Home Forums General Karting Discussion Bumpers or No Bumpers, That is the Question

This topic contains 61 replies, has 38 voices, and was last updated by  Ian Bushey 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #27884

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Today, the CIK-FIA announced a new plan to introduce a new front fairing combination that is designed to “fight against bad behaviour on the track”

    HERE is the article

    Personally, I like the full rear bumper as it helps to eliminate the up and over incidents with the front nose connecting with the rear tire. However, this idea seems to be a bit of an over-kill.

    Is this the time to remove the rear bumpers at the top level of the sport?

    Discuss

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #27885

    Gregg Palmer
    Participant

    I like the bumper setup as it is. I think the race directors need to enforce rough driving code more and in drivers meetings let everyone know that rough driving will not be allowed and you will be black flagged if caught. Let’s face it a little bumper use is not bad and it happens in tight racing but in no way do I think it’s the way to push people out of the way to make a pass.

  • #27886

    Greg Welch
    Participant

    I vote no bumpers.  I think the amount of crashing people get away with has gone up exponentially since the rear bumper came around.   Sure it’s saved a radiator or two, but caused a significant amount more people not to finish races at all.

  • #27887

    Doug Harden
    Participant

    So why have front bumpers then? Take them off, that’ll slow down the bumper kart drivers….

     

    But seriously, make all the bumpers like the OTK bumpers that are paper thin and collapse under wind resistance….or it sure seems like they do.

     

    This proposed change will lead to 100’s of protests due to people pushing you into the kart in front, especially on starts….or the lead kart brake checking you to cause this failure.

     

    Make the track police the bad driving….enough with causing the racers to spend money instead of the tracks…it’s getting harder to justify the costs of this hobby as it is.

  • #27889

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    I think it’s great someone is thinking of this stuff but that bumper system will evaporate faster than spit on a griddle when it hits the USA. What ever happened to the system where the front bumper pops off when you hit too hard? People started safety wiring the clamps and then business as usual.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

  • #27890

    Tim Koyen
    Participant

    My vote would be for the old steel rear bumpers.  Waaaaaay less wrecking.  I think the few radiators saved by the new plastic bumpers is far..far outweighed by the increased frequency of race-ending wrecks caused by unchecked aggression and a lack of real consequences.

    Simply policing the racing more is an impossible task at any event of size.  The new in vogue thing to do is just turn right into the guy next to you on the straightaways.  Maybe all the bodywork should be breakaway?

    Take the bumpers off the bumper cars, and they become just cars.  Cars that we can race.

    KartLift Kart Stands
    DeepSeat Kart Seats
    877-777-8020
    ------------------
    Don't bother PMing me, it doesn't work. Email is best: tim@kartlift.com.

  • #27895

    Peter Zambos
    Participant

    I agree that the full-width steel bumper is the way to go.  I will say that, when we have experienced corner staff in road racing, the policing of unnecessary contact is done rather well.  The problem is the having will to do something about it and making the effort and expenditure, so effective control really doesn’t happen too often.  But, if we could do it under those conditions in road racing, I don’t see why it can’t be done in a much smaller sprint setting.

  • #27897

    Doug Harden
    Participant

    It’ll be this before long.. 

  • #27903

    Paul Hir
    Participant

    After running several years without I ran a couple races last year with a metal full width bumper.   I didn’t see a advantage in fact I could have easily used it as side battering ram, not that I would be it could.

  • #27907

    Anonymous

    I hate all the body work period..  We raced a lot cleaner back in the day when getting over a wheel made you race with respect. Problem with all the bodywork is everyone has lost respect for the other driver.Sorry but rubbing and beating on a guy isn’t racing.

  • #27910

    Gary Smith
    Participant

    I’d say do away with them, not for the safety factor, which is slim at best, but for the guys out there that put there karts on verticle stands, what a PITA to remove the bumper to stand the kart upright to transport, and then try to figure out what to do with the “blasted” bumper once you remove it.  Not only that, but you might have to reroute your exhaust to keep from melting the dang thing. What A Pain In The Arse.

    Gary

    #55 Honda CR80 with melted rear bumper.

  • #27923

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Maybe we need a race where you don’t sign a release form.

