Home Forums General Karting Discussion Chassis Questions from a Newbie

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dan Maloy 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #32471

    Dan Maloy
    Participant

    OK, I’ve been reading various stuff for weeks and have asked a lot of questions to 3 experienced karters over the phone plus an in-person visit to a kart shop owner. I’m leaning towards an Intrepid chassis (no earlier than 2013 model), probably a ‘Raptor’ (uses primarily a 30mm frame with two 32mm frame pieces) or a ‘Sirius V’ (primarily a 32mm frame with only one 30mm piece). Two said they love Intrepids (both sold them, go figure….), 1 said he used to sell them and is trying to get rid of them and start selling Pragas (said Intrepids are not well made now days) and 1 (Stu) said he thought they were a decent chassis but they were not very popular where he’s at (SoCal). The nearest track to me races a lot of them.

    I’ve learned a 30mm frame (Raptor) flexes more than a 32mm frame so the Raptor will generally give better traction on the track. However, some have said the 32mm frame (the Sirius) would last longer because it’s stronger / a larger diameter tube chassis (the Praga guy disputed that).

    I’ve read posts where experienced karters ask newbies “Well, what do you want from karting?” My answer: I’m looking to have fun (‘fun’ being, I’d like to be able to eventually somewhat consistently finish in the middle of the pack and maybe be in the hunt to win a race every now and then), ie, I’m not interested in being the next Mario Andretti but I don’t want to embarrass myself. I’m 6 ft tall and weigh 175-180 lbs.

    So what do you guys recommend? Intrepid Raptor? Intrepid Sirius V? Neither?

    And how many years of average racing / wear & tear can you get from a “31” frame? (a chassis comprised of both 32mm and 30mm tubing according to Stu). As you guys know far better than me, this hobby burns a mighty big hole in your wallet and I’d like to make an intelligent purchase.

    Thanks in advance!

    #32486

    tony zambos
    Participant

    Dan,
    I don’t have a chassis recommendation, but something to consider and add to your dilemma. Chassis come with torsion tubes to stiffen them. The Intrepids have front and rear tubes. So you can stiffen a softer chassis with torsion bars but you can’t loosen a stiff chassis. Also seat stiffnes will affect chassis flex.
    Hopefully some Intrepid drivers will post on this topic.

    #32487

    Michael Bartholmew
    Participant

    Dan,

    Your best place for a answer is to call Rodney Berryhill at champion racing he is the importer and could tell you more.

    I’ve been running the raptor this past year and we like it, it’s very responsive and has a lot of front end grip. I run tag sr at 360 and the raptor is a great kart the Sirius may be to stiff for someone your weight.

    #32489

    Dan Maloy
    Participant

    Tony –
    Ahhh…..torsion bars. I’ve seen them in some kart pix. Don’t know why I didn’t think about actually using them, ha! ha! The Raptor moves up the list even more!

    Michael –
    Do you mind if I ask, if you race at 360 lbs how much of that is the weight of your kart? Are you and I close to the same weight? Champion Racing: already talked to them. They said they sell a lot more Raptors than Sirius Vs. If it were simply a question of “go as fast as you can” I’d get the Raptor without hesitation. But since my main goal is to instead enjoy karting (which also means to not go $$broke$$ while doing it) I wondered if maybe going a tiny bit slower in a kart that would perhaps last substantially longer (the Sirius V) was the way to go. Stu told me that at my weight of 175-180 the (primarily) 30mm Raptor chassis should last just about as long as the 32mm Sirius V, i.e., maybe not quite as long as the Sirius but not so much as to really matter.

    Because of Stu’s years of experience and his unbiased opinion recommending the Raptor, unless someone can convince me otherwise, I think that’s what I’ll go with.

    (Comments, positive or not, from current / past Intrepid drivers are still welcome.)

    #32500

    Michael Bartholmew
    Participant

    I weigh 160 so you would be fine at 175-180 the other question to consider is what class your running, the raptor is all around a good kart the Sirius can be a bit more difficult to tune depending on the weight you have to run.

    #32502

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Get the big chassis. At 6′ 180 you’re at the max driver size and weight. Don’t listen to guys that think an extra 20 Lbs and a few inches of height don’t matter. Tell them to add 40 Lbs. to the top of their seat then you’ll be 20 lbs. heavier and more top heavy than me and let race again. Even then you still have more aero drag.

    If you want a fun chassis that will last forever go back to 2000 before they started making flimsy frames that get punched out in one season. I hear the big teams change frames every 3-5 races and they straighten them on special jigs at the track.

    Gif

    #32593

    Dan Maloy
    Participant

    Walt Gifford – “Get the big chassis. At 6′ 180 you’re at the max driver size and weight.”

    Walt, at the max driver size and weight for what? The Raptor chassis or a particular racing class?

    No doubt on my part that 20lbs in karting can make a lot of difference.

    #32734

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    For karting in general. At a certain size and weight you can no longer get a front to rear weight balance that works and your vertical center of gravity is too high. This means your rear tires are stuck which requires too much steering input (toe out) which is like putting on the brakes in wide turns and you get a dramatic snap oversteer in tight turns which is hard to control. Also can’t run tires with grip because you’ll bicycle up on two wheels. If your frame is too light it will feel like a wet noodle jumping all over the place under heavy braking. Anything bigger than 1/4 mile track where you’re up over 50 mph for more than a few seconds and you have a big aero disadvantage. Kart racing is Napoleons revenge.

    Don’t stress too much over what to buy, just get something in good shape with 32mm frame, med hard axle, MG reds and get out there.

    Gif

    #32750

    Dan Maloy
    Participant

    Gif and everyone else who commented: thank you for your help to make me a smarter kart racer.
    Definitely learning a lot!

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