Well let me add an opinion again to this discussion . All the top 7-8 Mfg’s make a good Product .What Jason and others have stated for 90% of us Club Level Karters it is best to go where SUPPORT is most available .
Now having talked to the 4 BIG importer/Dealers of the top brands what I find NOT being discussed is that the various MFG’s do make several Models for both Tag/Rotax and Shifters . Only talking Adult karts here. Pick a Brand of your choosing and there may be 2 or 3 models that can be used as say a TAG kart . Which one to choose is the BIG question ? I won’t mention the name but 2 of the 4 referenced seem to want to determine the type of tracks most of us will be competing on .
As example Grippyer tracks such as those found in the south such as Fla. , La., Tex., Ariz., so Cal. may favor one specific model within the MFG product line as opposed to some tracks with less grip .30/32 ,All 32 etc;
Now having said that for the other karters at the “PRO” or “Semi Pro” level S-1 ,S-2 you have to admire and praise their Talent and Skill set Level . I have seen it twice on a practice day non race week-end where one of the Pro karters was helping his buddy with a shifter kart which was a different brand than his they both took turns did about 5 laps and came back in . The Pro’s time was almost 1 second faster . They worked on the kart about 30 minutes then both went out and did another 5 lap stint each . The PRO ended up taking another 1 second + off his best time . So the point I’m making is the SKILL SET of the driver determines potential of the kart being raced reguardless of MFG.
Another thing that has alway7s impressed me with the PRO Karters is that a National Level Events wether it be Parking lot , Street Race , or Kart Track is HOW QUICKLY these guys can DIAL their karts in . Nothing beats SEAT TIME SEAT TIME SEAT TIME .
Last point Slightly off topic ,but someone had mentioned Ceramic Brakes . A person with much better knowledge than me was telling me recently that Most of the European MFG Supported / Sponsored teams are now running Steel Fronts and Ceramic Rears for braking . I believe him but don’t know the reason WHY