Home Forums Rotax Max Help a noob with driving technique tips!

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jansen Cinco 10 months, 1 week ago.

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    Jansen Cinco

    hey everyone i’m new to ekn and rotax karts in general and am looking for some advice and tips on how to get the most out of my next practice sessions. i’ve been pretty good in electric karts and was pretty up to speed in a sodi-honda. i thought rotax would be similar, just a bit quicker. nope.

    after a few sessions, i’ve found that i at the very least. i need to work on corner exits. i’m much slower getting on the power than the quick guys.

    i am pretty certain that i am driving and feeling the kart the way it wants to be driven, i.e.. smooth inputs and lifting the inside rear. but i can’t seem to get on the power early enough. i wonder if it’s just a bit more confidence or technique or both?

    i’ve felt the kart sliding in what seems to be a good kind of controlled floating way in some of the mid speed and slow corners, but it’s very difficult for me to keep that feeling consistently, especially in the faster corners.

    generally from a driving standpoint, should cornering have the feeling of a controlled slide? or should it be more stable and grippy? i understand that there are infinite types of corners, but generally speaking…

    thanks for reading and looking forward to your thoughts!


    • This topic was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by  Jansen Cinco. Reason: brevity

    Rod Clinard

    I am by no means the authority on driving.  But I Started driving karts with a non EVO Rotax motor. Throttle application is critical with a Rotax on corner exit.  Stabbing the throttle is not what you want.  Smooth, roll on of the throttle will help you on corner exit.  As far as sliding.  I will quote a driving instructor I had at the Bob Bondurant Driving school just south of Phoenix..  “If you are sliding sideways, you aren’t going forward.”  Good luck!


    Jansen Cinco

    Hey Rod Clinard thanks for your reply! Yes I have learned that throttle application is very important in a Rotax. Before  I even sat in the kart the instructors were telling me about how the carb works and how to ease into the throttle. Didn’t quite understand till I actually felt the motor do pretty much nothing when I gave it too much throttle on corner exit, then violently kick in once the fuel started burning.

    I’ve been able to pretty consistently apply throttle smoothly out of corners, leading to a nice smooth acceleration out. Thing is I actually get on the throttle very late compared to the quick guys.

    I read on another post about how very little steering input is required to get the kart to turn in and once it’s turned into the corner, one can get on the throttle and start opening up the steering. This seems to be the case with most onboard footage I have seen but haven’t really consistently been able to replicate it thus far. I often hear slight tire squeal when some of the quick guys are braking and cornering and I see quick fine adjustments to steering as they’re powering out of corners. Kind of looks like they’re sliding a little little bit…

    Yes indeed, when sliding sideways one is not going forward! 🙂 However is this slight sliding or floating the way to handle a kart? I’ve been able to do it a bit and the kart seems to be very responsive when it goes light and starts to slide around a little. I’m thinking that I need to get more comfortable and confident it the feeling of it being light and getting on the power and controlling the slide… Not talking about drifting though, just to be clear. I’ve had that feeling too; going sideways into a corner with tons of opposite steering.

    Thanks again for your reply and looking forward on continuing the discussion!




    Robert Fisher

    I’m also quite new to Rotax karts, and still learning, but here’s what I’ve learned over the past 6 months:

    Set-up: This might seem obvious, but maybe put some more camber in the fronts to help grip coming out of corners so you can get on the power earlier. Also widening the rear width a bit will help. People might reference the power valve, but I haven’t found too much benefit by messing with it.

    Driving: I’ve had to force myself to get out of the late-apexing tendency I’ve gotten from rental/indoor karts and hit the geometric apex. Also, with the Rotax, start getting on the throttle very early in the corner just enough so that the power valve doesn’t bog you down when you really get on it coming out of a corner.


    Rod Clinard

    You MUST make sure the power valve is working correctly.  An absolute must. There are numerous sites that explain how a power valve works, and what you can do to ensure its working properly.  I would highly suggest to do this.


    Jansen Cinco

    Thanks Robert Fisher and again Rob Clinard for your replies! Since I am renting the kart I’m not really able to make adjustments to setup etc. I pretty much call up the track and they make the kart ready for a practice session for me.

    I have heard setup can make quite a difference but maybe I should be a little more specific, especially when it comes to how far I am off the pace. Quick guys can do a high 36 second lap time. The best I ever managed was a high 40 second lap time. Usually I am running in the mid 41s or low 42s… As you see I am WAY off the pace.

    No doubt setup changes and such would help improve my feel while driving but that huge gap can’t come from setup alone… I expect there are techniques that I am not employing in my driving at the moment.

    Some observations from what I have read on the Internet and tried on track:

    -when braking hard, the rear goes a little loose and wiggles a bit and the front becomes more responsive, seems like a good thing…

    -when trying to get back on power after turn in, rear wants to step out a bit when I apply throttle to power band, a tiny tiny bit of throttle seems to keep kart settled but quick guys are definitely in power band when exiting as can be observed by engine noise…

    Any exercises I can try to improve this corner exit technique?

    Thanks again for all the comments and advice thus far, especially in terms of setup and power valve. I think even more useful info would be at a more basic level as I doubt setup and such alone will close the gap 4-6 seconds. Thanks!


    Jansen Cinco

    Also Robert, I was under the impression that in a Rotax it’s more beneficial to corner exit to actually take a later apex so as to get on power early… Generally speaking of course as all corners are different.

    I’ve done about 10, 15-20 minute sessions so far in a Rotax and have found it more comfortable turning in slightly later and taking a later apex rather than a shallow entry with early turn in.

    Maybe I’ll upload a couple of videos in the next few days. I’ve been able to take some onboard video of myself and have been comparing it to onboards of the fast guys or I should say kids/ teens at my local track.

    You’ll clearly see me struggling to get on power and being 2-3 kart lengths down after each corner… 🙁 Braking points and turn in points look similar to the fast guys but at exit im severely lacking. I’ll post comparison vids in the next couple days.

    Looking forward to to more discussion! Thanks!!!!!

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