Go Kart Helmet VS Motorcycle Helmet Compared: What the Difference?

  • By: Kevinsmak
  • Date: July 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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The major difference between a go-kart helmet and a motorcycle helmet is the Snell Certification Standard. Go-kart helmets fall under the Snell K Standard. They don’t go through a fire rating test. Motorcycle helmets, on the other hand, fall under the Snell M Standard.

If you are looking for a new helmet, you may be wondering if you should buy a go-kart helmet or a motorcycle helmet. Both helmets have their pros and cons, but which one is the best choice for you?

In this blog post, we will compare the two types of helmets and help you decide which one is right for you.

Why You Need a Helmet

The importance of wearing a helmet cannot be overstated. A helmet is the best way to protect your head in the event of an accident.

Whether you are driving a go-kart or a motorcycle, it is essential that you wear a helmet at all times.

Go Kart Helmets

Go-kart helmets are designed to offer protection from impacts and debris. They are typically made from lightweight materials, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber.

Go-kart helmets often have visors to protect your eyes from the sun and other debris.

Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle helmets are designed to offer protection from impacts and road rash. They are usually made from heavier materials, such as Kevlar or polycarbonate.

Motorcycle helmets often have flip-down visors to protect your eyes from the sun and other debris.

Go Kart Helmet VS Motorcycle Helmet Compared: What the Difference?

While both helmets have very similar features, there are a few key differences between go-kart helmets and motorcycle helmets. They include the following, among others:

Snell Certification

Go-kart helmets are under the Snell K certification standard. A Snell K helmet falls under the same category as auto racing helmets, which have a Snell SA (Special Application) certification standard.

The only difference is that the Snell K helmets don’t go through a fire rating test.

Motorcycle helmets, on the other hand, fall under the Snell M certification standard. These types of helmets are tested for their resistance to penetration, flammability, and ability to protect the wearer’s head from impacts.

Impact Testing

Snell K helmets, under which go-kart helmets fall, go through thorough multi-impact testing for vehicle roll bars. Snell M helmets, on the other hand, do not?

Why? A go-kart has roll bars and, therefore, there is a good chance that the driver’s head will hit the roll bar in the event of an accident. Motorcycles, however, don’t have roll bars and so the impact test isn’t as necessary.

Design

It is important to note that riders/drivers of these two types of vehicles sit in varying positions. While a go-kart driver often seat in an upright position, a motorcycle rider will often find themselves sitting so they are as perpendicular to their bike as possible.

This difference in position changes the aerodynamics of the helmet and, as such, impacts the design.

So a go-kart helmet will often have a flat edge and a rounded shape, unlike a motorcycle helmet which will have a more tear-drop shape. It will be angulated such that it cuts through the wind when the rider is leaning forward on their bike.

Eye Ports

The ventilation on both helmets is quite similar. However, where they differ is in the size and placement of the eye-port.

The eye port on a motorcycle helmet is often larger and placed further back on the helmet.

This is because motorcycle riders often wear goggles that need a larger opening. Additionally, the placement of the eye-port allows for better airflow when the rider is leaning forward.

In contrast, go-kart helmets have smaller eye ports that are placed closer to the front of the helmet. This is because go-kart drivers don’t typically wear goggles.

Aerodynamics

Another difference between these two types of helmets is their aerodynamics. Motorcycle helmets are designed to cut through the wind, which is why they often have a more tear-drop shape.

In contrast, go-kart helmets are not as concerned with cutting through the wind and so they often have a more rounded shape.

Can I Use a Motorcycle Helmet for Go-Kart Racing?

While you can technically use a motorcycle helmet for go-karting, it is not recommended. This is because motorcycle helmets are not designed with go-karting in mind and, as such, may not offer the same level of protection.

For instance, we have discussed above that the aerodynamics of motorcycle helmets are designed for cutting through the wind. However, this same feature can actually work against you when go-karting as it increases the risk of neck injuries.

Also, its design may make you uncomfortable since you are seated in an upright position in a go-kart while the helmet is designed for an angulated sitting position on a motorcycle.

So, while you can technically use a motorcycle helmet for go-karting, it is not the ideal choice. Go-kart-specific helmets are always the best option when go-karting.

Importance of Getting the Right Helmet

When shopping for a helmet, you want to get one that’s meant for the activity you’ll be doing. This is because different activities come with different risks and, therefore, require different levels of protection.

For instance, a football helmet is designed to protect the wearer from head-to-head collisions. However, it would offer little protection in the event of a fall since it is not designed to absorb impact from a fall.

The same can be said of a motorcycle helmet and a go-kart helmet. They are both designed to protect the wearer in different ways because they are meant for different activities.

A motorcycle helmet is not going to offer the same level of protection as a go-kart helmet and vice versa. So, when choosing a helmet, always make sure to get one that is designed for the activity you’ll be doing.

Go Kart Helmet VS Motorcycle Helmet Compared: FAQs

Are go-kart helmets and motorcycle helmets the same?

No, go-kart helmets and motorcycle helmets are not the same. They are designed for different activities and, as such, offer different levels of protection.

Can I use a motorcycle helmet for go-karting?

It is not recommended to use a motorcycle helmet for go-karting. This is because motorcycle helmets are not designed with go-karting in mind and, as such, may not offer the same level of protection.

What is the difference between a go-kart helmet and a motorcycle helmet?

The main difference between a go-kart helmet and a motorcycle helmet is their design. Motorcycle helmets are designed to cut through the wind while go-kart helmets are not as concerned with cutting through the wind and often have a more rounded shape.

Does the Snell Certification Standard matter?

Yes, the Snell Certification Standard does matter. This is because it is a safety standard that is specific to helmets.

It means that the helmet has been tested and meets certain safety criteria.

What are the benefits of a go-kart helmet?

Some benefits of a go-kart helmet include its aerodynamic design, eye protection, and comfortable fit.

Final Thoughts

There are striking differences between a go-kart helmet and a motorcycle helmet, the most notable being their design. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand a bit more about the differences between these two types of helmets.

Remember, always choose a helmet that is designed for the activity you’ll be doing. Your safety depends on it!


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