10 Best Go-Karts for Kids in 2017

go karts for kids

Nothing excites kids more than having to drive their very own car. And if they can take it to a racing level, then that would even be thrilling for them. Who knows, your kid might as well belong to the next generation of Sennas, Schumachers, and Prosts as well as other greats in Formula 1 racing. Of course, we don’t expect your kid to jump right away into any one of ultra-high performance Formula One racing monsters. Instead, your kid will be hopping into one of our 10 top go-karts for kids. These will serve as the all-important stepping stone to F1 glory.

10 Best Kids Go-Karts 

PictureModelBrandAge Range
MotoTec MT-GK-10 Black SandMan Go Kart - 49CcMotoTec10+ Years
Hauck Nerf Battle Racer Ride OnNerf4-10 Years
Razor Dune BuggyRazor8+ Years
Hauck Lightning Pedal Go-Kart - Race GreenHauck4-8 Years
Razor Ground Force Drifter Fury Ride-OnRazor8+ Years
Lil' Rider Black Stealth Pedal Powered Go-KartLil’Rider 3-7 Years

1Dune Buggy by Razor

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Age Range: At least 8 years old

Maximum Speed: 10 miles per hour
Maximum Weight Allowance: 120 pounds

Want to give your kid one of the best go-karts to stimulate his or her interest in go-karting? Why not give the Razor Dune Buggy a try? This ultra-compact, simply-designed kidder roadster is a marvel to behold and an even more fabulous piece of engineering to ride on. Featuring a 350-watt super quiet chain driven electric motor, with high torque and excellent variable speed, giving it a superb 10 miles per hour top speed, the Razor Dune Buggy is such a wonder to drive. All of the controls are integrated in the steering wheel which is shaped more like the control stick of a modern aircraft allowing for superb one-handed control for both acceleration and braking. Powering the motor are two units of fully rechargeable batteries each of which carry 12 volts of power in a sealed lead acid type.

While it may not actually have the capability of an off-roader because of the rather thin profile of its knobby 8-inch fully pneumatic tires, it is nevertheless a thrill to take on the pavement as well as firm grassy terrain. The suspension on the rear wheels allow for terrain-following prowess offering your kid smooth cornering and maneuvering over bumpy terrain.

On sand, however, the wheels may dig in which can make maneuvering quite difficult so your kid won’t really be able to take it to the sandy dunes of the beach. It doesn’t really matter anyway since a Formula One racecar is also not built for off-road conditions. The Razor Dune Buggy boasts of a tubular steel frame giving it excellent wraparound protection which is almost similar to the bump cars that we all enjoy in carnivals and community fairs. The super comfy bucket seat is sure to provide a level of comfort that your kid will definitely love. A seatbelt comes as a standard to increase the safety features of the Dune Buggy. The diamond plate floorboard is made of sturdy materials adding structural rigidity and integrity to the Dune Buggy.

What We Like about It – Razor has always been known for coming up with superb products not only for kids but for adults as well. The combination of durable construction and integrated technologies make the Dune Buggy the perfect starter kit for future F1 professionals.

2Ground Force Drifter Fury Ride-On by Razor

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Age Range: At least 8 years old

Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hour
Maximum Weight Allowance: 140 pounds

If you want really neat-looking, super-sleek, and really sexy go-kart for your kid, we’d recommend the Ground Force Drifter Fury Ride On. It’s essentially almost similar to Razor’s Dune Buggy except for its truly phenomenal styling. First, Razor added a Spark Bar to give your kid a trail of sparks as he or she takes the Drifter Fury to its max speed. Powered by a 24 volt battery system that takes about 12 hours to completely charge for a full 40 minutes of unparalleled riding fun, the Drifter Fury features the same variable speed, chain driven, high torque, and ultra-quiet electric motor so your kid will not be bothering anyone in the neighborhood. The throttle system is fully integrated into the racing-inspired steering wheel allowing for absolute control of the Drifter Fury. The stopping power is supplied by a handbrake that effectively halts the rear wheel’s forward momentum while also creating a stream of sparks in the process.

