What is the GoKart Kit?
The Ninebot GoKart kit converts their Ninebot Mini into, you guessed it, a go-kart. This Red Dot award-wining (2018) design sits ontop of the Ninebot Mini converts the Ninebot Mini self-balancing segway/hoverboard into a low slung, electric racer suitable for kids and adults alike.
So I need a Ninebot Mini?
Yes. Don’t buy this if you don’t currently own a Ninebot mini or aren’t buying one at the same time. You can learn more about the Ninebot Mini on our review and pick one up on our webstore in black or white.
Who is the GoKart kit for?
With a maximum payload of 100kg (220lb or 15.74 stone) the Segway Ninebot GoKart is not just for kids. In the last week our staff of all sizes and ages have been addicted to lapping our warehouse in this little beast! Ninebot state the drivers height can range from 4ft 5in to 6ft 3in (130-190cm) but those over 6ft will find it cramped! The 800w output of the Mini means its suitable for riders up to 100kg and with lighter pilots can hit 15mph (24km/h) in a matter of seconds!
Unboxing the GoKart
Included in the huge box (109 x 87 x 51cm) is the chassis, a user manual, power tap adaptor, 6x AA batteries, ninebot-specific tools, and adapter pad.
We advise getting help in removing it from the box (or sacrifice the box walls) as the chassis is nearly 30kg on its own and awkward to lift.
How to set up the GoKart
As mentioned you will need a Ninebot as a donor. It will need to be deconstructed a little to connect to the go-kart chassis, you need to remove the knee bar.
Lay the device down, pop off the front screw cover and unscrew the two hex bolts with the provided allen drivers. Next insert the black ‘U’ shaped bracket removal tool into the exposed holes. Now place the two metal mould pieces together (they interlock) and loosely insert the screws and nuts (note the side on which they are retaining in our photos below).
Use these side bolts to clamp the entire piece over the exposed lower end of the handle before inserting that really long M6 screw into the front of it. As you tighten that long screw into the front of the Ninebot it will ‘pull’ the knee bar off of the base unit.
Next open the power cable flap on the front and insert the included power extension cable. Rotate the locking ring till it is hand tight. Now place the adapter pad on-top of the footplates, noting the correct direction.
On the nose of the scooter is a removable black panel (rotate the little dial to release it) that reveals the battery compartment. Insert the included 6x AA batteries in here noting the polarity.
Grab the the steering wheel and lift it to ‘rake’ the steering column up. If you look from the side you will note there are holes in the bracket. Insert the supplied quick release lever into the one of your choice (more rake for taller drivers) rotate it and crank it down to tighten.
You are now ready to mate the two units together, here is the description but the photos following do a better job of explaining it. Undo the velcro straps at the rear of the chassis and lay them out. Pick the rear of the chassis up and roll the Ninebot under it, ontop of the straps. Drop the chassis down onto the adapter pad, and ‘seat’ it. Then loop the velcro straps up and under the ninebot unit then feed them up through the slots on the chassis before leveraging them over and securing them down.
Pull the ends of the scooter apart from the ‘transport’ collapsed position it comes in.
Two bars join the front and rear together with four different ‘chassis lengths’ possible. At max extension the kart measures 138cm, 100cm at minimum.
Tighten down the two bolts per side (They are sprung to hold him in place so ensure they drop down into the tubes). Our staff member modelling the shortest and longest configurations below is 5ft3 for reference.
With the ninebot powered up but not connected to the gokart chassis (as it may try and drive away without you!), use the ninebot mini app to navigate to the settings menu and change to gokart mode.
Once complete you can power down the Ninebot, connect it directly to the gokart via the power extension wire at the back and turn it on. When changing settings from now on, ensure that you connect to the bluetooth of the go-kart not the ninebot itself!
How fast is the Segway GoKart?
With a top speed of 15 mph (24 kph) in sport mode, it is faster than the ninebot in its upright mini form. Sat right down on the floor that feels pretty quick, especially inside our warehouse! The kart benefits from the instant torque of an electric motor and the throttle is very responsive.
The runtime/range of the GoKart very much depends on the weight of the driver but Segway-Ninebot suggest a typical range of 9 miles. We found that we got substanitally less than this however we were driving the kart ‘like we stole it’.
Controlling the GoKart
You power up the GoKart with a single tap on the power button of the ninebot protruding from the rear.
With the ninebot mini hooked up beneath you there is no need to lean. Instead you are given a more traditional pair of pedals and a steering wheel. Depress the right pedal to accelerate and the left to brake, they even feature little arrows to remind you.
