Top 9 Best Go-Kart Engine That You Shouldn’t Miss

The engine is the heart of your go-kart. Still, how can you choose the best go-kart engine among thousands of products on the market? Don’t worry; we got you covered! This post contains the list of 8 products we consider the best on the market.

We also offer you a thorough shopping guide so you know what to look for when selecting a kart engine. After reading this post, you will be able to choose a product that is the most appropriate for you in no time. Let’s dive right into it!

Top 9 Best go-kart Engines for Beginners

#1 – DuroMax XP652WP 208cc Gasoline Engine – Best Overall

DuroMax XP652WP 208cc Gasoline Engine – Best Overall


  • Automatic oil shutoff
  • Reverse flow check valve
  • Suitable for adult drivers of all levels
  • EZ-Pull recoil start system for simple startup
  • Include many additional features


  • Not include self-priming pump


  • Brand: DuroMax
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Engine displacement: 208cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 22 x 20 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 52 pounds

On top of the list, we have the DuroMax XP652WP. This product is suitable for adult drivers of all levels due to its engine displacement of 208cc (cubic capacity). This rate results in a maximum speed of 75mph (mile per hour), allowing you more control over your speed.

Another plus of this motor is that it is extremely simple to operate thanks to the EZ-Pull recoil start system. This system has a pull rope looped around a pulley, which is turned by pulling on the cord. The engine’s compression is overcome by the starter rope’s even pull, requiring less force and work to start.

In addition, this engine comes with many additional features, such as threaded hose end connectors, intake hose end filter, hose clamps, etc., providing you with the optimal user experience.

The only drawback is that DuroMax XP652WP doesn’t include the self-priming pump, which can be a turn-off to some drivers. Still, the pump housing has an access hole at the top for pre-loading liquid into the hose and pump.

#2 – XtremepowerUS 7HP 4-Stroke Industrial Gas Engine – Best Weatherproof

XtremepowerUS 7HP 4-Stroke Industrial Gas Engine – Best Weatherproof


  • Suitable to drive under all types of weather conditions
  • Large capacity fuel tank
  • Durable cast iron frame
  • Horizontal keyway shaft
  • Low-upkeep design
  • Reasonable price


  • Require particular types of fuel


  • Brand: XtremepowerUS
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Alloy steel, metal, cast iron
  • Engine displacement: 212cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 18 x 18 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 38 pounds

The XtremepowerUS 7HP engine comes with a tapered output shaft and horizontal keyway shaft, providing a smooth operating environment and allowing it to function in all kinds of weather conditions. So if you want an engine that can withstand harsh weather, XtremepowerUS 7HP is the one.

It can operate effectively for longer periods since it was built of cast iron, a material suitable for industrial use. Moreover, the product has a low-oil shutdown system that immediately shuts down to protect its structural integrity. This feature is extremely useful if your go-kart doesn’t have an integrated oil level gauge.

This motor is made with exceptional fuel efficiency and minimum maintenance in mind. You can travel a long way on the track thanks to its 7-horsepower output and huge 1-gallon fuel tank.

Keep in mind that you can only use the standard gasoline with an octane value of 87 or above as the operating fuel in this kart engine. This can be a bit bothersome to some, but it is still an excellent engine considering its performance and reasonable price range.

#3 – BILT HARD 7HP Go-kart Gas Engine – Best Budget

BILT HARD 7HP Go-kart Gas Engine – Best Budget


  • Affordable price point
  • Reliable air cleansing system
  • Suitable for entry-level kart
  • Compact horizontal design
  • Compatible with several machines, such as go-karts, chipper shredders, water pumps, etc.


  • Require a stronger string


  • Brand: BILT HARD
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Engine displacement: 212cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 15 x 13 x 13.4 inches
  • Weight: 34 pounds

In case you are on a budget, don’t worry; we still have a recommendation for you. It is the BILT HARD 7HP Gas Engine, the perfect balance between cost and quality. Don’t let the price trick you; its EPA certification ensures that the engine operates effectively and is constructed of high-quality components.

The motor has a dependable air cleansing system that keeps dirt, dust, and other foreign substances from interfering with its efficient operation. Additionally, it comes with built-in splash lubrication and an integrated air-cooling system to maintain the engine’s operating temperature.

The 4-stroke system and 212cc engine displacement make it a decent-performance and easy-to-handle engine. Thus, this item is the go-to choice for those looking to create an entry-level kart or are replacing their current engine with a small to mid-range karting engine.

