November 29, 2013 at 7:15 am #16739
I was down on Gasoline Alley in Indianapolis the other day, and decided to stop in the iKART factory ~sadly, it almost sounds weird saying “factory” when talking about an American made sprint kart. Anyway, the place was flat out busy!!!
John Martin, owner, politely said he had no time to talk because they were way behind on backorders! This was very exciting to hear for a small, but growing, American kart manufacturer.
John did point out how fast the kart is: winning pole at Robo Pong and having success in WKA, USPKS, and other local series ~especially in the TAG classes. He also said they will be putting a lot of focus in 2014 into their lower-powered chassis development.
We see numerous rants on here about “where are the US karting manufacturers?” They’re out there: iKART, Margay, Ultimate Kart (also in Indy area), Coyote, and I’m sure there’s more. While these guys may not have the glamour or advertising budgets of the big European brands, they are producing great products right here in the US of A!
November 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm #16781
I totally agree, Mike. There is some really nice stuff being built in the US right now. And it’s performing well. I raced a Margay 4.11 this year in Ontario, and it’s a great kart with incredible finish. It turned alot of heads. I think it they had a dealer in the area, it would do very well.
That said, we’re going to start working on some editorial to put the US builders in the spotlight. I’ve spoken with John Martin for iKart on a number of occasions and I’m excited to learn more about his approach to the chassis design and his plans for 2014 and beyond. We’ll be using the ‘off-season’ to roll out lots of cool and interesting editorial like this.
Rob Howden - eKartingNews.com Publisher / Editor - @RobHowden
December 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm #17684
Looks like they only have a full size kart. Their adjustability looks awesome. Cadet??
December 15, 2013 at 5:38 am #17812
We have one and have had very good success with it.
December 15, 2013 at 9:22 am #17822
Looked at the pics of the chassis, those seat holder/easy adjustors look great.
December 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm #17834
Look at the amount of machining work, hrs of it. The time just to make the assembly jigs is enormous. The tig welding by hand is great. After ya git that baby together then ya gotta market it, have track side support, get a site together, and prove the kart is a winner. Wish I had that kind of cerebral matter. I’m sure everyone wishes ya the very best !
December 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm #17835
December 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm #17836
Jim, thank you for the kind words. You are 100% correct about the effort and commitment required to putting this all together. This creation has been something in the making for several years now. Much of what you speak of has been perfected and tested over time, now it’s time to prove it, market it, and support it.
What the public needs to see and understand is that the iKart is every bit as engineered as the well known karts on the market today, some may argue that they already surpassed them. One thing is certain, they’ve arrived and they mean business!
December 16, 2013 at 8:20 am #17870
It looks like a good product but only results on track will determine its competitiveness.
I clicked on the pictures link above and was disappointed to see that they are wasting time and money machining their own hubs. It is a fact that you can buy hubs made in Italy or China for less than the cost of the raw material as a result of government subsidy in both of those counties.
I hope that iKart do not lose sight of the fact that they are running a business and not creating a work of art. They need to focus there resources on the design, support and marketing of their products and then they will succeed – I wish them well in 2014 and look forward to seeing the American karting fraternity getting behind them and pushing them forward to the top step of the podium.
December 16, 2013 at 10:09 am #17905
wasting time and money making it in the USA?
I think that that flag on the side means all of the kart was made here from the aluminum to the tubing. How can you be disappointed in a company willing to invest the extra mile?
why not just have the whole thing sourced from the cheapest place possible? i heard they have great welders in the prisons of south east asia. maybe some toddlers in africa are willing to work for $1 a day to load the machines….?
sir i think your missing the point.
If anything that kinda commitment to me as a consumer means i should be willing to support that company and pay the extra bucks to put Americans to work and know your quality is the best it can be.
I find it repulsive of companies to resell Chinese manufactured items as “assembled in the USA” and put the red white and blue on their products. When in reality they sourced from the cheapest place possible and hell the consumer is an idiot, we will sell them any thing and not be held accountable.
