Last year we ran a used OTK kart we bought off someone and fought the handling every event we went to. We could not get the thing to run at all. Towards the middle of the season we could run close to the front in local races and even won one or two (barely).
I was growing increasingly frustrated however because I was largely unimpressed by how the kart felt in the corners. We bought a new OTK kart and were almost a full second a lap faster… We won almost every local event the rest of the year and by wide margins.
The kart we had was flexed out, myth or no myth. Whether this happens due to age or it was junk from the day we got it I don’t know. Maybe it had been crashed and bent several times. I do know the previous owner did not run skid plates and the frame tubing at the very front of the kart had lost most of it’s thickness and was flat underneath. I also know If we had the old and new kart sitting next together on the ground I could lightly tap the front bumper on each, the old one would bottom out on the concrete below, the new kart would barely move… I also know as we stripped the old kart down there was a noticeable “sag” in the middle of the frame (we elected to strip our old kart down and throw the frame in the dumpster other then sell it).
I guess what I’m trying to say, I disagree that an OTK kart will last indefinitely but like I said I don’t know the full history and it could just be this one was poorly taken care of and other brands would have suffered the same fate.
With all that being said, the OTK kart since then has been AWESOME. Easy to drive and easy to tune. At this point it’s got 14 races on it and we recently bought another new OTK kart. On a recent test day we took them out back to back and they ran the same exact lap times so obviously the older kart has not “flexed out.”
I think for me, I would worry about the previous owner of the kart and the condition of the kart itself. If it looks beat up (check the frame rails all over the kart) I’d stay away. Otherwise I think a used TonyKart will be great for you. But I’d also stay away from one that has more than a season on it.