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This topic contains 64 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Ambrose Buldo 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #84198

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    Hey all,

    I’m exploring the world of Karting as I am eager to get racing, but still don’t have the budget for SCCA/NASA Spec Miata/E46 builds and such.

    I know all the large Karting associations, but I’m curious as to how to get started. I am from NJ and there is a series called the F Series State Championship, has anyone heard/or know about this? What series’s cater to Novice Karting?

    Can any advise me to some websites/videos to check out when getting started?

    Additional info, I am 21 years old in NJ and have the budget for a Kart/spares and a truck for transportation.

    Thank you,

    Gene

    #84244

    Morgan Schuler
    Participant

    The F Series is a great regional series but I wouldn’t start there. That series is for the experienced racer not someone new to the sport.

    You can search for tracks in your area here: https://www.kartpulse.com/tracksandseries/map

    Oakland Valley Race Park (www.ovrp.net) is one track/club to look at.

    Go check out the racing at your local track. I would start with club racing a Briggs and Stratton LO206. The 206 is cheap to own and operate so you can focus on learning to drive.

    #84246

    Matt Martin
    Participant

    There’s plenty of places in the area – NJMP, Englishtown, OVRP, Summit Point, Sandy Hook, etc.

    I run with the Woodbridge Kart Club at Summit Point, and would like to run some of the F-series events, too.

    i would suggest finding yourself a newish used TAG kart, and go with any of the local clubs.  Sanctioning bodies are always looking to add racers to their weekends; as such, they and everyone else at the tracks tend to be friendly and helpful to new karters.

    #84269

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    The F Series is a great regional series but I wouldn’t start there. That series is for the experienced racer not someone new to the sport. You can search for tracks in your area here: https://www.kartpulse.com/tracksandseries/map Oakland Valley Race Park (www.ovrp.net) is one track/club to look at. Go check out the racing at your local track. I would start with club racing a Briggs and Stratton LO206. The 206 is cheap to own and operate so you can focus on learning to drive.

    I will definitely check out OVRP… I was unaware there were so many tracks nearby.

    As far as the LO206 goes, what is the most popular chassis this is used with? Or does it vary?

    Where do I look for Karts? It seems like RacingJunk has quite a few listed, or are there other retails that typically deal with used karts?

    Thanks.

    #84270

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    There’s plenty of places in the area – NJMP, Englishtown, OVRP, Summit Point, Sandy Hook, etc. I run with the Woodbridge Kart Club at Summit Point, and would like to run some of the F-series events, too. i would suggest finding yourself a newish used TAG kart, and go with any of the local clubs. Sanctioning bodies are always looking to add racers to their weekends; as such, they and everyone else at the tracks tend to be friendly and helpful to new karters.

    I have seen that TAG and LO206 are both very popular, which one would run me slightly lower in cost/maintenance? And what is a good ballpark price that each of these would cost me up front? (complete kart w/ chassis and engine).

    Thanks so much guys.

    #84271

    Wade Wishneski
    Participant

    To clarify, the F Series does promote a series of events called the State Championship Series which comprises 10 events split between New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) & Englishtown.  This is a good club type series and runs separately from the The F Series Gear Up events which is comprised of 6 events.  If you’re in the NJ area, the F Series State Championship and Oakland Valley (OVRP) are both good options.  We run the full State Championship series and select F Series Gear Up events.  In this area though, LO206 has not really taken off as much as some have tried, so your viable option really is TAG.  Full Tilt Racing does offer rentals at the State Championship events if you’d really like to try it before diving into karting.  FYI: there is a State Championship event this weekend at Englishtown, NJ

    http://www.thestatechampionship.com/

    #84274

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    To clarify, the F Series does promote a series of events called the State Championship Series which comprises 10 events split between New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) & Englishtown. This is a good club type series and runs separately from the The F Series Gear Up events which is comprised of 6 events. If you’re in the NJ area, the F Series State Championship and Oakland Valley (OVRP) are both good options. We run the full State Championship series and select F Series Gear Up events. In this area though, LO206 has not really taken off as much as some have tried, so your viable option really is TAG. Full Tilt Racing does offer rentals at the State Championship events if you’d really like to try it before diving into karting. FYI: there is a State Championship event this weekend at Englishtown, NJ http://www.thestatechampionship.com/

    Wade, thanks for the info, and thanks for giving me a heads up on the LO206 popularity.

