Electric go-karts are fast becoming a popular choice both for their performance and eco-friendliness. And they owe these to a fundamental component inside their hull – the electric motor.
Unlike gas-powered engines, electric motors are affordable, low-maintenance, easy to install, and are quick to achieve higher acceleration. So, if you are building a go-kart yourself, you should definitely prefer getting an electrical motor over a traditional combustion engine.
To help you find the right option, we have put together this post. It contains a list of the 12 best electric motors for go-karts and a comprehensive buying guide to help shape your decision. Take a look!
Our Top Picks for the Best Electric Motors for Go-Karts
|Mophorn 1800W Electric Brushless DC Motor Kit|
|– Brushless motor kit |
– 1,800 watts power output
– 48 V rated voltage
– Up to 5,200 RPM speed
– 32 A rated current
– Includes a speed controller and throttle grip
– High-quality aluminum shell
– Comes with hardware and tools
|ZXTDR 36V 800W Brush Motor|
|– Brush motor|
– 800 watts power output
– 36 V rated voltage
– 29.2 A rated current
– Up to 3,045 RPM speed
– 11 tooth sprocket
– Can rotate in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions
– Delivers 76% efficiency at peak performance
The12 Best Electric Motors for Go-karts
Let us go through the list of the 12 best electric motors for go-karts in detail.
The brushless motor kit by Mophorn is a reliable electric motor with 1,800-watt power output. It offers a rated voltage of 48 volts and an amazing rated speed of 5,200 RPM. It offers a rated current of 32 Amperes.
The motor is manufactured with a top-quality aluminum shell and comes with a controller for easier function. The kit also includes a throttle grip. You can install the motor yourself with hardware tools or ask for professional help.
- Suitable for a range of different go-karts
- 5,200 RPM speed
- Aluminum shell
- 48 volt rated voltage
- Comes with hardware tools
- Hard to install
- Expensive as compared to others
The ZXTDR brush motor for go-kart is a cost-effective option. It has a power of 800-watts with an amazing top speed of 3,045 RPM. It requires 36 volts for direct current and provides high standard efficiency.
This motor is a reliable option for light karts. It weighs 9.9 pounds which makes it even better for lighter go-karts. You can install it on your electric go-kart employing a mounting bracket. It makes the process quite handy even if you’re working on the machine yourself.
The brush motor provides a torque level of up to 2.3-newton meters. Also, the current intake for the machine is approximately 30 amperes. These qualities make it an excellent choice for small and medium go-karts. Just make sure that your roller chain is #25 so that it can fit properly in the motor.
- 2.3Nm torque
- 800 watts of power
- Easy to install
- Good for small and mid sized karts
- Not suitable for heavy karts
- Requires heavy-duty battery for maximum efficiency
The Kunray brush motor is a 1,000-watt option. It is a high-speed motor suitable for small go-karts. It has a sprocket for an 8 mm T8F chain. It is manufactured with high-quality metal for durability and support. The dimensions of the motor are 12 x 11.5 x 8.3 inches. Along with that, it weighs approximately 14.5 pounds.
The rated speed of the motor is up to 3,000 RPM with a horsepower of 1.4 Hp. The rated torque on the motor is 2.8 Nm. Moreover, it comes with a controller as well to help you in function. It features a reverse option to make it compatible with various go-karts.
- Aluminum framework
- Comes with a controller and throttle
- 3,000 RPM rated speed
- 1.4 HP power output
- Comes with installing hardware
- Not suitable for adult karts
- A little heavier than the rest
The BestEquip brushless motor comes with a rated motor of 48 volts. It has dimensions of 9 x 8 x 7 inches. It provides a power of 200 watts and a rated speed of up to 4,300 RPM. It also comes with a controller that makes it easier for you to adjust the motor accordingly.
The motor is lightweight and is suitable for small to mid-sized go-karts. Its compact body is easy to install and fix. Also, it only weighs 10.7 pounds. Meaning, its weight makes it optimum for lightweight karts as it doesn’t put extra load on it.
- Comes with hardware
- Includes controller
- 48 volts rated voltage
- Lightweight option
- 4,300 RPM rated speed
- Hard to fix in place without professional help
- Not very aesthetic as compared to others
The brushless electric motor by VEVOR is yet another DC option on our list. It has a rated voltage of 48 volts and a power of 1,800 watts. On top of it, it provides a tremendous speed rate of 4,500 RPM.
