August 1, 2013 at 9:09 am #5631
I find myself holding on for dear life when I take tight corners. So much so that I get small bruises on my thighs from purposely pressing my outer thigh against the seat. I use a deep seat that fits all the way up to my arm pits (which also end up getting chaffed).
My question is: Am I fighting the kart too much? Assuming that my seat fits correctly – do folks let their body just get thrown around or do you tense up in the corners?
Assuming that my seat isn’t fit well, how tight should the seat fit? It’s already a pretty tight.
"Karting Expert Since 2015"August 1, 2013 at 10:44 am #5656
Sounds like you need to go seat shopping.
With seat out of chassis, sit in it. Now stand up. If the seat stays on your butt like a turtle shell, it fits. If it falls off, too big.August 1, 2013 at 10:47 am #5657
Hey, I am not an expert but I don’t think you should feel your fighting the kart, and you shouldn’t feel your being thrown around either. Bruising is normal after a weekend of hard practice or racing, especially on the hips, so that is not a good indicator of set up.
1) Your seat should fit tight, but too tight can be a problem. I find that it should be tight enough where I can barely slide my hand between my ribs and the seat once I am seated, but not too tight where I can’t fit anything between the seat and myself.
2) Steering wheel/ Seat placement is extremely important. If you are too far or too close to your wheel you cannot properly control your posture in the kart. If your seat is angled to far forward or too far backward (swept) it can make more difficult to maintain posture. Try playing around with your placement in the kart, comfort/functionality is huge.
3) Core is a huge part of karting, I am not saying your core is weak but you shouldn’t have to worry about pressing your thighs against the seat.
4) You should be able to move your entire upperbody forward or backward or left or right or neutral or a combination of these in any corner. If you can’t; there’s an issue(kart setup or physical conditioning). Sometimes in highspeed corners I’ll lean inwards while in the corner to take grib away, and sometimes(especially in the rain) I’ll lean outwards in the corner to add grib/weight on the outside of the kart to allow it to turn better. All this depends on set-up, height, leverage on the kart, grip levels, etc, so it just an example of the importance the driver posture has on the kart performance.
5) It is important to anticipate what each corner or input on the kart is going to do to your body and adjust accordingly. Stay ahead of the go kart and try not to be surprised by what it is going to do to your body position by then it is probably too late to adjust.
6) Seat time
This is what I have learned, hope it helps.
DWAugust 1, 2013 at 10:52 am #5663
I think seat fit is largely a personal preference. But you don’t want to move around too much. My seat fits tight when on the grid. But under cornering forces I have enough room to slot my elbow between me and the seat padding (not that I do that mind you – LOL).
In general I try to relax. My grip on the wheel is very relaxed. And I don’t particularly brace myself for corners. That said, I do notice I maintain my knees close to the tank in the corners as opposed to some guys whom I’ve seem allow their knees to flop about.August 1, 2013 at 11:39 am #5678
Thanks for input Donnie. Probably time to go seat shopping.
Eric – I don’t just keep my knees near the gas tank, I squeeze the tank with my knees to keep me stable.
Don’t get me wrong, karts are pulling 2Gs around a corner, you have to brace yourself some. But it just seems like I am trying too hard. I should be more relaxed.
Think I need a better seat. Do you guys have a preference for the deeper fitting seats? I see a lot of guys using the very low seats that just fit the hips and some of the waist. My seat is up to my armpits.Ray
"Karting Expert Since 2015"August 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #5687
tillet t9 is pretty deepAugust 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm #5693
I was told by one of the Best Kart drivers around WHEN you are sitting in your kart you want just enough room to stick your hand between your hip and the inside of the kart seatAugust 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm #5696
You shouldn’t be fighting or hanging on for dear life. You should be relaxed, strong, and in control of your body’s movements.
Of course you’ll get tensed up a bit in the corners to stay upright and not flop around in the seat, but you shouldn’t be struggling with it at all.
Don’t worry about bruising. I think it’s safe to say most of us have some bruises from the seat after a hard day’s work.
Watch some videos of the European guys driving and you’ll see how they keep their posture in the kart.
You always have to keep in mind that you are roughly 50% of the weight of the entire vehicle. Any shifting of your body will greatly affect the kart so it’s best to keep an upright and stable posture. Unless the kart is handling poorly and you need to get your lean on a bit to get it to rotate.
Team Driver - Innovative Performance/Tony Kart // Owner - Oktane Visual Custom Helmet Paint and Graphic DesignAugust 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm #5716
When I was getting started I had similiar issues. Unless your seat is way to big you may simply need to learn how to relax a little more. It’s a natural reaction to brace yourself and it takes a little practice to relax and relize that the seat will support you. After a full year and a lot of seat time I still find myself doing it ocasionally. It will beat you up pretty quickly.
BrianAugust 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm #6476
Jim Russell, JrParticipant
This may be a problem with how you turn the steering wheel.
Most likely you are currently pulling the steering wheel which is pulling your torso away from the back of the seat. You are using your core to hold yourself in position.
You need to push on the steering wheel to turn. The hand/ arm motion is a mix between a pushup and a cross (punch). You should be able to feel the steering wheel flex under your hand.
If done correctly you don’t have to wrap your fingers around the steering wheel. Just use your palms.
This will force your upper body back into the seat and you will stay fixed in position.January 12, 2014 at 11:05 pm #19474
shaun s nollParticipant
I don’t mean to bump and ancient conversation but I have been struggling with this same situation and found this all very valuable. Jim Russell’s comment above is great.
