To mount the jet ski motor into the go-kart, you need a frame in the go-kart to hold the motor. First, measure the dimensions of the jet ski motor. Select a befitting position on the cart where you can put the motor. Keep in mind that other than the jet ski motor, you will also need to have a carburetor, gas tank, a seat, steering, and a braking system on the go-kart.

On the frame of the go-kart, draw positions for the above-mentioned parts with chalk. If necessary, place all the parts of the go-kart on the frame and draw their specific position. A minor mistake in your planning can make the go-kart useless. So, be very attentive to this.

Step 3: Build the Frame

Now that you know exactly which jet ski motor will be installed on the go-kart and in which exact position, you have to build a metal frame to hold onto the motor. Any iron, steel, or aluminum frame can do the job. I prefer aluminum because they do not increase the overall weight of the go-kart. As you know, a lighter go-kart is the faster one.

Using a lathe machine and a welding machine, you can build the frame yourself or you can get professionals to build it for you. The base of the frame needs to have holes to let machine screws go through them. Cut the holes following your plan. Make sure the frame does not have any rough edges that can harm you while getting into or driving the go-kart.

Step 4: Mount the Frame

After building the frame, you have to mount it onto the structure of the go-kart. Using machine screws, mount the frame to the exact position in the go-kart that you planned.

Make sure the frame is mounted strongly on the go-kart. Because, by no means, it should move or vibrate when the go-kart moves at high-speed. Otherwise, there can be fatal consequences.


Step 5: Attach the Jet Ski Motor

The final step of installing a jet ski motor into a go-kart is attaching the motor to the frame you have built for it. Mount the base plate of the jet ski motor onto the frame with machine screws.

Now, connect the jet ski motor with the gas tank and the carburetor of the go-kart. You must hire a professional to check the overall installation of the motor. Since you cannot take any risk with your life!

How Making The Swap Will Affect Your Go Kart Speed

Advanced Go-karters always look for more speed in the vehicle. The main concept of getting a jet ski motor on a go-kart is simply making it faster. Now let me explain how a jet ski motor can expedite the speed of a go-kart.

Generally, go-karts are powered by two-stroke or four-stroke motors. The power generated by the engine is transmitted to the rear axle by a chain or belt. Likewise, most jet skis use two-stroke or four-stroke motors. And the average weight and size of these two vehicles are similar. So, technically, there is no problem in swapping the engines of these two vehicles.

Now let us check the average power generation ability of both go-kart motors and jet ski motors. A typical go-kart engine has a 250cc combustion capacity and can produce around 20 Horse Power (HP). The most powerful go-kart engine can produce 95 HP of power.

On the other hand, most jet ski motors have a 1500cc combustion capacity and can produce 150 HP of power, which is much higher than go-kart motors.

Read Also: How Much Do Go-Karts Cost (Complete Guide!)

Things to Consider While Using Jet Ski Motor

While deciding to use a jet ski motor on your go-kart, you need to take a breath and consider some issues. Here are some points that I believe will help you make the right decision.

Type of Fuel

All the newer versions of jet ski motors require premium quality gasoline. You can never use diesel with them. It means, your cost of operating a go-kart can get higher if you start to use jet ski motors.

Using below-quality gasoline with a jet ski can reduce its performance and challenge its durability. The newest jet ski motors need 93-octane gasoline, which is the most expensive. So, make sure you can cover the extra fuel cost before installing a jet ski motor on your go-kart.

Weight of the Motor

Weight is a very crucial factor for go-karting. Your chances of winning a go-kart championship heavily depend on the overall weight the vehicle is carrying.

If the jet ski motor you are thinking of installing on your go-kart is heavier than the current motor, think twice. Try to find a jet ski motor with high performance and less weight for your go-kart.

go kart mechanic

The Cooling System

Jet ski motors can have two types of cooling systems. One is air-based, and the other is water-based. Air-cooled jet ski motors are small in size but they get hot after a certain period.

On the other hand, water-cooled jet ski engines do not overheat easily. However, they are much heavier and bigger than air-cooled motors.

Maximum Speed

Before choosing a particular model of jet ski motor, you should have an idea of the maximum speed it can bring to your go-kart. Think about whether you need that kind of speed in your go-kart or not.

Remember that the higher speed of a go-kart also increases the chances of accidents. You should choose an engine for your go-kart that can give the optimum speed that you can control.

Consulting an Engineer

Changing a motor of a vehicle is one type of engineering decision. You should not make such a change just by researching on the internet.

I suggest you consult a professional motor engineer before changing your go-kart engine. There needs to be a balance among the weight, steering control, and speed of a vehicle. Otherwise, accidents may occur randomly.

Read Also: The Best Go Kart For Kids

Final Words

Fun in the go-kart circuit may increase if you can use a jet ski motor on a go-kart. But you need to be very cautious about your safety while choosing a jet ski motor for go-karting. I believe you can rule a go-kart circuit with a jet ski motor, following the instructions and suggestions of this article.

Thanks a lot for reading till the end & have a nice day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.