Go Kart Seats: How to Make VS Buy Cheap

go kart seat
Go kart seats will keep your butt from becoming sore as the kart bounces around while driving.  You can either build your own homemade go kart seat, or buy a cheap go kart seat. The cost is about the same when you factor in the vinyl cover, high density foam cushion, and other materials.

homemade go kart seat

How to Make a Go Kart Seat

Making a go kart seat is kind of a pain to do. But you can make some cool seat designs that aren’t pre-fabricated. The pictured seat and adjuster was pre-fabricated as part of the go kart kit I purchased (how to make the framing is explained 3 sections down). So if you want to make your own go kart seat, here is a list of equipment and materials you will need:

  • Sewing Machine with Nylon Thread
  • Marine Vinyl
  • Piping or Welting
  • 2″ High Density Foam
  • 1/2″ plywood with T-Nuts
  • Tools to cut out the wood, and drill holes for the T-Nuts

I made a video about how to build a go kart seat, which explains how to use these materials in detail. If you just want to put together the seat frame for the kit you can skip this part, but for those that want to make their own, here is the video walk through:

Buy a Cheap Manco Go Kart Seat

You can buy some cheap go kart seats instead of making your own. When I built my own, it cost me about $80, plus I had to have a nice sewing machine.  The ones that I could have bought are less expensive, and of equal quality. I still don’t regret making my own because of the custom look I wanted to have. If you just want a quality, inexpensive go kart seat, then you may just want to get one online.

go kart seat adjuster

Go Kart Seat Adjuster Bracket

The go kart seat adjuster or seat slider is what is used to move the seat forward or backward. The go kart frame needs to have two  3/16″ steel plates welded to it for the seat adjuster bracket to bolt to. The seat slider also bolts to the underside of the seat frame, connecting the seat frame to the go kart frame.  The seat adjuster came in my go kart parts kit for this build. If you are just looking for a go kart seat adjuster, you can select it from the kit and order it seperately. The pictured slider is for a manco go kart, but it will work with anything you want to make.

go kart seat frame

Go Kart Seat Framing

The seat framing is what the seat and seat slider will bolt to. It is very important to get the brackets and measurements as close as possible because the seat already has holes pre-drilled in it with T-Nuts installed. Using the dimensions from the go kart plans I offer for free, the seat framing is 18″ wide, with the backrest (measuring from the outside) being 18″ tall, and the horizontal support being 12″ long. I made a cut so that the angle between the horizontal supports and vertical supports equals 105 degrees so you can lean back slightly while riding along.  The cut measured on a protractor would be made at 52.5°  or 37.5° for an abrasive chop saw.

The vertical (back rest) brackets should have a 14″ spacing from the hole centers. The horizontal (seat) brackets are 8″ apart (width) and about 12 1/2″ from hole centers (length) for the seat. The holes closest to the frame are for the seat sliders (see the second picture from the top above).

go kart bench seat

How to Install a Bench Style Go Kart Seat

I would recommend installing the seat just to make sure your measurements and welds were done properly, and to make sure the seat slides forward and backward. After you verify this, take the seat back off because you will need to do a little more welding and you don’t want to melt anything.

Seat: Using the hardware you bought for the seat, bolt the seat back to the seat frame with two (2x)1/4-20 x1″ bolts. Four (4x) 1/4-20×1 1/2″ bolts are used to secure the seat to the frame on the bottom.

Seat Frame to Seat Slider: Take the top four seat slider studs, and insert them under the seat frame. Secure the frame to the seat slider with four (4x) 5/16-18 nuts. It is a tight fit, so you may have to use a hand wrench for this.

Seat Assembly to Frame: Insert the seat slider over the four holes drilled into the two brackets you welded to the go kart frame. Secure the four studs from the seat adjuster with four (4x)5/16″ washers and four (4x) 5/16-18 nuts.


Your go kart is coming along nicely. You have most of the frame complete, lets focus on the steering assembly next.

Plans | Materials | Cut | Frame | Axle | Floor | Engine | Seat | Steering | Brakes | Throttle | Extras | Paint | Final Assembly |


6 thoughts on “Go Kart Seats: How to Make VS Buy Cheap”

  1. What’s the width of the double seat? I plan to erect sides over it like a car. My guess is 30″ and I would leave 34″

    Can I buy just that seat for now?

  2. Seat slider is no longer available in the kit…recommendations? I do have and 11″ slider, and could McGuyver it, however I would like to do a cleaner build and find an 8″ if you know of a link to a alternate slider that would be helpful.

    1. The supplier ran out and to my knowledge that was the last of them. They are getting new ones in from a prototype but that will be 2-3 months out. Its not a big deal between 8″ vs 11″, just need two more brackets to make it all fit, and make sure the seat clears the engine and steering hoop. The engine can be mounted to tension the chain forward, or to tension the chain rearward. With the 11″ i would place it to tension the chain rearward.

    1. Vinyl is the cheapest covering that will last. There is no substitute that I have seen on any go kart. Go kart seats that are manufactured are either covered in vinyl, or have no padding like with a plastic, or fiberglass seat for race karts.

      If you are on a budget, you can get cheap vinyl (wont last as long) from e-bay rather than marine vinyl. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of it. When it is all said and done, it’s probably best to just buy a manufactured go kart seat because its cheaper to buy one already made than it is to make one on your own (thanks to China).

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