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

  • #27936

    lynn haddock
    Participant

    More overpriced non-sense from Europe. Racing was better and the drivers were better when we only used four number panels and small tubular bumpers + nerf bars. All this plastic crap that has been sold in the name of safety and making the karts look more like race cars is a huge load of  S —  Follow the money for the real truth.

  • #27940

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    I’m probably being really mean but I’d love to see 75% of the tag drivers on their head. Dont want amyone hurt but wouldn’t mind if they got s little banged up and ruined the expensive paint job that daddy bought them as their consequence! Lol

    The lack of respect for each other at many events is a great contributor for why their is a perceived lack of prestige at many events. Many drivers just think all the other drivers “suck”. I hear it from drivers all the time.

  • #27941

    Brian Mead
    Participant

  • #28000

    patrick j slattery
    Participant

    Silly and costly.  The best way is to have the race officials stop tolerating rough drivers.

     

    What happens when the front karts start brake checking the competition to knock off the bumpers of the kart behind them

     

  • #28008

    tony zambos
    Participant

    If you can get away with brake checking the kart behind, what’s to stop the lead kart on the first lap brake checking the entire field. Sounds like a great way to win a race. Please!, no new bumper.

    LAD Specialties customer / tony kart / rotax / kt100

  • #28025

    John Lafakis
    Participant

    Design a replaceable sticker that is applied before every race.  The sticker is textured such that it will leave a residue on the offending driver’s bumper when hit hard enough.  After the race you can view the front or rear of the bumpers to see who has been rubbing and penalize accordingly.  This way we can keep the bumpers and the safety they “may” provide, while also being able to officially call out repeat offenders.

    What this doesn’t fix is people brake-checking or using other nefarious maneuvers, however it can show who is constantly causing trouble and allow officials to more closely monitor them (you can be called out more easily if you constantly have someone else’s sticker on your bumper).  The material can also be trademarked and coded so that nobody can alter or replicate the material easily.  If you never get hit or never hit anyone else, you will never have to replace your material unless you win and are checked for legality.

    As a side note, I must be the only one that likes the current plastic bodywork.  It gives the kart a level of safety (even if that safety may be exploited from time-to-time), while also keeping the karts from looking like something out of Mad Max.  As long as the plastics don’t get overly obnoxious I think they give a certain level of style to the karts, while also giving us enough space for unique graphic patterns.

     

     

  • #28028

    Evan Fraser
    Participant

    Interesting idea John.  Personally I like the bodywork too, both look and function.  I’ve had plenty of small side-to-side impacts that would’ve been worse without the pods, and enjoy how close it lets you get to the other karts without fear of tires connecting.  Having said that I’ve never been side-swiped out of a corner.  I’ll come back and rant when that happens.

    Evan Fraser

    #43 - Formula K FK01 / Briggs LO206

    West Coast Kart Club

  • #28041

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    This isn’t a new problem, It was here at Badger 10-15 years ago, WKA for a while banned  full bumpers because of the pushing in corners.

    The reality is pretty simple to understand. If the kart in ft of you has open tires showing, chances are, if you hit them, its you thats going up and out. Just as clear, if the kart in ft of you has a full bumper, it doesn’t take much of a hit as he enters a corner to move him out of your way. If a driver doesn’t understand that, maybe he shouldn’t be out there

    The answer appears to be fairly simple, do you want to race open wheeled karts, or bumper cars?

     

    For those calling for better enforcement, here’s a story I have had to give at Badger many times.

    When a parent, crew member, family or friend has something happen to their driver they come running to the Flagman or RD saying “didn’t you see that?

    The sad truth is, when you have 10-25 karts on the track, are looking from one stationary point and have the entire track and field to look over, probably not.

    When you watching, your looking at your driver full time, the officials, or CW’s have everyone to look at. Their view is  often obstructed by other karts, their angle to the situation, distance, etc. They can not stare directly at each kart, most likely they don’t notice something until it has started to happen. Sad but true.

     

  • #28072

    Jim Derrig
    Participant

    You old guys crack me up.  “It was way better when I was a kid.”  Right, and there hasn’t been a decent rock band since the Beatles, either.

    My personal experience with rough driving is that it’s not as black-and-white as you think.  “I’ll just punt this guy” often turns into “crap, I didn’t punt him and now I lost a ton of momentum by hitting him and there he goes off into the distance.”  90% of the successful contact i see is on the side pods, while wedging your way inside to pass on a tight corner.

