Home Forums General Karting Discussion .Just a thought

This topic contains 32 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Traylor 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #52614

    lynn haddock
    Participant

    This was the way karts were built for many years, laydown enduro’s  in particular.

    I wonder how many broken feet we would see if this was the way karts were produced now days ?

  • #52622

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Even the major car makers say the greatest key to safety is driver behavior.

    Gif

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

  • #52635

    Robert Finlayson
    Participant

    Not to hijack your thread but, I believe you were asking all the Tag Senior drivers at Skusa Summer Nationals how much weight was on their karts. Just wondering if you could fill me in on those results. Interested to know how many had no weight on kart, how many had less then 15 pounds, what was average. Hoping you were compiling information with thoughts of reducing the weight in the future.

  • #52637

    lynn haddock
    Participant

    no lead = 4 karts

    less than 15# = 9 karts

    average lead on board = 34.33#

    ..

    I turned the info over to Tom Kutscher — what the future holds is with SKUSA.

    My view is that the weight should be lowered — you can never please everyone so you try and please the majority.

     

  • #52638

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    At the national level, weights need to be much lower. Those numbers back it up even more. I’d love to see what the numbers are for Yamaha at the USPKS program as well.

    Continue original topic.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #52658

    David Galownia
    Participant

    I don’t understand the fascination with dropping weight. I way 170 lbs with 11% body fat and with a light weight battery (tag class) I can come in with almost no fuel at 360.

    I run at 360 and 385 locally and lap time difference is between .2 and .5 (closer to .5 on courses with lots of tight turns, high speed courses the difference is less).

    Do do we want to screw some racers (yes not the majority) so we can go a few tenths faster?  Is it that difficult to bolt a few extra pounds on the kart?  Trying to understand the reasoning here.  Is there another reason?

    And yes I could lose weight but to all you lighter drivers out there you could just as easily gain weight (or bolt lead on) :)

    WKA was also asking how much weight was on people’s karts so I worry. Hopefully if there is a weight drop movement its only a minor change.

    Realize nothing has happened yet but want to put my opinion out there to represent us “heavy” guys.

     

  • #52674

    Greg Dingess
    Participant

    This was the way karts were built for many years, laydown enduro’s  in particular.

    I wonder how many broken feet we would see if this was the way karts were produced now days ?

    That kart wouldn’t be as fast today. There is no magnesium heel stop or adjustable billet pedals….. ;)

  • #52675

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    David G.,

    I’d rather have a 180 lb kart land on top of me in a crash, than a 210 lb kart. So it’s partially a safety thing. Karting is supposed to be lightweight and nimble and since it’s inception, the karts have slowly gotten more bloated.

    Karting was never meant to be a sport for big guys.

    Also, I’ve been trying to gain weight for my whole life, and I’ve been lucky (unlucky) enough to have a killer metabolism so I can’t really do much about it. Plus, some of us are at the point where there simply isn’t any place to put more lead.

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  • #52693

    Tim Koyen
    Participant

    Higher class weights are great for business, but bad for backs.

    Looking at Lynn’s pic, its easy to see one reason that the weights are so much higher now, the karts weigh so much more.  Lots of superfluous plastic bits and extraneous “safety” equipment, such as sidepods.  Add on all the useless electronics of today’s engines and you’ve got yourself a lead sled.

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  • #52697

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    So lower the weight to 350 and probably lose 10 racers or so based on those numbers. Are there 10 rwcers sitting at home because they don’t want to pick up their 365# kart?

  • #52720

    John Ferreira
    Participant

    Lynn…

    Caretta – circa 1968?

    To your question … in the day, no broken feet… because your toe was on the guys in front rear bumper…. (:-)

    Now … there is some piece of fiberglass or plastic in the way …  (:-)

  • #52728

    Daniel Agee
    Participant

    My background before I give my opinion.

    2005 (15yo) – KT100 at 340# with 45# lead

    2006-2008 – TaG (Leopard) at 375# with 40# in ’06 to zero in ’08 (18yo)

    2014 – CR80 at 375# with zero lead weight but 10# over on the scale

    Just changed to LO206. Not sure what, if any, I’ll have to put on the kart but I personally am down 25 pounds to 175.

    My opinion is two-fold regarding club racing and national level. I think at the national level, the weight minimum should be lower because SKUSA, USPKS, etc are meant for the semi-pros and pros, guys and gals who race often, are of  higher caliber, and should have greater fitness. Dropping weight shouldn’t be an issue and would increase the speed and intensity of these national events.

    At the club level, though, weights should either be higher or clubs should offer two weight divisions for the same motor package.  When I got back into karting last fall, I bought an 80 shifter partly because I always wanted to try one but mostly because I felt the increased power would make up for my heavier weight. I was not ready for the shifter and if it weren’t for the 206 and being able to lose some pounds, I probably wouldn’t continue racing. I think the current weight minimums could be off putting to potential newbies. I’d prefer, for example, 206 light at 345# and 206 heavy at 375#.

