Most people get glassy eyed when they see a go kart (people who love go karts that is) and tend to forget about where in the world they are going to drive their go-cart.
Sometimes the images in your mind go to race tracks and passing Ferraris, but “Really now! Are you going to be driving this thing on a race track?”
I received this email from a reader about go karts (and sadly it is a common question)
Hi, I got stopped by a police officer for operating my go kart on the sidewalk, and he said I could be charged with: Operating a vehicle without being licensed, driving to endanger, driving a non-certified vehicle, and told me I had to be over 18 to operate any gas powered anything. I understand now that I can’t drive a go kart anywhere pretty much but where should I go?
Because the question “Where Am I Going To Ride This Go Kart?” was not asked at the outset, now you have a very depressed individual, considering getting rid of the gokart all together.
One issue is about “Where” the other about “Age.”
I am not legal authority, but I can tell you some basics: Un=Liscensed motorized vehicles cannot drive on roads.
About the age, that varies from state to state.
You need to look into your state statutes and codes to get verification on legal data. Consult a local attorney for that informaton…
But that aside, it is a good idea to know where you will be driving this go kart.
In your driveway?
On your uncles farm?
(Obviously not on the street because that is against the law)
In your yard?
Do you have a big enough yard to ride a go kart?
Are their laws against go karts in your neighborhood?
Have you permission to ride it in the parking lot across the street?
Riding a go kart involve more than just you on a gokart.
It affects people around you in the following ways:
– A go kart is a driving projectile.
– A “unknown talent” is setting its course.
– The coarse is not set, but can change from moment to moment.
In short a go kart coupled with a driver is like running with the bulls in Spain.
Those around the go kart have no clue as to whether it is going to strike them or not.
So before you get upset that you cannot drive it “anywhere” realize that people around you have to take on a burden. A burden of concern and care. Will they, or you get hurt?
There are Legalities
Additionally, the Go Kart is not legal on the roads for various reasons, primarily because of its low profile (people can’t see you) and its lack of many other essential road handling and accident preventitive components.
This set of questions is probably the most difficult to acknowledge, because there are so many obstacles. And I don’t mean trees and cars, I mean regulations about motor vehicles. You cannot just blast down the road with your go kart. Sounds like a fun idea, but in reality it is dangerous and against the law.
If you end up buying this go kart, or even making it, you may end up with a very depressing set of conclusions:
I can’t ride it anywhere!
And even if I could, I can’t put it in the car to get it where I want to ride (its too big)!
So ask the question first. Get an answer.
The answer maybe as simple as networking with some people to find a place to ride: ie your uncles farm! (but there is even more than just your uncle at stake there too… remember there are 10 questions, not six)
There are various go karting clubs out there and you can join them. You do not have to be a go kart racer to join these clubs, it is just place where you can enjoy the go kart. Be sure to get in contact with them in your area before investing in the go kart and all that goes with it (ie helmuts, gloves, suits, etc..)
And finally, I did some digging of my own on riding gokarts on trails. There are usually stipulations on what type of go kart you can ride on a trail. For example in the state I live in, the trails require that the go kart have suspension and a full roll cage by a reputable manufacturer. You will also need to get a permit. The age of the drivers is also limited.
So look into ATV trails and see what you come up with.