    The current bumper system works fine.  Agree that stricter enforcement of the rules would go a long way. Some of the contact is absurdly blatant and nothing is done.

  • #28075

    bo rougeou
    Participant

    We’ve been on both ends of the bumper debate.

    While not a fan of the pushing and shoving either, it is those once in 3 or 4 races accidents that the bumpers are designed to help.  It is better for the racer’s hide/bones/noggin in the long run.

    When I look back now on the bumperless karts,I think of days when men were men.

    But hindsight tells me that a bumper would have been a good idea then too, just no one made you use it.

    There is a limit.  Have we reached the point where more would be better?  Can we plan for every possible accident/ failure/lapse in judgement?  Doubtful

     

  • #28090

    mark waller
    Participant

    Overall bumpers help things as is.  Best comment was how, with the new proposal/CIK bumper system, guys would be penalized when at the start they are punted into the back of someone in front.  New CIK proposal seems to make more new problems than it solves.  Comments about not being able to see all the rough driving aren’t justification for any position.  You put marshals at several corners, let them move around a bit, and nail the  guys that you do catch with significant penalties.  So you don’t catch every one of them?  So what?  You put some hotshoe factory guy at the back, just like anyone else, and it sends a message to everyone.  Enforcing some of these rules about rough driving would not stop all of it, but it would be a good start.

  • #28091

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    LOL successful contact, I think you’re part of the problem.

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

  • #28094

    Evan Fraser
    Participant

    Bob Vehring: Having been on the enforcement end of the operation I agree that you can’t see everything or even a significant portion of the race.  Most incidents I’ve had to report I only saw after they started to happen and these were incidents that occurred in just my corner.

    While enforcement is the ideal solution, it’s also unrealistic to have 100% enforcement even if you have full course coverage, as a CW’s first concern is safety, which is why we’re having this entire discussion as someone (CIK-FIA) has tried to present an alternative to mitigate the issue.

    As you say the answer is fairly simple: Responsibility rests with the driver.  Responsibility cannot however be forced.

    Evan Fraser

    #43 - Formula K FK01 / Briggs LO206

    West Coast Kart Club

  • #28107

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    In a perfect world, we’d all have highly trained pro CW’s, how ever that’s rarely the case. Lets face it, at best its a one day a week JOB, and the pay, if there is any sucks

    Even it Road Racing where we sometimes get the same CW’s as say Indy Car, there actually not very good for Karting because how we race is so different from cars.

    My kids have raced since the 80’s, Road Race, Sprint and ovals, all share the problem. Whatever the class, if legal I use 4 cy style body work, even in 2 cy classes. Simple rule, To finish first, you must first finish. A full nose covers you front tires, really cuts down on climbing someone elses tires or kart. With only the short bumper in back, no one, well almost no one will deliberately try to tap you out going into a corner with a chance of climbing your tire. Sprint is not remotely as rough as oval racing, every oval kart there has a full nose and a short bumper, for exactly those reasons, to stay in the race.

    I understand the European following doesn’t like that style, and I do have CIK body work for our sprint karts, just don’t use it unless we have to, the goal is to minimize anything, that could cause us problems.

    I think the point here has been made several times, the “new answer” looks like it could cause more problems then it would fix

     

    BTW, I guess that now I could qualify as the “old guy”, and the Beatles sucked in the 60’s too

  • #28111

    Tim Pappas
    Participant

    There have been more torn up karts since the plastic bumpers were implemented than before. Why? The stewards cant see everything, its easy just to punt and run, drivers dont have to learn how to pass anymore, and a complete lack of respect especially from those racing on Daddys money.  It doesnt help that two of the greatest drivers of our time, Senna and MS, had a crash to win mentality that has become the norm.  The tag sr. Class at any big race has become a joke. When indoor karting is cleaner than a national kart race there is a problem.  My solution. Ditch the plastic rear bumpers. Let drivers learn how to pass and learn consequences. Land on your head once and you will think twice. For those that dont learn that is just Darwinism. You cant fix stupid.

     

  • #28112

    Brian Degulis
    Participant

    Having been in karting 40 years ago I’ve seen it with and without body work. Without it contact was rare and sometimes catastrophic. When I got back in with my kids I thought the body work was a great idea and I still do even though excessive contact is now the norm. The problem isn’t the bodywork it’s that the rules are not being enforced some tracks don’t even try.