I wish them them the best of luck in 2014 and hope to soon join them in victory circle.
if your in it to make a fortune, karting isn’t the place to do it. If your in it to win at all costs and bring victory to your brand and let the others in the industry eat your dust….
then ikart is your gladiator to bet on…
December 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm #17910
The point of making all of the components in house is to keep quality in check and insure that all off the components are up to par. Also the point of it being cheaper if made in china or italy is a little off. iKart is one of if not the cheapest tag chassis available today. I have been using the chassis in the North east for the past 4 months and love it. So far its proven its worth with 2 poles, a win and a second. Almost had another win if a stupid chain had not blown off. In my first race ever with it, I was 3rd with little prior testing. Next year is looking very bright and hope to see more wins by iKart.
I know first hand the quality of the kart and its capabilities. The adjustability is insane and ease of tuning makes it one of the best chassis I’ve driven and worked on.
Gear up F-series racer
December 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm #17917
The point of making all of the components in house is to keep quality in check and insure that all off the components are up to par. Also the point of it being cheaper if made in china or italy is a little off. iKart is one of if not the cheapest tag chassis available today. I have been using the chassis in the North east for the past 4 months and love it. So far its proven its worth with 2 poles, a win and a second. Almost had another win if a stupid chain had not blown off. In my first race ever with it, I was 3rd with little prior testing. Next year is looking very bright and hope to see more wins by iKart. I know first hand the quality of the kart and its capabilities. The adjustability is insane and ease of tuning makes it one of the best chassis I’ve driven and worked on.
Brad, there is not a car company in the world that does not sub-contract parts manufacture and they do it because its good business. iKart do not make chains, seats etc and given your experience perhaps they should, but I would think even they believe that it would be a step too far. The quality of parts can be controlled by inspection, if required they can be made to an iKart design and if the cost is less and the quality is the same or better then please explain to me how that does not benefit iKart and ultimately there customers?
December 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm #17922
wasting time and money making it in the USA? I think that that flag on the side means all of the kart was made here from the aluminum to the tubing. How can you be disappointed in a company willing to invest the extra mile? why not just have the whole thing sourced from the cheapest place possible? i heard they have great welders in the prisons of south east asia. maybe some toddlers in africa are willing to work for $1 a day to load the machines….? sir i think your missing the point.
Jim, as long as all their potential customers think like you then great, personally I would be happy to see an American chassis manufacturer stay in the market and compete with the European imports long term.
December 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm #17923
As a manufacturer myself I can tell you that its a fools game to think that you can make the same product in China and then just sell it in the Western world and no harm no foul. Governments that subsidize production costs to gain market share are simply cheating the system. I think people need to wake up and find out where the products they are buying come from. Personally I wont shop at Walmart for example. Everything in the store is cheap, and usually from China. People get sucked in and buy cheap products that they think are the same, there not. All this is doing is pushing the quality of items down and hurting the average worker. We need a strong manufacturing base to support an economy. Companies like Ikart should be supported and given a chance to succeed. The more companies that are allowed to grow and prosper the better the industry becomes and that will foster better products and lower prices as they compete. Thats the way the system is supposed to work in my opinion. The current system of manufacturing goods overseas is terrible. If the companies overseas had to meet the same EPA regs as US companies do as well as the working conditions then I wouldnt have a problem with it, but they don’t yet they are allowed to sell those goods into the marketplace. Its wrong and it should be stopped. I figure the government isnt going to stop it so the only way I can have an effect is to not buy products from companies that have products made overseas but try to sell them as US or North American made. Thats my rant for the day.
December 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm #17924
ikart does make all the components on so that they know that they are up to specs. Making the parts over seas is an option, but that is not what they want. iKart wants to be an american made kart, not american assembled, so they make it all. Also they don’s want to have the issue CRG had with their supplier of ceramic rotors stopped making them for a while and they had a shortage. It took some people months to receive their parts. As they said “if you want something done right, Do it yourself”, so that is what they do. ikart is always coming up with new solutions so that also makes it harder to spec parts made overseas if you design something new every few months.
If i break something, i know i can get it. there is no part shortages due to outside suppliers. The karts are still cheaper than all other brands and parts are significantly less than all others. Why ship orders overseas when it can be done in house and perfected for the same if not close to the same price?