The kart also has a ‘reverse gear‘, to enter it double tap the brake pedal, the kart will make a regular bleeping noise. In this mode you press the accelerator to drive backwards. Reverse speed is limited to 2mph for safety reasons. To stop reversing double-tap the brake pedal again.
You direct the kart with the solid plastic steering wheel. The unassisted steering gives you fantastic direct feedback with all-metal components. Sadly even at full lock the kart has a relatively wide turning circle of 390cm (in the middle chassis-length configuration).
Should you need to stop in an emergency (or if you fancy doing some particularly sharp turns) there is also a handbrake on the right of the vehicle. This is a friction lever that locks the rear wheels and is ‘too much fun’.
Smartphone Companion App
The application features a dashboard showing your speed, range, distance and motor temperature. It also allows you to switch between the different speed modes. It retains the ‘see through’ overlay mode that activates your rear camera to allow a ‘heads up’ style usage. The application is also the place for adjusting the lighting where you can select what the underglow lighting does, or turn off the running lights at the back of the kart.
How long does it take to charge?
Since it is based off the Ninebot mini it takes takes around 4 hours for a full charge via the included charger. You simply disconnect the link cable and plug the 4 ping connector into the charger instead. The led on the charging brick will switch from green to red when charging and return to green when fully charged. Also note that the display on the front of the Mini animates as the battery ‘fills up’.
Is it safe?
The Gokart has a strong metal tube frame surrounded by a plastic shell that looks cool but doubles as an impact-absorbing crash-structure should you misjudge a turn and run into a hedge or kerb.
The plastic seat has careful designed foam inserts and a lap safety belt to hold you in place. As ever, using safety equipment is recommended. As a minimum use the supplied lap-belt, wear a helmet, drive in flat shoes and avoid driving in loose clothing.
The brakes aren’t that strong (anyone who is used to slowing down the standard Ninebot will be used to the ‘soft’ stopping ability) so reach for the handbrake in emergencies.
The manufacturer suggests that the Go-Kart is suitable for children over the age of 8 but as with everything, adult supervision is advised.
The Go-kart comes with three power modes, novice with its top speed of 5mph, standard mode of 10.8mph and a sports mode has a top speed of 15mph. All are really torquey and give you a great buzz.
We advise you periodically check the chassis mount bolts and steering system quick release for tightness. These can shake loose over extended use.
The GoKart in action
No matter your age, this kart is guaranteed to put a smile on your face! If you have access to a large smooth internal floor such as a warehouse or a hall this is where you will have the most fun.
It has an impressive turn of speed for something so small. Traction can be issue on slick surfaces (such as our painted warehouse floor) due to the impressive torque on tap, but this makes it all the more fun to drive. The reverse gear is useful but its speed limit is infuriatingly slow.
Drivers over the maximum weight limit can pilot the vehicle but be aware that the Ninebot mini may temporarily dial the power down to protect itself from over-stressing the motor units. You will also notice the top speed will drop when the battery level gets low.
The White matte plastic and Black painted metal looks great with either the white or black ninebot mini’s inserted. In its smallest ‘collapsed’ size you can fit it across the boot of a modern hatchback (think golf/focus size albeit with the seats down). That said it is heavy and you may want someone to help you lift it in!
Can I use it outdoors?
You can use the go-kart outdoors but its IPX4 rating means it is only protected against splashing water, not high pressure jets or immersion.
As you can see from our photos we drove it offroad as well round a tarmac cycling track. With just 4cm of ground clearance you are limited to a maximum slope of 15°.
Handbrake is great fun on loose surfaces. You can dab the brake into a corner then grab the handbrake to slide the rear end round before powering out of it.
Note that the front tyres are an ‘airless’ design. They do compress with weight, but when pushing on on a hard surface (such as a polished or painted hard floor) you will experience some understeer.
Should I buy a Segway ninebot GoKart Kit
We have to confess, this is the most niche product we have ever reviewed. However it is also one of the most entertaining! If you already have a Ninebot and the spare cash then it is definitely well worth a look. However if you are buying it all together it certainly adds up.
Where can I buy one?
The Segway-Ninebot Go Kart kit is available on our webstore here and it qualifies for free next working day delivery to mainland UK addresses! The Ninebot mini you will need is also available in black as shown, or white.
Do you have any questions about driving the go-kart? Perhaps you have seen a go-kart you would like us to review? Leave us a comment below!