    I was actually going to do a Full Tilt rental at Englishtown sometime this summer to see how I feel about it. I’m assuming Full Tilt does rent out TAG karts?

    Out of curiosity, what is a fair price for a complete used TAG kart?

    Thanks guys!

    #84277

    Matt Martin
    Participant

    There’s plenty of places in the area – NJMP, Englishtown, OVRP, Summit Point, Sandy Hook, etc. I run with the Woodbridge Kart Club at Summit Point, and would like to run some of the F-series events, too. i would suggest finding yourself a newish used TAG kart, and go with any of the local clubs. Sanctioning bodies are always looking to add racers to their weekends; as such, they and everyone else at the tracks tend to be friendly and helpful to new karters.

    I have seen that TAG and LO206 are both very popular, which one would run me slightly lower in cost/maintenance? And what is a good ballpark price that each of these would cost me up front? (complete kart w/ chassis and engine). Thanks so much guys.

    LO206/4-cycle stuff is probably the easiest on the wallet for maintenance.

     

    I’m less well versed on 4-stroke stuff, but you can get a good running TAG setup for $2.5-5k depending on what you want, or how competitive of a kart you want out of the box.

     

    Check the Classifieds on this forum, as well as ebay, and racing junk.  In addition head to your local track(s) on a race weekend and you’ll often see karts for sale in and around the paddock.

    #84281

    Ambrose Buldo
    Participant

    They have totally repaved and reconfiged OVRP in the Winter. Great Track. A real track with elevation changes. Grippy, fast, smooth and Challanging. They offer TAG Rentals as well. I may be up there later this week.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a L206 up there… Mostly TAG. Track was mostly Rotax, which is what we ran until a few weeks ago. Just switched over to the Vortax ROK as track now supports that brand. Most common Kart Brand is Tony Kart, Followed by Briel. Kart brand does not make much difference as most part most parts are interchangeable.

    I’ve helped some friends get into the sport. $2,500 -$3,000 gets you a decent package. They all went Rotax, which is probably the lowest safest bet if going TAG.

    #84283

    Wade Wishneski
    Participant

    Gene

    Yes try the Full Tilt rental first.  Yes they rent out TAGs, typically a Leopard motor.

    If your interested in getting involved, it should be a TAG kart, especially in the NJ, PA, NY, and New England states, region of the country.  LO206 is not catching on.

    As for pricing, do yourself a favor and buy a good used kart.  IMO, a Tony, Compkart or Birel are your best bets for support and tunability in this region of the country.  Yes there are other brands but these are by far the most popular TAG karts in the NJ region.  I’m not a salesman, this is just an objective observation.  Price $3000 – $3500 for a good used Tony kart  or Compkart.  As for motor, go with a IAME X30.  Again, by far the most popular in the NJ region.  It is also fairly easy to tune & maintain.  You can find good used X30’s for about $2200 – $2500.  As for finding good used equipment, talk with dealers in this region, i.e. Kaos Kart Shop, Full Tilt, J3 Competition.  As for an X30, this EKN site has been a good option.  I’ve personally bought 3 – X30’s from guys on this site and all have been a good experience!

    #84284

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    They have totally repaved and reconfiged OVRP in the Winter. Great Track. A real track with elevation changes. Grippy, fast, smooth and Challanging. They offer TAG Rentals as well. I may be up there later this week. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a L206 up there… Mostly TAG. Track was mostly Rotax, which is what we ran until a few weeks ago. Just switched over to the Vortax ROK as track now supports that brand. Most common Kart Brand is Tony Kart, Followed by Briel. Kart brand does not make much difference as most part most parts are interchangeable. I’ve helped some friends get into the sport. $2,500 -$3,000 gets you a decent package. They all went Rotax, which is probably the lowest safest bet if going TAG.

    Ambrose, thanks for the info.

    Searching around I have seen a decent amount of Tony Kart and Briel karts on the classifieds of different sites. So some of the TAG karts go with one of those chassis and a Rotax engine, correct?

    I would also like to go to the OVRP track one day as I am not too far from it, to watch some of the open practice and learn more about the track/sport.

    Perhaps we would link up and meet up there one week? None of my friends are into karting so I don’t have much of baseline for knowledge, although these forums are helping me a good bit.

