Home Forums Shifter Karts Rookie Looking to Shift!

This topic contains 12 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Cory-Milne 3 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #13525

    Kevin Reguera
    Participant

    I’m looking at getting my first kart and have the same old question everyone probably asked themselves when purchasing….which one to go with?

    I’m thinking about a 125 shifter for sprint.  Mostly just practicing since my local club (Redding, CA) doesn’t seem to run them very much… they run animals.  No experience with karts but I’ve had my corvette on the road course at Thuderhill many times and a fair amount of auto-crossing in my old Datsun Z.

    I’d like to keep the budget for the kart around 3-3.5k.

    I’m pretty overwhelmed with the choices so a few questions I have are:

    1) Is the 125 shifter the right choice or should I consider 80′s, 85′s, Tags?, ect.

    2) Is there anything I should look for in particular? Models to choose?

    3) Things to stay away from?  Models to stay away from?

    Thanks for any help with these questions or anything else you can tell me to help get started.

    #13552

    Rob Kozakowski
    Participant

    With a budget of $3-3.5k, you might have more luck going TAG.  Trust me, they’re still plenty fast.

    If you keep your eyes open, there are good deals on quality used shifters that pop up from time-to-time.  Generally, in the $3-3.5k range, you’ll be getting a quality, proven used Stock Honda CR125 (engine only) that was prepared by Swedetech or a big name like that.  Go without the big name builder, and the prices tend to come down quite a bit, in which case you might find a complete (kart and engine) package within your budget.  The downside to used Stock Honda’s is that they are in demand, so it’s more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market.  If it’s just for playing, a Euro KZ/ICC (pure kart engines) complete (kart and engine) package can probably be found in that price range too.  The downside to these engines is there’s not a lot of places to RACE them anymore, which helps a buyer because demand is low.

    The best advice about what specifically to look for, which you’ll hear from almost everyone, is to see what is supported locally.  This is especially true for someone new to the sport.  If you’ve been kart racing for a while, it’s maybe not so important, but for you, you’ll want the support (whether you realize it right now or not).

    Opinions differ on whether you should start in a 125 shifter – it’s not so much how fast they are, but it’s how many things you need to process very quickly, and that makes the learning curve of karting that much steeper.  Your Vette and Z-car will feel like things happen in slow motion in comparison.  Go with a 125 shifter if you want, but given your budget, you might be better off and equally satisfied with a TAG.

    The one thing I’d personally avoid, through experience, is buying an older kart package that’s cheap because by the time you fix what needs fixing, you’ve generally spent as much as you would for a quality newer, lightly used kart.  And yours is still old and well-used.

    #13583

    Patrick Newton
    Participant

    Hey Kevin,

    Welcome to the karting world :)

    Everyone has their own personal preference on their favorite type of kart. I personally love to enter races in a shifter kart but have more fun driving single speed karts if that makes sense. Shifter karts are the purest form of racing, but they are a lot to handle. When you are starting out in a shifter kart, much of your focus is taken off of driving lines and getting a feel for the chassis. When you start out in a less intense kart, you can progress your skills better.

    In terms of which kart to get… It might be fun for a while to just go out on the weekends and have the thrill of the shifter kart but soon you’ll want to race with other people. The animal class is definitely the main class at the Shasta Kart Club aka your local track. Here in the Sacramento Valley the Clone class is the largest and the animal is non existent. It all depends on where you want to race. Also here the 80 shifter class is the one that is run.

    The animal will be less maintenance and the L206 is a great motor to run, don’t remember if that spec is run there.

    I agree with Rob, don’t go the cheap route, it always costs way more. Many times someone buys an older kart for 3k and then puts 1k in it trying to bring it to closer performance of newer karts. They never get their money out of the kart and it still doesn’t preform like a modern kart.

    If you want more info on classes run at the local tracks, feel free to message me. Also we can build you a brand new 2014 Intrepid Raptor or 2013 ItalKart Elite, Briggs L206 motor, Burris motor mount, Bridgestone tires for 4599, this way you’re starting fresh.

