The 8 Best Yerf-Dog Upgrades

Yerf-Dog go-karts have been around for quite some time now. They were first introduced in the mid 90s and have been a very popular off-road go-kart for kids, youths and adults. With dozens of models, each release of a newer version brought along several upgrades and enhancements. 

Although Yerf-Dog go-karts are no longer being manufactured since 2005, many people still own their original model and many enthusiasts are restoring and upgrading their Yerf-Dog go-karts with new parts. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of possible parts that can be upgraded on your go-kart.

Here is the list of the 8 best Yerf-Dog upgrade ideas:

  1. Engine
  2. Seats
  3. Tires
  4. Shocks
  5. Lights 
  6. Roll Cage Padding
  7. Steering Wheel
  8. Storage Rack

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best updates for your Yerf-Dog go-kart. This list is universal and revolves more around upgrade ideas, rather than specific parts, as each Yerf-Dog model has different specifications. Feel free to write in if you have further ideas or questions. 

1. Engine

Yerf-Dog go-karts are equipped with 5 hp to 7.8 hp engines from Tecumseh, depending on the model type. If you’re looking for a performance upgrade, you should consider a higher output engine. Here’s a list of stock Yerf-Dog engines that you can take as reference.

A higher output engine will increase the acceleration and top speed of your go-kart. You can also take a look at the best go-kart engines that you can consider when choosing an engine upgrade. Before you consider the upgrade, there are a few things you should check in terms of compatibility.

  • Engine Dimensions
  • Engine Weight
  • Engine Type (Vertical vs Horizontal Shaft)

You should also take note that increased output also means more stress on other parts such as the transmission (torque converter or clutch), chains and sprockets. When you’re upgrading the engine, make sure that your other components on your Yerf-Dog can handle that; upgrade other parts too, if required.

2. Seats

Another part that you could think of upgrading on your Yerf-Dog go-kart are the seats. Stock seats aren’t really that comfortable, unless you have a Spiderbox. Essentially, the stock seats are padded benches attached to the go-kart frame.

There are quite a few upgrade ideas for seats, such as reupholstering your stock Yerf-Dog seats or even upgrading them entirely and replacing them with bucket or racing seats. 

It’s fairly easy to replace your existing seats with new ones. Simply remove the stock padded bench and install your new seats directly onto the frame. However, you may need to install a separate mount, depending on the seat type. 

Just ensure that the dimensions are compatible with your Yerf-Dog model and that there’s enough room for the rider, considering the size of your new seat.

3. Tires

You can also upgrade the wheels and tires on your Yerf-Dog go-kart. Depending on your model the front tires are either going to be 4.10 x 3.50 – 4 or 10 x 3.50 – 5 or 15 x 6.00 – 6. Your rear tires should be either 13 x 5.00 – 6 or 18 x 8.50 – 8 or 20 – 10.00 – 8. 

If you’re unsure, you can check out the Yerf-Dog tire sizes list, where all models are listed. Changing the tire size of your Yerf-Dog improves the ride quality, ground clearance, acceleration, grip, braking, fuel consumption and more. 

You’ll be able to switch to larger or smaller wheels, depending on what you’re after. Just make sure that your tires are compatible with your wheels. Here’s a quick guide on reading go-kart tire sizes for further reference. 

  • Improve ride quality (larger tires)
  • Increase ground clearance (larger tires)
  • Faster Acceleration (smaller tires)
  • Increase grip (larger tires)
  • Better braking (larger tires)
  • Improve fuel consumption (smaller tires)

4. Shocks

Looking for a more comfortable ride? Installing news shock absorbers or adjusting your current ones will be able to give you a better ride, and will also allow you to ride through rough terrain more comfortably. 

Not all Yerf-Dog go-karts are equipped with shock absorbers. Most of them are, except a few single-seater versions such as the 3101, 3100,1204 and a few others. It’s important to ensure that you have an outward camber to give you the best ride experience.

yerf dog shock absorber upgrades and adjustment

A neutral or inward camber would require adjustments to your shock absorbers or a complete upgrade or replacement. A total of four shock absorbers can be replaced, two in the front and two at the back. In the owner’s manual, you’ll be able to identify the configuration and the size. For example:

  • Shock; Front 9-3/4″
  • Shock; Back 12”

5. Lights 

When it comes to Yerf-Dog go-karts only the 42101, the 3206 / 4206, the 3209 / 4209 and the 32092 / 42092 models come with headlights. This enables operating the kart during the evening and in the early hours of the day, when it’s dark outside. 

You can either upgrade the headlights to more efficient LEDs or even install fog lights at the bottom or spotlights on the top of the frame. If you have a Yerf-Dog model that didn’t come with any lights, you can upgrade your kart by installing them. Here are some lighting ideas that you can consider:

  • Installing headlights
  • Upgrading headlights
  • Installing fog lights
  • Installing spotlights
  • Installing tail lights
  • Installing a brake light

6. Roll Cage Padding

The great news is that all Yerf-Dog karts come with a roll cage that protects the rider and their passengers in the event of a rollover. However, the roll cage is not only a safety feature, but it also has a utility aspect to it, for getting in and out of your go-kart easily.

Therefore, a padded roll cage would enable a more comfortable grip and also protect your hands in freezing or extremely hot conditions when holding onto the roll cage. Therefore, upgrading your Yerf-Dog’s roll cage is definitely something you should consider.

Additionally, it’s common for your helmet to make contact with it from time to time, especially when it comes to racing on rough terrains. Bumpier rides will have your head moving around constantly and in the event your helmet makes contact with it, a padded roll cage will certainly absorb a lot of the shock.

7. Steering Wheel

The stock steering wheels tend to be somewhat lackluster. They’re not really that comfortable, especially when it comes to driving on off-road terrain. Most steering wheels on Yerf-Dog go-karts have a 3-bolt pattern with 1/4-inch bolt holes. However, this may vary between models. 

If you decide to upgrade your Yerf-Dog steering wheel, ensure that the new steering wheel has compatible bolt hole diameters, as well as a compatible bolt circle (circumference). 

There are plenty of steering wheel upgrades that you can choose from. As you’ll most likely be racing on off-road terrain, it may be best to get one that is made out of high-quality PU Foam and that is ergonomically contoured for a much more comfortable steering experience.

8. Storage Rack

Many of the larger Yerf-Dog models such as the 32001, 30032, 3203, 3208, 3205 and several others feature a storage tray at the back of the go-kart. This allows you to carry extra fuel, a backpack or pretty much anything else that you plan to carry along. 

You can easily upgrade the storage space by increasing the side of the storage tray, creating a custom-sized rack, mounting a container unit to the tail, installing side netting to keep your items from falling out or even completely redesigning the entire storage unit. You’ll be able to take full advantage of your creativity here.

If you are deciding to modify your existing storage rack or redesign it, you may need an appropriate go-kart welder for frames. This will ensure that your new or upgraded storage unit is securely welded onto the Yerf-Dog frame and to minimize the risks that it falls off.

Where To Find Yerf-Dog Upgrade Parts?

The great thing about upgrading your Yerf-Dog go-kart is that you don’t really have to buy new or used parts. If you want to be really creative, you can modify or upgrade your go-kart by using spare parts that you already have or simply build them yourself.

However, if you prefer to buy parts, there are plenty of places to do so. You can take advantage of online marketplaces, garage sales, wholesalers, scrap yards, classified ads and many other places. Here’s a list of some of the best websites to buy parts for Yerf-Dog upgrades:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Go Kart Supply
  • BMI Karts
  • BDX Performance
  • Monster Scooter Parts

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