5 Insane, Street-Legal Go-Karts for Grown-Ass Men

Treehouses, slingshots, old-school Nintendo, Hot Wheels — all the trappings of a picture-perfect childhood. But the epitome of boyhood rad-ness? Go-karts. They were fast, loud, and undeniably dangerous which, of course, made them irresistible to most of us. You may be grown up now (mostly), but you can still relive your street-racing glory days with these five street-legal go-karts.

Wimmer-RST KTM X-Bow R Limited Edition

best street legal go karts ktm x bow r limited edition by wimmer rst

For 20 years, the good folks at Germany’s Wimmer-RST have been chip-tuning anything with an engine to within an inch of its life. They focus on bringing race-track-worthy performance to street-legal rides. So, their Limited Edition transformation of the stock, but already stunning KTM X-Bow (pronounced “crossbow”) to an absurd, open-cockpit rocket made perfect sense. The project car was tuned to 478 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are good enough to propel it to 62 miles per hour in just under three seconds, and to 124 mph in less than 10.

Polaris Slingshot Grand Touring Autocycle

best street legal go karts polaris slingshot grand touring autocycle 6v2

If Batman had a daily driver, it might be Polaris’ newest Slingshot Grand Touring autocycle. It’s the tamest, most “livable” go-kart on this list with car-like creature comforts including touchscreen navigation, quilted touring seats, and a solid 100-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. However, the door-free design, removable hardtop, and GM 2.4-liter four-banger pushing a respectable 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque make this more of an adult go-kart than a traditional sports car.

Vanderhall Carmel Roadster

best street legal go karts vanderhall carmel roadster
Vander Hall Usa

Like Britain’s legendary Morgan Motor Company, Vanderhall builds street-legal go-karts (though they both prefer the term “roadsters”) for the discerning gentleman. While their competitors tout outrageous, over-the-top designs, Vanderhall deftly blends marine-inspired sleekness with the looks of vintage, early 20th-century racecars. Make no mistake, though: under the hood, their offerings boast plenty of power. The flagship Carmel Roadster pushes 200 horsepower and 203 lb-feet of torque thanks to a 1.5L GM turbocharged four-cylinder. The removable roof, swing-out doors, and 19-inch wheels make it all the more fun to drive.

Ariel Atom 3RS

best street legal go karts ariel atom 3rs
Arielna

The Ariel Atom is a street-legal go-kart for automotive purists. It strips away the frivolous luxuries of every traditional sports car and even those of most of its competitors. This is a high-performance, no-nonsense, race-track-ready ride built for speed and fun. In the early 2000s, it became the world’s third fastest accelerating production car just behind the Bugatti Veyron and has since continued to make and break dozens of records. If speed is your priority, it doesn’t get any better than the Atom. Just bring your wallet — a customized version of the company’s flagship, built-to-order Ariel Atom 3RS starts near $120,000.

Campagna Motors T-REX 16SP

Campagna Motors t rex
Campagna Motors

The compact footprint of the three-wheel T-REX 16SP likely resembles the go-karts of your boyhood dreams. This iconic offering from Montreal’s Campagna Motors is faster, more aggressive, and just plain cooler in every way. Like the Ariel Atom, this is a pared-down ride designed solely for speed. Liberal use of carbon fiber, composites, and high-tech alloys helps trim the weight down to a scant 1,157 pounds. Coupled with a 160-horsepower, BMW-built inline six, the T-REX accelerates to 60 in less than four seconds, pulling 1.3 smile-inducing lateral g’s in the process.

Auto

By Embracing Imperfection, the New Bentley Continental GT Attains Perfection

The same reasons one might criticize a mass production vehicle are cherished blemishes of a hand-built machine.
Auto

The HoverSurf Hoverbike Is a Real-Life, Star Wars-Esque Speeder Bike

If you've ever wanted to fly around your local park terrorizing neighborhood soccer moms, your time has come thanks to the Hoversurf Hoverbike.
Auto

Get Up to Speed with Our Comprehensive Dictionary to Motorcycle Slang

Like any specialty, motorcycling has its own vocabulary. This ever-expanding cheat sheet will have you sounding like a seasoned rider in no time.
Auto

What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types

Been thinking about getting into motorcycling? One of the first questions you'll need to answer is what kind of motorcycle is right for you.
Fashion & Style

The Best Spring Shirts for Men to Shop Right Now

Welcome in warmer temperatures and say hello to the season of bar crawls, baseball games, and beer outdoors with these spring shirts.
Auto

Ginetta’s Akula Supercar Is a Bloodthirsty, Street-Legal Racing Machine

The predatory 200-mph car is a full-throttle attack machine inspired by sharks and submarines.
Auto

Koenigsegg Unveils the Jesko, Which May Be the New Fastest Car in the World

Koenigsegg wants this megacar to be the first to hit the eye-watering figure of 300 miles per hour.
Auto

6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now

We can judge a car in many ways, but few measures are as impressive as top speed. These are the fastest cars in the world — for now.
Auto

This 150-MPH Flying Motorcycle Could Be the Hoverbike We’ve Always Dreamed Of

The Speeder is a sci-fi-inspired personal hoverbike that maker JetPack Aviation purports to be “the world’s first flying motorcycle.” First or not, we definitely want one.
Auto

Mercedes-AMG GT R Chops Its Locks and Lets Its Hair Fly

The Roadster is a machine that’s built with German precision but given an injection of that special magic that turns the dials up to 11 on every AMG project.
Auto

Former Harley-Davidson Bigwig Returns with New Electric Motorcycle Company

The name of Erik Buell’s new endeavor is called Fuell. Get it?
Auto

Celebrate 3 Decades of Road-Tripping with VW’s California 30 Years Van

If you've dreamt of a cross-Europe road trip, this limited-edition VW camper van is the perfect chariot.
Outdoors

Beauer 3X Camping Trailer Expands From Pod to Palace in Just 20 Seconds

Towing one of these campers means no more cramping (cramped camping) in small trailers and no maneuvering massive gas-guzzling RVs.
Auto

Why We Can Believe Aston Martin’s Rebirth Is Stage-Ready

With the passing its centenary, Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Andy Palmer has initiated the second act in his vision of revitalization.