    We have several venues to race in our area. One is a local club that uses a car track. The track isn’t very good but the people running it and almost all of the members are really good people. It’s cheap and accessible I loved it because you weren’t come up against big money or factory teams it was good local racing. There were 2 idiots in the shifter class that were just plain reckless so reckless that the entire TAG class refused to run with them. The track for whatever reason wouldn’t do anything about it. I guess they were worried about kart count and I get that but in the long run they lost kart count by trying to appease everyone and ignoring the problem. There are other tracks in our area that do enforce the rules so now we go there.

    Tracks have to start enforcing the rules. If they don’t then don’t show up.

    Brian

  • #28133

    Evan Fraser
    Participant

    I have to admit Bob (and the other well-written replies) you’re swaying me to the no-rear-bumper side of the argument.  What better way to learn not to be an ass than to land on your head?  If all we’re doing is trying to encourage better, more sportsmanlike driving then I agree.  From a safety perspective though anything that helps prevent head-and-neck injuries should be encouraged.  I wear a collar even though they’re not mandated, and will likely be buying a 360 device.

    Where the CIK is concerned though the rear bumper now becomes a liability issue.  If they remove it then they’re knowingly risking more rollovers and will be blamed for someone’s child being injured.  I don’t see that happening.

    Evan Fraser

    #43 - Formula K FK01 / Briggs LO206

    West Coast Kart Club

  • #28134

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    What about removing the rear bumper from Senior level racing? Keep them on the Junior and Cadet levels.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #28139

    Evan Fraser
    Participant

    Juniors are some of the most aggressive, fearless drivers I’ve ever seen and so the most likely to run over someone’s tail in my opinion.  If they learn in their first 8 years of driving that they can run in to the kart in front of them without consequence, I’m not sure that they won’t continue trying to do so despite the lack of bumper in senior.  I opine that it’s all or nothing.  Remove it from all of them or keep it for all of them.  Or maybe keep it in Cadet, as those are just little kids who should be kept as safe as possible, and remove it from Junior on up.

    Evan Fraser

    #43 - Formula K FK01 / Briggs LO206

    West Coast Kart Club

  • #28144

    Dustin McGrew
    Participant

    Taking off the bumpers just to stop people from bumping sounds like a terrible idea to me.

    Evan, you say landing on your head would be a teaching a lesson. What about someone who drives clean and just happens to get caught up in something? I don’t think that person is being taught a lesson. All that person is getting is a trip to the ambulance.

    I’m not a fan of anything that makes it easier to go upside down. This no bumpers thing just sounds awful to me. IMO its like saying F1 needs to go back to the cars they raced in the 60’s because everyone raced with more respect. Respect didn’t stop anyone from dying.

  • #28145

    Evan Fraser
    Participant

    Very true, it’s not just the bumping drivers that are going to land on their head.  I’m just saying I can see where Bob is coming from that removing the rear bumper will probably reduce the amount of ramming as it will make the cost that much higher.

    You’re right.  If the issue was ONLY sportsmanship with no additional risk I’d say remove it.  However while the removal of the bumper may force some drivers to drive with a bit more respect for the consequences of ramming someone, the risk is too great.  I’m going to commit and say: Keep it.

    In my response to David I was saying not whether to remove or keep it, just that if they decide on one or the other that it should be consistent.

    Evan Fraser

    #43 - Formula K FK01 / Briggs LO206

    West Coast Kart Club

  • #28161

    Collin Lynn
    Participant

    I have not been to a race in about 5 years so I decided to go watch the SKUSA race at DKC. I was shocked at the amount of people just punting the guy in front of them and not even trying to pass. I am not saying everything was better in the old days but I do know the more body work that’s been added to the karts has increased the amount of intentional contact.  At one point on the grid I heard someone ask their driver why didn’t you just punt the guy out of the way, I think the rear bumpers are a large part of this mentality plus they just look stupid.

  • #28162

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Lets be clear that I am talking the same basic bumperthat comes up to the WKA required height and runs at least between the frame rules.. That is the same design thats been on all karts since we started in 83. It protects every thing but the wheels.

     

    I think a big part of the problem is US karting has now simply taken to the common practice of simply mandating what the Europeans do. Please don’t tell me its saftey because far to many things saftey related, some of which were mandated for years, are now not enforced on European karts.

