The 8 Best Electric Motors for Go-Karts

If you’re looking to upgrade your electric go-kart motor to a more powerful one or are building your own homemade electric go-kart, this review and buying guide is exactly what you’re looking for. Finding the best and most suitable electric motor for your go-kart may not be an easy feat, as there are different types of electric motors on the market. Each of these have their own benefits and deciding which one is the best for your go-kart often depends on their specifications. 

In this review and buying guide, I’ll go through the best electric motors for go-karts and highlight some of their specification and benefits. We’ll also go through some of the features that you should look out for when buying an electric go-kart motor. We’ll then conclude the guide by answering some of the most frequently asked questions. The information in this guide will equip you with the necessary information so that you can make an informed purchase decision. As always, thanks for reading and let’s dive right in!

1. Mophorn 2000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor Kit


Specifications

  • Power: 2,000 W
  • Voltage: 60 V
  • Current: 42 A
  • Speed: 5,600 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 11

The Mophorn 2000 W Electric Motor Kit is the best electric motor for go-karts in our list, due to its power, superb build quality and it’s high performance-to-cost ratio. Not only is this electric motor powerful and reliable, but it comes in a set that includes many components for your go-kart. This electric go-kart motor kit contains a 2,000 watt brushless electric motor, a speed controller, a screw set and wrenches for easy installation. 

The Mophorn electric go-kart motor has an output of 2,000 watts. Additionally, it features a rated voltage of 60 volts and has a rated current of 42 amps. The rated speed of 5,600 RPM ensures high working efficiency and is suitable for mid to heavy electric go-karts. It also features an 11-teeth sprocket that is compatible with a #8 chain (8mm pitch).

The speed controller has many different features including a 3-speed and reverse function, as well as brake lamp, lock and throttle features. The great thing about this electric go-kart motor kit is that it includes a speed controller, which means that you don’t need to source for a compatible speed controller yourself. It deservingly takes the number one spot in our list.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for mid or large-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #8 roller chain

2. 1800 W Electric Go-Kart Motor Kit


Specifications

  • Power: 1,800 W
  • Voltage: 48 V
  • Current: 32 A
  • Speed: 4,500 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 8

Another great entry into our list of best electric go-kart motors is the 1800 W Electric Motor Kit. As the name already gives away, this electric motor has a power output of 1,800 watts, which is powerful enough for any type of go-kart. 

It’s a brushless electric DC motor with a voltage of 48 volts and has a rated current of 32 amps. This makes it an extremely versatile motor for an electric go-kart and works best if you install it with a speed controller it comes with. With a maximum speed of 4,500 RPM it’s suitable for off-road or racing go-karts. Given it’s high power, it’s best suitable for youth and adult karts, compared to go-karts for kids. It’s attached mount also makes for easy installation.

The 1800 W Electric Go-Kart Motor also comes with an 8-tooth sprocket that is directly attached to the motor shaft and is compatible with a #25 roller chain. Overall, this motor delivers great power and its high versatility and build quality is impressive.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for mid to large-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #25 roller chain

3. ZXTDR 800 W Electric Go-Kart Motor


Specifications

  • Power: 800 W
  • Voltage: 36 V
  • Current: 29.2 A
  • Speed: 3,045 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 11

The ZXTDR 800 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is another top pick for electric go-karts, as it’s a very cost effective motor and delivers great performance. This brush electric motor has a rated speed of 2755 – 3045 RPM that runs on a 36 volts direct current. Running at 36 volts gives this go-kart motor a peak efficiency of a little under 80%, which is considered high for a brushed electric motor, making it a great pick for lightweight karts. 

This electric go-kart motor has a rated current of 29.2 amps and weighs 9.9 lbs making it relatively lightweight. The great thing about this motor is that it comes with a mounting bracket, which means that you can easily install it on your electric go-kart. The shaft features an 11-tooth sprocket that fits a #25 roller chain.

With a torque of up to 2.3 Nm, the ZXTDR 800 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is ideal for small to mid-sized go-karts. You may want to opt for a heavy duty battery and a speed controller to get the most out of this electric motor for your go-kart.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for small to mid-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #25 roller chain

4. 3000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor Kit


Specifications

  • Power: 3,000 W
  • Voltage: 72 V
  • Current: 45 A
  • Speed: 4,900 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 11

The 3000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is an absolute beast of a motor. With a whopping 3,000 watts output, this motor is suitable for off-road and heavier electric racing go-karts. This 72 volt brushless motor has a rated current of 45 amps and a rated speed of 4,900 RPM. It delivers a great amount of power to your rear axle and is built to last. 

