As I’ve mentioned in several of my articles, I’m not as skinny as most professional karting racers. It’s not bad to be skinny; in fact, it sometimes can be a huge advantage to be slimmer when go-karting, but I am an amateur driver so no worries about that for me.
That said, I’ve been getting questions from many of you asking me if you’ll be able to fit in go-karts, even though you’re taller or heavier. So, as a big guy myself, I figured it’d be a great idea to check out if tall or heavier people can fit in go-karts.
The short answer is yes. Most go-karts have adjustable seats and pedals so that most people can fit in them. That said, some go-kart tracks have maximum weight and height limits for your safety, so you’ll have to contact them.
But, I know that some of you wish to buy your personal go-karts. And, unlike rental ones, you’ll have to find a go-kart that has a large enough seat and is adjustable while still being competitive.
Go-karts have two sizes: large and small. If you’re a bigger fellow, you must buy a kart that accommodates a large seat. You should also ensure that your go-kart chassis has a lot of space to adjust your pedals and seat height. This way, you’ll be competitive and feel comfortable while you’re racing.
That said, I’ve raced in a few different tracks, and I’ve never had a problem with my height (180cm or 5′ 11″) or weight (currently 95kg). But, a few friends have told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to race in some European tracks because I’m a big guy. So, is there a maximum weight for karting?
Is There a Maximum Weight for Karting?
It’s well-known that go-kart tracks and championships have a minimum weight limit, depending on the category. But, some also implement maximum weight limits. I came across different weight limits while scouring for tracks and championships.
Some go-kart tracks won’t allow you to drive their rental karts if you’re over 300lbs (136kg). If you’re karting professionally, the limits are more strict. For example, some IAME championships have a maximum weight limit of 190-200lbs (86-90kg).
That said, it’d be a good idea to get in touch with your local go-kart track to see what their weight restrictions are. But, you’ll have to keep in mind that your body weight affects your speed. This raises the question of what happens when you weigh more than your opponents in go-karting.
What Happens When You Weigh More Than Your Opponents?
In my league, I’m probably one of the heaviest ones. But, I still somehow manage to get to the podium for every race, despite weighing nearly two times more than my opponents. Is that purely skill? Well, not really.
In semi-professional leagues, the marshalls add weights to the go-karts so that everyone weighs the same. So, despite weighing more than most of my fellow racers, we all weigh the same once we’re in the go-karts.
While that’s true for semi-professional championships or friendly races, national or international races are different. The organizers won’t add any weights to the go-karts in professional races. So, the only way to gain a competitive edge over your opponents is by losing weight. But that’s not too difficult for professional racers.
There are also cases where you could opt for a higher championship with a higher minimum weight limit. While this might be great in order to reverse your weight disadvantage, keep in mind that the higher-ranked the championship you join, the more competitive the opponents will be.
For example, if you’re old enough for the Senior class, you could go for the Rotax championship or the IAME X30 championship if you’re not too heavy. However, if you’re on the heavier side, you could race Superkarts that have a slightly higher minimum weight limit. But, the Superkarts are not only extremely fast, but these championships are the most competitive ones out there.
So, if you’re looking to get into professional karting, you’ll have to stay in shape. In karting, the slightest of weight differences can make you faster and make your kart more stable.
While I covered the maximum weight pretty thoroughly, what happens when you’re a tall individual? Will you be able to drive go-karts?
Can Tall People Drive Go-Karts?
Most rental karts nowadays are adjustable. I can safely say that the ones I’ve raced with were spacious enough. I’m not extremely tall (180cm or 5′ 11″), but I’m definitely taller than most of the racers I’ve driven against. My brother (a fellow racer) is about 10cm taller than me (about 6′ 3″ or 190cm) and has also faced no issue when he’s raced in the 250cc 4-stroke karts at our local track. Both of us even had space to move the seat forward if we wanted.
(Me on the racing license course)
That said, I wanted to find out if any go-kart tracks have maximum height limits for racers. While I was doing my research, I came across a chassis from Margay, the Margay Brava 4.15, or Margay Brava Limo as it’s more commonly known. This model was supposed to be the best option for taller people since the chassis was much longer.
But, Margay discontinued the Limo because it provided a significant advantage in aerodynamics to taller drivers. I imagine that it’s still used in unofficial races or in some semi-professional ones, but you won’t find it in professional races.
So, I continued on with my research in several karting communities and tracks worldwide to find any maximum height limits. I was surprised to find out that many drivers who were over two meters tall were allowed to race, and they were also pretty good at it. But, I found some go-kart courses that have a maximum height limit.
While most tall people can drive go-karts, some tracks have a maximum height limit ranging from 6’ 4” to 6’ 7” (193-200cm). If you’re a bit shorter than that, you might still feel uncomfortable when karting, especially if your legs are crammed inside the go-kart.
That said, the number of tracks that have a height limit is slim. So, even if you’re really tall, you shouldn’t worry about not being allowed to drive go-karts. But, you should definitely consult the race track you wish to visit, to be 100% sure.
It’s also worth noting that since taller people are usually heavier, you should also be on the lookout for any maximum weight limits.
Go-karting can be a pain for taller and heavier people. Some tracks have weight and height limits, but they’re usually not applicable to most drivers. Plus, they’re only implemented for your safety since being too tall can make your go-karting experience really uncomfortable.
That said, as a big guy myself, I can assure you that most karts you’ll get in will be comfortable enough unless you’re tall enough to be an NBA player.
If you have any more questions that you’d like me to answer, be sure to contact me or leave a comment below.
Stay tuned for more articles just like this one!
FAQs for Fitting in a Go-Kart
How tall is too tall for a go-kart?
If you’re above 6’4”(193cm), you might not be able to race in certain tracks. But, even if you are allowed to drive go-karts, you’ll probably end up being really uncomfortable and sore.
Can plus-size people go go-karting?
The short answer is yes. While some go-kart tracks have a maximum weight limit of 300lbs (136kg), most tracks will allow you to drive as long as you fit in the go-kart.