    Heres a few of my favorites. At one time ALL karts were required to have some form of stopping the rear hubs from coming off the axel. It could be Cir Clip, tether or a nut and bolt. ALL 4 cy classes must still have this. CIK karts no longer have to because they don’t ship them with that. I guess wheels don’t come off over there but you may remember years ago a member of this board died when hit in the face with someones elses wheel and tire that flew across the track.

    All 4 cy engines are required to have their pipes wrapped with heat tape, our pipes are 1 in in dia and about 16 in long. Seems odd that a 2 cy pipe, that cover the whole area in the back of the kart, or my real favorite, some of the 125 engines where the pipe exits in front and comes up and over the engine, right next to the driver need anything I guess those guys don’t burn

    This last one should concern everyone. WKA put very tight reg’s on Briggs reqaurding flywheels, they must be steel, not cast, require factory “To destruction” testing and be enclosed by a double thickness cover attached by 5 mounting points.

    Two seasons ago I witnessed a Comer 50 cc flywheel explode coming down our straight at Badger. I saw it, I inspected the engine including the cheap cast cover which was blown right off, and I swept the scharpnel off our grid, which if it had been a race day rather then a practice day, would have been filled with people and karts. I did notify the “powers that be” and received no response, not even acknowledgement they received it. No changes have been made to the flywheel system on this engine. When in doubt, HIDE.

    I have little doubt that this new bumper is really driven by the manufacturers, who simply want something new to sell you

  • #28164

    Glenn L Riggs
    Participant

    Bob I believe you hit the nail on the head, very well put article. Hope more will read it. All comes down to money. It`s a shame that we have to follow someone elses rules when we invented the sport. Thanks

  • #28175

    patrick j slattery
    Participant

    I think the Org. don’t call rough driving as tightly as they should for fear of losing an entry due to pissing people off.  Hard to say how many they lose, due to not calling them.

    pat

    t

  • #29717

    David Heims
    Participant

    +1 Harrison on the GoPro idea.

     

  • #29723

    Ted Hamilton
    Participant

    My vote is go back to breadbox pods on the sides, allow low-density foam filler to prevent gravel/mud incursion, and use the skinny rear bumper and pedal-width front bumper with nassau panels allowed.

    While we’re at it, lets get the total weight back down to around 330 and use sticky tires again so the chassis work like they were designed to and don’t blow our backs out putting them on stands…

    Oh, and run NorDams for the premiere class….

    Oooops, sorry — I was in dream land for a while there. But I still stand by skinny bumpers and breadboxes.

    www.facebook.com/hamiltonhelmets/
    2014 Praga Dragon / IAME KA-100

  • #29807

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Hate to say it, but I don’t think were really going to find an answer. Too many things involved, unfortunately some not controlled by us.

    Karting still is the best bang for the buck in motorsports, still cheap compared to most other things, but to some still big business. Face it, the Europeans are going to build them as they want and they will ship and sell them here, because thats how they make them. It will be pushed here, because many of our countries distributors and shop owners are politically involved. In other words, its what they sell.

    We’ve been in this, between my wife first, then the kids (now mid 30’s) since 1983. One of the advantages to that is, we’ve owned and driven many types of karts, and we’ve raced in all types of karting.

    Some things I just don’t get. 2 cycle sprint seams to be in a world of its own on chassis. Not that they aren’t nice chassis, they are, but your looking at around 5K for a roller. Looking at 4 cy sprint, both types of ovals and Road Race, mostly, by far American chassis and new come in around $2500.

    Not looking to hi jack the topic, or start a debate, simply saying 2 cy sprint is going to follow what the Europeans give to us. Unless they over seas choose differently, you will get these new bumpers.

    I think I posted this before, but we have been down this road10-15 years ago, what was then called Paperclip or hoop bumpers came around, for the same reasons, to stop climbing tires. Its not hard to see the increase in rough driving this will produce coming, and those bumpers were banned for a year or too. That changed because most imports simply started coming here with the big bumpers. That’s how they made them, that’s what they shipped.

    Maybe 4-5 years ago you got the larger plastic bumper with the claim that it would better protect the rear wheels. Well look at it, of course it protects the wheels better, however not part of the sales pitch, its not hard to see its also much safer for the kart coming from behind, to punt you. That put you where you are now.

