I’m about to purchase my first kart, a 2008 CRG Road Rebel with a Rotax Max engine. I was wondering if any noticeable changes where made to the Road Rebel since then, and if it is still a good chassis by today’s standards.
Daniel, While I’m not the leading expert on CRG chassis changes over the years, my first kart was a 2008 CRG Road Rebel and currently own both 2013 and 2015 Road Rebels. IMO, any changes would not be noticeable to someone new to the sport. Each and every year CRG has a new Road Rebel frame (or multiple variations) with all sorts of minor tweaks but even if they were “noticeable”, it doesn’t mean a previous version can’t be tuned to be fast. Case in point, I’ve set faster lap times in my 2013 than my 2015 despite me liking the feel of the 2015 better.
The biggest thing you’ll want to look at is any flat spotting on the bottom of the chassis, clear signs of damage from contact, and any weld cracks/repairs. A chassis that old is bound to have a scraped up bottom which is normal but you don’t want any flat spots. Look for any cracks in the welds and possible repairs (usually you can pick these out as they are painted over which won’t match the finish of the original powder coat). Damage from contact will typically show up in a bent steering shaft (turn the wheel and see if it wobbles), replacement tie rods (see if they match and if they don’t than ask why), replacement spindles, etc.
Look very closely at the seat mounting struts for signs of damage/repair. It’s fairly normal to see repairs in this area, you just want to make sure if there is a repair than it is repaired properly.
In a perfect world you’d want to measure if the chassis is straight but this is not always easy to do without a flat table to put it on.
2008 is a good year for a CRG kart. Look at how far the brake pads move in the caliper. The pads are held in place by the aluminum caliper pocket and it gets punched out so bad your retainer bolt will get worked. The floating rotor has an aluminum hub that gets punched out to so, check how floppy the rotor is.