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Know Before You Go: Indoor Kart Racing

a couple walks hand in hand into k1 speed indoor go karting, the main image for know before you go post

If you’re planning your first trip to K1 Speed, or it’s been awhile since you’ve last raced with us, then we’re here to tell you everything you need to know before you go indoor kart racing at K1 Speed.


First, check our Closures page.


The very first thing you should know before you go to K1 Speed is whether we’re open for Arrive & Drive racing at the time you want to visit. If we have a private event, we will be closed to the general public during that time. Check our closures page to make sure we don’t have any private events scheduled. The last thing we’d want you to do is make a trip to K1 Speed and not be able to race.

Second, double-check our operating hours. 


Make sure you check our operating hours to see when we’re open at your local K1 Speed. If you absolutely hate waiting, we recommend coming in during the weekdays when our wait times are most often the shortest.

Third, check our current promotions!


From racing leagues to discounted races, there’s always something going on at K1 Speed every month! Be sure to check our current promotions so you can plan your trip accordingly.

Height Requirements & What to Wear


Check Your Heights!


We do not have any age restrictions at K1 Speed, but we do have height requirements. To drive our junior karts, you must be a kid that’s at least 48″ (4′) or taller. For our adult karts, you’ll need to be at least 58″ (4’10”).


Now, this is important: meeting the height requirement is not a guarantee you’ll be able to race our karts. Drivers will be measured at the location and must be able to safely operate all elements of the kart. Final approval will be at management’s discretion. 


This is because sometimes your height is more in your torso, rather than your legs. So while you may be tall enough, your legs might not be LONG enough to reach the pedals. We need to make sure you can fully use the kart (depress the pedals down all the way, reach the steering wheel comfortably, etc.) before we let you race. This is all in the name of safety, mind you!


What to Wear


Another thing you’ll want to know before you go is what to wear for go kart racing. We require that all racers wear closed-toe shoes, keep long hair tied back, and don’t wear anything too loose fitting. T-shirts, jeans/shorts and sneakers are appropriate attire for a day of go kart racing at the track. Keep in mind, indoor kart racing at K1 Speed is a very physical activity so dress accordingly!


Read More: Check Out Our Merch!

guests register at k1 speed on computers, one of the items mentioned in this blog to know before you go

Step 1: Register

When you enter the building, head directly to the computers that you’ll see set up by the cashier. If this is your first visit, this is where you will register an account with K1 Speed. If you decide to opt into our emails (you really should), be sure your email address is correct. Our emails inform you about special events and deals throughout the year!


If you’ve already got an account with us, simply check in on the computer so that our cashiers can pull you up easily.

a cashier greets customers at a k1 speed, part of a blog about things to know before you go racing at k1 speed

Step 2: Visit the Cashier

After you create an account or check in, proceed to the cashier. This is where you’ll purchase your license, your races, or just schedule a race from credits on your account.


You will need to purchase an Annual License to race with us if you don’t already have one or if it has expired. This costs $7.95 and includes a ton of perks like a free race during your birthday month (an over $20 value in itself).


  • If you purchased a license, you’ll receive a headsock. Hold on to this – you’ll need it for your race. Wash it at home and bring it back for future races!


  • If you have a current license and race credits in your account, the cashier can schedule your next race and no payment is necessary (unless you forgot your headsock and need to purchase a new one).
race helmet with camera on top with text reading viewpoint and rent your camera today

Rent a Camera to Record Your Race!

Finally, be sure to add on a Viewpoint video camera rental before you’re finished purchasing / scheduling your races. These lightweight wide-angle video cameras sit directly on top of your helmet, and will record onboard footage in full HD! Once you’re done with your race, you’ll immediately get a QR code that you can scan to download your entire experience. It’s only $7 per race to rent and immortalize your experience!

Read More: Learn More About Our Viewpoint Cameras! 

Step 3: Wait for Your Race

We announce the racers for the next race over our loudspeakers. Feel free to take a seat on one of our comfy leather couches, but please keep an ear out for your name to be called.