     

    We’ve use just about every style of body work over the years except the newer style plastic rear bumper which I refuse to use. IMO no question the safest is the standard full coverage nose used on most 4 cy karts. Yes, you can still have contact with the rear tires of a kart in front of you, however there is only now one tire rotating to cause climbing. The full nose also is large enough and round enough that it will push you off the other kart before really climbing to the point of launching you.

    We also prefer the rear bumper that meets WKA spec’s for height, but only mounts between main frame rails, which greatly reduces thoughts from someone taping you out in the corner.

     

    I think we all know, the odds of getting that option from Europe are roughly zero, and I’d guess roughly the same for any promoters here bucking the trend to give you that choice. My thought is you guys will be bumper shopping soon.

    The saving grace here would be, if the leaders of our sport, just like our leaders in Washington DC were to grow some balls and start governing with common sense instead of bowing to business pressure.

     

     

  • #42877

    Rob Kozakowski
    Participant

    After the first experience with the new front bumpers on the KZ karts at the Winter Cup in Lonato this weekend, it seems that the fears are being realized.  When many of the world’s top kart racers think it’s crap, it’s probably crap.

  • #42947

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Yeah, Bas didn’t like them.

    “Dear followers, teams, drivers and sponsors,
    The new “drop down bumper system: is it the final solution to the problem of racecontacts or just another difficult rule to apply that will turn people away from karting?
    We (drivers) are not able to do anything anymore. We are scared to overtake our concurrents, we are scared to be close as possible behind our concurrent because we are scared to loose our front bumper because if the concurrents wants to win and is clever, he just have to brake a little bit more or miss his gears and we loose our front bumper, we get a penalty (30sec) for the mistake of the other driver. We are scared to pass a curbstone because we can loose the front spoiler with that, if that happens we get a penalty for it (30sec).
    Karting is not a contactsport, we all do know that but i’m sure that most of you agreed with me that with this kind of rules people will turn away of karting!
    Teams, sponsors and karting manufacturers are spending so much money for racing, REAL HIGH LEVEL RACING.
    IT’S TIME TO STAND UP AND STOP ALL THE NONSENSE AND BRING BACK THE KARTING TO IT’S VALUE!
    Please I would like to ask to all of you to share this message and stand up againsts to the nonsense rules!
    With best regards, Bas Lammers”

    I agree, stupid solution.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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  • #42959

    Debbie Kuntze
    Participant

    One thing, corner workers get tired of calling in the pushing and shoving when nothing is done about it. If you say you are going to throw the black, throw them out or whatever penalty, step up and do so! You piss someone off, fine, let them take their stuff and leave. You will get 3 or 4 more karters to your venues in place of the pissed off crasher as they know they can come and race safely; that someone is actually watching out for them.

    Any caliber of CW can be a great CW if you communicate with them and follow through on their calls. Indy car/professional CW’s can do a karter race if you tell them how and what to watch for.

    Now as one of my favorite promoters used to say after a driver’s meeting-piss off. ( now you know why :)  )

  • #43078

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Maybe they wouldn’t be top drivers if they didn’t use the chrome shoe horn so much.

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

  • #43085

    Rob Kozakowski
    Participant

    I said the top drivers in the world… you know, the guys who don’t use the chrome horn…

    Anyone who saw Lammers, Fore, Lennox, etc. (i.e. some of the top guys in the world – all 3 of whom that had nothing good to say about all the bodywork, and especially the new front bumpers) at the Supernats knows that those guys race real hard, but clean.  The only real incident I saw at this past year’s Supernats in the KZ class (towards the front of the grid) was when Myers bumped Carlton out of the way in the pre-final… needless to say, Carlton went right back at him and had words for him afterwards… because that’s not the way it’s done at that level.

  • #43089

    Ian Bushey
    Participant

    I have to agree with Rob Kz1/2 is not only a one of the most competitive classes but its one of the cleanest, if you watch live streams (or tape delayed) of Kz class drivers is nothing but good clean driving. Maybe that’s something to do with the fact that KZ engines have the bottom to mid range that if you drive off line you can still pull out of the corners after making a pass with out immediately getting over undered. The issue in classes like KF and KF3 is the engines are notoriously boggy through the mid range and that makes passing, well for lack of a better word annoying. I’m not saying punting is OK or right but punting a guy wide instead of genuinely passing him gives you more time to really get up to speed.

