Home Forums General Karting Discussion Explain the sport

This topic contains 26 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Lawrence Doty 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #10385

    mike clements
    Participant

    If you made friends with a real nice guy or gal that was a gearhead and loved racing, etc… How would YOU explain “Karting” to them ? I realize this definition has somewhat changed over the years, but how do you see it today ?

    Please help me out here. This is a good exercise.

  • #10386

    Rob Howden
    Keymaster

    Mike, that’s an awesome question. I’ve been working on the editorial for our new Karting 101 section, which will be designed to answer any question someone may have in regards to the sport. The intro section needs to be exactly what you’re asking….a clean, clear description of the sport. Essentially, it needs to be our calling card.

    I really look forward to reading the replies to see how they jive with my thoughts, and maybe I can see some new viewpoints to include in our editorial.

    Thanks for posting this question.

    Rob Howden - eKartingNews.com Publisher / Editor - @RobHowden

  • #10388

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    I just tell them picture an elephant on a roller skate going highway speeds in a walmart parking lot.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

  • #10390

    Mark Erpelding
    Participant

    Just tell them if they want to feel the rush of pre-pairing and going to the track just get in their car on the highway and roll the windows down and every so often throw a hundred dollar bill out the window and get the biggest smile they have ever had on their face.  This might come close!

    We spend our money on Racin, Whiskey and Women.... The rest we waste....

  • #10391

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    I try to compare the “scene” and atmosphere to motocross a bit. It’s a bit similar in my eyes and the closest comparison I can think of.

    Motocross + Formula cars = karting?

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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  • #10404

    Mike Clark
    Participant

    TJ, I have described similar to motocross on smooth asphalt.

    Most are not race / gearhead types. What most people ask is how fast does the kart go. Then they say it is so low to the ground it must feel faster. What I tell them is I have no idea of the speed. What gets you is the constant turns & never much of a rest. The g’s are relatively high & it is the best bang for the buck.

    One of the guys from the car track was surprised how loud the YF200 is.

  • #10410

    mike clements
    Participant

    When I was involved with Junior Drag Racing for a few years, it was described as a contest of acceleration over a given distance. How does karting relate to that ?

    To me, karting is much more complicated as the tracks change in design, length, composition and then there is the length of the race.
    Ad in the various styles of chassis to compliment sprint racing, Speedway racing, Enduro racing, 2 cycles, 4 strokes, adults, kids, traveling, and…
    well my definition is already more complicated than what I’m looking for.

  • #10456

    russ Jolly
    Participant

    I think Karting is kinda like going down a hill sitting on a skateboard. The steering is incredibly sensitive, the faster you go the quicker it responds, your only off the ground a couple of inches and if you can master its control you’ll make it down the hill, or in this case win.

  • #10458

    mike clements
    Participant

    Choose one:

    Karting is a fun, Family motorsport. The entire family can enjoy a day at the track and the excitement of controlling your own speed.

    Karting is an entry level motorsport. It is a training ground used for teaching kids how to race so that they can grow up understanding the requirements of racing while gaining the necessary skills to move on to another, larger form of motorsport…like Indy or NASCAR.

    Karting is a motorsport all unto itself. It just happens to be less expensive in which to participate than those more famous big car races like NASCAR and Indy. But, it’s just as competitive and requires just as much effort and knowledge to preform at the top level as those other motorsports.

  • #10461

    Lyle Clark
    Participant

    Yes, to all 3.

  • #10472

    Billy Musgrave
    Participant

    I stumbled upon this forum topic awhile ago, and I think this is something really important that we as an industry need to know and understand. One of the most important things we need to do is to clarify the intentions of karting, and I think we need to go after the line of thinking in Mike’s 3rd description; that karting is an end in and of itself. It is not just a stepping stone to be looked over and trampled on. We are a sport and an industry that deserves to be so much more than that. But anyway, after thinking about it for awhile, and thinking how I would describe it to someone without a clue about racing or karting at all, here’s what I came up with:

    – Karting is like the craziest roller coaster in the world, but you’re in control. It’s you and your constantly developing skill level that determines how far you can push the edge when your only an inch off the ground, inches away from fellow competitors. Further, karting is the purest form of automotive racing in the world, and the relationship you build over time with the kart and its dynamics is something that cannot be described, only experienced.

    Senna:
    “Karting was pure driving, real racing. And that… that makes me happy”

  • #10473

    mike clements
    Participant

    Billy, Thanks for the post. I have read similar quotes fro F-1 drivers and they all recognize karting as a sport unto itself. They used it as a stepping stone to where they are. But, they all still return to it when schedules allow.
    thanks again,
    MC

  • #10539

    Greg Wright
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>mike clements wrote:</div>
    Choose one:

    Karting is a motorsport all unto itself. It just happens to be less expensive in which to participate than those more famous big car races like NASCAR and Indy. But, it’s just as competitive and requires just as much effort and knowledge to preform at the top level as those other motorsports.

     

    This one!!

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.
    Vintage B-Stock Pilot
    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."

  • #10554

    Debbie Kuntze
    Participant

    In my case-Luge with a steeering And preferrably with no snow or ice. :)

    I’m asked about the speeds and then where do I race. and with an enduro I get to rattle off tracks that people have heard of. Then I explain that karting is for the middleclass gearhead-wants the cure for their need for speed but doesn’t have the bucks. Karting can be somewhat  affordable or it can be very, very expensive. And I always direct them to Ekarting to read.

