Home Forums Shifter Karts New to karting . Help ?

This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jim Derrig 5 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #25977

    Ricky Russell

    so i’m fresh new to shifter karts . i haven’t even bought my first kart yet .


    so i’m 17 years old , 6 foot 2 inches and 160 pounds . i used to race motocross , but i was paralyzed in a crash . i’m paralyzed armpits down . i can only use my biceps in my arms , that means i can not use my fingers hands wrists or triceps . i can’t race motocross anymore and i still have the need for speed and competitive racing (:


    so far my adaptive set up will be a race seat , push accelerator , pull brake and one handed steering . kind of like this guy (also paralyzed armpits down) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbASH6s6geY


    so obviously a beginner is gonna have some questions and i’d appreciate if you could help. first of all is how in the heck do i find kart shopes ? i google “kart shopes” and the only thing close is just indoor tracks .


    i’m going to buy a kart off craigslist . it’ll have to be one with a rotax max fr125 engine since i can’t shift . but how do i know what classes their are? somebody please tell me all of them ?


    by the way i live in washington state

  • #26001

    Jim Derrig

    Hi Ricky.  I’m in Washington too.  What’s your location (city or county)?  I’ll try to steer you in the right direction (no  pun intended).

  • #26031

    Ricky Russell

    Gig Harbor . where are you ?

  • #26037

    Jim Derrig


    Don’t know if you’ve ever watched the movie Faster about Moto GP (it’s on Netflix), but toward the end there’s a neat bit about how 3-time world champion Wayne Rainey, whose legs were paralyzed in an accident, switched to racing karts and really enjoyed it.   Like you, he had to modify the karts to operate with hand controls only.

    Italian motors sells a hand-brake with the master cyl mounted on near the steering hub.  It’s for operating supplemental front brakes on a TaG kart but I don’t see any reason it couldn’t be adapted the run a rear brake too (most TaG karts don’t run front brakes), just by re-routing the brake lines.  You’re half way there and the hand throttle should be a breeze.

    Complete Front Hand Brake System

  • #26045

    johnny brooks
  • #26081

    Jim Derrig

    Ya, I think the old Speed TV had a series in which Winfield was one of the featured drivers.  Looking at the set up, it appears to use the brake system in which a master cyl is integrated into the steering wheel hub.  Usually, this is used for hand-operated front brakes found on some TaG karts.  I’d wonder if it had sufficient volume for a front + rear system, though I imagine it has enough for a rear-only system.  The italian motors system uses an external master cyl and might have a higher volume piston.

    Anyway, now you have the blue print.

  • #26120

    Ricky Russell

    so i guess you guys didn’t catch that i said i can only use my biceps in my arms . that means i can not use my hands fingers wrists or triceps . sorry should have been clearer . i’ll edit the original post , if i can

  • #26196

    Jim Derrig


    I’ve been thinking about your control set up.  From your description of your condition, you can only tighten and relax your biceps for arm movement.  For example, you could tighten your biceps to curl your forearm up at the elbow, but to return the forearm to the original position you can only relax that muscle and let the arm drop by its own weight.  You could not force the forearm back using your triceps.

    Is this accurate?

    I’m wondering because your original post mentioned a push-pull throttle-brake set up, but it sounds like your arm could only accomplish the pull and not the push (or visa versa)?

    Maybe not the end of the world, as we could just make it spring loaded to get force in the direction opposite to the direction  in which your bicep can move your arm.

    The steering would be a bigger problem.  Would you be able to use muscle power to turn a wheel in both directions with one arm?  The guy in the You Tube video had pretty good arm motion and appeared to be able to use his triceps.


  • #26033

    Jim Derrig

    I’m in Seattle.  There’s plenty of karting action around here.

    In Spanaway:  www.psgka.com

    In Kent (no 2-strokes though): http://www.pacificgp.com

    In Sumas (near Bellingham):  www.simaracing.com

    Shops include Kart-o-rama, http://www.mcssl.com/store/kart-o-ramainc

    and Steve Perdue’s shop, http://www.nwracekarts.com.

    Both of them are in Auburn.  Italian Motor’s shop in Sumas is massive (for a kart shop), but it’s a bit of a hike from Gig Harbor.  www.imusa.com

    This should get you started.  Let me know if you need more info.  Incidentally, most of the karts on the local Craigslist are garbage.  You’ll be WAY better off talking to one of the above shops, especially with your needs and planned mods.  Steve and Italian Motors always have some good used chassis hanging around, as their race teams tend to race new stuff and then sell them after a few races.


  • #26114

    Sam Zavaglia

    Hope it all works out for you to get back on track.

  • #26123

    Brian Degulis

    Hey Ricky

    That’s going to be a challenge I’ll start thinking about it and see what I come up with. I’m in FL and own a company that builds tug boats. So lots of welding fabricating equiptment and machine shop at my disposal. See if you can come up with some ideas or drawings for a control system. I’ll build it and ship it off to you for free. PM me or email trainman484848@aol.com


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