I moved from a tillet seat to a ribtect and then took my kart and my seat to my local shop and had them install it for me on some scales so that I knew a legit pro shop. This helped a lot as the shop set my seat up with more “lean back” and I prefer the ribtect seat.
One thing that I think has helped me is adding footrests/heal cups. This allows me to brace myself in long sweeping turns a bit more by pushing myself back into my seat with my outside foot and allows me to relax my hands a bit and be more sensitive to what the kart is doing.
can a kart seat be too tight in regards to it not allowing the kart chassis to flex properly? my seat is tight and I like it that way but it is a very tight fitJanuary 13, 2014 at 5:13 am #19482
I don’t mean to bump and ancient conversation but I have been struggling with this same situation and found this all very valuable. Jim Russell’s comment above is great. I moved from a tillet seat to a ribtect and then took my kart and my seat to my local shop and had them install it for me on some scales so that I knew a legit pro shop. This helped a lot as the shop set my seat up with more “lean back” and I prefer the ribtect seat. One thing that I think has helped me is adding footrests/heal cups. This allows me to brace myself in long sweeping turns a bit more by pushing myself back into my seat with my outside foot and allows me to relax my hands a bit and be more sensitive to what the kart is doing. can a kart seat be too tight in regards to it not allowing the kart chassis to flex properly? my seat is tight and I like it that way but it is a very tight fit
Heelrests are a good point. Many manufacturers are making these standard equipment now because of the benefits you’ve mentioned Shaun. Posture is incredibly important in a kart and anything that can keep you more stable in the kart will help keep the kart’s handling more consistent.
Regarding seats being too tight, there shouldn’t be any affect on chassis flex from how tight your seat is on your body. You want the seat pretty snug so that you get the most direct connection between your body and the chassis and get the best possible weight transfer.
Team Driver - Innovative Performance/Tony Kart // Owner - Oktane Visual Custom Helmet Paint and Graphic DesignJanuary 13, 2014 at 10:36 am #19518
shaun s nollParticipant
thanks, thats good to know. I was worred that perhaps having the seat super tight would inhibit the natural flex that occurs across the seat in corners but the amount the seat flexes is probably pretty minimalJanuary 13, 2014 at 11:00 am #19521
My favorite fitting seat makes it difficult but not impossible to take a deep breath.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 15, 2014 at 10:32 pm #19696
If your seat feel pretty snugged and firmly tight it’s probably ok
Deep seats are designed to hug your rib cage and upper body, that’s why you have to enter them in an angle sideways, before you sit inside of them.
Anyhow, if you feel that you fit firmly tight, they you may be ok
As for your knee caps and legs hugging the fuel tank goes? Please buy a good set of heel stops, or a good set of foot rests, you’d be surprised on how much they can help knowing that your legs are firmly placed and supported, especially under braking and cornering.
Right now your upper body is doing all the work, and can’t really concentrate in driving.
Try that first. Good luck. Please let us know how it goes.
Freddy.January 16, 2014 at 10:17 am #19720
I realize that I’m pretty brutal with my handling of the kart when I broke my steering wheel. I did finally install heel stops and that helped a lot. But I still think my seat may be too large if I can’t keep my body planted without pushing and pulling on the steering wheel to keep me steady.
How light a grip do you guys use? I have a death grip from hell.
"Karting Expert Since 2015"January 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm #19722
Death grip is a common rookie tendency.
You should almost be able to steer with just the pressure from your palms. First example that came to me of a light grip on the wheel was Louie Pagano. I’ve noticed he has a particular grasp on the wheel that indicates to me that he probably has very relaxed hands on the wheel. Check out this picture:
He holds the wheel low and not even all his fingers are wrapped around the wheel. His hands look really relaxed. You can see his thumb and fingers don’t even touch or wrap all the way around the wheel; he relies on his palm between his thumb and forefinger to press into the wheel. Or at least that how it appears to me. And obviously he’s damn quick being one of the top ranked TaG drivers in the country.
Overall, the more relaxed and comfortable you are in the kart, the better you’ll be as a driver. You can focus on racing rather than your grip on the wheel or your body flopping in the seat and you’ll be using your energy for the actual driving and mental focusing rather than keeping your body in place. The best posture in a kart is relaxed but stable.
Team Driver - Innovative Performance/Tony Kart // Owner - Oktane Visual Custom Helmet Paint and Graphic DesignFebruary 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm #21812
When I was racing a Tag a few years back, I found the Ribtech Carbon Deep seat was the way to go for me. A little harder to get in and out of, and I even added some Tillet style 1/2 padding to snug it up a little more. I am tall and skinny, so I was always sliding around and coming down on the edge of the traditional style seats and tearing up ribs. (we have a blind 90 deg drop off corner on our track)Once I got the Ribtech I was good to go, the seat would hold me firm in the corners with no slipping around. I found my arms and legs were able to relax once I got a seat that held me in place. It completely revolutionized my ability to drive and be comfortable in the kart.
I never had heel bars on my Arrow, but I made a set for my son’s cadet Topkart. As we were talking about them yesterday, he told be he likes them because he can brace his heels on them in the corners, transfering the leverage up his leg against the butt of the seat. Keen observation from a 10 year old! Must be why they are standard on all the newest chassis.
"The Art is in the details"
Intrepid Cruiser LO 206
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