It’s aluminium shell means that this electric motor is light, weighing only 14 lbs. The 3000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor also comes with tools, hardware and a speed controller. All of these components are easy to set up and are compatible with each other. 

The mounting plate that is attached to the electric motor ensures easy installation and the tools and hardware that it comes with means that you don’t need to source them separately. Overall, this is the most powerful electric go-kart motor in our list. This high-performance motor has high working efficiency that is perfect for adult or racing go-karts.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for large-sized go-karts
  • Fits various roller chains

5. Alpha Wheels 1000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor


Specifications

  • Power: 1,000 W
  • Voltage: 48 V
  • Current: 20.8 A
  • Speed: 3,000 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 11

The Alpha Wheels 1000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is a mid-range variant that is most suitable for small to mid-sized electric go-karts. It has a compact build and a lightweight construction, weighing only 11.6 lbs. This motor has a rated voltage of 48 volts and a current rating of 20.8 amps. 

The shaft of this the Alpha Wheels 1000 W Electric Go-Kart Motor features an 11-tooth sprocket that is compatible with a #25 roller chain. It features a smooth and reliable power delivery with a maximum rated speed of 3,000 RPM. You can also opt to install two of these 1000 watt motors on your kart, if you feel that you require more power. I also recommend getting a suitable speed controller for this motor. 

This electric go-kart engine features a stylish black aluminium frame and the overall build quality is top notch. The mounting plate below the engines features four bolt holes. The attached mounting system requires bolts, in order to be firmly secured against your go-kart frame.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for small to mid-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #25 roller chain

6. 500 W Electric Go-Kart Motor


Specifications

  • Power: 500 W
  • Voltage: 24 V
  • Current: 27.4 A
  • Speed: 2,500 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 11

Compared to other electric go-kart motors in this list, this one features a lower rated output. At 500 watts, the 500 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is a reliable option that is mostly suitable for go-karts that are meant for youths and kids. It has a direct current voltage of 24 volts and a current rating of 27.4 amps. 

The output of this electric go-kart motor is at the lower range of 500 watts with a rated speed of 2,400 RPM. It’s robustly built with high-grade materials which ensure that it’s long lasting and heavy duty. Even though it’s a brushed electric motor, it has a relatively high working efficiency. The shaft features an 11-teeth sprocket that fits a #25 chains, which is common and easy to find. 

As can be seen in the product image, this motor features a mounting bracket with all the required hardware and tools that are required for the installation. I would also recommend to source for a compatible speed controller. Overall, 500 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is a great choice for small-sized go-karts.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for small-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #25 roller chain

7. DC Gear 350W Electric Go-Kart Motor


Specifications

  • Power: 350 W
  • Voltage: 24 V or 36 V
  • Current: 12.5 A
  • Speed: 3,000 RPM
  • Sprocket Teeth: 9

The DC Gear 350 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is the smallest motor with the lowest rated output in our list of best electric motors for go-karts. It doesn’t mean that this electric motor is bad, in fact rather the opposite. It’s a great go-kart motor that is suitable for low-powered go-karts. This would mostly be small-size go-karts that are designed for kids and youths. 

This motor comes in two variants with a rated voltage of either 24 volts or 36 volts. The rated current is 12.5 amps and it has a rated speed of 3,000 RPM. It also features a 9-teeth sprocket that is compatible with a #410 go-kart chain. 

As with the other electric go-kart motors in this list, the DC Gear 350 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is equipped with a four bolt mounting plate. This ensures that the motor is securely held in place. As the hardware is not included, you’ll need to source for four M6 bolts yourself. These are relatively easy to find and the overall installation is fast and easy.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for small-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #410 roller chain

8. BestEquip 1600 W Electric Go-Kart Motor


Specifications

  • Power: 1,600 W
  • Voltage: 48 V
  • Current: 33 A
  • Speed: 3,900 RPM
  • Teeth: 11

The BestEquip 1600 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is brushless with a high operating efficiency. With a total output of 1,600 watts, this motor falls into the middle range and is suitable for mid-sized go-karts. It’s made out of an aluminium shell that is high quality and at the same time light in weight. 

