When it comes to offroading, there’s little more exhilarating than tearing it up in an off road buggy.
Buggies are now available in all shapes and sizes, many with specific types of terrain or racing discipline in mind. You can even get mini off road buggy go karts for kids to jump into too.
Thanks to the in-built roll-cage they are often considered to be safer to enjoy than things like quad bikes or dirt bikes. However, buggies are no less enjoyable to drive, especially in the right circumstances.
Off Road Buggy Racing
Whether you’re looking to win championship trophies, or simply have a great time on a sunday, theres an off road buggy racing series for you.
Kicking up the dirt hooning around in an off-road kart is great fun when its just you and the trail, but throw a few like minded individuals and their buggies into the mix, and before long you’ve got a race on your hands!
There are many off-road karting tracks popping up all over the place in recent years as the sport has got more and more popular, and these can be a brilliant opportunity to cut your teeth on a bit of wheel-to-wheel racing.
These tracks more often than not have racing clubs which meet on a regular basis too and host competitions among themselves and other clubs. This can be an incredible way to get into racing and there are series for kids and adults alike.
The larger clubs even split into groups with similar powered buggies to keep the racing fun and competitive right to the last lap.
Many a professional rally driver started their career in off-road buggies so aspiring racing drivers can really get stuck in and find out if they’ve got what it takes to move it up to that next level.
Off Road Buggy Kits
Self build off road buggy kits are a popular way to get a start in the buggy game.
Ready to drive buggies can quite often be expensive to purchase new and for many the build and maintenance process of putting together and taking care of a buggy you’ve built with your own two hands can be very appealing.
Having the option to build your buggy to exactly the specification you desire can also be an attractive proposition. The custom world of off-road buggies is huge and you can quite easily customise them to your heart’s content with a big community of friendly and helpful individuals online who can help you source parts which work well together. The big ticket items you’ll want to consider include the below.
- Tubular frame chassis
- Engine and accessories
- Exhaust and intake system
- Drivetrain including gearbox and differential
- Off road wheels and tyres
- Braking system
- Off road coilover suspension
- Bucket seats and harnesses
You may choose to start by purchasing an off road buggy chassis which are readily available in a variety of sizes, ready to build onto as a well-designed base.
For those who are a bit more inexperienced or just happy to get an entire buggy in kit form to someone else’s tried and tested specification, you can simply head online and buy all the parts you need in one go, even with instructions for how it goes together!
As off road buggies are still pretty niche, there aren’t exactly hundreds of off-the-shelf options just yet, so if you get into the sport you will find it necessary to customise, repair and upgrade your kart using a bit of ingenuity and community experience.
Off Road Buggy Experiences
Want to dip your toe into the off road buggy world without diving into the deep end head first? An off road buggy experience day could be the perfect way to find out if it really is for you.
There are many places you can book onto experience days for off-roading or karting, and there’s no better way to discover whether the sort is for you or not. They can also make for amazing and memorable gifts for loved ones too.
Bear in mind that for those who aren’t used to the rigours of off-roading, karting can be quite an intimidating experience the first couple of times you try it. It’s very much one of those things where you enjoy it more as your skill level and experience grows.
So don’t expect to leap into a buggy and powerslide round the first corner like the late great Colin Mcrae. Luckily, Off road buggy experience days often include some tuition time with a professional instructor which can rapidly build your confidence levels and thus your enjoyment factor.
Getting some good seat time with an instructor is probably the top piece of advice I can offer to an aspiring buggy driver looking toward a future of club racing.
Believe it or not, off-road buggies can be one of the safest and most fun ways to get your kid into motorsports.
If your kid rolls a quad bike (which is very easy to do) you don’t just have to worry about what they hit when they come off, but also whether that quad bike is going to land right on top of them too. This can really put parents off the idea of quad bikes and quite often rightly so.
With buggies on the other hand, due to their tubular frame chassis construction and good safety seats and harnesses, having a bit of a bump or even rolling it isn’t often a big deal in a buggy.
You can get buggies for all ages now with simple rev and go gearboxes so your kid can focus on the fun rather than the intricacies of being in the right gear. The petrol powered ones tend to be between 150cc and 200cc which gives a good amount of power without being lethal. You can get single seaters or twin seaters too.
One of the most interesting emerging trends in off roading is electrification. With small off-road vehicles electric power can be ideal. They offer huge amounts of instant torque to send you up the steepest incline, they also are completely clean and don’t make an antisocial amount of noise.
Kids off road buggies are some of the first to feature this technology with 1000w motors being just about perfect for a small single seater buggy.
Which Off Road Buggy
Today we face a huge choice of off-road machinery designed to put a smile on your face. While off road karting and dirt buggies are still an emerging sector, for those first entering the sport it can be difficult to work out exactly which buggy or kit you should go for.
There are a wide range of options in terms of size and engine, but to work out which is for you, you first need to consider the following questions.
- What will you be using your buggy for?
- Who will be driving your buggy?
If you are looking to race your buggy then you will definitely want to consider the type of engine you select. While it will be tempting to go for the largest engine displacement possible, you will want to be sure the racing series you’re looking to compete in will allow you to enter.
As a first foray into off roading it would be wise to select a buggy with a more modest power figure to learn the ropes anyway.
If you’re hoping to do some extreme off road trail riding as opposed to dirt track racing them you will likely be more interested in the suspension setup of your buggy. Rock crawling go-anywhere buggies tend to feature a lot more suspension travel and a taller ride height to clear the roughest of terrain.
If you are sourcing a dirt buggy for a child, you will want to seriously consider safety equipment such as chassis strength plus quality seats and harnesses to ensure the safety of little ones.
Single seater buggies tend to be smaller and a bit more cost-effective if you’re looking to fly solo, but if you’re hoping to share the enjoyment with a friend or loved one, it can often be worth the additional to get a two seater.
Whichever type of off road buggy you choose, you’re sure to have a blast taking to the dirt and putting the pedal to the metal.
Make sure to get in touch with us if you have anything to add or would like to ask any questions on how to build your off road buggy (in the UK), we will try and help as best we can.