How To Drift In A Go-Kart – The Ultimate Guide

Drifting is one of the most spectacular scenes in many street racing movies or arcade racing games. The drivers navigating the go-karts around the tricky corners are extremely exciting and thrilling to watch. Thus, this technique has captured many people’s attention.

However, it is not as easy as it looks. Don’t let complicated theories prevent you from having fun. Our article will fill you with how to drift in a go-kart!

How To Drift In A Go-Kart? Detailed Instructions

First, let’s get one important thing clear: drifting is mainly for fun and not recommended in an actual race since it slows the drivers down. With that being said, always remember to carry out this technique under suitable circumstances. It’ll be safer both for yourself and the people around you.

Without further ado, here are the steps on how to drift in a go-kart.

Step 1: Choose The Right Circumstances

As mentioned above, this is inevitable to ensure your and others’ safety. A safe place to drift needs to have no karts surrounding you. Plus, the space in front of you also has to be clear of obstacles.

Are you wondering why drifting is not advisable in races? Well, here’s the answer.

The technique means you need to oversteer before turning a corner. This will make the machine move sideways, which means the wheels won’t roll. However, the kart can only speed up when the wheels are rolling. Thus, this technique can take the drivers more time to see the checkered flag.

Another major factor to drift go-karts is getting a corner. If you’re a newbie to this sport, a 90-degree corner is a good place to start with. With this angle, you’ll get the basic skills right more easily, which will provide a foundation for you to drift around trickier and sharper corners. The sections where you enter and exit the corner should also be straight and flat.

Step 2: Approach The Corner From The Outside Lanes

Once you’ve got an ideal corner to perfect your drifting, remember to always practice at that corner only. That way, you will save yourself from the confusion of the ever-changing scenarios and be able to focus on honing your skill.

After each time you drive around the corner, don’t drive back in the wrong direction and keep driving to finish the round instead.

The starting position of the kart should be within the racing line. In other words, your machine and the outside of the corner will form a straight line. Also, don’t place it too close to the track barrier. A gap of a few inches will allow it to slide around the corner.

Pay attention to your speed before turning. If you slow down too soon and abruptly, your drifting will go wrong. Drifting needs a certain speed to be completed, which is over 40 miles per hour (64km/h).

Reducing too much speed before turning might make you take the turn normally. The correct approach is to gradually go slower, driving past the line and getting the exact turning point.

Step 3: Turning The Wheels And Leaning Outwards

The perfect moment to turn the steering wheels is when your kart is a few feet behind the racing line. If you do it too late or too soon, your go-kart won’t be able to round the corner.

The difficult part of this step lies in turning the wheel properly. Understeer, which is caused by turning the wheels too slowly, is a big no in this case. It’ll make you hit the barrier and be unable to round the corner.

In fact, what you need to do here is to oversteer. When you perform this correctly, the back of your machine will swing outwards and go sideways.

On the other hand, if you oversteer too much, your kart will be swung out too far and spin out of the track. This may sound too hard for you, but here’s a small tip. Active countersteering right after turning in will do a good job of avoiding spinning.

While drifting, the driver needs to lean away from the turn. This will place the driver’s center of gravity on the outside tires and press them to the ground. This pressure will give the outside tire a better grip on the ground, keeping the kart moving while the other tires are sliding on the track.

While leaning outward, you’re also creating enough space to turn the wheel and gain traction slippage, allowing the go-kart to glide smoothly over the track.

Step 4: Use The Brakes

Slamming the brakes is a part of drifting; however, doing it at the wrong time can do you no good. When you’re approaching the corner and when the steering wheel is straight are typical “wrong times” here. If you brake at these moments, you’ll understeer and be too slow to drift.

Don’t hit the brake while turning the wheel; it’ll spin the kart out of the track. In this case, the brake pad is of great use. If you press it with the right force, the kart will clear the corner with the optimal speed.

Thus, always spend time to know your kart well, especially the brake pad in this case. Depending on how sensitive the pad is, you’ll need to adjust the force of your feet accordingly.

If your kart moves too fast during a drift, you can feature the brakes. But again, pressing them too hard and suddenly is not advisable. Instead, you should press the brakes slightly to slow down.

Step 5: Countersteer To Avoid A Spin-Out

How To Drift In A Go-Kart

Countersteering helps direct the front of the go-kart in the ideal direction. It is considered to be a challenging skill when learning how to drift.

The difficult part about doing it is that you don’t know how much to countersteer. Doing it too little will just throw you out of the track since it causes the back of your kart to swing out even more. Otherwise, countersteering too much will interrupt your drift and point your vehicle towards the barriers.

Mastering this technique will come with time and practice. The more you do it, the easier it is to keep the kart at an accurate position while drifting. You’ll also be able to sense when and how much to steer after practicing and learning from mistakes.