What is really amazing about the Drifter Fury is the streamlined chassis that has been finished in deluxe powder coating. The asymmetrical design of its wheels, with the rear wheel significantly larger and bulkier than the front, give it the look of a miniaturized Formula One car. The front wheels are made of high grade moldedaluminum and wrapped in solid rubber tires. The rear wheel is constructed of Super Slider POM technology. This unusual configuration gives the Drifter Fury superb cornering abilities with excellent stability. Kids can try to hit the apex at maximum speeds and still be able to ensure a straight race line without any over- or under- steer. With the technology put into the Drifter Fury, Razor never forgot to provide comfort as well. The bucket seats are ergonomically designed to fit the natural contours of the lower back of your child so that he or she won’t be experiencing any back problems any time soon. Integrated into the bucket seat is a seatbelt that slings over your kid’s shoulder and lap so he or she stays secure in the seat.

What We Like about It – The sleek race-inspired styling of the Drifter Fury is one truly amazing feature. The technology put into the go-kart is nothing less than what you’d expect from a company like Razor.

3Force Drifter Kart by Razor

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Age Range: At least 8 years old

Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hour
Maximum Weight Allowance: 140 pounds

If you love the Drifter Fury but finds the hand operated rear braking system to be uncannily disconcerting, maybe you’d like to consider the Force Drifter Kart instead. All of the features on the Drifter Fury are also found in the Drifter Kart except that it doesn’t have the Spark Bar that gives the Fury a spectacular display of streams of sparks as it wheezes at 12 miles per hour. The Kart is also different from the Fury in terms of its braking system. Whereas the Fury has its brake lever mated to the side of the chassis so that one hand will have to operate it while the other hand continues to steer, the Drifter Kart has the brake lever all the way up on the steering wheel so your kid can effectively put a stop to the Drifter Kart’s motion without removing his or hands on the steering.

Everything else is already similar. It has the same race-inspired chassis with durable steel frame that provides an excellent base for its 24-volt battery and electric motor that gives it high power, high torque yet very minimal noise signature. The acceleration system is still integrated into the steering. The comfortable bucket seat and the built-in 3-point seatbelt are standard. Even the configuration and manufacture of both the front and rear wheels are the same.

What We Like about It – The integration of the braking system on the steering wheel offers the Drifter Kart better control of the go-kart when stopping. This should be very important if your kid is still learning the ropes of one-handed driving.

4Ground Force Electric Go-Kart by Razor

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Age Range: At least 8 years old

Maximum Speed: 12 miles per hours
Maximum Weight Allowance: 140 pounds

Featuring the same super quiet chain driven motor that is powered by a rechargeable battery system that’s rated at 24 volts at 12 volts apiece, the Ground Force Electric Go-Kart is essentially a sleeker version of the Drifter Kart of Razor. It has the same high torque, high power motor that is never going to be a problem among your neighbors as well as the same ergonomic bucket seats with seatbelt fully integrated. The variable speed throttle mechanism is conveniently housed in a casing on the futuristic steering wheel while the braking mechanism is also connected via a lever on the steering. This configuration allows for safer riding as there’s simply no need to take one hand off the steering wheel just to operate a hand brake lever.

But what really sets the Ground Force Electric is its faster charging times. Whereas other models need about 12 hours of continuous charging for a measly 40 minutes of continuous use, the Ground Force Electric tops its juice within 4 to 6 hours and is good enough for 45 minutes of superb racing play. This simply means your kid will have plenty of opportunities to take the Ground Force Electric for a spin in a day’s time. For the other models, they can only get to play it at least once every day. The Ground Force Electric, on the other hand, can be used at least twice. And if you have a well-lit neighborhood, maybe your kid can also ride it in the evening. Another difference is the wheels. Whereas in other Ground Force and Drifter models the wheels are designed asymmetrically, the Ground Force Electric has exactly the same wheel and tires for both the front and rear.  This simply means it’s not really for drifting but rather for straight line, flat out racing although the cornering abilities of this go-kart is also phenomenal.

What We Like about It – We’re a bit confused about the charging time of the Ground Force Electric. In some sections it is written as 12 hours and yet in others, it’s 4 to 6 hours. Regardless, the extra 5 minutes of play should provide for a more exhilarating experience for your kids.

5Battle Racer Ride On by Nerf

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Age Range: 4 to 10 years old

Maximum Speed: Variable
Maximum Weight Allowance: 110 pounds

If your kid has a Nerf blaster or toy gun, then we highly recommend the Battle Racer Ride On as this go-kart is specifically designed for the Nerf system of toys. The color scheme and overall styling of the Battle Racer is distinctly Nerf, with its signature ultra-futuristic sharp lines. The Battle Racer can carry up to 4 different Nerf guns and blasters complete with storage compartments and placeholders for literally several tens of Nerf darts and brackets. This is one of the best vehicles to use to help your child get rid of the Zombie horde once and for all.