    Thanks again everyone.

    #84286

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    Gene Yes try the Full Tilt rental first. Yes they rent out TAGs, typically a Leopard motor. If your interested in getting involved, it should be a TAG kart, especially in the NJ, PA, NY, and New England states, region of the country. LO206 is not catching on. As for pricing, do yourself a favor and buy a good used kart. IMO, a Tony, Compkart or Birel are your best bets for support and tunability in this region of the country. Yes there are other brands but these are by far the most popular TAG karts in the NJ region. I’m not a salesman, this is just an objective observation. Price $3000 – $3500 for a good used Tony kart or Compkart. As for motor, go with a IAME X30. Again, by far the most popular in the NJ region. It is also fairly easy to tune & maintain. You can find good used X30’s for about $2200 – $2500. As for finding good used equipment, talk with dealers in this region, i.e. Kaos Kart Shop, Full Tilt, J3 Competition. As for an X30, this EKN site has been a good option. I’ve personally bought 3 – X30’s from guys on this site and all have been a good experience!

    Wade, thanks for the quick response.

    To clarify, are you talking about $3000-3500 for only the kart chassis? Or complete kart? Later on you say the IAME X30 runs about $2200-2500, which would put the total at a potential for over $5000, which I know can happen. But others on here have said I can get a pretty decent complete package starting at around $2500.

    Just trying to clear some things up in my plans!

    Thanks again Wade, Ambrose, Matt, for the quick responses.

    #84298

    Dom Callan
    Participant

    Gene,

    Am in same boat as you. The only thing I could find that seems to fit the bill is through full tilt karting at the englishtown raceway. I am headed there Saturday to speak to them and go round in circles on their tag kart. They seem to run more than just arrive and drive services.

    I will ask about racing leagues etc. for us older farts (I am 47) and will let you know what they have to say.

     

    #84300

    FREDDY SANDOVAL
    Participant

    Just run LO206, there is something about that class that is too much fun!!! Hard to describe, but we have ran many different classes and engine packages through the years, and LO206 is so much fun, with out all the stress of engine/clutch tuning etc. Just set up your correct gear ratio, put gas and go.

    It is so cheap to run, all you gotta do is change the motor oil every race weekend, they use cheap pump gas.

    TAG, Yamaha KT100 can get pretty expensive with rebuilds every 3 to 4 races if you wanna stay competitive, new clutches are around $365, plus you have to run race fuel and pre mix every race, ad another $95 to $105.

    Just do LO206 for a season or 2 till you get real good at it, then switch to whatever engine you want.

     

    Anyhow just my 2 cents.

    #84306

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    Gene, Am in same boat as you. The only thing I could find that seems to fit the bill is through full tilt karting at the englishtown raceway. I am headed there Saturday to speak to them and go round in circles on their tag kart. They seem to run more than just arrive and drive services. I will ask about racing leagues etc. for us older farts (I am 47) and will let you know what they have to say.

    Dom,

    Keep me updated on what they say. Also try to get them to tell you the popularity of the different available series/classes.

    And have fun in TAG kart!

    Thanks again.

    #84309

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    Just run LO206, there is something about that class that is too much fun!!! Hard to describe, but we have ran many different classes and engine packages through the years, and LO206 is so much fun, with out all the stress of engine/clutch tuning etc. Just set up your correct gear ratio, put gas and go. It is so cheap to run, all you gotta do is change the motor oil every race weekend, they use cheap pump gas. TAG, Yamaha KT100 can get pretty expensive with rebuilds every 3 to 4 races if you wanna stay competitive, new clutches are around $365, plus you have to run race fuel and pre mix every race, ad another $95 to $105. Just do LO206 for a season or 2 till you get real good at it, then switch to whatever engine you want. Anyhow just my 2 cents.

    Freddy,

    I do like the idea of a cheaper to maintain kart, but I would want to be doing more than just hotlaps around a track with no one in my class. A few of the guys on here say in my area LO206 isn’t too popular… so I would be hesitant because of the lack of participation. Maybe I can find a certain series where a handful of guys run the LO206 and get some more info from them.

    It does seem like the LO206 is cheaper/easier to maintain, but the drawback seems like there is less than ideal competition (in my area)… so I will have to try to weigh each of those pros/cons in my head.

