If you are planning to take your go-kart off road you will need some type of suspension. Some people make go-karts with no suspension, and install large tires. The idea is that large tires will soften the ride, I have never driven one like this so I can not guaranty anything. If you are planning or trying to make a go-kart as simple as possible, eliminating suspension will make your job and total cost of the go-kart much less. A lot of already pre-build go-karts that you can buy from many stores either have no suspension, or on more expensive ones include only one form of suspension. You have to know that suspension complicates go-kart tremendously. For that reason many people chose not to have one or to have only one on the front. Most important part of suspension is “travel” distance. It is distance that tire can travel (up/down). The larger the traveling distance is the softer the ride is. Dune Buggies, use very long arm to achieve maximum travel. Also try to get you hands on some type of shocks, either from motor bikes or go-kart type. I used go-kart type since bikes are too expensive. Shocks can run you from $15 to $100 each. Everything depends on gas inside the shock. Some of the cheaper shocks ($15) have only one spring, this makes ride very bumpy.
This is a break down of shocks and weight that they can support. [picture]
Let me list few possibilities: (I am sure that there are many more, but this is what I can think of right now. If you know of any and have pictures email me):
Note: entire front end should be tiled 3 degrees back, to spread the forces of impact better. [picture]
This gets very complicated, since drive setup and power to tires needs to brought. Back suspension can be divided into solid and independent suspension.
Solid axle suspension:
Problem: Problem with solid axle
setups is making sure that axle does not get bended from all the forces
on it. If it does, chain will keep falling off the axel sprocket. Other
problem of solid axle is that when one back tire is in the air so is
the other one. Almost all of new SUV’s are switching to independent
Independent axle suspension (very complicated to setup):
Problem: Problem with independent suspension is to make sure that chain stays on. This can get very complicated and though to build. You are twice as likely to have problems with this then the solid axel setup. If the chain falls off on every bump, it will drive you crazy.