Gear up F-series racer
December 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm #17942
Are there any more detailed pics of the kart floating around? I am curious to see some of the components and what they did with the frame. The pics on ikart and worldracing are pretty general.
December 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm #17944
Have you taken a look at the link above? Here it is again. Also if you have specific questions or want additional information let me know, maybe I can help. Shoot me a PM or email. JDMotorsportsNY@gmail.com
Inside shop view on the true makings of the CBX-RM2 iKart Chassis.
December 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm #17945
John – As an iKart Dealer I figured you would know this.
What is the size of the frame tubes. I thought it was all 32mm, but saw as a caption is said 28/30. Just trying to understand what motor mount for Rotax is needed.
What axle stiffness is availaible/recommended?
December 17, 2013 at 12:08 am #17951
Mr.Savage, my I ask why you would think it’s better for companies to outsource their products if they can make it themselves for the same cost?
I certainly do not, but as I said in many cases American manufacturers are trying to complete against overseas manufacturers who have government subsidy and tax breaks which enable them to sell completed parts at less than the cost of the raw materials.
My original post was in support of iKart because in terms of design ideas I like what I see, I just don’t want another karting company to go to the wall because of poor business thinking – if they can do it all GREAT its now up to you all to support them!
December 17, 2013 at 3:57 am #17953
The chassis is 28/30mm tubing and almost any 30mm motor mount will work well. Look at the Odenthal 5* or 10* mounts.
As far as axle, the kart comes standard for TaG setup with a T1 swift axle which is a medium hardness axle.
December 17, 2013 at 4:14 am #17954
Have run Rotax and Rok and the OTK mounts work fine.
December 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm #18006
i dont know about hitting the wall, but if the kart is winning, then it will sell.
no racer is going to be left behind when things change. if you think your winning because you out spend the other guy, ..then you are, because …your winning.
and thats the real point here for me. if you do what everyone else is doing , its a crap shoot on who wins. if your tweaking and tuning and making the investment in RD to revolutionize the design of karts, and win…this is what it takes.
sure ikart if they wanted to can trust some foreign manufacturer with thier designs and make it for cheap, but that inst the program here. John Martin is on a mission to win.
and he is doing it.
making a 1000 hubs at $2 and selling for $55 a piece is for the staus quo companies not rocking the boat. this is the guy putting 16-20 hour days growing the business and watching his quality like a hawk. Being able to produce a prototype part in a hour and race it next day or same day. cant do that with big batches of parts from oversees shops. and what happens when the big guys start pushing their orders to delay his stuff.
remember the story of tucker and how the game is played.
the time for fat catting will come when they have to lease his design to remain competitive…because real racers will gravitate to winning every time. That is the huge payday to shoot for. IBM makes more suing for patent infringement than they do actually selling their wares.
the trick is surviving the time to get there. your point was well taken, but just rubbed me the wrong way.I dont think it is the time for them to be thinking about the mas production, its about getting the technology to a higher level, and THEN the mass production means to a end can be addressed.
American made still means something VERY special to some of us. Don’t be disappointing in a company that is making the product their way and guarding their design and innovation very tight to the vest.
December 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm #18008
Kart is great, John is great to work with. AJ will be running Rok senior this coming weekend at Orlando, won last time by over 10 seconds, and hopefully will repeat.
Kart has really good corner off or exit speed.
December 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm #18010
Having been a huge Trackmagic Supporter I hope this works for iKart. They really need to Market themselves well. Its amazes me how badley this is missed. You need to also put some damn good drivers in the seat that can win. That was Trackmagics success point, great drivers that stuck around more then a year. Drivers that helped build the success. I hope they get on the national circuit also. I’m kind of amazed that at a race like the Supernats there wasn’t even one Margay. Would be interesting if they built a shifter kart.
December 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm #18012
Have you taken a look at the link above? Here it is again. Also if you have specific questions or want additional information let me know, maybe I can help. Shoot me a PM or email. JDMotorsportsNY@gmail.com
Perfect! Thank you!