Driven by the most efficient motor of all – pedal power – your child can go fast or slow depending on how strong he or she pedals. Maneuvering is also made easy with the automobile-themed steering wheel that has been mated to a sleek tubular steel chassis that runs in the middle of the Battle Racer. The steering wheel is covered with a futuristic hood with flaring to give it a more menacing and sturdier appearance. The slightly reclined bucket seat features armrests that have storage slots for Nerf darts so your kid can always reload his or her blasters with ease. The reclined orientation of the fully adjustable bucket seat makes it super comfortable for your child while blasting his or her way across enemy territory. For superior stability, the ultra-wide sure-grip tires have been spaced well between the tubular chassis giving a superbly wide and highly stable wheelbase. The handbrake lever is located on the right side of the Battle Racer meaning your child’s left hand will do the steering while the right hand applies the brakes. Since it is pedal powered, this should not really be a concern. The Battle Racer is not actually built to race but rather to survive the growing threat of the Zombie world. If you like this, then check out our full list of nerf toys here.

What We Like about It – The Nerf theme of the Battle Racer makes it a wonderful addition to your kid’s collection of Nerf products. This can definitely help with their imagination as they get to role play their favorite Zombie apocalypse scenario or even any other role playing activity. Plus, since it’s pedal powered, it’s a great way to develop the muscles of the legs.

6Lightning Pedal Go-Kart by Hauck

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Age Range: 4 to 8 years old

Maximum Speed: Variable
Maximum Weight Allowance: 70 pounds

Designed primarily for the preschooler, the Lightning Pedal Go-Kart is one amazing piece of mechanical marvel that is sure to elicit laughter and pride from any kid who sits on its ultra-comfortable bucket seats. The Lightning, as the name implies, is pedal-powered so you help strengthen your kid’s leg muscles while allowing you great savings on energy. The durable steel frame affords optimum strength so that your kid can take full advantage of the wide and knobby tires. This system allows it to easily navigate over almost any terrain except mud and sandy dunes. Well, technically it can but it all depends on the leg power of your kid. The chain belt is beautifully encased in a resilient plastic casing that conforms to the overall styling of the Lightning. There are no complicated controls. No variable speed switches. No on-off buttons. And surely, no electrical components that you might be concerned about. It’s pure mechanical ingenuity at its finest.

The steering wheel attaches to a very simple drive mechanism on the wheels giving it superb maneuverability. Braking is not really an issue either as the pedal power usually comes at a much lower speed than gas- and electric- powered go-karts. Nevertheless, if stopping power is required, a brake lever with a rounded knob can be easily pulled upward to stop the right rear wheel from turning. The chassis has been designed to be as sleek as possible giving it a distinct styling that is sure to be loved by many young children. Comfort is also not neglected with its comfy bucket seat.

What We Like about It – The Lightning may not have the mean looks and performance afforded by the electric- and gas- powered go-karts we have in our list but it does its job perfectly well. And because it’s powered by your kid’s legs, then it should be beneficial in his or her psychomotor development.

7MT-GK-10 Black SandMan Go Kart by MotoTec

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Age Range: At least 10 years old

Maximum Speed: 30 miles per hour
Maximum Weight Allowance: 200 pounds

Clearly the fastest and most sophisticated of all the go-karts we have in our list, the MT-GK-10 Black SandMan Go Kart is full of technological breakthroughs that it can literally leave the rest behind in a trail of dust. Powered by a fully EPA-approved 49 cc, 2-stroke engine with a superb range of 20 miles on full tank, the Black SandMan is a superb looking go-kart and scaled down all-terrain vehicle combination. The high ground clearance, superior knobby fully pneumatic tires, and extra wide wheel base allow for fantastic maneuvering over any terrain. It can easily stir the dust on paved roads and highways with its blistering 30 mph top speed. It can also maneuver effortlessly on sandy dunes because of its high ground clearance and superior-grip tires. Your child can virtually take the Black SandMan wherever he or she might want to go.

The wraparound frame provides the basis for many of the Black SandMan’s superb engineering including a flooring that is made of ultra-durable materials so your kid can rest his or her feet when not taking the go-kart for a spin. The automatic transmission features a chain drive system with centrifugal clutch allowing seamless transition into different speed settings. The steering is quiet unusual, too resembling more the handle bar of a bicycle than the steering wheel of modern cars. This should be interesting as some kids do prefer the feel of a bicycle handle bar than a steering wheel especially if they are transitioning from a bicycle to the Black SandMan. The throttle mechanism is finger-activated, not the entire hand. This allows the child to take command of the Black SandMan’s true powers with his or her fingers while giving absolute control on the brakes to the rest of his or her hands. Two brake levers are integrated into the handle bar providing excellent stopping power.