The only drawback is that a stronger idle-down spring is required when used as a kart motor; otherwise, the throttle sticks. Put it aside, the BILT HARD 7HP is still a great engine to try for its quality and price range.

#4 – AlphaWorks 7HP Horizontal 4-Stroke Engine – Best Lightweight

AlphaWorks 7HP Horizontal 4-Stroke Engine – Best Lightweight


  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Durable material
  • Compatible with other vehicles and devices
  • Powerful torque
  • Conveniently located drain plugs for quick servicing


  • Cheap gas line



  • Brand: AlphaWorks
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Aluminum, cast iron
  • Engine displacement: 209cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.5 x 15.8 x 14.4 inches
  • Weight: 26 pounds

The lightweight design is what makes AlphaWorks 7HP stand out from other products. With only 26 pounds, it can function very quietly, making it a fantastic choice for lightweight karts. Still, this compact design will surprise you with its abilities.

Made of aluminum and cast iron, the product can deliver consistent performance and industry-grade quality standards. Plus, your internals will always be properly greased thanks to the dippers of the connecting rod bearings.

You can also count on its durability due to the industrial-grade polypropylene plastic with a reliable snap-locking function that protects the air filter box. This engine can also be recommended for other devices and vehicles, such as go-karts, pressure washers, minibikes, recreational vehicles, etc. 

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the gas line of this product is not the best. It resembled windshield wiper fluid almost exactly. The good news is that you can easily fix this problem by replacing it with a clear gas line.

#5 – XtremepowerUS 7HP OHV Industrial Grade 4-Stroke Engine – Best For Smooth Function

XtremepowerUS 7HP OHV Industrial Grade 4-Stroke Engine – Best For Smooth Function


  • Strong and fluid performance
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Industrial-grade materials for extended lifespan
  • Tapered output shaft and horizontal keyway shaft
  • Reasonable price


  • Unauthorized use in California


  • Brand: XtremepowerUS
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Steel, metal, aluminum, plastic
  • Engine displacement: 212cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 17.25 x 17.2 x 17.2 inches
  • Weight: 35.3 pounds

Suppose you are searching for an engine with smooth function; you can’t go wrong with this XtremepowerUS 7HP OHV Industrial Grade 4-Stroke Engine. Thanks to its durable design and the splash lubrication system, the engine provides a quiet and smooth operation.

Similar to the other XtremepowerUS 7HP on this list, this product also has the tapered output shaft and horizontal keyway shaft, offering an extra smooth operating environment. This trait boosts its strength, enabling it to function successfully even under challenging circumstances.

Industrial-grade materials were used to construct this engine to avoid deterioration and prolong its useful life. If your go-kart doesn’t have an oil gauge, the low oil shutoff will come in handy, while the cast-iron cylinder boosts its durability.

However, we have bad news. This product is not unauthorized for usage in California. So if you live in this state, you will have to look for other options. 

#6 – Briggs & Stratton 31R907-0007-G1 500cc Go-kart Engine – Best For Sturdiness

Briggs & Stratton 31R907-0007-G1 500cc Go-kart Engine – Best For Sturdiness


  • High performance
  • Powerful and sturdy engine
  • CARB compliance
  • Dual-element air filter
  • Long-lasting


  • A little pricey


  • Brand: Briggs & Stratton
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Engine displacement: 500cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 18.5 x 16 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 75.15 pounds

Looking for a durable and sturdy engine? This Briggs & Stratton 31R907-0007-G1 is the candidate we highly recommend. It is among the most powerful and sturdy engines available on the current market.

Cast iron sleeve, electric start, innovative linear balance system, and float carburetor are all included for a remarkable performance. Thanks to the CARB compliance and the dual-element air filter, this motor has a longer lifespan and is used in most states.

It is the ideal option for demanding go-karting applications. With a 500 cc engine producing up to 17.5 HP, racing at high speeds is simple. Plus, it has a 2-year limited guarantee for personal usage and a 1-year warranty for business use.

As you can see, there is nothing much to complain about this product but its price. Although it is understandable considering its quality, the price point is not for everyone. Thus, if you are looking for an affordable option, this item might turn you off.

