Go karts are fun, they can be enjoyed by the whole family and go karting is a great way to explore the outdoors. The only issue is that New go karts can be expensive, and for that reason, the handy dads (and moms) might want to explore the option of building their own instead.
Let’s take a closer look at how much that would cost and what kind of building materials are required.
Required components and cost
The first question you have to ask yourself is what type of go kart do I want to build? Pedal powered go karts will be a lot easier and cheaper to build than an engine powered 4-seater family go kart. If you’re new to this, start simple.
The majority of DIY versions are pedal-powered karts, while the engine powered DIY go karts are normally simplistic single seater karts with limited capability. The following basic components will be required to build your own vehicle regardless of the type of kart that you want to build.
A good solid frame is a must for obvious reasons. Building your own frame can be very challenging, and building your own steering and drivetrain even more so if you don’t have experience in the field.
If it all sounds overwhelming, consider buying a used frame as a great option if you don’t want to struggle through the process of figuring out how to build a drivetrain etc. Used frames can be found on craigslist for under $300. Also keep an eye out at garage/yard sales, you never know what you might find.
If you really want to build your own frame then salvaging steel from a scrap yard for the frame will save you a lot of cash.
Small lawn mower engines are ideal if you are looking to build your own DIY go kart. A 5hp engine will be a great start, but the size of the engine will come down to personal preference. Salvaging an old engine would be ideal, a new 7hp engine will set you back roughly $150.
Pedal-powered karts are easy to “power up”, you can either use pedals from an old bicycle, maybe one you already have or a second-hand model. Otherwise you’ll be looking to spend roughly $20 for a new set of pedals.
Good wheels are a must if you’re looking to create a quality vehicle. A set of 4 new wheels will set you back about $80, it could be more depending on their size and quality.
Seat and Safety Belt
Salvaging is once again the way to go when looking for a seat for your new go kart. Old tractor or ride on lawn mower seats work great for DIY seats. If you want to buy a new seat expect to spend roughly $50 on a new seat and a seatbelt.
Cost Breakdown Estimates
Frame = $300
Engine = $150
Wheels = $80
Seat with seat belt = $50
Extra parts = $50
Total cost = $630
All in it is possible to build your own go kart for roughly $600, building a pedal-powered kart and salvaging the materials will drastically lower the cost. Also keep in mind that basic welding equipment and other tools will be required in order to build your own go kart, if you don’t have any equipment buying your kart brand new will be a much better, and cheaper, option.