steering calculations with Ackerman geometry for go karts

The Go kart steering system calculations can be one of the challenging part of the design if misunderstood.that is why in following line we will explain as well as possible steering calculations with Ackerman geometry

The general volume of the Go kart depends more on the steering system than we may think at first. For example a Go kart with a front track width of 30 inches and wheelbase of 42 inches will not have the same size and turning radius, like a Go kart with front track width of 25 inches and wheelbase of 35 inches.

You may be telling what is track width and wheelbase again? Wait an instant I'm coming!

Let understand some basic jargon.


Distance from the center of the front wheel to the center of rear wheel when view from side.

wheel base use in steering calculations with Ackerman  geometry to fin turning circle radius

Track width

Distance from the center line of the front or rear tire to the center line of the other tire.

track width use in steering calculations with Ackerman  geometry to find turning circle radius and distance between pivot points

So we have rear track width and front track width, they can have same value or different according to your design.

Distance between pivot points

The distance between pivot points in case of Go kart is just the distance from kingpin to kingpin or steering axis to steering axis.

distance between pivot points use in steering calculations with Ackerman  geometry to find inside and outside lock of tyres

The Go kart turning radius depends mainly on the above 3 parameters.

I remembered how naïve we were while designing our first Go kart for competition. The rule book asks the turning radius should not be more than 3 meters.

Waou! Just confuse how it is possible to achieve that? And finally we just made something there, as you can guest our turning radius was more than the 3 meters.What to say there is always a first time.


We are often confused between steering mechanism and steering geometry.

Myself and team members at the beginning and I think many are in same situation actually. After reading this you may save some.

When ask what steering mechanism we are using? We say Ackerman steering system or mechanism.

To rectify in Go kart we widely use:


– The steering geometry use is the Ackerman steering geometry.

Hope I'm clear enough!

You may be thinking what this guy is talking about, I just need the calculations. Let me tell you without understanding these basics the calculations PDF will be a bunch of formulas in front of you.

By experience I know what I'm talking about. I downloaded many of those PDF name 'design and analysis of Go kart 'or 'steering system calculations'.

Without knowing what there are talking about or how to use the formulas in my own design.

So take time to read above then download the calculations PDF below!

 I Hope you enjoy this post about steering calculations with Ackerman geometry and it can help you design your vehicle better. If you like the post pleases comment and share, and if you will like us to cover any related topic suggest, we will do our best to satisfy your queries.

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