Read More: The other things you can do at K1 Speed when you’re not racing >>


Once your name is called, proceed to the pitlane gate entrance. If you’re at a location with two tracks, make sure you pay attention to which track you’re called for.

guests at k1 speed are briefed about safety, one of the highlighted items to know before you go visit k1 speed

Step 4: Safety Briefing & Gear Up

If this is your first visit to K1 Speed, you’ll be given a safety briefing prior to getting in to your go kart. If you’re a repeat customer, you’ll proceed to our helmets.

Our safety briefing goes over all the rules of the track, how to operate the go kart, and what the various flags mean. Listen carefully to ensure you and the rest of your group have a trouble-free session without any unexpected speed penalties.

You’ll then pick your helmet. Our helmets vary by size, and are color-coded smaller to larger. Small is pink, medium is red, large is blue, and extra large is black. You’ll want a helmet that fits snug, but not too tight. Helmets that are too small will be difficult to get on and will feel like it’s crushing your head. Helmets too large will be too easy to put on and will feel loose around your head. Find that sweet spot that gives a little resistance when putting it on and feels comfortable while wearing.


Read More: Why Go Kart Racing is Safer at K1 Speed >>

For additional comfort before indoor kart racing, leave your visor open. If you need help with the chin strap, let one of our staff know and they’ll be happy to assist.


After you’ve got the helmet on, head over to the track worker by the computer in pit lane. He’ll tell you the number of the go kart you’re assigned to. Proceed to the go kart with that number.


Enter the go kart and fasten your seat belts. Once seated, our track staff will turn on each kart, and assist you if you need additional help settling in. When instructed, close your helmet’s visor by sliding it down.


shot of two racers enjoying indoor kart racing at k1 speed

Karts will enter the track single-file. For the first lap, you’ll find your go kart is not at its peak speed. Use this time to warm up your tires by safely swerving your kart to the left and right – just like the pros (well, minus Kimi Räikkönen). Warming up your tires is crucial if you want your go kart to grip the track surface right away.


When our track marshal waves the green flag, your race has begun, and you’ll be at the appropriate speed level. The race lasts until the fastest racer completes 12 laps around the track. 


NOTE: Our Arrive & Drive races are for fastest lap – not overall position on the track. Therefore, you will be ranked by lap time, rather than track position. If you’re interested in races for position at K1 Speed, look into our racing leagues or come out for Grid Night



Our electric go karts are not like the ones you’re used to at a family fun center. They are MUCH faster. Because of this speed, our go karts have several speed settings that are controlled by our staff. All first-time K1 Speed racers will be on the second-to-highest speed setting. This allows our staff to monitor your performance at that current speed without taking risks and throwing you into the deep end.


This is all in the name of safety, as we’d hate for you to injure yourself or another racer. Once our staff sees that you’re able to handle the current speed setting, your kart will be boosted to the highest speed setting. This may take a race or two of clean racing.

Clean Racing to Reach the Highest Speed:

To reach the highest speed setting in our go kart, DO NOT:


  • Spin
  • Crash into the barrier or another kart.
  • Disobey flags/warnings
  • Step on accelerator/brake pedal at same time
  • Bump other drivers
  • Drift the kart

As long as you don’t do any of the above for a race or two, your speed should be at the highest setting. That said, there can be exceptions (for example, if it’s a busier track with lots of incidents, we may decrease the speed on everyone’s kart for safety reasons).


IMPORTANT: Our races award the racer with the fastest lap NOT the first one to see the checkered flag. So if you find yourself stuck behind a slower driver and they’re not obeying the blue flag, then slow down and give yourself a gap. Then try to set a fast lap without any traffic in front of you. For more tips about how to win at K1 Speed, read our blog post by clicking the button below.

Every location has a giant screen with a real-time reading of everyone’s lap times in order. It’s important to quickly look at this screen when racing by. It’ll tell you what position you’re currently in, what your fastest lap time is so far, and the lap time you set on your previous lap.


Use this screen to try different racing lines and braking points and see how it affects your times. This will allow you to discover what’s faster and what’s slower around the track so you can improve.


When the checkered flag waves, return to pit lane and remain seated. Staff will let you know when it is safe for you to leave your kart.

a kid holds up a print out of his race results at k1 speed

Step 6: Retrieve your Scoresheet and Compare Notes!

After you’ve left your kart and returned your helmet, proceed to the Pit Café or Paddock Lounge. A staff member will have a personalized scoresheet available for each racer in your heat.