    We’re located in Davis, CA

    #13704

    Kevin Reguera
    Participant

    Thanks a lot for the input guys!  I really appreciate what you had to say and I think you both bring up some interesting points.  It seems my budget may be a little bit too low to be able to get into a decent shifter that would last for a while and also, keep me interested in the sport.  So, you’ve got me re-thinking everything once again!

    I do like the idea of getting the newest chassis my budget will allow.  I think it might not be a bad idea to throw a Briggs Animal on it just to get some seat time.  I would also love to enter races and grind it out with the locals here in Redding.  Perhaps later, throw a Tag or something on it to get some fast time.

    Once again, thanks for your input and help directing me to the best kart for me.

    #13818

    David McDowell
    Participant

    Kevin,

    If you want to race 125′s come up to Medford we should have a pretty decent class next year. If you would like some good shifter racing get a 80 and come race with us next year.

     

    With that said, I would recommend starting with a less powerful kart and get some seat time.  Even with the track time you have with car’s, a shifter kart is a completely different animal. This year we had 6 guys move into shifter from tag and wf, and for all of us it was a huge jump in driving and speed. It took us all three or four races until we finally got up to speed and got some good racing.

     

    As for chassis I would take the advice of the two above and look for a newer kart. I got my 80 kart put together by purchasing a 2010 CRG roller chassis for $1400, and a old Emmick chassis with new motor on it for $900. So you can get into a shifter on your budget you just have to be creative and smart with your decisions.

     

    Good luck and hope to see you at the track.

    Don’t just run around by yourself, the thrill of the pack is much greater.

    #14109

    Carl Beavers
    Participant

    Lots of good advise being offered here. The single speed karts are the best place to learn good driving skills and proper lines. Spend a season or two in WF or TAG and then go for your shifter if the idea still appeals.

    #14288

    FREDDY SANDOVAL
    Participant

    Kevin

    PM me, or email me at FASTRACERFREDDY@AOL.COM

    I can steer you in the right direction

    Welcome to the world of Karting, and congratulations for the good choice. Freddy.

    #14341

    russ Jolly
    Participant

    I would never recommend jumping straight into a KZ class with out experience in karting or tons of practice days before hand. As others have mentioned maybe a tag class would be better suited until you get the dynamics of karting down.

    that being said…. prepare to hurt, and be tired lot especially on a sprint track. As Ayton Senna said its the purest form of motorsport.

    If i was buying a shifter now, I would get something no more than 3 years old. CRG, Intrepid, DR, GP. CR125 is probably your best bet if you want to race. When buying used pay attention to joints, and cracks splits, anything that looks like its not an original weld. If you can have a well rounded kart guy come with to check it out.

    Cant think of much else patience maybe? lol

    #14399

    Steve Rogers
    Participant

    Have you driven one of the animal karts yet? I’d recommend going to a practice day at your local karting club and seeing if someone will let you have a go in their kart before deciding. I posted a thread very similar to this about a year ago but after trying out some karts I decided to start with something a bit more manageable than a shifter because what I really wanted to do was to be able to race often and against lots of other people and because coming from cars I found even the 4-stroke kart to be a handful. In my area at least, CR125 is only popular on the road track races which don’t happen all that often, and the most popular sprint track class is World Formula, which is similar to the animals in your area. More than anything else I think having lots of people to race against is most important for a first kart.

    The 4-stroke karts aren’t all that fast but they can make up to 2.5 lateral Gs in the corners so they’re still exciting, especially when combined with the fact that you’re in a giant pack of people inches from one another. Now that I’ve got a year’s racing experience I’m looking to get a shifter in particular for road racing but I’m definitely glad I started with the cheaper, slower class that enabled me to go racing with a huge starting grid almost every other week all year on a relatively small budget.

    Plus, a $3-3.5k startup budget can buy a front-running used animal package that you can win races with when your skills catch up to the kart or a dog of a CR125 that you will be struggling with constantly. Remember to also budget for some gear, tools, and towing equipment if you don’t have it already. Also, most chassis work with a shifter engine as well as the animal, if you choose a pretty modern chassis probably all you need is to stick front brakes on it when you’re ready to move to a CR125. Alternatively: buy a shifter chassis as a roller, remove or disconnect the front brakes, and run the animal for a while on it first while so you can get lots of seat time while you save up for a nice CR125 engine.