Don’t countersteer viciously, as you can’t control how your car will swing out that way. Just carefully turn the steering wheel, and soon you’ll wrap your head around this part of drifting.

One more trick to countersteer easier is doing it based on the position of the back of the kart. Also, don’t slide your hands on the steering wheels; grip it firmly at one position only.

Step 6: Feather The Gas Pedal

While drifting around the corner, pay attention to your speed. Lose speed, and your kart won’t make it out to the straight section. Driving too fast will cause you to drift out of the corner.

Thus, the best thing to do throughout the drift is to maintain the same speed. However, the go-kart’s speed constantly decreases as the tire causes friction with the track surface. So, you’ll have to adjust how fast the kart goes manually, which is not easy at all.

But don’t worry; pulsing the gas pedal will help. Whenever you feel the beast is slowing down, press your foot on the pedal and release it shortly after. You should slam on the pedal at no time since abruptly speeding up will break the speed stability you’re trying to keep.

Step 7: Adjust The Kart To Head For The Straight Section

The last part of drifting is to redirect the kart to the straight section to continue racing after getting out of the corner. At this stage, your car forms a 45-degree angle to the straight, so you should oversteer to adjust it.

The nearer you are to the straight section, the faster your go-kart should run. Thus, remember to step on the gas pedal harder to accelerate the equipment.

Another technique you have to learn at this stage is how to drive out of the fishtail. This skill plays an important role in driving, regardless of what your vehicle is. Performing it requires you to be careful and patient. Avoid viciously turning the wheel because the go-kart will easily miss the intended direction that way.


Do You Need Insurance For A Go-Kart?

If you can afford insurance for your go-karts, go ahead. After races, damages to your machine are inevitable. However, it can be difficult to insure motorsport like go-karting since it entails high risks and dangers.

Is Drifting Faster In Go-Karts?

The answer is no. Drifting slows your beast down because you deliberately oversteer your kart and try to prolong the drift as possible.

However, there are some bends or surfaces that facilitate this technique. Your buddy will not slow down that much or even go faster than normal.

Still, drifting is not recommended during races, as it’ll take more time and make you fall behind. Plus, performing it too much can damage your tires, as they wear out very fast under the friction with the asphalt.

If you want to drift, consider the frequency and situation beforehand. Drifting once in a while to enjoy the coolness of this technique for fun wouldn’t hurt, though.

How Do I Make My Go-Karts Better?

Upgrade The Engine Of Your Kart

The engine provides power for the driveshaft to spin your kart’s wheels. If you want your buddy to run faster, simply give him a better engine.

The more powerful the engine is, the more force the driveshaft receives. As a result, your go-kart will accelerate in a heartbeat. Also, keep in mind to check if your kart is able to handle that added amount of power or not.

Purchase A Supercharger

You can install a turbocharger for extra power if you build the kart yourself. This component will be put in the induced system to compress the air into the engine. More air will flow into the engine to burn fuel thanks to this component.

There is a wide range of turbochargers in the market for you to choose from. Plus, installing them doesn’t take much of a hassle. This option is so popular among kart lovers that there are even guides to do it on go-karts.

Opt For Larger Tires

This may sound very ineffective to you since a larger size comes with more weight and can hinder your race. However, things are not like that with these parts.

The large surface of the tires can transfer more force to the track. At the same time, the engine produces power for the driveshaft to spin the wheels. Therefore, these tires consume less energy than the smaller ones to make your vehicle travel.

Take The Unnecessary Weight Off Your Go-Karts

How fast a go-kart runs is proportional to its power to weight ratio. If you have a lightweight machine with a powerful engine, that would make a wonderful combination.

Normally, a homemade kart measures 150lbs. That weight includes all the essential parts like the engine, fuel tank, wheels, and seat. Of course, you can’t remove these parts from the machine, but you can change the material. There are lighter ones available but at a higher cost.

Before letting this option put you off, remember that you can reduce 0.3s of lap time if the kart is 20lbs lighter. Consider your budget and desire for this sport and choose a sensible solution.

How Fast Do Crazy Karts Go?

Crazy Cart is a product from Razor, a famous brand in America and Canada for the amazing experience and cutting-edge technology in their products.

The Crazy Cart has different levels to speed up the machine with the foot pedal. The fastest you can cruise in this product is 14 miles per hour. Additionally, these Crazy karts feature high-quality batteries that can provide you with 40 minutes of uninterrupted awesomeness and adrenaline.


The swift turn and skillful slide of go-karts while drifting always drip with coolness and wonder. That’s why many people are mesmerized by this technique and motivated to learn how to drift in a go-kart.

We hope that our article can accompany you throughout this learning curve. Apply all the tips we have offered here and enjoy the fun with your racing!

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