    Also Australia runs both full and frame width rear bumpers in every class they still see punting still see rough over aggressive driving and they see some horrific crashes. I’ve watched videos of Australian driving and i have friends who drive in Australia it doesn’t make a huge difference with bumping and such because if there’s a will there’s way. Even if you can’t hit the corner of a kart to punt someone you can still load someone up in the center. Sure its going to change how people punt and make it harder but people are still going to find themselves out of a race from a solid bumper shove.

  • #43113

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    If they race so clean what is the issue with the bumper?

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

  • #43117

    Ian Bushey
    Participant

    The issue is it over complicated things makes things more expensive and means that there could be such things as brake checking and when I say clean I mean no one goes off the track no one gets shoved out of the way but they still bump each other in and out of corners being that they have gear boxes with a lot of torque. This means a driver could get a slightly better run out of a corner and exceed to 5 kph impact rating and have to some in even though they did nothing but hit a bumper

  • #43137

    Rob Kozakowski
    Participant

    Over-complicated.  Too expensive.  While it arguably “solves” one problem, it creates two new problems.  Etc…

    The reality is that “some” amount of contact has always existed in kart racing.  And that contact can probably best be classified as either “incidental” = the innocent bump when a driver in front makes a mistake and bogs out of a corner and the guy behind has nowhere to go, or the unintended contact that simply results from close racing like we see in karts = it is accepted, no harm, no foul; or “intentional” = the guy from behind attempting the divebomb pass or just ramming the guy in front out of the way = the stuff that should be punished.

    In the old days, pre-bodywork, it was pretty easy to differentiate between “incidental” and “intentional” contact.  And it was rare to see the “intentional” contact because you were likely to get yourself hurt if you initiated it.

    As we’ve added more and more plastic, it’s become more difficult to differentiate between the “incidental” and the “intentional” contact, with a further problem being that the initiator of the “intentional” contact was no longer afraid of the consequences of doing so.

    While this new front bumper will punish the “intentional” contact, it’s also now punishing the “incidental” contact, as well as punishing the innocent guy who gets intentionally break-checked.

    It encourages the lead driver to drive a very “defensive” line (to block) because any contact will automatically result in a penalty to the driver behind if his bumper becomes dislodged.

    It discourages legitimate passing attempts from being made in the fear that the guy in front will chop down on you and penalize you for having a dislodged bumper.

    At the “real” top levels (Lammers, Fore, Lennox, etc.) the guys race so clean that when the “intentional” contact occurs, it is easy to spot, and the real solution would simply be to punish that as it happens.

    Unfortunately, this new front bumper might solve a problem that exists at the mid-pack and less-than-elite level, while creating a problem where none existed before at the elite level.

    If you can’t see the issues with this “solution”, I don’t know if you really understand kart racing.

  • #43183

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Hey, I’m just tryin’ to find out what the deal is. I understand karting the way it was in 01 when I won a track championship without touching anyone. I also won a rental kart championship in 11 where we were all plowing into each other at high rates of speed with the race director and flag man pointing and laughing at every wreck. Karting runs the gambit. If you’re telling me these guys are so closely matched they have to bump and grind on each other, I can see why they are upset about the new system. It’s just not my idea of clean racing. YMMV

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    • #43903

      Ian Bushey
      Participant

      Walt you misunderstand they don’t need to, it comes with the territory of everyone being so fast and good that when racing so closely they just bump and jostle a little bit. As you’ve said you won a single track championship in ’01 that doesn’t sound to me like an equivalent to WSK karting in 2015, and I don’t mean this as offense I’m simply saying your reference for winning a championship with no contact is not a parallel.

  • #43893

    Rob Lewis
    Participant

     

    Wow, bumper comes off on the curbing.  (Yeah, that’s an assumption because we don’t know if it was “loosened” earlier.)  The more frightening thing is how it lifts the front end where, at least, one tire is off the ground……

     

    -Rob

  • #43899

    Kirt Burcroff
    Participant

    I get the impression at the races that officials are loathe to come down too hard on drivers for fear of them leaving an already depleted field. I don’t necessarily agree with that strategy but I think it’s a real problem. More penalties will solve our problems way before collapsible kart parts will.

    Disciplining drivers (and Dads, tuners etc.) is not unlike raising kids. Let them know what you expect and be willing to punish them if they don’t meet those expectations. Idle threats get you no where and following through changes behavior.

