how much does it cost to build a go kart

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Go-Kart?

Are you planning on building your own go-kart and are wondering about the costs that are associated with it? Building go-karts is an extremely fun project that you can take on yourself or as a family project. So, how much does it really cost to build a go-kart? 

Generally speaking, building your own go-kart will cost you around $400 to $860 depending on whether you are going to buy used or brand new parts. Either way, spending $400 to build your own go-kart is an affordable price range for pretty much any type of budget. I’ve created a table below for quick reference where you’ll be able to see a summary of each part cost, as well as the overall total price.

Go-Kart Part Part Price (Used) Part Price (New)
1. Frame $75 $200
2. Steering Kit $35 $90
3. Wheels $25 $60
4. Tires $30 $100
5. Spindles $15 $35
6. Pedals $10 $15
7. Seat $35 $60
8. Sprocket $12 $20
9. Chain $5 $15
10. Brake Kit $40 $80
11. Throttle Cable $1 $4
12. Live Axle $15 $25
13. Bearings $2 $6
14. Engine $100 $150
Total Cost $400 $860

How Much Does Each Part Cost?

Now that you know what the total cost is to build a go-kart, you should take a look at the price of each component. This is where you can fine-tune your budgeting and see where you prefer to spend or save a bit more. 

1. Cost of Go-Kart Frame

The frame acts as the foundation of your go-kart. You’ll find that almost every other component will interact with the frame in one way or the other. You can opt for a new go-kart frame which will cost you about $200. As these frames are made specifically for go-karts, they will usually also come with the required mounts, brackets and hoops. 

If you are looking for a used frame on craigslist or eBay, you should be able to get them for around $75. You can also find steel bars and plates if you are on a shoestring budget and weld them together yourself. Keep in mind that this method only really works if you know what you’re doing. If you are relatively new to building go-karts, I suggest getting a used or new go-kart frame. 

go kart frame

2. Cost of Go-Kart Steering Kit

Let’s assume that you’ve decided on a go-kart frame with a steering hoop already welded into place. This means that you need to account for the cost of tie rods, a steering rack, an adjustable shaft and a steering wheel. You can either get these separately, but I recommend getting a kit that has all the steering components included. For a brand new set, you’ll be able to get this for around $90, whereas a used set usually goes for about $35. You can find good ones on eBay and Amazon.

3. Cost of Go-Kart Wheels

Go-kart wheels come in various shapes, sizes and types. They’re actually relatively inexpensive and you can pick them up for about $15 each brand new ($60 for four). Just remember that you’ll need 4 of them, two for the front and two for the back. 

Used go-kart wheels are available on the internet for as low as $25 for a set of four. If you are on a budget, you can get them on ebay or craigslist.

go-kart rims

4. Cost of Go-Kart Tires​

The cost difference between brand new go-kart tires and second hand or used go-kart tires is relatively big. This is because used kart tires often have less profile on them and won’t last as long a new ones. If you’re building your own kart on a budget, you may not require go-kart racing tires, as they are usually more expensive. You can opt for non-racing or off-road tires if they are more affordable. 

A set of 4 used go-kart tires start around $30, whereas new ones start at around $100 for a set of 4. 

go-kart tires

5. Cost of Go-kart Spindles

A pair of go-kart spindles will cost you about $10 on eBay or craigslist. Craigslist had more available than on eBay, but you’re able to get them on either site. 

New ones start from around $25 a pair. Remember to get one for the left side, and the other for the right side. 

6. Cost of Go-Kart Pedals

Used pedals are relatively easy to purchase and there are a lot of used ones on eBay. They go for as little as $10 a pair. One for the left side (braking pedal) and the other for the right side (gas pedal).

A new pair of pedals isn’t much more expensive than used ones and you can get a basic set for around $15.  

go kart pedals

7. Cost of Go-Kart Seat

The great thing about finding a good seat for your self-made kart is that it doesn’t have to be specifically made for go-karting. As long as it is mountable, you can use it to build your go-kart. 

Used seats go for about $35, which you’ll probably have to refurbish a little. A new seat will start at about $60 and can all the way up to about $100 for a high-quality one. 

8. Cost of Go-Kart Sprocket

Sprockets for go-karts are fairly inexpensive and you should be able to pick one up brand new one for about $20 to $30. Used sprockets are around half the price and can be bought online or on craigslist.

Also make sure to know what sprocket size you are looking for and ensure that the chain matches it. In some cases it may be best to get a set that comes with a sprocket and the corresponding chain. 

9. Cost of Go-Kart Chain

If you purchased a sprocket without a chain, you’ll need to get one separately. A brand new chain starts at about $12, whereas a used or second hand chain will cost about $5 to $8. 

You should keep in mind that your chain must fit your sprocket. Getting a go-kart chain that is wrong is size will damage your go-kart.

go-kart chain

10. Cost of Go-Kart Brake Kit

A go-kart brake kit should consist of a master cylinder, calipers, a fluid reservoir and a brake line hose. You can choose to buy each component separately, but due to easier compatibility and convenience it’s recommended to purchase them in a set. 

A set new brake kit set starts at around $70. You’ll probably be able to get a used brake set at about $40 – $50. 

go-kart brake kit

11. Cost of Go-Kart Throttle Cable

There are different lengths of throttle cables that you can use for go-karts. Ensure that your measurements are correct so that you can get the right length. 

The good news is that regardless of the length, throttle cables are priced equally. You’ll be able to pick some up brand new for just about $3 or about $1 used at a garage sale. 

go-kart throttle cable

12. Live Axle

If you decided to purchase a break kit, you just need to get a live axle. There are live axles that also come with brake kit parts. 

A live axle on its own will cost about $25 new. If you decide to opt for a second-hand unit, you’ll be able to get one for about $15. Keep your eyes open for garage sales or used parts sellers. Occasionally, you’ll be able to get an axle for just a few bucks. 

go-kart live axle

13. Bearings

Axle or wheel bearings are very affordable. Just remember that you need to get a set of four for your go-kart. 

I’ve seen used sets of bearings go for as little as $2. If you decide to go for brand new sets, you can expect to pay upwards of $6. Of course, there are also higher quality bearings that start at about $20 per set of four. 

14. Engine

Go-kart engines come in various specifications. If you’re looking to buy a brand new entry-level go-kart engine, you’d be spending around $150 upwards. If you are looking for a high-performance go-kart engine, they can easily cost around $300 or more. 

Entry-level used engines start at about $100. You may find them discounted at scrap dealers or yard sales. You can also use an old lawn mower engine to power your go-kart. Depending on the type of go-kart you are trying to build, you may want to spend a little more for the right engine.

Other Components

There are other components that you need in order to build a go-kart. These items would include tools, equipment and accessories that will not be calculated into the total price. That’s because most of the time, we have these tools in our garage and you’ll be able to use them again. 

Where to Buy New and Used Go-Kart Parts?

When it comes to buying go-kart parts, there are plenty of options for you. I’ve found that sourcing parts locally is much cheaper, as people usually want to get rid of these parts and you also don’t have to pay for delivery to your doorstep.

While it does take longer to source parts at a yard sale or scrap dealer, you do save a couple of dollars. If you’re looking at buying these items quickly, I recommend to get them at Amazon or eBay depending on if you’re looking to get them brand new or used. 

Where to buy used parts?

  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Garage sales
  • Scrap dealers

Where to buy new parts?

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Online retailers
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