  • #52744

    Tim Koyen
    Participant

    None of this weight business was really an issue when there were light and heavy classes.  Now that the concept of heavy and light is gone at the “national” level, and we’re all in a heap, the lighter guys just have to make the sacrifice to allow the heavier ones to be competitive.

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  • #52759

    Chris Jennings
    Participant

    Daniel,

    Dumbest thing I’ve heard.   So because someone is 6’4″ and 190lbs they aren’t fit,  of high caliber, semi-pro or professional capable?   They don’t drive often or shouldn’t be competing nationally?   Your assumption about weight is incorrect.   Not everyone is short and fat with the ability to lose weight to get down to 175lbs or less.

     

    We need to worry about what supports the sport with the most numbers possible.  Who cares about a few extra tenths quicker when it’s all relative.  Everyone is at same weight!  As Richard Petty put it speed is irrelevant,  it’s about the competition.  Last thing karting needs to do is put rules in place that limits it’s growth potential, even at the national level.

  • #52762

    Chris Jennings
    Participant

    Come to think of it let’s get rid of the bodywork and then we can lower weights.   I’m down with that plan.

  • #52788

    Christiaan Bouhuys
    Participant

    The average weight of a US male is 180lbs. Current shifter class weights @385 and 405 (masters) mean the average 180lbs male would already be well over 385 unless he spends $$$ to lighten his kart or he needs to run the masters class @405lbs. Seems to me existing shifter class weights are not too high at all if karting is intended to appeal to the typical/average person.

     

  • #52792

    Robert Finlayson
    Participant

    Oh my God. Bodywork doesn’t need to come off the karts, lead weight does!!! Average amount of weight in a 60 kart field is 34.33 pounds. Weight of class could be reduced by 15 pounds and affect 4 people.

  • #52794

    Chris Jennings
    Participant

    Robert,

    You are speaking of one class.   Not all classes.  You should see how many people in all shifter classes who are in good shape and slim that have to spend too much time and money on titanium, carbon fiber and custom aluminum parts just to get CLOSE to the minimum weight.   Don’t misrepresent data.

    Take weight off and shrink fields.  Sounds like a great idea.  Buy an electric kart stand.  I haven’t lifted a kart in years.  Work smarter, not harder.

  • #52795

    Andy Seesemann
    Participant

    One contributing factor has been the reduction in age over the years for the Sr. classes and the constant push for kids to move up in class after a year.

    Senior used to be Senior. Most Sr. competitors were over 18 “back in the day”.

    Sr. nowadays means 14 1/2, with an average age of 16-17.

    Most boys gain 30+ pounds between 14 and 18. If Sr. classes were 18+, I bet the weights would be right on.

    A

    Andy Seesemann
    Orange, CA.
    Full Throttle Karting
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    WKA District 10 Trustee

  • #52799

    Daryle Redlin
    Participant

    I agree with Andy. Junior should be the class that kids race in if they are of school age, basically under 18, Cadet should be until you are around 13. That would allow kids to learn and actually get good at one class before they move up. Lower the weights in Junior and lower the horsepower, karts will go the same speed but last way longer. Currently the weight in senior is crazy. If the average of the racers are carrying 30+lbs then lower the weight at lease half that amount.

  • #52802

    Rob Kozakowski
    Participant

    The minimum weights for SOME classes – mostly non-shifter – are too high these days, at least at the National level.

    Formula Super A / Formula A used to run at 140 kg = 308-309 lbs.

    I know that the TAG karts of today are heavier with the battery, radiator, hoses, clutch, wiring harness, on-board starter, bigger displacement engines, etc., plus all the extra plastic, but it’s doubtful that they’re 55 lbs heavier (SKUSA TAG Senior at 365) than they used to be 20 years ago – and if they are, that’s just further proof that the sport has gone in the wrong direction with TAG.

    As for today’s weights, if the average guy in a National level TAG Senior is adding 34 lbs, how can you argue that the weight at that level of competition shouldn’t be reduced by at least 15-20 lbs?

  • #52805

    Jason Trower
    Participant

    I’m getting back into karting after being out for years. I’m now eligible for masters classes. I cringe at thinking I’m going to have to bolt on 30-40 pounds to my kart. I’m on the lighter side but bolting on all that lead really bothers me.  I want kart count but I also don’t want to have to add so much weight. Not sure what the solution is but hopefully weights can come down a bit.

  • #52807

    Nathan Mauel
    Participant

    I Agree with Andy. But if you want to let your 15+ year olds race in adult classes add the weight and deal with it. If you are afraid of them getting hurt racing isn’t the sport to be in. We all know racing is dangerous and take that risk every time we get on the track. You can have the best protection money can buy and guess what? You can still get hurt or die.

  • #52808

    Jeff Long
    Participant

    On the other end of this spectrum I have a 120# 16 year old S2 driver with 50# of lead strapped to the kart. There would be another 10# had we ran S3. It’s tough as Chris is at one end and we’re at the other, but I’d hate to have my son pyle driven by a 275# kart. (Or any kart for that matter).

    And I don’t disagree With Andy either, but being relatively new to karting I haven’t even heard of a time when the Senior class was 18+.