December 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm #18014
I think John is alluding to a mass produced product. As this is still a product in its infancy (at least it looks that way) then it is effectively a prototype shop and in house machining of parts probably will be cheaper. Although if he’s putting in 20 hours days he must be paying himself very little to make it cheaper.
There’s no need to automatically assume foreign built means crappy, the iphone is built in China after all.
And there’s no point in buying American because its American, buy it because its good, thats the only way the US manufacturing industry will rebuild itself.
Maybe John and I view it differently because we aren’t American.
Anyway good luck to iKart.
December 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm #18026
There is much truth to your point and I will agree with you that one can’t assume foreign built equates to a crappy product. iPhone is a great example. The issue with that is Apple invested countless amounts of money making sure that their “factories” were up to standards for their product line. The average manufacture in America would be bankrupt just trying to source the right factory over seas. Then to boot add the cost of shipping the items because it costs the same price to ship an empty sea box as it does a 40′ sea container packed with items…. that just raises the break even minimum quantity into the thousands of dollars. Then there’s storage…. and list goes on and on.
There’s a lot of pride involved I’m sure that makes iKart do what they do, I think sometimes that driving force alone will move mountains. That said the products regardless of where they’re made need to sell right? And in this industry that means WIN races right? Time will tell but lets at least recognize that they have entered the market by storm with a unique and technically advanced product in an industry sector that has always struggled to find a way into America’s mainstream spot light.
It will be interesting to see what the next few years bring.
Welcome, pull up a chair and enjoy the show…
December 18, 2013 at 7:34 am #18079
Obviously I hope for the best for iKart and other US manufacturers (Example Margay) to rise to the forefront of the sport both here and elsewhere.
The iKart has already been proven in National competition with Jesus Rios in Man Cup and an ikart was on the pole for this years Robopong 200.
One thing that will have to be overcome is the amazingly popular view by many that they won’t buy anything American made. I have heard this sentiment over and over whether we are talking about karts, motorcycles or automobiles. I despise this sentiment but it is a stumbling block for success.
Rapid Racing Inc.
Vintage B-Stock Pilot
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."
December 18, 2013 at 7:51 am #18081
I agree Greg, for some reason even if the American made TAG kart or Shifter kart was $1000 cheaper they still wouldn’t by it.
Trackmagic broke through that wall for a period.
One thing that might be holding people back is that other then Margay they all seem to not make it. iKart needs to stay in it and strong for a good long period and build that trust. Also if people sense its a small mom and pop shop that doesn’t intice people. The stability of Tony Kart, CRG, Birel means something. Thats what I can think of as a barrier.
December 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm #18106
There are HUGE advantages to a supply chain that’s 50 feet long.
Let’s say the assembler notices that the hub he just tried to put on doesn’t fit.
iKart model: Stop work, walk over to the machinist, check the part out with the gauge the machinist made to check these parts, find that when he changed tools the new one’s offset was different, machinist throws part in rework bin, changes the offset, next few parts get checked carefully. Total time lost: 30 man-minutes plus the time the machinist needs to find the problem.
Chinitalian model: Stop work, go to the parts bin with the calipers, find that the next 157 hubs are the same way, call the boss over, show him the problem, waste time with general-purpose measuring equipment to find out what the problem actually is, divert the machinist from her work to look at a part she normally doesn’t make, build a fixture to rework the parts, call the supplier to tell them the parts are wrong, exchange photos and emails until it makes it to the shop floor at the factory, they find they’ve made 900 parts the wrong way. Total time lost: 30 man-hours plus having to eat the rework costs because it’s too expensive to ship ’em back to the factory!
Next scenario: Jimmy Hotshoe notices that the more he moves the front hubs in at the East Overshoe GP, the better the thing handles. By race time they’re all the way in and he’s on the podium.
iKart model: First thing Monday morning is a quick meeting to discuss a new short-shank spindle. The guy who did the calculations and drawings on the last one is there, same for who made it, same for the boss who’ll determine whether it’s worth it. They both make the engineering and manufacturability improvements on the new drawing that they wanted in the old one anyway while making it shorter. Jimmy picks up the prototypes Wednesday night. Thursday morning it’s worth a tenth or so back-to-back at East Overshoe. Monday morning it’s on the website as an upgrade and option.