It also features low electric noise generation compared to a brushed electric go-kart motor. The BestEquip 1600 W Electric Go-Kart Motor is capable of high rotational speed running at up to 3,900 RPM. It’s recommended that you use this motor in combination with a compatible speed controller in order to regulate power delivery.

This electric engine has a rated voltage of 48 volts and a rated current of 33 amps. The sprocket that is attached to the motor shaft has 11 teeth and is compatible with an #8 go-kart chain. There is also a mounting plate that enables you to securely mount the motor to your go-kart frame. Overall, this electric go-kart motor is a great and high-quality mid-range option for your go-kart.

Compatibility:

  • Suitable for mid-sized go-karts
  • Fits a #8 roller chain

Buying Guide: How to Choose an Electric Motor for Your Go-Kart

As you can see, there are many electric go-kart motors on the market and finding the perfect one for your go-kart may not be all that easy. There are quite a number of things to consider and getting these things right is absolutely crucial. 

In this buying guide, we’ll take a closer look at various aspects which include motor output, voltage, current, compatibility, components, mounting and price. Understanding these aspects in more detail will enable you to find a suitable motor for your kart and will make your purchase decision much easier.

Output

One of the most important things that you will need to consider is the ability of a go-kart motor to deliver the required power for your go-kart. For electric go-kart motors, its respective power or output is calculated by multiplying torque (Nm) with speed (RPM). To help you further understand this let’s take a closer look at the terms torque and speed. Torque is the rotating force produced by the motor, whereas the speed refers to how many revolutions a minute (RPM) the shaft is rotating with. 

Electric go-kart motors with a higher output rating are more powerful and are able to propel your go-kart faster. Higher output motors in the 2,000 to 3,000 watt range are ideal for racing go-karts or adult karts that are generally heavier in weight. They require more power, as they are required to move more weight. 

Motors in the middle of the range at about 1,000 to 2,000 watts are for mid-sized karts, which are typically youth karts or average homemade go-karts. Anything below 1,000 watts is considered on the lower end of the spectrum and is ideal for go-karts that are meant for kids or small and lightweight go-karts. 

You should also keep in mind that a higher output may not necessarily mean better. This is because high output motors are usually heavier in weight and also require bigger batteries. It can add to the weight of your go-kart and it’s therefore recommended that you find a motor that hits the sweet spot in terms of output to go-kart weight ratio. 

Voltage

Voltage refers to the electric pressure of a go-kart motor. The rated voltage of go-kart motors typically range between 24 to 72 volts. The word rated refers to the voltage that the electric motor is designed to operate at reliably. Other parameters such as current and speed depend on which voltage a motor is running at. 

For instance, let’s take a look at a 1,000 watt motor with a rated voltage of 48 V, a rated current of 20 amps and a rated speed of 3,000 RPM. The go-kart motor will perform as indicated by these parameters if operated under 48 V. If you operate using only 20 volts for example, the motor will run on less amps, and have a lower speed. 

It’s important to note that your batteries should have the same voltage rating as your electric go-kart motor. If the battery has a lower rated voltage, it will lower the performance of the motor. If their voltage is higher than the motor, it can reduce the lifespan of the motor and eventually cause it to fail. Therefore, when picking your go-kart motor, ensure that you have a battery that matches the rated voltage, to ensure that the motor can operate optimally.

Current

An electric current is the flow of electrons through a circuit. An electric motor’s current is measured in ampere or simply amps. The higher the rated current of a motor, the more electrons flow through, which also means that more electricity is required. 

To give you a simpler analogy, think of a garden hose. The voltage is the force that helps to push the water through the hose, whereas the water itself would act as the current. The concept of current is important to understand, as it will help you determine what battery size you will need, in order to operate your go-kart engine for a given time. 

Think of it as a resource of a power plant. If a battery is rated at 100 Ah (amp hours), it can output 1 amp for 100 hours. For example, if your motor draws a current of 20 amps, it will be able to operate for 5 hours. Therefore, you should pay special attention to the battery in relation to the motor, as it needs to be large enough to supply your motor with enough electricity. You don’t want to be driving your electric kart for 10 minutes before having to recharge it again.