What We Like about It – Because it’s powered by fuel, there may be concerns about its carbon emissions. But since the EPA has approved of its engine design, then you can be sure that it’s safe. However, you do have to teach your kid how to properly maintain it.

8Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle by Razor

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Age Range: At least 8 years old

Maximum Speed: 9 miles per hour
Maximum Weight Allowance: 120 pounds

Tired of the same layout of go-karts that you would give almost anything to try out an entirely different design? How about the Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle? Well, we know you’re raising your eyebrows, asking yourself how a tricycle can be classified as a go-kart. One of the characteristics of a go-kart is its inherently low profile, particularly its ground clearance. The Power Rider has this. The only issue is that it has three wheels. Other than that, it should function pretty much like any other go-kart.

Built not really for go-karting, the Power Rider is designed primarily for performing tricks such as 360 degree spins, drifting maneuvers, and sliding action. This is made possible by the heavy duty caster wheels that are attached to the rear axle. The caster wheels allow the Power Rider to perform dazzling maneuvers, tricks, and other superb motions that other go-kart simply cannot match. The front wheel is fully pneumatic to increase its impact resistance. Two folding foot pegs are integrated into the front wheel fork that is designed with space-age technology. Powering the silent electric motor is a rechargeable 12-volt battery that usually takes about 12 hours of continuous charging to enjoy the Power Rider for about half an hour. It has a push button throttle mechanism for easy startups and a hand-operated brake system connected to the front wheel.

What We Like about It – The unique design of the Power Rider 360 is excellent for helping kids be as creative in the performance of their go-kart tricks. Additionally, because of the rather low ground clearance, injuries from falls are mitigated. However, we do wish the battery offered a lot more staying power than the measly 30 minutes.

9Children’s Racing Style Ride On Toy Pedal Car Go Cart by Merax

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Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

Maximum Speed: Variable
Maximum Weight Allowance: 150 pounds

If you don’t want your child to be racing any time soon and you only want him or her to enjoy riding in a racecar-inspired ride on toy, then we suggest getting the Merax Children’s Racing Style Ride on Toy. This pedal-powered go-kart may not have the technological sophistication of other go-karts in this list but, for the young child, it’s simply exhilarating to pedal your own ride. The beautiful streamlined design of the Merax is completed by an ergonomically designed bucket seat. The steering wheel affords excellent control of its large fully pneumatic tires. Stopping involves pulling on the handbrake lever at the side of the Merax. With superior durable construction and an ergonomic styling, it’s not really surprising why moms and dads view the Merax as one of the best buys especially for older toddlers and preschoolers.

What We Like about It – The Merax has a simple yet functional design that is successfully combined with ergonomic styling for superb riding experience for young children.

10Black Stealth Pedal Powered Go-Kart by Lil’Rider 

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Age Range: 3 to 7 years old

Maximum Speed: Variable
Maximum Weight Allowance: 55 pounds

If you’re looking for your toddler’s best ride, look no further as the Black Stealth pedal Powered Go-Kart looks simply amazing with its superb sleek styling. With carbon steel providing the framework for the rest of its body, the Black Stealth features the race-styling of Formula One racecars of the early 90s when Schumacher lorded the circuit for many years. The bucket seat is designed more like the racing seats of WRC Rally cars while its tubular carbon steel frame provides a very sexy appearance. The large plastic wheels are also beautifully adorned with all the right elements to add to its aesthetic and speedy look. This also allows the Black Stealth to be easily maneuvered over hard surfaces as well as grassy terrain. Just make sure your kid doesn’t stray into highly sandy areas as he or she may find it too difficult to pedal. In such cases, you may have to give the Black Stealth a push which should not be a problem as well because the high back rest of the bucket seat simply means you’ll have something to hold onto and push the go-kart with minimum effort.

What We Like about It – The sleek racecar styling of the Black Stealth is really a big plus especially for toddlers who are really beginning to explore their imaginative potential. The use of pedal power is also beneficial in terms of strengthening the muscles and joints of the lower extremities which can help improve the overall balance and agility of children of this age.