Chinitalian model: “Well, we’ll see if what worked at East Overshoe works at Brick City next week.” If it does, they’ll call a job shop and get ten specials made up for the “factory” drivers. Maybe next year they’ll go on the production karts?
Vertically-integrated GM (postwar): enough market share to nearly get broken up by the antitrust laws, ability to reshape what went on the roads and railways of the world at will, a well-deserved reputation for durable equipment that worked even when the manufacturing, assembly, and maintenance were all sloppy.
Outsourced GM: 30 years of X-cars, Dexcool, Northstars, decline, bankruptcy, public ownership and maybe a rebirth?
December 19, 2013 at 7:46 am #18135
Ha if you think GM needed buying out because of outsourcing then you really don’t understand the auto industry.
GM had (has?) a tremendous union contract that meant when sales dropped they couldn’t cut their overheads. Shutting down a factory didn’t mean they could lay off workers and they could hardly stop pensions.
Couple that with years of shoddy product (trucks are still on ladder frames with leaf spring suspension, huge panel gaps and steering seemingly not attached to the front wheels for crying out loud) and the rise of a superior products coming from across the world and they were bound to fail.
Ford on the other hand started bringing their vastly superior products from Europe (Focus, Fiesta, Fusion (Mondeo in Europe)) and sold off there more lucrative brands.
Anyway iKart doesn’t fit any of these models, its a prototype shop, more like a Roush or Shelby.
December 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm #18171
As a potential newbie to karting, let me give you my perspective on the iKart. The kart itself is really great, craftsmanship is great, no issues with the unit itself. I’ve seen it in action and yes it is good. I have no doubt about the quality or its ability to be excellent. I’ve resourced as much as I could about ikart, reviewed pictures on Facebook and other pics that the dealers have sent to me etc etc. I spoken with the few dealers that represent iKart currently and they have been nothing short of wonderful, they have provided me with much information and after speaking with them, have convinced me to consider iKart as a very viable option.
With that being said my only concern is/was that they are new, most parts are made in-house, and the dealer newtwork. Well they are currently working on the parts supply side of things and an online catalog, so the ambiguity surrounding iKart is progressively getting better but the entity is in a push (infancy) mode right now and there are only so many hours in a day to accomplish a big task of putting yourself on the map so to speak. They are working on the media/marketing side of things and again they are pushing forward so I think those in the karting community have to be patient. Two of the dealers I have spoken with are located in my area and race the track(s) I would consider running so I no longer have any issues regarding support and quite frankly iKart appears to be working on the dealer network aspect as well, but again only so much time in the day and quite frankly the two dealers I spoke with offered lots of suggestions, were not forceful & I feel actually iKart made a good decision in associating with those dealers.
Bottom-line is they are new but they also appear to be approaching it in a manner that will bode well for them. They are located in an area already filled with many in the racing industry (various motorsport venues) and the fact that they are a vendor/supplier in the racing community assures me they understand a racers perspective. Granted only time will tell if they succeed but I will tell you they have left an impression on me to give them consideration in my decision making process of purchasing a kart!
Just some thoughts.
December 24, 2013 at 6:50 am #18360
AJ won again on an Ikart this past weekend at Orlando running Rok Senior. Going to Daytona this coming weekend and there will be a number of Ikarts in different classes, Should be interesting and fun.
December 26, 2013 at 10:25 am #18419
Do they have an extended front porch option?
FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
41 years karting experience
January 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm #19157
Walt, Currently there isn’t a specific “extended front porch” option but there is a bit of forward adjustment that can be had on the standard chassis.
For those that are curious or would like to see additional pictures of the chassis’ design features follow my link below.
These past several weeks have been insane for us. We are preparing for an explosive start to this years racing season…
January 8, 2014 at 4:32 am #19176
Is a shifter chassis on the horizon?
January 8, 2014 at 6:01 am #19187
Yes there is a shifter chassis available. Here’s a quick pic of it setup with a spec Honda and iKarts paddle shifter.