The motor has 10 inches in length, 10 inches in width, and 8 inches in height. It has 11 tooth sprockets and horsepower of 2.71. The rated torque on the motor is a 4-newton meter. Efficiency-wise, it rates up to 85%.
It is a DC motor made with a pure copper core. It ensures that the motor won’t make much noise during function. It is also produced with a high-quality aluminum shell that gives it longevity. It is a suitable option for small to mid-sized go-karts, scooters, ATVs, and e-bikes.
- Aluminum frame
- 85% efficiency
- 1,800-watt power
- 4,500 RPM rated speed
- 48 volt rated voltage
- Not suitable for all go-karts
- Requires professional help for installation
The brushed motor by TDPRO is a universal option. It has a 36 volts DC voltage and comes with a controller. It features a rated speed of up to 2,750 RPM and a 1.1 horsepower output.
It is a good option for regular go-karts, dirt bikes, and e-bikes. It is fittable for the #25 chain drive. The output for the motor is up to 800 watts which is enough for mid to small-sized go-karts. Moreover, the efficiency for the motor goes up to 95%
The rated current for this one is 27 amperes, but if we talk about no-load current, it is as low as 2 amperes. The controller itself provides 8 connectors. You can easily set it up with some professional help and it will control the kart smoothly.
- Rated voltage of 36 volts
- 95% efficiency
- #25 chain drive
- Reverse option available
- Rated current 27 amperes
- Hard to install
With a whopping power of 3,000 watts, the BLDC motor is a premium option for any go-karting enthusiast. It is a brushless motor with a voltage of 72 volts. Not only that but it also has a rated current of 45 amperes which sets it apart from the market.
The motor offers a speed of almost 5,000 RPM. It is a heavy-duty machine specifically designed for heavy electric go-karts.
It has an 11 tooth sprocket and only weighs 14 pounds. This doesn’t put extra weight on the ride ensuring that it won’t slow it down. Furthermore, it also comes with additional tools like hardware and a speed controller. That saves you from the hunt for compatible parts.
Because of its high-intensity power, the motor is suitable for adult go-karts. It delivers well for competitive go-karting. It also has an aluminum framework that provides durability to the motor.
- High quality built and frame
- 72 volts voltage
- Comes with additional tools
- Fits different roller chains
- Only suitable for adult go-karts
- Expensive option as compared to others
With a power output of 2,000 watts, this one is a DC brushless motor by Kunray. It is made with aluminum and offers a rated voltage of 48 volts. The rated speed on the motor is 4,300 RPM and has a rated current of 42 amperes.
It has an 11 tooth sprocket chain wheel and comes with a controller. It is compatible with small to mid-sized go-karts and even adult ones. With a weight of 14 pounds, it can be used for lightweight and moderate weighing go-karts efficiently.
- Rated current of 42 amperes
- Comes with hardware
- Includes a throttle and controller
- Rated voltage of 48 volts
- Power output of 2,000 watts
- Not suitable for heavy-duty karts
- Expensive as compared to other models
The 9 sprocket tooth motor by BEMONOC is a good option for low-powered go-karts. It is a 350-watt machine that provides a speed of 3,000 RPM. It has two voltage options of 24 and 36 volts.
It is a DC motor with small but efficient output. It can provide amazing performance with small-sized go-karts. Mostly, it is used for kids’ go-karting. It has a current rating of 12.5 amperes and is compatible with #410 chain drives.
The motor needs to be installed with bolts using four-point attachments. If fixed properly, it won’t budge and will be held in place firmly and securely.
- Good for kids go-karts
- 3,000 RPM speed output
- Two voltage options
- 12.5 rated current
- 9 sprocket teeth
- Difficult to install
- Doesn’t come with required hardware
The 1,000-watt go-kart electric motor by Alfa Wheels is a mid-sized option. It comes with a 48-volt output and 11 tooth sprocket. Due to its construction, it is suitable for small and medium go-karts.
The electric motor provides an amazing speed of 3,000 RPM. Not only that but the current for the machine is nearly 20 amperes. Weight-wise, it weighs 11.5 pounds. Considerably, it is a lightweight option as compared to others in the market.
It is compatible with the #55 roller chain and provides smooth power throughout the rides. For maximum output, you can even use two electric motors to really amplify the outcome. It requires four-bolt attachments for installment. This is also an aesthetically pleasing machine featuring a pure black aluminum frame.