  • #10585

    Kerry Matthews
    Participant

    Very close to my explanation, Debbie.  I tell them it’s like a street luge with a motor and 6 speed gearbox.  I road race also, so you can rattle off names of tracks that they’ve heard of, only to get the normal response… “I didn’t know they had a kart track there!”  Then you tell them that you run the big track, same as the cars, but you go faster.  “Oh 100, 105 mph at most tracks, maybe 110.  115 at Daytona.”  And they look at you like you’re insane, which you are if you road race.  ;)

  • #10588

    lynn haddock
    Participant

    It is a sport where people race very expensive toys for plastic trophies and have a total blast doing it

  • #10661

    Brian Degulis
    Participant

    It’s often described as a stepping stone for kids working they’re way up to auto racing. Although that’s true a large percentage of karters are adults with no intention of moving on to auto racing. You can get into it for a few thousand dollars in a 4 cycle class or spend 10 of thousands on a shifter. No matter which way you go or progress to one thing holds true. It’s easy to get into and easy to do but it’s un believably hard to do really well. It’s the never ending quest for the perfect line, a really good time, a well executed smooth pass or a podium finish that keeps most people in it knowing they will never be completely satisfied with they’re own ability.

    Brian

  • #10761

    mike clements
    Participant

    I am currently writing another book. This one is about karting. So, can I have the permission of all the responders here to use your words ?

    There are a few of you that I would like to interview over the phone if possible.

    thank you,
    Mike

  • #10768

    Kerry Matthews
    Participant

    Sure, you want to use the words of an insane person, be my guest!  lol

  • #11839

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    It’s whatever you want it to be, that’s the great thing about karting.

    From a 1-2 time racer a year, all the way up to a professional factory driver, it can be what YOU want it to be.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #11842

    mike clements
    Participant

    You folks are posting some really good points. Thank you.

    I noticed that no one so far has addressed the “Bad-Day-at-the-Track”. We all have them. Something breaks on your kart, you have an attention lapse and crash, or get involved in someone elses crash, you get DQ’ed for a very small “Letter of the law” infraction that you didn’t even realize was there, etc, etc.
    How do you deal with that ? What makes you choose which division of karting to take part in ? Being a Steve Kinser fan might make you choose Speedway karting. Being a F-1 fan might make you choose Sprint racing. Being a NASCAR fan or LeMans fan might help you to choose Road Racing.
    Or, whichever track is closest to home might be your choice.
    thanks again, MC

  • #11970

    Lawrence Doty
    Participant

    “Stuff” happens…it’s racing…a bad day at the track is still better than a “good” day at work.

    The main reason I race sprint is because the track is only 20 mins from the house and I can go practice anytime I want…like tomorrow…(since the Government is shut down…). I raced dirt for awhile and enjoyed it, but I could only get on the track once a month. There are paved ovals and big tracks I could race on but they are several hours drive away and I would only be able to run those when they have an event.

    I really like being able to go to the track when ever I want to.

  • #10406

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Mike Clark wrote:
    TJ, I have described similar to motocross on smooth asphalt. Most are not race / gearhead types. What most people ask is how fast does the kart go. Then they say it is so low to the ground it must feel faster. What I tell them is I have no idea of the speed. What gets you is the constant turns & never much of a rest. The g’s are relatively high & it is the best bang for the buck. One of the guys from the car track was surprised how loud the YF200 is.

    I always make sure to emphasize the Gs and average speed too. Top speed is the question I get every time too.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
    Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
    www.facebook.com/oktanevisual
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  • #10409

    Mike Clark
    Participant

    On the sprint track here they run Motards. What strikes me is some ride like road racers & some ride like motocrossers. I only saw a little bit once though.

    Yeah, top speed is the rookie question. I try to convey how busy it feels, but that is starting to fade a little as I am getting used to karting. I am going to try to get busy tomorrow as our class should have some decent battles. Another guy and I are about the same speed. He is a great guy on & off the track. The comradery is part of it too. Our class has probably seen the most sharing of equipment and loaning of parts than any other at the track. I got 2 phone calls early in the week both insisting I use their engine if I couldn’t get mine fixed. 2 guy will be running karts they don’t own. Add the children classes and there is a whole other dimension. Everybody looks out for everybody else. When I couldn’t run for whatever reason I still go to help. I didn’t take up karting to make friends but you make friends with the people that you meet there.

  • #10417

    Lawrence Doty
    Participant

    Can you explain karting??? or is something you just have to try before you get it???

    I don’t try to explain kart to new people I try to get them in a kart! I have a local club with an Arrive n Drive day just about every month.

    How I explain it to them depends on the individual…If they have kids then I talk about how cheap it is to take them out on an A&D day to see if they like it first before they spend the money on a kart…etc. If they are younger and looking to do it themselves then I try to relate it to something they are currently doing… If they are older…I talk about us old fat guys and all the fun we have racing each other…LOL

  • #10501

    Jeff Wesell
    Participant

    .

    Streeter Super Stands
    "Roll with The Best!"
    streetersupertands.com

  • #11823

    Nic Logan
    Participant

    This is honestly how I feel about it.

    Karting is an ideal motorsport for any person interested in the pursuit of self improvement and discovery. For the restless, free thinking, and adventurous at heart, karting can funnel all of your thoughts, cares, and actions into a single pursuit. To drive a kart well requires intelligence, will, patience, ambition, humility, endurance, and last but most definitely not least, focus. Karting demands your focus, all of it. A kart, as a racing machine will do you no favors and the driver is an integral part of how the kart will perform. So when driving a kart, 100% of the drivers focus is required and, out of sheer necessity, all of life’s other concerns fade away. This sensation is immensely rewarding and the development of all those personal attributes happens by osmoses. With karting, the positive reinforcement is built into the requirements of participating. Then you realize you’re surrounded by a community of individuals experiencing the same thing as you.

     

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