    If you want to see what 4-stroke racing is like I’ve got a youtube channel where I’ve been uploading some of the races I went to. I took it to both road and sprint tracks: http://youtu.be/116b-mJBer8

    #14430

    Kevin Reguera
    Participant

    Thanks again to everyone giving their opinion on the subject!

    It really has helped steer me in the right direction…which is to go with a new chassis and the animal to race with the guys at the local track.  I’d like to give them all a run for their money so I know I’ve got a lot to learn.

    It of course will mean that I’ll be spending more on my kart than I originally thought however, I’m a sucker for nice gear and new toys so I knew going in that my budget was a low ball park figure.

    Once again…thanks to everyone giving me their $0.02!

    #15163

    Kevin Reguera
    Participant

    Thanks for the input guys!

    To answer your question Steve, no, I have not driven an animal yet.  I was offered to do so but I feel funny about borrowing other people’s hard earned stuff.  I just can’t get myself to borrow things especially something like a kart.  I know there are lots of very generous people willing to and I’d do the same but it’s just a thing for me.

    I understand what you are saying about wanting to be in a pack of karts because I’d bet that would be awesome!  I know I love that feeling in my vette on the road course!  However, for me it’s a bit of both…the need for speed, and the comradery of bumping and grinding with other racers.

    I’m still soaking up all this stuff about karts and trying to learn as much as I can while being patient before I pull the trigger.

    Thanks again guys!

     

    #19331

    superman7
    Blocked

    <p style=”background-color: #ffffff; border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px;”>Opinions differ on whether you should start in a 125 shifter – it’s not so much how fast they are, but it’s how many things you need to process very quickly, and that makes the learning curve of karting that much steeper.  Your Vette and Z-car will feel like things happen in slow motion in comparison.  Go with a 125 shifter if you want, but given your budget, you might be better off and equally satisfied with a TAG.</p>
    <span style=”color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px; background-color: #efefef;”>Have you driven one of the animal karts yet? I’d recommend going to a practice day at your local karting club and seeing if someone will let you have a go in their kart before deciding. I posted a thread very similar to this about a year ago but after trying out some karts I decided to start with something a bit more manageable than a shifter because what I really wanted to do was to be able to race often and against lots of other people and because coming from cars I found even the 4-stroke kart to be a handful. In my area at least, CR125 is only popular on the road track races which don’t happen all that often, and the most popular sprint track class is World Formula, which is similar to the animals in your area. More than anything else I think having lots of people to race against is most important for a first kart.</span>
    <div class=”post-14109 reply type-reply status-publish hentry even bbp-parent-forum-3357 bbp-parent-topic-13525 bbp-reply-position-6 user-id-326″ style=”background-color: #ffffff; border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 8px; vertical-align: baseline; overflow: hidden; height: auto; width: 618px; color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px;”>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content” style=”background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 0px 130px; padding: 12px 12px 12px 0px; vertical-align: baseline;”>
    <div id=”d4p-bbp-quote-14109″ style=”background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;”>Lots of good advise being offered here. The single speed karts are the best place to learn good driving skills and proper lines. Spend a season or two in WF or TAG and then go for your shifter if the idea still appeals.</div>
    </div>
    </div>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-header” id=”post-14288″ style=”background-color: #f4f4f4; border-width: 1px 0px 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: #dddddd; margin: 0px; padding: 8px; vertical-align: baseline; overflow: hidden; clear: both; color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px;”></div>
    <p style=”background-color: #efefef; border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px;”></p>

    #19614

    Cory-Milne
    Participant

    kevin

    my advice is go with the animal kart #1 it will fit your budget #2 there will be people to race, and practice with down the road #3 a centrifugal clutch kart will teach you a lot about how to actually drive #4 the animal kart has a lot less upkeep then a shifter kart.  the centrifugal clutch karts are not only super fun to drive but they are fast too

     

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.