Compatibility

An electric go-kart motor needs to be compatible with other important components, in order to run efficiently and effectively. Some of the most important components that you will need to look out for are batteries and speed controllers. They all need to be compatible with your go-kart motor in order for it to function optimally. 

Keep in mind that the output of the motor should be appropriate for the weight of your go-kart. You should also include the driver’s weight in the weight calculation. You also don’t want to overpower your go-kart if it’s meant for kids. Conversely, you also don’t want to underpower your go-kart if it’s meant for racing or if your go-kart is heavier. The best is to find a sweet spot. 

You also need to make sure that you have a battery that matches the parameters of the electric go-kart motor. You should ensure that the rated voltage matches that of the battery in order for the motor to run optimally. The same can be said for the speed controllers. Ensure that it’s compatible to get the most out of your motor.

go kart electric motor
Go-Kart Electric Motor
go kart battery
Go-Kart Battery
Go-Kart Speed Controller

Components

You’ll notice that some of the motors listed in this review contain accessories such as tools, hardware and speed controllers. If you decide to go for an electric motor kit, you will receive all components that are compatible with it. This can help you save time and also ensure that your motor is equipped with compatible components. 

If you’re a little more knowledgeable on go-kart motors, you can also opt for a single motor without a kit. This will allow you to customize and source for your own speed controller. I personally prefer to source my own parts, as I like a certain level of customization. If you’re building your own homemade go-karts and are still unfamiliar with electric go-kart motors, I suggest that you opt for a kit.

Mounting

If you look at the electric go-kart motors in this review, you’ll notice that all of them feature a mounting bracket that is attached to the bottom of the motor. A mounting bracket is an important feature, as it directly holds the motor against the frame.

Electric motors for go-karts and other types of recreational vehicles have a mounting bracket for increased practicality. There are also other types of electric motors that don’t come with a mounting bracket. This means that you’ll need to weld a bracket to the motor, or create your own mounting mechanism for your go-kart. 

I highlighly recommend that you purchase an electric go-kart motor that already has a mounting bracket in place, such as the motors features in this review. This will make the setup and installation much easier.

Price

Electric go-kart motors are very affordable nowadays. The price of an electric motor mainly depends on how powerful it is. The power of a go-kart motor is generally indicated by the output in watts, which can be used as a reference.

An entry-level go-kart motor starts at about $50, whereas a more powerful motor can go up to about $150. The average go-kart motor costs about $75 – $125. Motor kits are slightly more expensive, as they contain some extra components such as tools, hardware and speed controllers. 

  • Low Output Motor: $50 – $75
  • Mid Output Motor: $75 – $110 
  • High Output Motor: $110 – $150

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions that deal with finding the best electric motors for go-karts. If you have questions and don’t find the answer below, feel free to write a comment so that I can address it and potentially add them to the list.

What Size Electric Motor Do I Need for My Go Kart?

The size or output of your electric go-kart motor should always be in proportion to the weight of your go-kart. In general smaller go-kart motors (350 to 800 watts) should be used for lightweight or go-karts that are meant for kids. Mid-range electric go-kart motors (1,000 to 2,000 watts) are meant for medium-sized or youth go-karts. Larger motors that are 2,000 watts and above are suitable for racing or heavier adult go-karts. 

I’ve created a list below where you can easily compare the speed of your go-kart in relation to the overall weight. I’ve used the average weight of a person (180 lbs) together with the weight of an average go-kart (150 lbs) for reference.

Motor OutputDriver WeightGo-Kart WeightSpeed (MPH)Speed (KM/H)
350 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)16.1 mph25.9 km/h
500 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)19.2 mph30.9 km/h
850 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)24.3 mph39.1 km/h
1,000 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)26 mph41.8 km/h
1,600 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)31.3 mph50.4 km/h
1,800 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)32.8 mph52.8 km/h
2,000 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)34.2 mph55 km/h
3,000 W180 lbs (81.65 kg)150 lbs (68 kg)39.8 mph64.1 km/h

What Types of Electric Go Kart Motors Are There?

Electric go-kart motors run on a direct current (DC) and are specifically designed and shaped for recreational vehicles. That’s why you can see that they’re also suitable for scooters, ATVs and bicycles. Therefore, they have a compact design and a mounting bracket that easily allows you to install the motor to your go-kart. 

