Home Forums General Karting Discussion Bumpers or No Bumpers, That is the Question Reply To: Bumpers or No Bumpers, That is the Question

Bob Vehring

Hate to say it, but I don’t think were really going to find an answer. Too many things involved, unfortunately some not controlled by us.

Karting still is the best bang for the buck in motorsports, still cheap compared to most other things, but to some still big business. Face it, the Europeans are going to build them as they want and they will ship and sell them here, because thats how they make them. It will be pushed here, because many of our countries distributors and shop owners are politically involved. In other words, its what they sell.

We’ve been in this, between my wife first, then the kids (now mid 30’s) since 1983. One of the advantages to that is, we’ve owned and driven many types of karts, and we’ve raced in all types of karting.

Some things I just don’t get. 2 cycle sprint seams to be in a world of its own on chassis. Not that they aren’t nice chassis, they are, but your looking at around 5K for a roller. Looking at 4 cy sprint, both types of ovals and Road Race, mostly, by far American chassis and new come in around $2500.

Not looking to hi jack the topic, or start a debate, simply saying 2 cy sprint is going to follow what the Europeans give to us. Unless they over seas choose differently, you will get these new bumpers.

I think I posted this before, but we have been down this road10-15 years ago, what was then called Paperclip or hoop bumpers came around, for the same reasons, to stop climbing tires. Its not hard to see the increase in rough driving this will produce coming, and those bumpers were banned for a year or too. That changed because most imports simply started coming here with the big bumpers. That’s how they made them, that’s what they shipped.

Maybe 4-5 years ago you got the larger plastic bumper with the claim that it would better protect the rear wheels. Well look at it, of course it protects the wheels better, however not part of the sales pitch, its not hard to see its also much safer for the kart coming from behind, to punt you. That put you where you are now.


We’ve use just about every style of body work over the years except the newer style plastic rear bumper which I refuse to use. IMO no question the safest is the standard full coverage nose used on most 4 cy karts. Yes, you can still have contact with the rear tires of a kart in front of you, however there is only now one tire rotating to cause climbing. The full nose also is large enough and round enough that it will push you off the other kart before really climbing to the point of launching you.

We also prefer the rear bumper that meets WKA spec’s for height, but only mounts between main frame rails, which greatly reduces thoughts from someone taping you out in the corner.


I think we all know, the odds of getting that option from Europe are roughly zero, and I’d guess roughly the same for any promoters here bucking the trend to give you that choice. My thought is you guys will be bumper shopping soon.

The saving grace here would be, if the leaders of our sport, just like our leaders in Washington DC were to grow some balls and start governing with common sense instead of bowing to business pressure.