    I would appreciate if any of the local guys could chip in on this. Maybe I could go LO206 and learn my skills and hotlap and solo/autocross (if thats an option) before I move to a more competitive class. Maybe I will even find a few more LO206 guys to race with.

    Please let me know what you guys think.

    -Gene

    #84329

    Ambrose Buldo
    Participant

    I was there was a strong LO206 or 100cc field at OVRP, but there is not. The engine package is more important than the chassis for support. If I went the LO206 Route, I’d be running alone or being a obsticial in the Tag sessions.

    Yes, TAG Karts are fast and you are better off learning on a slower Kart, but if you intend to race or do at least competitive lapping, you need to take into consideration at least what your local track club series supports. At least in TAG, a Leopard competes against a Rotax which competes against x-30, which competes against a ROK. We were all on track Sunday, running more or less same lap times. Here is some just processed Video. iKart at OVRP

    #84331

    FREDDY SANDOVAL
    Participant

    Well, sorry, I had no Idea how low in numbers you guys were in your town, here in Cali we have plenty kart counts, just in LO206  last year we had 36 karts, and keeps growing, most states in the country are embracing that class and it’s growing very rapidly, I’m really surprised it hasn’t taken off in your town.

    Some of the TAG motor packages you guys mentioned are boat anchors here, and at many race tracks are no longer supported, or any class available for them, yes they let them run with other TAG motors but there’s no class for them.

    My buddy had a brand new TAG X30 package, he only used it about 2 to 3 times, then ran one race with us at the LO206 class, he loved it so much he sold his 3 race old X30 package. Keep in mind we have ran many classes in the passed, now we only focus on LO206 and shifter karts SKUSA only.

    I would highly recommend to look harder and make absolutely sure what strong classes run at your local track, or even if you have to travel 1 to 2 hours to get to a good track with a big class it may be worth it.

    Sorry, I’m just trying to help, and no I would not like for you to do hot laps by yourself either, but you did mention you were considering LO206 That’s why I recommended it that’s all.

    Do you guys have a massive amount of TAG karts there? What are the numbers each race weekend?

    This is what it looks like here in Cali for SKUSA  or Tri-C Karters

    About 86 shifter karts on the grid

    #84333

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    I was there was a strong LO206 or 100cc field at OVRP, but there is not. The engine package is more important than the chassis for support. If I went the LO206 Route, I’d be running alone or being a obsticial in the Tag sessions. Yes, TAG Karts are fast and you are better off learning on a slower Kart, but if you intend to race or do at least competitive lapping, you need to take into consideration at least what your local track club series supports. At least in TAG, a Leopard competes against a Rotax which competes against x-30, which competes against a ROK. We were all on track Sunday, running more or less same lap times. Here is some just processed Video. iKart at OVRP

    Ambrose,

    I watched your vid, it looks fun!

    There is really almost no one else who would run a LO206? What can you say about the maintenance of a TAG kart? Is it really that expensive?

    Thank you to all for the help.

    #84334

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    Well, sorry, I had no Idea how low in numbers you guys were in your town, here in Cali we have plenty kart counts, just in LO206 last year we had 36 karts, and keeps growing, most states in the country are embracing that class and it’s growing very rapidly, I’m really surprised it hasn’t taken off in your town. Some of the TAG motor packages you guys mentioned are boat anchors here, and at many race tracks are no longer supported, or any class available for them, yes they let them run with other TAG motors but there’s no class for them. My buddy had a brand new TAG X30 package, he only used it about 2 to 3 times, then ran one race with us at the LO206 class, he loved it so much he sold his 3 race old X30 package. Keep in mind we have ran many classes in the passed, now we only focus on LO206 and shifter karts SKUSA only. I would highly recommend to look harder and make absolutely sure what strong classes run at your local track, or even if you have to travel 1 to 2 hours to get to a good track with a big class it may be worth it. Sorry, I’m just trying to help, and no I would not like for you to do hot laps by yourself either, but you did mention you were considering LO206 That’s why I recommended it that’s all. Do you guys have a massive amount of TAG karts there? What are the numbers each race weekend? This is what it looks like here in Cali for SKUSA or Tri-C Karters About 86 shifter karts on the grid

    Freddy,

    I appreciate the quick response. I may be going to a few events in the future to walk around and learn more about the events/kart counts. I don’t know how little participation there is in LO206, but it seems like very little. I would probably travel to OVRP, Englishtown and NJMP, to see what the different participation rates are at each of those locations.

