Why Don’t Go Karts Have Suspension? (Answered!)

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

Go-karting circuits have now become a place for social gatherings. If as much fun for the go-karters as they are enjoyable for the spectators. While enjoying a go-kart championship, have you ever noticed that go-karts do not have suspensions? 

But the question is, why don’t go-karts have suspension. Go-karts do not have suspension because the tracks of a go-kart circuit are even and do not give any shock to be absorbed by a suspension. The overall tube frame of a go-kart is flexible enough to deal with any sudden jerks. Besides, adding suspension to a go-kart makes it slower. It also affects the traction and grip of the tires.

By reading this article, you will know in detail why go-karts do not need a suspension. You will also understand why some people might still want suspensions in their go-kart. And if you are one of them, I have also included a section to guide you in adding a suspension to your go-kart.

Why Don’t Go Karts Have Suspension?

Go-karts do not have any suspension for some good reasons. Let’s take a look at what those reasons are. This should help you decide if you would want suspensions in your go-kart or not. 

Flexible Frame

The overall structure of a go-kart is made with tubes.

These tubes are crafted from low-alloy steel or aluminum.

These metals have a balance of stiffness and flexibility.

The shocks that a bumpy surface can bring to a go-kart are absorbed by the flexibility of the tube structure.

This flexibility of go-kart frames prevents any cracks and voids the necessity of separate suspension for the vehicle.

Why Don't Go Karts Have Suspension

Low Height

The driver of a go-kart sits too close to the ground. The gap between the driver and the road is a few millimeters. This is also a reason that go-karts do not need suspensions.

If there were a suspension with the wheels of a go-kart, it would remain at a height that is parallel to the driver. It means the suspension could not save the driver from any shocks. Because suspensions can save from shocks only to those objects which remain above them.

Body Control

One of the fun parts of driving a go-kart is you control the movement of the vehicle by moving your body. You can move a go-kart just by transferring your body weight from one part of the go-kart chassis to another part.

This is possible because your body has a direct connection with the chassis of the go-kart. With a suspension, your body will not be having a direct connection with the chassis. In that case, you will not be able to influence the movement of the go-kart just by moving your body.

Flexible Axles and Spindles

Go-karts come with axles and spindles that have multi-level flexibility. It means you can adjust their flexibility at your convenience. It is also a reason why go-karts do not have suspensions.

Most of the shocks that come from uneven surfaces can be dealt with by the flexible axles and spindles of the go-kart. So, using a suspension with it does not make good sense.

go kart racing

Better Tire Grip

You must have noticed that go-karts can make exceptional cornering and turning in the track. It is because the tires have tremendous traction and grip on the surface. 

It is possible because the chassis of a go-kart has a direct connection with the tires. There is no mediatory object like a suspension in between. Can you imagine a go-kart race without the vehicles making all those tremendous turnings?

Even Surface Of The Track

You do not go to your office or a picnic spot on your go-kart. You should drive them on the even surface of a go-kart circuit. So, why have a suspension when you do not need it at all?

Since you will not face any speed breakers or sudden holes in a go-kart circuit, you need not have a suspension on your go-kart.

Less Weight

Shedding as much weight as possible from a go-kart is always a concern for ambitious go-karters. Some even go on a strict diet to win a go-kart championship.

If you add a suspension with your go-kart, naturally, the weight will increase. With that, your chances of winning go-kart races will plummet.

Why Do Some People Use Suspension on Go-Karts?

As you already know, go-karts do not need a suspension in a go-kart circuit. Moreover, the performance of a go-kart gets compromised in a race when it uses suspension. However, there are some specific conditions in which people think it is good to use suspension on go-karts.

Learning Phase

At the very beginning of learning how to drive a go-kart, people do not use a smooth and even track of a go-kart circuit. After having a go-kart of their own, they only get to drive it on some empty roads of the neighborhood. 

Those roads are not smooth enough to drive without a suspension. You may damage the go-kart if you run them on a bumpy surface. So in the learning phase, many people add a suspension to their go-karts which they remove before starting to use a go-kart circuit.

go kart racing track

For Children

Go-karting is for everyone. Even younger people participate in a go-kart race. If the parents are strict about the safety of the children, they use a go-kart with suspensions.

For many children, winning a go-kart race does not matter too much. They are more than happy to have the opportunity of participating in one and having the experience.

Fancy Look

Some electric go-karts come with built-in suspensions. Generally, they have a fascinating look. Some people get impressed with the look of a go-kart with suspension.

To make their go-kart fancier, they add a suspension to it. Of course, there is no harm in making your go-kart good-looking with a suspension if winning a race is not your intention.

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

How to Add Suspension to Go Kart?

You already know that suspensions are not necessary for a go-kart. It can even downgrade the performance of the vehicle. Still, you may need to add a suspension to your go-kart for a particular reason. 

Building the Frontal Suspension

You can easily make an independent suspension for the front tires using shock two shock absorbers and a tube frame. Without any hesitation, use the shock absorbers of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for your go-kart. 

You have to make two triangular tube frames that will connect the chassis and the shock absorbers at the front of the vehicle. To build the tube frame you have cut the tubes in an angular direction and weld the joints very carefully.


Building the Rear Suspension

Building the rear suspension is a little bit critical. It is more so if you do not have any prior experience. The fact that the rear suspension needs to be connected with the engine makes it a difficult job.

The shock absorbers have to be connected with the axle. You will need to weld the other ends of the two shock absorbers at the end of the rear wheels. This type of suspension is called dependent suspension.

After the rear suspension is ready, any shocks from the surface while moving the vehicle will only create pressure on the suspension.

Read Also: The Best Go Kart For KidsDo Go-Karts Have Gears?

Final Thoughts

By now it should be clear why don’t go karts have suspension. Even though from a competitive viewpoint installing a suspension does not make sense, the main idea of go-karting is having and sharing fun. 

So, if you think you need suspensions on your kart then be my guest. Just follow the instructions I’ve provided and have at it. 

Sources: FIA Academia

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