How We Chose the Top Go-Karts in Our List

Choosing a go-kart to include in a list is like trying to figure out which among the world’s best automobile makers is the best, the fastest, the most efficient, and the safest. Unfortunately, every single manufacturer strives for perfection in these areas. The only thing that clearly separates them is their overall design philosophy which includes the seamless integration of all of these parts and its unique styling. While a go-kart doesn’t really have to be as aerodynamic as an F1 racecar and be used as an actual racing go-kart, it still needs to have certain elements to make it a racecar for kids.

First, safety is very important. As such, the different safety features that have been built into the go-kart have been examined. From protective bars to seat belts and other features, we had to make sure we fully understood the implications of these features on your kids’ safety. While we really cannot examine directly these safety features, we had to rely on the company’s reputation as well as any indicators of quality workmanship. Typically, products that have been tested and passed rigorous assessment tests often have a seal or certification issued to them by recognized federal agencies as well as third party national and international organizations. If such certifications exist in the product, then we know that it is safe and of the highest possible quality of workmanship.

We looked at the other features of each product specifically their motors, pedals, acceleration and braking systems, and other things that have been integrated into the go-kart. These must serve a purpose and that purpose must be able to help children who sit behind the wheel to have greater control of their go-karts. More importantly, we would like kids to really have fun while taking the go-kart for a spin cruising along with their friends. This can help improve their social development. We also chose quite a handful of pedal-powered go-karts because we believe these can help with your kid’s physical development as well.

We read the different comments and feedbacks of other parents like us who simply wanted a ride for their kids. We’d love to find out what their experiences are and how their children responded to their go-kart. We also looked for specific issues and whether these were addressed by the go-kart maker in a very timely and appropriate manner. We felt the need to ensure you get high quality and reliable customer service so that if you encounter an issue with your purchase, you’ll get the answers straightaway.

Go-Karts, Ride-On Toys, and Your Kid’s Development

We have always said that toys are very vital tools to help ensure the healthier and more “normal” development of children as they move across the different life stages from infancy all the way to adolescence. And while some may not readily admit the benefits of ride on toys in child development, everyone nevertheless, agree that it is one of the most fun and truly meaningful playtime experiences for children.

But how do ride-on toys, especially go-karts, help develop your child?

First, the most obvious benefit is in the enhancement of their cognitive abilities. This is firmly rooted in their ability to imagine and extend the boundaries of their imagination by role playing what-if scenarios. For us adults, kids playing what-if situations are just kids’ play. But experts agree there is more to than just kids’ play. Child development professionals say that children who operate on what-if scenarios are actually exercising their abilities to use divergent thinking. What this essentially means is that they have a very good idea of what the standards and norms are and that they would like to see if changing some or all of the attributes of a particular norm can change the expected outcome.

For example, children know that driving in the real world means obeying traffic rules and that they need to follow these rules. In a divergent thinking child, they will try to see what happens if such rules don’t exist. They test this through their roleplaying activities. That’s why we can see them having so much fun bumping into each other with their ride on toys. Of course, it’s up to us to refocus their thinking that such a manner of driving is totally unacceptable in the real world.

In essence, the roleplaying activity helps children act out their feelings and their thoughts. Go-karts and other toys can help facilitate the expression of these thoughts and feelings.

Secondly, some go-carts run on pedal power. It should be readily obvious what benefit this brings to kids. Because they will have to use their legs to move the go-kart, then they will have the opportunity to grow and develop their muscles a lot better as well as enhance their motor skills. Additionally, this helps improve their energy expenditure which, sadly, has been proven by healthcare authorities to be one of the main reasons why we have such a huge problem on childhood obesity. The lack of or insufficient physical activities among children favor the deposition of fats from high calorie and high fat diets. Having kids pedal through the different terrain should help them get physically active while also giving them a more engaging experience.

The child’s emotional development is also substantially enhanced by playing with these go-karts. Being able to drive a go-kart at 12 miles per hour can be an amazing feat for a child. Performing a variety of tricks can also help foster a sense of confidence, making the child believe in his or her abilities spurring the child to excel. And as we all know, a well-motivated child is a happy child. And a happy child will definitely translate into happier parents.

There are other ways in which ride-on toys like go-karts can help in children’s development. Suffice it to say, these are very helpful tools.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to let your kids race in these go-karts. Just let them enjoy and relish the feeling of sitting behind a Formula One inspired ride-on toy. This should really make for a great and truly fun day for them.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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