#7 – Briggs & Stratton 33S877-0019-G1 540cc Engine – Best High Performance

Briggs & Stratton 33S877-0019-G1 540cc Engine – Best High Performance


  • 540cc engine displacement
  • Maximum revolutions per minute (RPM) of 3300
  • Overhead valve design for prolonged valve life
  • Simple to set up
  • Built-in fuel pump
  • Suitable for advanced and professional drivers


  • Not for kid’s karts
  • A bit costly


  • Brand: Briggs & Stratton
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Engine displacement: 540cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 23.75 x 23.5 x 20.5 inches
  • Weight: 77 pounds

If you are looking for a high-performance kart engine, Briggs & Stratton 33S877-0019-G1 is the name to keep in mind. With the engine displacement of 540cc, it is the engine with the highest performance on this list, giving it the best option for seasoned and professional drivers.

The cylinder sleeve is made of Dura-Bore cast iron, a hard, brittle, moldable iron and carbon alloy with a greater carbon content than steel (around 2.0–4.3%). This material enhances the withstand ability of the product, making it more durable and extending its lifespan.

Plus, the engine comes with an OHV (overhead valve design), which helps increase the valve train’s natural frequency. As a result, the valve-actuating mechanism’s dynamic properties have been improved, enabling the development of camshaft profiles that boost the useful working range of high-speed kart engines.

There’s nothing much to complain about this product, except for the price range. Still, with its high performance and durability, Briggs & Stratton 33S877-0019-G1 is certainly worth the investment. Also, it is not the engine for kids’ karts due to the engine displacement rate of 540cc.

#8 – DuroMax XP16HPE 420cc Engine – Best Waterproof

DuroMax XP16HPE 420cc Engine – Best Waterproof


  • Waterproof ability
  • Durable and reliable material
  • Large fuel tank
  • Suitable for long rides
  • High performance


  • Fragile linkage


  • Brand: DuroMax
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Engine displacement: 420cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 20.47 x 18.5 x 22 inches
  • Weight: 83 pounds

Although we do not recommend you to drive in wet conditions, sometimes this is not avoidable. Thus, to prepare for this situation, you need an engine with waterproof ability. In this case, DuroMax XP16HPE is our suggestion for you.

The aluminum alloy material allows the product to resist rust, bringing you a high performance even in humid and wet conditions. Plus, aluminum is famous for its ability to withstand high heat temperatures, which enables the engine to operate normally on long rides.

It comes with a 1.75-gallon gasoline tank that can run for more than 3 hours at half load, making it a decent choice for long racing sessions. Notice that it runs on the standard 87 octane gasoline, so ensure you get the right type for optimal performance.

However, the linkage is quite fragile. After the first hour of operation, it might start to break from just above idle to full power.


Predator 212cc OHV Horizontal Shaft Gas Engine - Most popular


  • Reliable and powerful performance
  • Gas-saving overhead valves
  • Larger Fuel Tank
  • Multiple places to insert a throttle cable


  • The installation process can be challenging


  • Brand: Predator
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Engine displacement: 212cc
  • Engine type: 4-stroke
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 16 x 16 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 37.8 pounds

The Predator 212cc Engine is popular for go-kart enthusiasts due to its reliable performance and fuel efficiency. With upgraded engineering and construction, this 6.5 HP engine offers improved service life and a displacement of 212cc. The gas-saving overhead valves ensure a cooler.

The mounting base aligned perfectly with the old motor mount holes, although they mentioned that the exhaust extends out from the shaft side, which could create installation challenges in specific setups. However, the engine started on the first pull and exhibited reliable cold-start capability. The multiple throttle cable insertion points were appreciated, as they allow for generic cables, making them suitable for go-kart applications.

While the installation required significant frame modifications and machined spacers, the outcome was impressive. The engine delivered enhanced performance, allowing the go-kart to climb hills at 35 mph and even pop wheelies. It should be noted that additional modifications were made, such as installing a cold air intake kit, a straight pipe header, a performance centrifugal clutch, and swapping the rear sprocket.

While the engine’s installation was not easy, that was not the machine’s fault but rather due to its application in their specific setup.

The Predator 212cc Engine receives positive feedback for its reliable performance, easy starting, and fuel efficiency. It has proven to be a popular choice for go-kart enthusiasts seeking a robust and durable engine.

Buying Guide


One of the most crucial factors to consider is the engine’s performance. A more potent engine (above 7 horsepower) should be taken into consideration when developing or replacing one for a go-kart intended for off-road or racing use.

That is because racing karts call for a higher power to reach higher top speeds and accelerate more quickly. Off-road karts also need extra power, as they generally race on rocky terrain and uneven surfaces.

You might think about purchasing a lower-powered engine, such as the 5 or 7 horsepower, if you plan to build your own kart or seek an engine for teenagers or kids. It would be safer and easier to handle, keeping you and your youngsters secured and avoiding potential accidents.