This scoresheet includes the final results of your race. You’ll see each driver’s best lap time in order from fastest to slowest. You’ll also see everyone’s average lap time. In addition, you’ll see the time you set for each lap.  Study this closely. It’ll clue you in on when you set your fastest lap, so you can think back to what you were doing when that occurred. An ideal graph will curve down and get lower and lower.


Unless your group is ultra-competitive, ask the other racers how they were approaching different parts of the track. If that friend was faster than you, or quicker in a particular section, ask what they were doing and apply it during your next race.

If you’re ready for another race, then return to the cashier and either purchase more races or use a race stored in your account. The cashier will schedule you in the next available race.


QUICK TIP: While waiting to go indoor kart racing, see what times are currently being set on the track. If someone is setting a faster time than you, observe them and see what they’re doing differently from you and apply It when you’re back on the track.


Read More: How to Win at K1 Speed >>

Take a Podium Picture!

One of the most signature things to do at K1 Speed is to take your picture on our podium! Countless pro racing drivers and celebrities have taken their picture on our podium, including Beyoncé and IndyCar legend Paul Tracy (see photos above). So be sure to take a picture of your group and share it with your friends!

If you share your podium pic on social media and tag us, there’s a chance we’ll re-share it in front of our many fans and followers!

Have More Questions?

Congrats! You should now know everything you’ll need to know before you go indoor kart racing at K1 Speed.


If you have more questions, visit our FAQs section on our website. Still have a question? Simply call your local K1 Speed!


See you at the track!

  • Kendalen Poyaoan

    How much is gonna be the membership

    • Staff Writer

      Kendalen, it’s just $7 for the membership (but remember you get a free race during your birthday month, so you’ll get the value back with that alone). See you at the track!

  • Andrew Fuller

    How much does a race cost

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Andrew! Just depends on the location you’re visiting. Visit this page and select the location you wish to visit for the pricing information: https://www.k1speed.com/arrive-and-drive.html . See you at the track!

  • Melanie

    So is the $6 included in the $120 for the family fun nights? Or is it a separate charge per person?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Melanie! You are correct – the $6 annual membership is included in the family fun nights promotion.

  • pamela braxton

    birthday is in 2 days and would like to visit
    -what’s the cost
    -i read the Know before you go
    -not overly risky
    -enjoy good fun times

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Pamela! Thanks for your interest in celebrating your birthday with us! The cost is $6 for membership, and $22 for a single race (at most locations). The more races you buy, the more you save per race. Also, if you buy the membership and single race, we’ll give you a free race since it’s the week of your birthday (a membership perk). For exact pricing, select the location you’d like to visit in the drop down here: https://www.k1speed.com/arrive-and-drive.html . Thanks again for your interest and have a very happy birthday!

  • Darryl Hanks

    I cant wait to get there

    • Staff Writer

      We can’t wait either, Darryl! See you soon at the track!


    how many cars race at same time

    • Staff Writer

      The average max number of karts on track is 12, however this can change depending on the location. Some tracks are slightly shorter, so it can be less than 12 at various locations. Please call your nearest location for the exact number. See you at the track!

  • Rosetta Grenier

    Im bringing my husband there for the first time for his fiftyith birthday. Cant wait he has no idea.His name is jamie.

    • Staff Writer

      That’s wonderful, Rosetta! Thanks for sharing – we’re so happy to hear. Hope you two have a great time at the track!

  • Linda Eidinger

    I would like to bring my grandson for his Birthday. How long is a race ? Is it a certain time period or a number of laps. Would he also receive a free race for his birthday.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Linda, thank you for your interest!

      Each race lasts until someone completes 12 laps. He would receive a free race for his birthday, but if he hasn’t been here before, it’s like a Buy One Get One Free offer. So, you’d need to purchase a race (and membership) first before you got that free race. If he’s raced with us at some point during the last 12 months, then the race would be free without the need to purchase an additional race. Hope that’s clear and that we get to see you two soon!

  • Juan Romo

    What’s the age and height recommendations to participate,also childs participate together with adults or just childs?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Juan! Great questions. There are no age restrictions. The junior kart height requirement is 48″ and the adult kart height requirement is 58″. However, meeting the height requirement is not a guarantee you’ll be able to race our karts. Drivers will be measured at the location and must be able to safely operate all elements of the kart. Final approval will be at management’s discretion.