- Made with a high-quality frame
- 1,000 watt power
- 3,000 RPM speed
- 11 tooth sprocket
- Modern looking
- A little expensive
- Requires bolts for attachment
With a horsepower of 0.25 kilowatts, this one is an electric brush motor by YaeTek. It is made with welded mounting brackets that make it suitable for replacement and shifts. It is a good option for small go-karts and electric scooters.
It has a voltage of 24 volts and a speed rate of 2,700 RPM. The power on the motor is rated to be 0.25 kilowatts. It only weighs 4 pounds, making it efficient for lightweight karts. The shaft on the motor is 8 mm. And the dimensions of the motor are 6 x 5 x 4 inches.
- 0.25 kilowatt power output
- Welded mounting
- 24 volts voltage
- Easy to handle size
- Top speed of 2,700 RPM only
- Only suitable for small go-karts
The brushless motor from ZXTDR comes with a voltage of 48 volts. It has an output of 800 watts and a rated speed of up to 4,500 RPM. This motor is a high-efficiency option with a long lifespan and a low noise level. The kit also includes the controller for the motor, wire loom, and a throttle pedal.
It is a suitable option for electric go-karts, bikes, and dirt bikes. It also offers a power of 1.6 horsepower. Efficiency-wise, it comes at 80%. Because it is a power frugal motor, it consumes only one-third of power as compared to traditional motors.
- Made with high quality frame
- 48 volts
- Power Frugal motor
- Speeds up to 4,500 RPM
- Low noise level
- Difficult to install
- A little expensive
Buying Guide: Electric Motor for Go-kart
After looking at the variety above, you may have already interpreted that there is an extensive range of electric motors available on the market. To make sure you do not end up with the wrong product, we have compiled a comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the right one.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Motor for Go-Kart
When it comes to purchasing a good electric motor for your go-kart, there are a few parameters that you should weigh different models against. Doing so will help you identify the right motor for your needs. We have listed some of these aspects below:
The first and foremost thing that you should consider in any potential model is its performance. You should evaluate its ability to power your go-kart by checking the various values like torque and speed. In fact, simple multiplication of torque and speed values will give you the exact power the motor can output.
A motor with higher power output will propel your go-kart faster. Power rating between 2,000 and 3,000 watts is highly desirable for adult go-kart motors. Since they are heavier and have to pull more weight hence higher power. If you are building an electric go-kart for juniors, a motor with 1,000 watts or above is perfect.
The voltage of an electric motor signifies its electrical pressure. It is important because other aspects of electrical operation like current and speed depend on it. Most electric motors for go-karts operate between 24 to 72 volts of rated voltage. The word rated implies the motor can operate reliably at this range.
It is also important to match the voltage of your motor with the voltage of your battery. Using a high voltage motor with low voltage batteries will lower its performance. And a battery with a higher voltage than the motor will reduce its lifespan causing it to eventually fail.
Current denotes the flow of electrons in a circuit. It is measured in Ampere or amps. The higher the rated current of a motor, the more electricity it will draw, meaning a more powerful battery will be required.
For example, a battery with a 100 Ah rating can power a 20-ampere battery for 5 hours. So you should carefully check the rated current of an electric motor to pair it with a compatible battery.
As you may have already noticed, some of the models on our list are standalone motors, while others come with a few accessories, Iike hardware, tools, and speed controller. If you choose to purchase a complete kit, you won’t have to bother with separately purchasing the compatible parts with the motor. But if you like choosing parts yourself, a stand-alone electric motor would be a better choice.
Electric Motors vs Internal Combustion Engines
The biggest choice any DIY go-kart builder has to make is choosing between an electric motor and a gas-powered engine. In this section, we will tell you why the former is a better choice for your go-kart. Take a look!
They Are Clean for the Atmosphere
The biggest benefit of electrical engines is that they don’t release any unpleasant fumes, odors, small toxic particles, or harmful gases into the atmosphere. Plus, they do not consume huge amounts of oil like internal combustion engines, which helps preserve resources. Plus, it saves you from the pollution that happens because of oil disposal.
They Generate Low Noise and Vibration
This is the exact reason why Tesla became a favorite amongst car buyers. Electric motors generate significantly lower noise and vibration than internal combustion engines. They operate by creating a magnetic field that allows smooth and frictionless rotation of their components, emitting little to no vibration in the process.