    From a little searching it seems like the up front cost of a TAG kart and a LO206 are a little closer than I expected. The big difference here seems to be the maintenance…

    Maybe I can get some info from a few TAG guys on what their annual expenses are for maintaining their karts. Anyone have something to chip in on this topic?

    Thanks everyone, this forum is great!

    #84337

    Ambrose Buldo
    Participant

    Rotax 50Hrs on Standard Rebuild, $1450, had no issues, top end 25 hrs, half that price

    Ran pump gas, Motol oil at 50:1, $17 per liter

    Maybe another $400 between rebuilds. Reeds, matting, filters, sparkplugs, etc

    Everything else is probably the same regadless of engine… Seat, tires, lube, chain, brakes, sprockets

    Until something breaks, the Rotax is as reliable as a TAG engine gets. Then parts get expensive.

    #84340

    Gene Siskoske
    Participant

    Rotax 50Hrs on Standard Rebuild, $1450, had no issues, top end 25 hrs, half that price Ran pump gas, Motol oil at 50:1, $17 per liter Maybe another $400 between rebuilds. Reeds, matting, filters, sparkplugs, etc Everything else is probably the same regadless of engine… Seat, tires, lube, chain, brakes, sprockets Until something breaks, the Rotax is as reliable as a TAG engine gets. Then parts get expensive.

    Ambrose thanks again for the response,

    That is about what I had in mind for maintenance… I will continue to research and learn more about the local community, hopefully I can get to a few events this year to just watch and learn, maybe make a few contacts, etc.

    Thanks again for all the help guys.

    #84353

    Wade Wishneski
    Participant

    Gene

    A good used chassis = $3000 – $3500

    A decent used X30 = $2200 – $2500

    Mychron 5 new = $500

    Do yourself a favor and buy good used stuff & save yourself the agg of replacing that “decent used package” later.  Been there , done that already and I’ve only been karting 2.5 years now.  Yes it’ll be roughly $5500 – $6000 but I’m being honest.  Spend a couple $$ upfront to save later.

    Also, IMHO, don’t buy a Rotax, they are now a thing of the past in the USA and at this point who is supporting the Rotax??  Again, in the NJ area, go with an X30, by far the most popular motor in the area and real easy to get IAME parts.  I’m not saying its the cheapest or most economical motor, but by far most common motor on karts in the NJ area.

     

     

    #84359

    Wade Wishneski
    Participant

    Gene, Am in same boat as you. The only thing I could find that seems to fit the bill is through full tilt karting at the englishtown raceway. I am headed there Saturday to speak to them and go round in circles on their tag kart. They seem to run more than just arrive and drive services. I will ask about racing leagues etc. for us older farts (I am 47) and will let you know what they have to say.

    Dom

    Go there Saturday and rent a TAG kart from Full Tilt and run it to get an idea of karting.  Talk with Full Tilt, they are a Tony Kart dealer.  As for your age, I’m 52 and racing the F Series State Championship Series is perfect, 10 races and I’m fairly competitive in that series.  Other dealers will be there on Saturday as well, including Compkart dealers.

    #84360

    Ambrose Buldo
    Participant

    I agree the Rotax is becoming less relevant. It is probably caused by their crazy pricing, their Evo Upgrade mess and the disparity between motors they build. That’s why I jumped ship and traded my ROTAX Quasi-Evo in for the ROK. The X-30 was probably a safer bet, but it would of cost me much more to upgrade. Hope with OVRP supporting the ROK, it becomes more common.

    OVRP always has used Karts for sale. Other folks mentioned other sources. Take a ride up to the track, they are open every day. I may go up, sometime during the week or next Sunday. OVRP has rentals availiable everyday except Mondays. Call them direct or hit ovrp.net.

    At 53 YO, going to be racing in their “TAG Masters Class”. Hot sure how competitive I’ll be, but age-wise, I more than qualify.

    If you buy a used engine as part of a package, you should make user you get a good deal. Treat the engine as having very little value unless it is brand new of fresh off a full rebuild by reputable builder.

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