      Each kart only races with karts of the same kind, so no mixing of the junior and adult karts on the track at once. So if you want to race with your child at the same time, they’ll need to meet our adult kart requirements.

      Hope we’ll see you at the track soon!

  • Arlethia Almond

    So you have teen racing here

    • Staff Writer

      We sure do, Arlethia! Hope we’ll see you soon!

  • Lita

    How many laps for 1 race?

    • Staff Writer

      Each race includes 12 laps around our track. Hope we’ll see you soon!

  • Christopher Leffert

    Hello, I’m interested in racing at your track and have a couple of questions.

    I’m a large framed person, 6’3, 250 lbs. do you have an accommodating kart?

    I see that drifting a kart is a reason to not be moved up to the higher speed setting. Is this a constant rule, or can it be done when attempting to lower track times?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Christopher! Thanks for your interest in K1 Speed. Yes, our adult karts should be able to accommodate you. Our “No Drifting” rule is a constant rule (with the exception of our quarterly Drift Night events). To be honest, you’ll go faster around our track when you are not drifting. Hope we’ll see you at our track soon!

  • jadornin

    is there a weight requirement for adult and kids karts?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Jadornin! There’s no weight requirement for the karts, but the maximum weight is around 300 pounds for our adult karts, and around 160 pounds for our junior karts. Hope we’ll see you soon!

  • Alfred Cast

    Do y’all provide helmets at no extra cost

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Alfred! Yes, free helmet use is provided with the mandatory annual membership. See you at the track!

  • Rebecca Russell

    Is there a weight limit ?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Rebecca! Yes, the weight limit for our adult karts is 300lbs. Thanks for your interest!

  • Charles Elston

    Wife is 25weeks pregnant… Can you race??

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Charles! Thanks for your interest! We wouldn’t recommend your wife goes racing – just not worth the risk! We’d love to see her race afterwards, though!

  • David W Halcombi

    I only have one arm can I still race?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello David! As long as you can safely operate our kart and follow the rules, yes, you should still be able to race. Hope to see you soon!

  • Valentina

    how long is the race?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey, Valentina! Each race is 12 laps. See you at the track soon!

  • Elliott Shurtz

    Do I need a head sock if I bring my own helmet

    • Staff Writer

      Hey, Elliott! No, you do not need to wear a headsock if you wear your own helmet. See you soon!

  • Susan Ortega

    Are casts allowed? My 16 yo son has a cast on his right arm.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Susan! We’ll need each driver to be able to fully operate the kart, including both hands on the steering wheel. If the cast makes it difficult to do that, we may not allow him to ride. It’ll ultimately come down to our manager’s discretion on what they see at the center. Thanks for your interest!

  • B.Cantacessi

    Hello! My friend and I would like to kart at the Dublin location. However, I cannot find any information on Covid, bring ur own helmets, cleaned, wipe down, etc..Can you please let us Dad’s know what to bring or not?? Thanks for your time.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello and thank you for your interest! You can either bring your own helmets or use ours. Please visit this page as far as covid information is concerned (however some things may have changed since restrictions have lessened over the past year): Covid info. See you in Dublin!

  • Gena Lattin

    How fast are the karts?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Gena! Our adult karts can reach speeds of 45 mph (the fastest in the industry), while our junior karts are capable of getting up to 20-25 mph. See you at the track!

  • Tami Wade

    I have purchased the 2 race package for my son for a Christmas gift. I’m not sure what to do when we are ready to redeem it?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Tami, thank you for your purchase! We’ve just sent you an email to further assist you. Please check your inbox or junk/spam folder. Thank you!

  • bhargav

    Hello! How fast do the teen Karts go? Are they the same speed as the junior Karts?

    • K1 Speed Staff Writer

      Teens race in the Adults karts once they are tall enough. As such they can go as fast as an adult once they have a few sessions of experience. The track masters do not start them off at the fastest speed.

  • Laura reyes

    Can we fill out the waiver for my grandson’s 2 friends with the parents permission?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Laura! Yes, you can. See you at the track!

  • Ted Holler

    Hello, my birthday was last weekend but I really want to race this weekend. Can I still get a free first race ?