They Generate More Motion Than Heat
As their name suggests, internal combustion engines use heat to generate motion. The entire process involves pressurized fuel, micro-explosion, and friction between different components. However, despite the complex process, these engines only manage to partially convert energy into motion.
Electric motors, on the other hand, generate very little heat during their operation. Plus, they efficiently convert almost all the electrical energy into motion.
Their Maximum Torque Is Constant
Torque is the rotational force of an engine. Where combustion engines see a steady increase in torque as the RPM increases, electric motors boast maximum torque even at minimal RPM. Thus electric go-karts not only have the highest traction at the start but also deliver higher acceleration.
Tips for Maintaining an Electric Motor for Go-Kart
The motor is the fundamental component of any electric go-kart. Unlike their initial bulky and energy-consuming versions, the electric motors manufactured these days are extremely compact and energy-efficient. However, that does not mean that they don’t require any maintenance. Here are some tips to help you maintain your go-kart motor in its optimum condition:
Practice a General Cleaning Routine
You should develop a regular cleaning routine for your go-kart motor. You’ll be surprised at how something as simple as cleaning impacts the performance and lifespan of your electric motor. Removing dust, excessive grease, and other debris improves airflow to the motor, which helps keep it cool.
Plus, it also presents you with an opportunity to inspect the other parts of the motor, like couplings and belts, if they are working fine.
Check the Lubrication
Keeping your electric motor well-lubricated is a good practice. However, if you end up overlubricating the motor, it will cause internal problems. Each electric motor requires different amounts of lubricant. You should carefully check the instruction manual to learn about its requirements, as premature and late lubrication can both lead to excessive wear and tear.
Inspect the Bearings
A motor’s bearings are subjected to the most wear and tear. Hence you should check them regularly. Worn-out bearings can quickly dampen your go-kart’s performance. Regular cleaning and maintenance, proper lubrication, and correct alignment can help keep your bearings in good condition.
FAQs: Electric Motor for Go-kart
Although we have explained everything about go-kart motors in great detail if you still have any concerns, here are some FAQs to answer your queries:
Will a starter motor work for my electric go-kart?
Yes, you can use a starter motor for your go-kart, but there are some limitations to its usage. For example, assuming you’ll use a starter solenoid to run that starter motor, it won’t give you much speed control. You’ll just be able to turn it on and off.
Can I use an AC motor for my DIY go-kart?
Yes, you can use an AC motor for your DIY go-kart, but it is not a good idea because you’ll need a compatible inverter for it. Go-karts need lots of power to start under load. So even if your kart needs about 1,000 watts when it is running, it’ll need about 5,000 watts of power to start under load and, a 5,000-watt inverter is an expensive piece of equipment.
Can a starter motor run continuously for long?
No, a starter motor cannot run continuously for long. They are designed to run continuously for up to 30 seconds requiring a 1 or 2-minute cool-down time between operation cycles. If you try to run one continuously under load, its rotor and stator windings will melt.
What type of motors works with go-karts?
Go-kart motors run on direct current (DC) that is supplied to them via rechargeable batteries. The best go-kart motors are specifically designed and shaped for recreational vehicles. Any motor that works with ATVs, scooters, and bicycles will also work with a go-kart. They feature a compact design and come with mounting brackets for easy installation.
What’s better – a complete go-kart motor kit or just the motor alone?
It really depends upon your personal preference. If you like to source compatible parts yourself, the motor alone is a better choice. It will give you the freedom to choose the components like battery and speed controller according to your requirement and personal preferences.
But, if you don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of buying parts separately, a complete motor kit will be a more suitable choice.
Go-karts that operate on electric motors are both more convenient and eco-friendly than their gas-powered counterparts. Whether you are building a go-kart yourself or are looking to replace the old one on your go-kart with a more powerful option, we have listed the 12 best electric motors for go-karts that you can check out.
Out of all of these, we believe the Mophorn 1800W Brushless DC Electric Motor Kit to be the best option for most usages. The 1,800 watts motor has 48 volts and delivers up to 5,200 rotations per minute. Plus, it comes as a complete kit containing a throttle grip and a 32 A speed controller kit for better operation.
But if you are on a budget and are looking for something more affordable, ZXTDR 36V 800W Brush Motor will serve your purposes appropriately. It is an 800 watts motor that operates on 36 volts and delivers up to 3045 rotations per minute.