August 13, 2014 at 12:12 am #31910
Looking to get into racing. Just wondering what type of kart to start out on. Like the title says, pretty much a newbie to go kart racing but I have so much fun racing them at K1 speed. I have no idea where to start. Race pro motocross so I am used to choosing lines, setting up passes, fast engines etc…well any help appreciated! Thanks , drew
August 13, 2014 at 6:13 am #31913
You need to go to the track nearest you and find their class structure.
Most tracks/clubs have classes that will favor a particular motor, ala Yamaha, Rotax, TaG (IAME, etc), PRD.
There will be a progression from lower power to higher power, smaller chassis to larger.
Sticking with the same motor is supposed to allow one to have a more cost effective path to progress through the classes by adding/removing restrictors on intake, exhaust, etc.
How old are you and what general area do you live in?
Do you know where the nearest kart racing track is?
Have you been to the track on race day and asked this question of the race director and participants? You’ll find karters to be exceptionally helpful, especially with the introduction of the sport to newbies.
Good luck, it’s a great sport!
August 13, 2014 at 7:33 am #31934
Thanks for posting this. I was going to start a post kind of like this but I dont want to start a whole new thread. Ive raced some tag karts, and some rental karts. The question I have is, I am looking to get into an “Ignite” Series here in St Louis. I am 6’3 225lbs. Can I still be competitive being this heavy? With minimal time on the track, in the couple of times I have driven karts, I am about 1 sec off fastest laps. I know with more time on track I can improve, but already have a pretty good feel.
August 13, 2014 at 8:28 am #31937
There’s always room for improvement. Last year I was 6’2″ 215#, then I hit the gym, cut out crap food and started training. Now I’m down to 170# and fit nicely into a KT100 pipe kart, though at 55 YO, my sides hurt when racing :)
Competitive? Depends on class structure and your level of preparation and commitment.
August 13, 2014 at 8:37 am #31938
Ditto what Brian said. The best thing you can do for yourself is FIRST get involved in the community, even if this means being a spectator, grabbing a pit pass, and asking questions. Observe, observe, observe… and then start asking more questions.
Once you have been trackside and witnessing how everything works, you will start to get a real clear picture of what kind of kart you should be starting in. Do not be afraid to ask for a test drive either. If you have a local club, email them and ask if they have anyone willing to give you a run in a Chonda, for instance. This is dangerous, by the way; as you WILL be hooked. You think you got it bad from driving a K1 kart? Just wait until you get out on the track in a proper kart.
Start in something you can afford, and when you are ready for bigger and better things, you will know.
Bottom line: find your local track and kart shop, and go to both. Talk to people. Introduce yourself, be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice, a test drive, etc. You won’t get what you don’t ask for. There are so many great people in this sport who are willing to show you the way.
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August 13, 2014 at 10:49 am #31947
Thanks everyone! This does help alot!
August 13, 2014 at 11:54 am #31952
Thanks for the insight, I live in davis, ca, 15 minutes west of Sacramento. I’m 29, 5’8 160 lbs. I actually live a few miles from a kart track here in Davis. I will have to check it out when they are racing. I have heard some about the kt100 and will check that out. Eventually would like to get into a shifter
August 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm #31968
welcome to your new obsession! lol Check out the Blue Max Kart Club.
They run a great program in Davis. Anything from shifter classes and tag, yamaha and KPV and Clones. Great bunch of folks. Nothing helps more than to go to a race and talk everyone’s ear off and see what looks good to you. Banging gears on a dirt bike is not much different than a shifter so try to get a couple of different rides before you decide. Have a blast and come to Reno sometime. We have one of the wildest and fun tracks in the west!
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August 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm #31974
You have several kart tracks within short drive from Davis. Blue Max in Davis, Prairie City has a track, and there’s Kinsman Kart Club, a track south of Dixon on Hwy 113. There’s also a kart track at Sonoma raceway.
In fact, there’s a race at Prairie City this Sunday, Aug 17th. Might be worth it to drive over and check it out!
August 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm #32010
Go to your local track and ask lots and lots of questions. I also used to race mx, last year for the past 4 years and just a few days ago I picked up a Tag 125 as my first kart.
August 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm #32012
Awesome thanks everyone! I am going to check out prarie city. I’ve ridden the mx track plenty of times but didn’t know they had a kart track. Also the davis track is not a huge track. The tag 125 kart has me interested as its probably a little faster than the kt100? How many hp for the 125 compared to the 100? Dumb question but do beginners to kart racing ever start out in shifters?
August 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm #32015
It’s generally advised not to start in shifters. They are quite a handful and it’s really easy to develop some bad driving habits if you start with all that power. Starting in a slower class will develop your driving and make the learning curve much easier.
A TaG kart (Leopard, Rotax, X30) is going to be around 30hp whereas a KT will be between 15-20 depending on exhaust and carb setup. On most tracks the TaG class is 2-5 seconds faster per lap.
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August 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm #32017
That’s cool good to know! Thanks!
August 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm #32027
If you do head out to Prairie City, ask for Bill McCallister. He and his wife Paula are running the show out there these days, and he will answer any and all of your questions. He will get you going in the right direction, and he has a couple of rental karts, so you might be able to check out a kart before buying one.
The kart track is located all the way at the back of the park, near the water tower, ‘igloo’ and park offices. There’s a sign showing the way at the ranger check in station.
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