  • Brad Hartwell

    Do you have set times for junior races vs adult races? How many kids need to be present for a junior race?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Brad! We don’t have set times for junior races vs adult races, as it’s all first come, first served. However we do stop Junior Races after 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Just one kid is needed to run a junior Arrive & Drive (walk-in) race. See you at the track!

  • Alan Russell

    Can I sign the waiver for my son’s friends if their parents cannot make it in person?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Alan! Yes, any adult 18 years of age or older can sign for a kid as long as you assume responsibility. See you at the track!

  • Sidney Whitley

    How many laps is in a race?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Sidney! The race is usually 12 laps for all drivers, but it does finish when the fastest racer completes 12 laps.

  • John Anderson

    Hello, in adult racing the race is over if I or any other racer finishes 12 laps quicker then say my wife n teen daughters? So for the money we spend on a race, my wife n 2 daughters/slower drivers wi not get 12 laps n their monies worth??? Is that right?
    Also what is drifting?
    And if we have 10 in our party, can we race all together without anyone we don’t know?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, John! Correct, if the fastest racers is over a lap faster than any other racer, they may not get the full 12 laps, but they will get the same amount of time on the track. However, usually everyone in a race is able to get the whole 12 laps in. Drifting is when you intentionally slide the vehicle around a corner. Most locations allow up to 12 racers in a race, so with a group of 10, you still may have one or two outside people. If you’re looking for guaranteed private racing, you’ll need to book a private event with us. Hope this answers all your questions! We look forward to seeing you at the track soon!

  • Christopher fisher

    Would I have to get a membership for all 5 in my party or just 1

    • Staff Writer

      Hi, Christopher! You’d need to get a membership for every person in your party, as all racers need their own membership. See you at the track!

  • Emily Souza

    How big is your track?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Emily! On average, our tracks are roughly a quarter of a mile in length, though that can vary by location.

  • J T

    Why do we need a membership fee if we only ever plan to visit one time? What is the fee actually for? Seems this is all incredibly expenaive..

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, JT! Well, the membership gets you the reusable headsock, free helmet rentals, data storage for your race history, 10% off apparel and accessories, and best of all, a free race during the week of your birthday (which gives that $7.95 back and then some in itself).

  • Vicente Basaldua Jr.

    what time these the spots bar start s ?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Vicente! Thanks for your interest! Our Paddock Lounge opens when the store does – just check the hours of your local K1 Speed to find out exactly when.


    I will be booking a party for my grandson and will not be driving a go cart do I have to pay anything for myself

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Hilda! Great question. Nope, you’re only paying for the people who are racing in your party. Thanks for your interest – look forward to seeing you at the party!

  • Lee L

    Do we need to consume all the races in one day? If we buy the 3 race package or the Tuesday 2+1 promo for example.

    • Staff Writer

      Hi, Lee! Nope, you can use as many races as you want and save whatever is left for another day. They’ll stay on your account. See you soon at the track!

  • Kimberly DeMeo

    My son just turned 13 and was hoping to host a small event for 5-6 kids on Sunday 10/29/23- do you have packages? Is there a better day to do this? Please let me know- we are looking at the Bloomingdale, IL location. Thank you!

    Kim DeMeo

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Kim! Thanks for thinking of K1 Speed for your son’s birthday party. We do have party packages, however we do require a minimum of 8 people for those. That said, we’ve forwarded your comment over to our group event department so you should hear from someone shortly to discuss this further with you. Thanks again for reaching out!

  • Deandre Boisrand

    Do you need a driver’s license to partcipate in go kart racing?

    • Staff Writer

      Nope, no driver’s license is required at K1 Speed! Just a height requirement – 48″ (4′) for our junior karts and 58″ (4’10”) for our adult karts. See you at the track!

  • Brian B


    What is the weight limit? I am a little over 300lbs. Maybe like 310. Is it okay if I still ride the gokarts or no?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Brian! Yes, sometimes people can race the kart who are larger than 300lbs. We’d recommend visiting your local center and ask to sit in a kart prior to making any purchase, just to make sure you’ll be good to go. See you there!

  • Best go karts

    any license is required

    • Ryan Jurnecka

      Hello, Best Go Karts! You’ll need a K1 Speed annual license to race. No driver’s license required. See you at the track!

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