Go karting is an excellent idea for getting rid of the monotony of your daily life and releasing the pressure on your nerves that a hectic schedule can create. It helps you sharpen your reflexes. Besides, go-kart racing can help you make new friends. If you happen to be a bit bulky, you are probably wondering how much difference does weight make in a go kart?
Weight does not affect the fun you can have while go-karting. However, you can fall behind in a go-kart race if you are overweight. If two drivers with the same skill and vehicle race on a standard go-kart circuit, the overweight driver will lose approximately 0.2 seconds per lap for every 22.046 lbs of extra weight he carries.
In this article, I have elaborated on how and why weight can make a difference in go-karting. I have also explained the advantages of lightweight drivers in go-karting.
Does Body Weight Matter In Go Karting?
Bodyweight has a significant effect on go-karting. According to physics, the weight of an object has no direct relationship with the speed at which it can travel from one place to another. But, it certainly acts as a crucial factor in how fast an object can accelerate from low to high speed. Lighter things can accelerate faster.
On a go-kart circuit, you do not get to race in a straight line.
There are turns and twists all over the track. That means you continuously need to adjust the speed of the vehicle.
So, if your body weight adds extra pounds to the overall load the vehicle is carrying, you will fall a little behind other lightweight riders every time you need to accelerate.
Researchers found that for every 22.046 lbs. or 10 kg excess body weight, heavyweight racers lag around 0.2 seconds on each lap of a standard go-kart circuit.
Advantage Of Being Lightweight In Go-Karts
There are certain advantages to being lightweight when you are racing on a go-kart track. Some of them are mentioned here.
Traction is the overall grip the tires can have on the road. The more weight the vehicle has to carry, the less traction it possesses while racing.
Your chances of winning a go-kart race will increase if you are lightweight. Because with a low-weight rider, your vehicle will accelerate quicker. It is scientifically proven that the amount of time an object needs to go from a low to a high speed depends on its weight.
On all the turns of the go-kart race, you will get a better lead than any heavy competitor each time you need to accelerate.
To make the go-kart good for races, they are designed to be very light. That is why they are very small. If you are lightweight, you can comfortably sit in a small go-kart.
Winning a go-kart race needs full concentration and sharp reflexes. If you are not sitting comfortably, you can never give the race your best.
Access To All Championships
There is no hard and fast rule on body weight for go-kart racing. But many individual go-kart championships have their own rules about weight. If you are lightweight, you can take part in any championship without a doubt.
Sometimes, championship organizers make rules on maximum body weight, keeping in mind the capacity of the go-karts that they use in the championship.
What Is The Optimal Weight For Go Karting?
Go-karting is all about having and sharing fun with everyone. However, different race organizers have different rules about height and weight for their competitions. A common rule is not to allow anyone with a height of more than 6 feet and 1 inch and a weight of more than 252 lbs.
Another thumb rule is that the overall weight of the go-kart and the rider should not exceed 400 lbs. Because an overall weight of more than 400 lbs. can make the go-kart move clumsily on a go-kart circuit.
If you weigh less than or equal to 252 pounds, you are good for any go-kart competition. The less weight you have, the greater your chances of winning a race are. However, you can participate in a go-kart championship if you weigh more than 252 pounds. If the total weight of you and the vehicle is less than or equal to 400 lbs, the organizers will have to approve your situation.
5 Tips for Heavy Go Kart Drivers
Let me now share some tips to overcome your drawback of being overweight to win go-kart championships. I believe these tips can help you defeat go-kart riders who have less weight than you.
#1 Choose A Light Go Kart
When people say weight is an obstacle to winning go-kart competitions, they mean the total weight of you and the vehicle you are using on the circuit.
You can overcome the negative impacts of your overweight body by getting a very light go-kart. You need to make sure the total weight of you and the go-kart remains under 400 lbs.
#2 The Breaking Point
To be sure of the exact breaking point of a particular corner, you have to practice a lot on that track. Following the champions closely can be of great help in finding the exact breaking point.
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#3 Steering Through the Turns
After taking a break at the perfect point of the turn, you have to precisely know when to start steering for the turn and how much to steer for the best speed at any turning point.
Turning too soon or too late will make you lag behind other racers. However, you can minimize the loss of turning too fast by counter-steering, which needs practice for months.
#4 Be Aware Of The Slidings
If you lose momentum while turning, your wheels will lack traction, and the go-kart will begin to slide. No matter how fascinating the slides look, they can easily cause defeat. Because with every slide, you lose speed.
If you are good at tackling and avoiding slides, your chances of winning will increase no matter how bulky you are. Remember that lightweight riders tend to slide more. So you can easily make it work to your advantage by not sliding yourself.
#5 Use A Better Engine
You can overcome the disadvantage of being overweight by using a strong engine. A strong engine means better torque. It can make you a winner, even with the extra weight.
Some of the engines come with turbo features. For a short time, turbo-enabled engines can boost your speed and help you win the game.
Read Also: The Best Go Kart For Kids
Like everyone else on this earth, you have the right to live your life to the fullest, regardless of your weight. I would suggest that instead of thinking about how much difference does weight makes in a go-kart, you should plan your strategy to overcome this setback.
For that, you will need determination, skills, and hard work.