Minibike Vs Go-Kart – What’s Best For Kids

  • By: Go Kart Picks
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Are you planning to give your child a motorsport vehicle as a gift? Perhaps you may have already narrowed it down between a minibike and a go-kart. And now the tricky part comes along.

How do you choose between a minibike and a go-kart?

While both minibikes and go-karts are fun to ride, they are different in many ways, including speed, structure, seating position, safety applications, and the required riding skills.

But of course, the first thing you need to understand are the qualities that make the minibike and go-kart stand out over the other. Luckily, you are on the right page so just keep reading.

What Are the Similarities and Differences Between a Minibike and Go-Kart?

You can easily distinguish a minibike from a go-kart with one sight.

But their difference goes beyond physical appearance.

While both motorsports pack tons of fun and thrill that kids will enjoy, perspectives might change if you toss factors such as age, motor skills, and safety on the criteria mill.

To give you an overview of their comparison, mainly where they differ and share the same qualities, check out the details below.

Minibike Vs Go-Kart - What’s Best For Kids
Offroad applicationYesYes
With suspensionYesYes
Engine poweredreal-wheel poweredreal-wheel
Maneuversteering wheelhandlebars
Speed23 to 45 mph 40 to 50 mph

But if you’re still torn between going for a minibike or go-kart, you can just refer to the following factors that determine which motorsport vehicle suits you best.


Minibikes and go-karts have similar applications. They are both designed and driven off-road. However, there are essentially different in terms of their overall structure.

1. Seating Position

In a go-kart, the rider will be leaning and resting against the back of the seat. Your child will most likely retain the same position with minor adjustments when getting into a curb during the entire ride.

On the other hand, if your kids are riding a minibike or a dirt bike, they will be sustaining an erect position most of the time since there’s no backseat in minibikes. And when there’s a hump, they will probably have to stand.

Simply put, the seating position in a minibike will most likely shift depending on the obstacle and the layout of the track.

2. Frame

Some go-karts have an upper frame, while others are completely bare.  Those intended for younger children have roll cages for protection.

Likewise, the lower frame is wider to accommodate the seat. So if you’re planning to buy a two-seater go-kart, naturally, the structure will be even more extended than it already is.

On the other hand, minibikes have narrower frames. They also have a higher seating position for easier seating adjustment on the track. 

Also, minibikes can only accommodate the driver as opposed to a go-kart where a passenger seat is available.

3. Wheels

One of the first things you can notice between a minibike and a go-kart is the wheels. 

Since minibikes are smaller versions of adult dirt bikes, they only have two wheels. One in the front and another one at the rear.

With go-karts, you can find four wheels doubling the front and rear of a minibike. They are also positioned widely to ensure that the center of gravity is intact. This way, your child can avoid accidental flipping.

go kart racing kid


Both minibikes and go-karts have their engines connected to the rear wheel or the vehicle’s axle. They are attached through the sprocket and drive chain.

This engine and transmission layout work well for off-road vehicles. It ensures the safety and optimum engine performance for both the minibike and go-kart.  


Off-road terrains are not exactly vehicle-friendly – at least for regular ones you use on the street.

But with motorsport vehicles that often take off-road tracks, it’s not a significant problem given that they have suspensions. This component ensures that the vehicle remains resilient from any damage caused by the necessary pressure exerted when riding off-road.  

With that, both the minibike and go-kart are equipped with suspension for better shock absorption. Otherwise, they can be prone to sudden breakdowns, which can be dangerous, especially for kids.


Minibikes are no doubt faster than go-karts. They have an average of 40 to 50 mph, while go-karts can run from 23 to 45.

However, this will mainly depend on factors such as the size and weight of the vehicle. So, since go-karts are obviously larger than minibikes with their additional components, it’s pretty expected that it goes on the slower line in comparison with minibikes.


There’s no contest when we say that go-karts are safer than minibikes. 

First, go-karts are more stable since it stands on four wheels and has a low center of gravity protecting the rider from flipping. Then, there’s the upper frame or roll cage that adds another layer of safety, especially for kids.

On the other hand, minibikes lack these elements, which means the rider must master several skills to ensure a safe ride.

Nevertheless, both minibike and go-kart riders are advised to wear protective gear and equipment when racing. 

For kids who are still starting to learn to ride these motorsport vehicles, there’s also the option for parental controls and speed regulation to avoid any mishaps.

Essential Skillset

Given that minibikes and go-karts are structurally different, it only means that other skills are required to operate both vehicles.

With minibikes, your child needs to master how to balance and grip the handles. While with go-karts, there is no need to balance the vehicle but instead, the rider will have to focus on regulating speed and direction.

Your child will also have to learn about clutches depending on the complexity of both vehicles.

Minibike: Pros and Cons

If you decide to get a minibike, your child may experience the following advantages and disadvantages.



  1. It can develop proper balance and riding techniques.
  2. It goes faster than go-karts.
  3. It can be extra thrilling for older kids.


  1. It lacks safety features in its overall structure.
  2. It requires more practice and training.
  3. It needs close supervision, especially for younger riders.

Go-Kart: Pros and Cons

You can go for a go-kart and have the following upsides and downsides.

go-kart kid


  1. It’s safer to ride
  2. It allows your child to practice essential driving skills
  3. It’s not just for off-road terrain
  4. It accommodates a passenger making it more family-friendly


  1. It can run a bit slower than minibikes.
  2. It’s high maintenance.

Read Also: The Best Go Kart For Kids

Minibike vs. Go-Kart: Which Is Better for Kids?

In the battle between minibikes and go-karts for kids, the apparent winner would have to be the go-karts.

As much as minibikes are fun to ride, nothing beats safety off the ring, which is provided well enough by go-karts.

Likewise, go-karts come in different sizes and forms depending on your child’s age. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the vehicle is appropriate for your kid since you have plenty of options.

You can choose from pedal go-karts for toddlers to more advanced electric go-karts for your pre-teen kids.  

On the other hand, minibikes are a great option if you are a dirt bike enthusiast. That way, you can bond with your child and teach them some basic bike riding skills.

Read Also: How Much Do Go-Karts Cost

Final Thoughts

And just like that, we’ve reached the bottom line and discussed about minibike vs go-kart. Remember, when choosing between a go-kart and a minibike, always consider the safety and capabilities of your kid first.

If your purpose for buying a motorsport vehicle is good old family fun, then your best choice is a go-kart with multiple seats. But if you are set to introduce your child to dirt biking, then the minibike is an excellent vehicle to start with.

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