  • #52809

    David Galownia
    Participant

    I think Andy hit it head on with the ages and the weights, when I raced at 16-17 years old I weighed between 145 and 155.  I’m 36 now and weight 170.  However how much you weight has NOTHING to do with fitness, that’s flat out ridiculous.  If that were true almost all professional athletes in all major sports are out of shape.

    My point is, who cares if you have to add some extra weight to make the sport more inclusive.  Aren’t we already talking about a shrinking group of competitors to begin with?  It seems like a step in the wrong direction to lower the weight by drastic measures.  As it stands now, at 170 with no weight and a lightweight battery in TAG I make 360.  If we drop to 345 we’re basically saying if you weigh more than 155 pounds national karting is not for you.

    That’s a depressing thought for a sport I love so much.

  • #52812

    Chris Jennings
    Participant

    ^^^ agreed

  • #52827

    Richard Gordon
    Participant

    We used to run WKA back in the 80s.  Had light, medium, and heavy classes for the entry level stock class.  Always had plenty of karts in each.  Only time you had to bolt a bunch of lead on is if you chose to run the next weight up class (some would run 2 classes with the same kart).  Jr class was one weight with stock engine or a limited modified and age 12 up to 18.  Now the tracks around Denver are running l206 with 3 weight classes.  Is working well.  Seems like this is what is needed for the stock classes.

  • #52836

    Robert Finlayson
    Participant

    Chris, the survey Lynn was taking and the question I asked was about the 60 kart Tag Senior field at Skusa Summer Nationals. The numbers he gave were for that field, not your shifter class. I have no idea what the weight is for your class and those numbers aren’t from your class, so who is misrepresenting data here? The average amount of lead bolted onto a tag senior kart is 35 pounds. Nobody is saying the weight should be reduced by 35 pounds, that would start excluding people. However, reducing the weight by 10-15 pounds is reasonable with little to no affect.  The Yamaha classes in WKA and USPKS are likewise too heavy. I believe Yamaha senior is running at 360 pounds! The majority of the kids racing in rookie and sportsman have lead bolted all over their seats. I have no idea what the average weight on any of the shifter class is, but if it is 35 pounds, then I would think most think that is too high.

    I think I work pretty hard and smart.

  • #52838

    Mark Traylor
    Participant

    the weight moving to age is an interesting turn of the topic.   At the end of next year my son will need to move from Cadet to Junior.  If we go from LO206 cadet to World Formula junior or to tag junior / rotax junior I will need to add a good 70+ pounds of lead to his kart depending on chassis that could go up to 90 pounds.   It would be better to keep him in a cadet longer but he will age out.   I know a lot of S4 guys were not happy about S2 drivers that were much younger bolting on a lot of lead and running against older competition in a class that is a little less competitive.  When you compare junior to senior laptimes they are pretty close and could be closer.  Seems like keeping kids in junior longer even if they were lighter so they were as quick as senior would not be a bad thing.   just as the 48 year old S4 driver may not want to run against the 30 year old S2 driver (weight aside) there are probably plenty of 27 year old senior drivers that may not want to race the 15-16 year old.   Perspectives and priorities change as we get older.

  • #52844

    Daryle Redlin
    Participant

    I don’t think you should ever ” age out” of a class. Its the worst reason to make someone change classes. If your way better than everyone else in the class, ok move up where you have more competition, but if you feel more comfortable and are having more fun staying down then stay down. What’s the panic?

  • #52869

    Chris Jennings
    Participant

    Robert, my reply was in response to the statement…

    “Average amount of weight in a 60 kart field is 34.33 pounds.”

    However I do understand what you are saying now.  You were simply talking about the TAG class.

     

    Mark,

    “I know a lot of S4 guys were not happy about S2 drivers that were much younger bolting on a lot of lead and running against older competition in a class that is a little less competitive.”

    I think you don’t quite respect the level of some of the racers in the S4 class.  Weights being equal top 5 in S4 would be just as competitive as top 5 in any class.

  • #52870

    Rick Lawson
    Participant

    I rember when I started racing in the early 70’s you did not tun inot another driver because you did not want to hurt yourself or go for a ride you did not want to go on.

    As far as weight when I started in A-Open light I believe the weight was 265 pounds.  I weighed 120 pounds and ended up having to add less than 10 pounds to the kart.

    As time progressed and by the 80’s in the controlled stock class I had to add over 40 pounds to meet the minimum weight.

    Go back to karts that look like karts, reduce the weight and have heavy and light classes.

     

  • #52939

    Mark Traylor
    Participant

    Chris,

    Just the opposite.   I have a ton of respect for the S4 and the new super masters guys.   I learned about karting form Terry Ives, God Father of the 250 superkart that was a dominant driver as long as he wanted to be.  He stopped driving 250’s (mostly) after a terrible crash at Thunderhill.   What I said I have heard is what I have heard form some guys, I have not taken a survey.  It isn’t to knock anyone at all.  Just more about that I think transition from junior to senior too young.   That perhaps instead of weights being adjusted maybe ages need the adjustment.   There are plenty of 115 pound 16 year olds but not so many 115 pound 25 year olds.

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