As with any type of sport there are tons of accessories in go karting. I will not go over all of them because many of them are for modifications to the kart itself. That being said there are some things that any serious, or want to be serious go karter would want in their hobby. I will talk about helmets, suits, gloves, trailers, and tanks. These are the first few things that people typically look at when they are looking at getting into the hobby. Even if you are experienced at karting you would probably appreciate this list of things.
Well it should be no surprise that this is one of the first things that most people get. Safety first is always important. A good helmet protects your noggin and everything inside of it. You can also get a neck guard to help prevent whiplash in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Just because you have a helmet on does not mean that you should not wear your seat belt, this is the basics. I know you might thing it looks cool and feels cool not to wear a helmet or a seat belt, but it is not cool if you die or end up eating through a straw for the rest of your life. So never, and I mean never, drive or ride in a go kart without them. Not to mention in many locations it is against the law to not wear your seat belt and helmet.
Okay now that I finished my rant let me go over some things to look for when buying a helmet. First thing you can look for is a DOT sticker. This is added to the helmet form the department of transportation. It helps you know that the helmet meets the street requirements for a motorcycle.
While it may seem cool to get one with spikes and all kinds of styling, you might want to stay away from them. Those spikes can just as easily go into the helmet causing some serious damage to you. Styling is okay but try to stick to decal or paint styling.
The thicker the foam inside the helmet the better off you are. So look for helmets with thicker foam. Remember though that just because a helmet is heavier does not mean it is a better helmet. You do want to make sure it also has a riveted chin strap in it as well. It should fit snugly on the head.
One final note on the helmets, try and stay away from used helmets. You never know how they were stored, if they were in an accident, or if they might be compromised in some way.
Let’s face it, if you are a kart driver suits look cool, but that is not really the reason to wear one. They are actually an important safety feature you shouldn’t neglect, especially if you are into competition racing. In fact, most competitions require you to wear a suit. But before you run out today and buy yourself a suit, make sure you check with your racing organization as to what standards the suits have to be at.
As I said racing suits are actually an important part of the safety system when you are into karting. They protect you from burns, insulate you from heat, and even protect you from the sun. I know you normally don thing about the sun, but trust me if you are out when it starts getting hot, and you lose track of time, you will be happy you had a suit on.
Back to the standards of suits. There are three main standards you see in racing; 1. SFI 3.2A/1, 2. SFI 3.2A/5, 3. FIA 8856-2000. The first suit is noted as having a single layer of protection and has fire resistance added to it. The second one is a multi-layer suit with fire resistant materials incorporated into it. The third and last standard are multi-layer suits that meet both of the other standards.
I could have another page just going over suites so I might do that at a later time. But for now I just wanted to brush the topic. So some other things you can look for are the fit, one or two piece, the weight if the suit, and one of my favorites ones with x-cool lining built into them! You guessed it that final feature helps keep you cooler.
One more solid piece of safety equipment are the gloves. Of course if you have an open visor helmet, you might also consider goggles, but we will save that for another time. Okay gloves are a great way to protect your hands. Not only do they protect your hands from blisters after long hours of running hard, but they also protect your hands from the sun and debris.
The sun can be brutal when you are out all day. Especially when it is hot and you are sweating. I don’t know about you but it doesn’t matter how much sunscreen I out on my hands if I am sweating a lot. IT just runs the sunscreen right off. It is always good to have a set of gloves on when driving long hours in your kart.
If you do a lot of dirt karting you should also invest in a nice pair of gloves to protect your hands from the debris that can fly up and hit them. I have caught a rock between the knuckles before, and I was glad I had gloves on to protect my hands.
Trailers and Tanks
While some areas and cities you can drive your go kart on the street. Others you are not allowed to do that. This is where you need to make sure you have a trailer so you can take your cart to your favorite recreation area or track. These trailers should be big enough to fit your go kart on it as well as tools, some extra parts and even gas tanks.
Nothing can end a day quicker than running out of fuel. So make sure you get a few gas tank. Of course make sure you fill them up before you go out and about. Top your on-board tank up at the same time you fill up the reserves. This will help ensure you have a great day of karting.
Okay in this short article I went over some of the most used accessories for go karts. You don’t need to get them all, but as you become more and more involved in the sport I believe you will find that you have each of them and more. The first accessory you should never be without is your helmet. So start there and build up as you go. You can then work on get a suit, gloves, trailers, tanks and everything else you could ever want to enjoy your go kart to the fullest.
If you have and questions, concerns, comments, or your own personal list of karting accessories; please leave them below.