Shaft Orientation

Another factor to consider while choosing a go-kart engine is the shaft orientation. The orientation of the shaft of a go-kart engine can be either horizontal or vertical, which also will affect the engine’s design.

Matching the engine’s shaft orientation when replacing an existing engine is absolutely necessary. Still, you are free to choose the one you like if you are creating a kart from scratch. Due to frame size restrictions, horizontal shaft engines are used in the majority of go-karts.


Go-kart engines come in various sizes. Some are smaller, while others are larger, but you should consider other specifications, particularly if you are replacing your old go-kart engine. Although it is uncommon, an engine sometimes will not fit in the go-kart frame if you choose the one with the wrong measurements, which revolve around the shaft and engine.

Thus, pay attention to the size so you can pick an engine that complies with the size. Below is the measurements list for you to check before making the decision.

  • Dimensions of the engine
  • Shaft end
  • Shaft size
  • Shaft’s center to base

Additional Features

Each engine has the basic parts, which include a shaft, housing, cylinder, oil tank, and fuel tank. Although these are already enough to make a decent engine, we still recommend you choose the one with additional features to get the optimal user experience. Here are some that you might want to look for:

  • Auto-shutdown sensor
  • Electric starter
  • Splash lubrication system
  • Overhead valve design (OVD)
  • CARB & EPA certification
  • Dual-element air purifier


The cost of go-kart engines can vary greatly, depending on their performance and included features. It is true that the price of an engine increases with its power. Still, this does not mean you have to choose the most expensive option. There are some reliable yet affordable options out there; you just need to take some time to do the research.

The starting price point for a decent kart engine is about $140, which is quite affordable. Still, you should determine your budget before starting looking for an engine. This way may ensure you won’t go overboard with the expense.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Motor Is Good For A Go-Kart?

Small block engines with 5-7 horsepower are sufficient for practically every go-kart, especially if you’re constructing a kid-friendly go-kart. Some may use engines that have an output of more than 20 horsepower.

Yet, even a seasoned go-kart driver may find it difficult to control go-karts with 20 horsepower, which is an unusually high power output. As a result, engines with 13–16 horsepower are more favored by those looking for greater power.

Which Is Best: 2-Stroke Or 4-Stroke Go-Kart?

It is hard to say since both engines have their own advantages and disadvantages, so our answer is that it depends on your preference and kart type. For example, the 2-stroke is more frequently utilized for kids’ karts, while the 4-stroke is for more mature and advanced drivers.

The performance of these two also differs. Due to the low weight and quick acceleration, 2-stroke engines are more common in sprint karting, while 4-stroke engines are dominant in endurance karting thanks to their fuel efficiency.

Plus, 2-stroke kart engines are more susceptible to wear and breakages than 4-stroke ones, as is the case with anything that experiences a lot of pressure on its parts.

How Do I Choose A Go-Kart Motor?

You must take numerous factors into account while choosing a motor for your go-kart, such as performance, size, additional features, etc. Regardless of which option you choose, performance is always the most crucial factor to put into consideration.

Additionally, even when you are on a budget, don’t restrict yourself to the cheapest product on the market. The lifespan of these goods is typically short, and the quality is not worth it.

If you take the time to do the research, you might still discover a reasonable choice with respectable quality. Setting a limit on your spending is a good idea that can help you define the sweet spot between price and quality.

For more specific information, you can check out our detailed buying guide above. It will assist you in selecting the best product for your needs and preferences.

How Much Torque Does A Go-Kart Need?

Torque is the force rotational of the engine. It is different from horsepower in that it describes how much work the engine can produce, whereas horsepower describes how rapidly that work can be accomplished.

Typically, the needed torque should be roughly 3 Nm (Newton meter) for 1000 W (Watt) output at 3200 RPM. Notice that higher torque equates to greater output power, increasing top vehicle speed and improving high-speed acceleration.

The Bottom Line

So there you have our list of the best go kart engine recommendations currently available on the market. This post also gives you a thorough buying guide that can make the picking process easier for you.

Suppose you are still unclear about what product to purchase; we highly recommend the DuroMax XP652WP 208cc Gasoline Engine. This motor is our first pick due to the quality, affordability, and suitability for drivers of all levels. It is hard to find other products that can beat DuroMax XP652WP due to what it can offer.

Now you possess all the knowledge necessary to find the best go-kart engine after reading this post. Hopefully, you will soon find the most suitable choice that meets all of your needs.

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