There are also other electric motors that you can use for your homemade go-kart. I’ve seen go-karts run on electric motors from washing machines, lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners and other types of appliances. Some of them may require some modifications as they’re too large or have no mounting brackets. It’s therefore recommended to stick with electric motors that are designed for recreational vehicles.

Should I Only Get a Go-Kart Motor or a Kit?

The answer to this depends on how comfortable you are in sourcing for compatible components. I personally like to customize my go-karts and therefore only choose a go-kart motor without the components of a kit. I’ll then proceed to choose a compatible speed controller and battery. 

If you’re unsure about the compatibility of electric components, you’re better off purchasing a go-kart motor kit. Compatibility is extremely important, especially if you’re building your own go-kart. Incompatibility of components can potentially shorten the motor’s lifespan and in worst case permanently damage it. The electric go-kart motors that are featured in this review contain a mix or individual motors and motor kits for you to choose from.

21 thoughts on “The 8 Best Electric Motors for Go-Karts”

    • Hey there,

      Thanks for writing in! It really depends how fast you want the go-kart to go.
      Check out the speed-to-weight chart towards the bottom of the article to get an idea of what would work best 🙂

      Usually 500 W to 1,000 W should suffice!

      Reply
  1. Hi Gerrit,
    Thanks for all the info here. I’m building an electric kart for a school project (I’m 15). I have a Tonykart racing chassis, a 3000W motor/controller, but I don’t know which battery set up would be best. Can you give me any tips? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Sylvian,

      Thanks for leaving a comment and what a great project you have chosen.
      In terms of batteries, check out the buyer’s guide on go-kart batteries (all the way at the bottom).
      This will give you an idea of what you’ll need to match.

      Ensure to match the voltage of all components (motor/speed controller/batteries)

      Reply
  2. Are there any speed controllers that have a remote deadman switch built into them? I thought it would be awesome to have something like this for the kids like they start going too far down the street etc.

    Reply
  3. Hi Gerrit
    I’ve been looking for all of this knowledge for a while, thanks! Wonder if you can point me to any articles of give any advice on what I’m looking to build… I’d like to use two 3,000w motors in a dune/kart/buggy chassis. Not sure about the config of front/rear or all wheel drive but to cut to the chase… what’s your recommendations for running them through controllers? Is there a way to wire two together but with only one set of inputs, such as throttle/brakes/lights etc? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • Hi Sean,

      Thanks for the kind words. I’ve never tried this but it’s definitely possible.
      One way you can achieve this is by connecting them in parallel to the speed controller.
      However, it can be hard to get exactly the same RPM out of each.

      Here’s a YouTube video (link) that outlines this pretty well.

      Reply
    • Wonderful guide for beginners, I have literally all the information I was searching for on the same page!! Thanks man, keep up the good work!! Really appreciate

      Reply
      • Hey Yash,

        Thanks for the kind words, that’s awesome to hear.
        Glad it helped and all the best with your project 🙂

        Reply
    • Hi!

      Yes it will, as you’ll have more output for the same weight.
      Just take note that you’ll need to balance them accordingly.

      Cheers, Gerrit!

      Reply
  4. Thank you so much for the useful information! I wish to know: how were the values for speed derived in the table comparing motor power?

    Do these calculations account for air drag and rolling/ internal axle friction? (If yes, what are their coefficients?)

    Reply
    • Hi Ilya,

      Thanks for writing in.
      Please find some additional information that was used:

      Motor Efficiency: 90% (brushless)
      No wind or rolling resistance, taken into account as they vary widely.
      I would imagine that they would impact the speed on average about 5 – 10%.

      Reply
  5. Hi Gerrit,

    Great article and info – thank you. I currently race an IAME X-30 in a TaG class in the US / Canada. I believe the X-30 engine has an output of approximately 32HP @ 13,500RPM. Top speed depends on the gearing of course – max engine RPM is 16K and we usually target to gear the kart to that RPM for the end of the straightway. Based on this information, do you have a recommendation for motor and battery size? Races, qualifying, and practices for a typical race day usually total approximately 40 minutes (of engine-on time). I’d like an electrical kart system to accomplish this one one charge.

    Any direction you can provide would be appreciated.

    Jeff

    Reply

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