February 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm #21251
iKart just finished 1 – 2 in the latest round of the Florida Winter Tour in Ocala. AJ Meyers finished 1st with Mike Giessen just behind him in 2nd. Pretty cool to see 2 Americans on an American made chassis on top of the podium. Congrats!
February 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm #21254
December 13, 2013 at 10:44 am #17739
It’s great to see and hear that racers are actually taking a look at the US manufactures and realizing that there’s quality in them. I will say that dealing with John Martin from iKart has been a real eye opener for me on what the karting industry is lacking. Not only is he focused on building the best products the USA has to offer but he clearly has the big picture in mind.
To answer the Cadet question, John has said to me that he’s working on rolling out his Cadet line in February. Based on everything seen so far coming out of his shop there shouldn’t be any doubt that it will be a top notch piece of equipment when it hits the ground.
My sole opinion, iKart is doing what Americans should be doing in every industry… Making it here and better! We will see more of them on the track in 2014 that’s for certain.
December 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm #17831
The kart has proven itself in a short amount of time this year that’s for sure. I’ve been fortunate to have several pictures sent to me by John Martin which gives a feeling for the inner makings of the iKart. After seeing what goes into designing and building his chassis I’m not sure that many other kart manufactures are up to this level of quality. He definitely sets the bar pretty high.
December 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm #17913
Really glad to see the outpouring of support of our movement and what we are working towards accomplishing. I truly believe that there is more to running a business that your passionate about than maximizing the bottom line (although this is obviously an important piece of the puzzle) and that is why I have been involved with John Martin since the beginning. We personally craft every piece of the chassis in our factory not simply to perfect what we genuinely view as a work of art but because of the age old mantra “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. In doing so we are able to maximize the speed, longevity, and craftsmanship of each individual product while at the same time minimizing the price to the consumer.
After what we consider to have been a very successful year in 2013 we are moving forward with energy and anticipation for 2014 and are excited to see the iKart family grow. If anyone has any questions, concerns, or insights please feel free to contact any of our dealers nationwide or me directly at 317-502-9239 or email@example.com for dealer referrals and additional information.
iKart Factory Racing Account
December 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm #17935
Regardless of why you think iKart should make their own components, the head of iKart already was a racing component manufacturer making parts for Indy Car, USAC, etc., so the equipment and skill set were probably already well inlace to CNC a couple of small kart components.
December 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm #17936
Well this is turning into a debate rather than highlighting the simple fact that there’s a company in the US that is actually manufacturing a competitive kart chassis for similar costs found in its competitors if not less.
Mr.Savage, my I ask why you would think it’s better for companies to outsource their products if they can make it themselves for the same cost? I’ve always thought that a good business model is one that provides a way to become more productive with the same investment amount… that said would iKart become more attractive to you if it made all its components in say China, or Pakistan and sold it to you at the same price…. I’m certain many people would feel ripped off at that point.
On the other hand this company took a risk in tooling up and manufacturing not one or two but hundreds of various components at a time bringing cost down, no? Yes labor costs more in the US but that’s also the point, how will we ever change the unemployment crisis in our country….move to china? lol.
Here’s the bottom line, iKart makes their own hubs, spindles, sprockets hubs, floor pans, bumpers, the list goes on and you probably get the point….oh yeah and seats too!!! All this and they found a way to keep it affordable in comparison to the “others”.
At the end of the day people will buy a product for many reasons, flashy colors, made in the USA, it’s FAST, or because they have no choice. Well now there’s one more choice in karting. Oh and btw I doubt anyone ever buys something saying, GREAT! It’s made in China let me get two!
Take a minute to review the product as a whole and compare price, quality, service and most of all performance; after all it is a performance item. iKart has certainly caught the eye of many because of its downright ability to WIN RACES!!! They have done what many are still trying to accomplish right out of the gate.
I say, help the Americans and stop feeding someone you can’t even meet, call or email!
December 25, 2013 at 7:09 am #18387
Looking forward to hearing the results… Just ordered an iKart, looking forward to running one with either KPV/4 or Rotax Max Power in the Spring…
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