September 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm #33403
Hello everyone. We are the true definition of “green” when it comes to kid karts and karting in general. No kart racing in our past, some road racing by my wife and I. We are looking to start our 4 year-old, 5 in February, in kid karts for next years race season. This will be regional karting and most likely at Badger Kart Club and/or Road America as we are directly in between both facilities. We are therefore taking a proactive approach to this by speaking to as many people as possible to gain valuable information for preparing for next season. We have already met and made some new friends in the karting circle. They have been extremely helpful. We plan on trying to make it out to your track before yearend.
So what I was looking to do or gather was further information from fellow racers regarding their experience in kids karts, which may include how they started, what they did right, what you may have not done if you started over, what your goal(s) were, etc. Maybe it was one or two major things that made kid karts enjoyable or maybe not so enjoyable.
Any and all information is greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance.
September 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm #33413Walt GiffordParticipant
It’s my personal opinion that kids shouldn’t be allowed to race until they’re 8 years old. Before that age I consider it child endangerment. YMMV
FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
41 years karting experience
September 10, 2014 at 5:26 am #33417TJ KoyenModerator
Just make sure everyone is having fun. Learn as much as you can by doing and focus more on the enjoyable family experience and don’t stress.
Biggest and most unfortunate mistake I see in Kid Karts is parents and families taking it way to seriously and putting unnecessary pressure onto their kids to the point that no one is having fun. Don’t be a “Little League parent”, just let the kid go out and enjoy the ride.
Badger is a great place to grow up and learn the sport at. It’s where I started 13 years ago and it’s a good atmosphere.
Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
September 10, 2014 at 8:02 am #33429
I appreciate the comments TJ.
September 10, 2014 at 10:20 am #33432David ColeKeymaster
Hi Scott, Welcome to EKN and karting. Please see a private message I sent you. Since you are in the Wisconsin area, I would contact Franklin Motorsports . The Sieracki family is exactly what the sport is about, family. They will steer you in the right direction regarding products as well as other aspects of the sport.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
September 10, 2014 at 10:22 am #33433
Thanks David. I have been in contact with Jamie at Franklin Motorsports and he has been extremely helpful.
September 10, 2014 at 10:25 am #33434David ColeKeymaster
And yes, listen to what TJ said. Number one goal is to have fun no matter what.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
September 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm #33501
This is our last year in Kid Karting and have already started the transition into Rookie. We have done it for 2 complete years and practiced the first year a few times.
Biggest thing for kid karters:
Everyone has FUN!
Things I would suggest to do with your child is get them tons of seat time. The more the better, the beginning is not time to worry about the kart or the engine. Walk the track with them and show them where they should be driving. I would buy a used kart to start them out, you don’t need to spend $3500 on a kart set up to get them started. If you can find a good used kart with a lighter parts that is a bonus. Don’t worry about the engine. You can find stock engines on ebay all winter long for $300 to $400. Your child will get faster the more seat time they get. With my son we post in the trailer his fastest lap. I always make sure to have spare parts for the kart with me. I am not talking about the high dollar stuff, but I make sure I have all the extra safety clips, spare bolts and things like that. Anyone that is willing to help you take the help.
Things I would not suggest; I would not go buy a fast engine and expect my son to be running up front. Unless the kart you buy comes with all the upgrades do not mess with upgrading the kart until your child is running fast times without them. Don’t get upset if your child is not progressing at the rate you think they should, kids get better at different rates and one day it will just hit.
There are very few kids that do that. If your child is one of them then it will be time to get a good blueprinted engine. One that has been proven is always better, you will pay a little more, but they are usually much faster.
Most important thing is still having fun
September 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm #33505
Thank you Dan for all the advise. It truly is overwhelming since I started this process. Just when I think I have good option or package, someone will say, “I wouldn’t go that way or I would stay away from that kart.” I realize that people are trying to help and make suggestions. Of course I am the one asking for those suggestions and assistance. So no blame there.
As I am about 6 to 7 months ahead of schedule, I am trying my best not to make a quick decision to purchase a kart. Most likely I am totally over thinking this and making it more complicated than it needs to be. “Can’t pass up that awesome deal.” Someone told me once, “there will always be another deal.” Keeping that in mind, I need to keep learning and looking.
Thanks again and I do appreciate the comments.
September 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm #33507
When I bought my sons kart I did it rather quickly, not a lot of looking. I will say that I got a great kart and my son has drove it his entire time in kid karts. I didn’t pay a ton for it either, but it did not have any of the light weight go fast stuff on it. I paid $1800 for the kart with an engine and gave an additional $300 for the Mychron. Since then I have put every light weight thing on that kart you could imagine. That ended up costing me about $1000 just for the light weight stuff. You will learn that soon enough unless you buy one that already has the light weight goodies on it. If you do, try to get a spare axle or reinstall the factory one while he is learning to drive. Kids bend axles. Also get a sprocket guard, Franklin Motorsports sells them. We got knocked out of Kid Kart Nationals this year because another karter ran into my son in the rear tire and it popped the chain. That broke his heart. Karts hold their value pretty good and there are a few karts that seem to have an edge on the market in winning if you are planning on going Regional / National. My favorite has been Birel, but there are other karts out there are just as good in the kid kart area. Merlin and Emmick are really good karts. If you can find a kart with an engine for under $2000 you are doing good.
September 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm #33514
I sent you a private message. I think that someone might have been talking to you about my sons kart.
September 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm #33515
Dan, PM sent back. :)
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