  • #27892

    Doug Harden
    Participant

    Another issue is, how will the fasteners be policed? Racers are by nature, cheaters…people will be finding ways to make sure these don’t act as designed. Is there going to be a certified “test” at the tech tent after a race? Are only the top 3 going to be tested? If it’s about safety, then all should be tested after each race…..see where I’m going here? It’ll be a major clusterf***.

  • #27894

    Doug Harden
    Participant

    Before we know it, we’ll be forced to drive these goofy damned things like they do in Brazil…no thanks.

     

  • #27918

    james kent
    Participant

    I think its a great idea. Anything to stop dirty driving is a great idea. More track owners need to be involved with sporting regs rather than just count heads each weekend. These plastic rear bumpers were such a horrible idea. ” hey look bumper cars “

  • #27938

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Exactly what Lynn said, sorry to be so blunt, but all I see is another attempt to sell you more stuff, because the last stuff they made you buy isn’t doing what it was suppose to

  • #28018

    Evan Fraser
    Participant

    tl;dr version: Shoving is a problem, this solution isn’t ideal but at least something is being done.

    Personally I have noticed a tendency for the higher level drivers to be far more aggressive with bumping and shoving in corners.  I also have a fair bit of experience in turn marshalling for sports cars and know how hard it can be to determine who hit who and how best to penalise them.  Down here at the club level in BC we’re lucky just to get enough people to wave flags, forget about rule enforcement.

    While I like the fact that the pushing and shoving issues have been noticed and the CIK-FIA is making a move to limit it, I too think the new front fairing system is open to exploitation.  Having said that I think after a few pileups forcing half the field to come in for a reset the drivers will learn to be a little more careful in the first couple corners, and repeated complaints of brake-checking would lead to the offender being watched more closely.  Unless of course the driver being “brake-checked” is actually ramming the driver in front.

    The ideal solution is better enforcement.  However, brake-checking with the new system should be pretty obvious to an observer who knows the track and the offender can be penalised accordingly.  Incidental contact is something the drivers will have to sort out between themselves, or perhaps learn more to keep their head up to predict whether the driver in front is going to need to slow down for some reason.

    Edit: I suppose I should address David’s original question.  Should the rear bumper be removed?  It would have to be removed from every level of the sport, otherwise drivers moving up to the top level would have no idea how to race without it.  I would say no, keep it.  Majour collisions and up-and-overs may be rare but they have the potential to be very damaging to driver and kart.

    Evan Fraser

    #43 - Formula K FK01 / Briggs LO206

    West Coast Kart Club

  • #28160

    Brian Degulis
    Participant

    “LOL successful contact, I think you’re part of the problem.”

     

    He’s competing  with the current mind set and that’s what has to change. Today kids that get professional coaching are taught how to use contact to compete. If you enforce a no deliberate contact rule it will eventually change the mind set.

     

    Brian

  • #28233

    John Matthews
    Participant

    Lynn Haddock wrote-

    More overpriced non-sense from Europe. Racing was better and the drivers were better when we only used four number panels and small tubular bumpers + nerf bars. All this plastic crap that has been sold in the name of safety and making the karts look more like race cars is a huge load of  S —  Follow the money for the real truth.

     

    +1

    Karting in the US has gone steadily downhill since we started letting folks in other countries make our rules for us. These so called “safety features” just make things more dangerous by giving reckless drivers a false sense of security. This new proposal is a clear admission that full width rear bumpers are wrong for karting and adding more stuff to combat bad driving is just plain stupid.

    I challenge anyone to show that karting was any more dangerous back when we just had number panels attached to a thin bar in front of our tennis shoes. If CIK had any interest in training drivers to compete in open wheel race cars they would drop all this nonsense and remove the full width rear bumpers all together. Sadly it seems to be an organization designed to serve manufacturers, not racers….

    John

  • #28293

    Harrison Potsworth
    Participant

    tl:dr, but I’d rather spend that money on having a camera (Gopro, Ion, etc) on each of the damn karts to check a reply at race end. If someone has been shoved excessively, it can be protested and proven.

    Make the penalties harsh. Very harsh. As in, DNF for rough driving harsh.

     

    Edit: Europeans gotta make their $ right, so start selling front and rear bumpers/fairings with camera mounts in them already.

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