Home Forums General Karting Discussion Hands hurt after driving about 8 mins

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    • #29721
      Dustin McGrew

      Wanted to get some opinions on here abut why my hands start killing me after about 8 mins in the kart. I’m not in the greatest shape but I feel like the rest of my body can get through a final race with no problem but my hands start hurting pretty bad. I use a mychron steering wheel, do they typically suck and cause your hands to hurt? It definitely doesn’t feel as soft as the Birel wheel. Anyone else use a mychron wheel? Or is it just me gripping the wheel too hard?

      This is the wheel I have..

    • #29722
      Gary Lawson

      Those wheels are not very thick and could definitely help cause hand cramping. Loosening your grip on each straight can also help tremendously

    • #29728
      TJ Koyen

      +1 to Gary’s comment.

      Also you can try wrapping the wheel with tennis grip tape or cycling bar tape to get it a bit thicker and maybe offer some more grip. I use bar tape and it seems to help a lot. My hands start to hurt after a while without it, but no issues with it on there.

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

    • #29742
      AJ Reuter

      Other question is does your seat fit right? my hands used to kill me when i worked at a rental kart place, till i realized i was using my hands to brace and deathgrip on the wheel. +1 on the grip tape too

    • #29744
      Daniel White

      My pain is not only in my hands, but most acutely in my shoulders. Ever since I’ve been karting, my shoulders have been in constant pain. If I have to raise my arms I must do it gingerly or else my upper arm will just fall out of its shoulder socket. No kidding.

      I’ve considered taking caster out of the kart, as well as reducing the ackerman, to make driving less of an effort. As I understand it, increasing both of these make the steering heavy. But I like the way my kart handles, so I’ve just resigned myself to suffering.

      Does anyone else have shoulder pain?

      As for my hands, I make a conscious effort to relax them on the straights.

      My forearms get quite a workout, and toward the end of the day will begin to cramp up during a race. Need to pound water all day and eat bananas.

    • #29766
      Walt Gifford

      Slow down. I see it all the time, people dive into turns too fast and shallow then try to change direction all at once mid corner with lots of wheel sawing and skidding with tremendous physical effort. It’s such a dramatic event they think they’re really doing something as they skid to a stop.

      If your driving skills are beyond reproach, heavy steering is usually a bad chassis set up. Get it on the scales, get the front end aligned, free the rear. You should be steering with the rear wheels not your forearms.


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

    • #29786
      Chuck hurlbert

      two things that helped me that have not been said…

      get an angle plate for your steering wheel, which helped the most for me.  im at 15 degrees

      2nd, use the palm on the outside hand when turning.  I don’t remember where I say this comment and if it is true.  I don’t know if I even do it but it seems logical and reduces the strength and fatigue of the grip.

    • #29790
      Gary Smith

      Hi Dustin,

      What brand of kart do you have?

      On the steering shaft, where are your tie rods attached?

      I have a Birel M32, the tie rods were attached to the outer holes on steering shaft, the kart wore me out, mounted the tie rods to the inner holes and the steering became much easier, although a little more steering wheel input was necessary.


      #55 Honda CR80

    • #29797
      johnny brooks

      Have you seen a doctor? There are non age related forms of arthritis, etc.

      You could build this:

    • #29973
      Ty Schlorer

      A couple of years ago I started using a Shockdoctor Gravity 2 mouth piece. I would end up holding onto the wheel so tight that my hands would nearly cramp up by the end of a 30 minute road race. Once I started using the mouth piece my hands stopped hurting.

    • #30011
      Dave Holstein

      I had the exact same problem my hands hurt, and I had real bad forearm cramps, I would death grip so tight I would sprain /  injure  my hands and wrists.

      Aside from brusing my ribs thinking I didn’t need a rib vest, it was the worst injury I received from karting, jumping right into shifters right off the bat was part to blame.

      what I have noticed now that I have just over a full season to reflect on is:

      Adjusting your grip thru the course will help immensely.

      I noticed that along with gripping the wheel like my life depended on it, I was also tensing up my whole body which will wear you out fast.

      Also a good setup, fresh tires, brakes etc. will help, fighting a bad setup or worn/dried out tires will also wear you down.

      Try to relax, you will find that as you get better with setup, remembering to breathe, adjusting your grip, etc. you will end up being able to drive fast with a lot less effort eventually, that’s when karting will start to get really fun and extremely addictive!



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