Home Forums General Karting Discussion Running Birel wheels on OTK kart?

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    • #65782
      Rod Hawkins

      I only have a couple of sets of OTK wheels but I also have a set of Birel wheels that use the same bolt pattern but slightly different offset (i think the fronts are very close, but the rear, the offset of more). I have been told significantly different info…. some say to run them and not worry about it (adjust the rear hubs so the track width is the same) while others say that the different offset will dramatically effect the rear axle flex and handling of the kart and even the flex of the wheels are different enough to effect the handling of the kart.

      When I first got into karting and the chassis didn’t feel right (oversteer, understeer, lack of grip, etc….) I was told to not worry about it and just drive it and get consistent. Thats what I tried to do and then I jumped in my old 2003 Margay for a few laps to make sure it drove properly because my little brother was in town and was going to borrow it for a local race as I introduced him to the sport and suddenly I was literally 2 seconds faster on a kart I just jumped in and hadn’t driven in several months was much older, etc….

      Thats when I realized that I do infact have to have good equipment and proper tuning to improve as a driver and not the other way around (if the kart isn’t working, it will effect my confidence, my proper lines and may ultimately make me extremely frustrated).

      Granted, I only race a local F100 series, so it isn’t like I am at the top of the Karting chain, but at the same time I don’t want to run wheels that will have a negative effect on the chassis.

      The specific chassis is a 2013 EVRR and the wheels are standard mustard magnesium birel wheels

      Sorry for the long post

    • #65788
      Patrick Roth

      My two cents… yes, it should have an effect; however, whether it is positive or negative is up to you and what you are experiencing with your driving style.  If it were me, I’d give it a shot and see what happens.

      I do agree that you need to have the tuning in the ballpark in order to improve as a driver but I would speculate that most new drivers don’t have a clue what the ballpark is.  I’ve seen several people (including myself) start off karting and think that tuning changes needed to be made in order to go faster only to get to a point where the tuning is so far out there that there is no way the kart is handling properly in order to go fast.  Some of the best money I ever spent on karting was to buy a complete setup from a local racer who set fast laps in the precise kart I bought.  This forced me to learn how to drive and it also made me understand how the handling changes when tires fall off, the track changes, and the weather changes.  It also forced me to understand that I simply didn’t have the skill to feel changes due to small tweaks and the stopwatch is the ultimate measure.


    • #65794
      Rod Hawkins

      I just realized that I have a spare set of Douglas magnesium spoked wheels as well. I don’t see any offset or backsspacing info on the website.

      Anyone know if they are spaced more for tony karts or more Birel?

    • #65795
      Tom Grisham

      Hi Rod, just make sure you have a neutral setup on the OTK and that should be a good starting point, something like 55″ rear, 15mm of spacers each side on the front wheels, flat bar, neutral caster and medium axle.  This is a very good start for most conditions.  From there you can try changing the bar or caster in small increments.

      I have no experience with the Birel wheels or other offsets on an OTK.  However, the stock OTK wheels for that year (MXP) are better suited for low grip/rain situations whereas the stock wheels from 2015 and newer (MXJ) are a much better all around wheel.  There are also the MXC wheels that many racers prefer, but they are quite pricey.  If you do not have access to other OTK wheels to try, start with the neutral setup mentioned with your stock wheels, then try the Birel wheels, accounting for the different offsets by sliding the rear hubs in/out and see what you think.  Good luck!

    • #65803
      Rod Hawkins

      Thanks for the replies. Yes, I usually run fairly neutral set up and adjust from there. I have someone that is a very good driver and mechanic and he helps a lot with my set ups and adjustments

      I kind of like the tony more for me, as it seems that the neutral set up has a much broader performance curve, while the birel for me seems a little more sensitive and I don’t have access to someone that knows set ups for birel like I do with otk.

      My brother just got a 2015 401 and I have the 2013 evrr and was hoping we could share data and set up info but it sounds like the chassis and wheels are slightly different. Hopefully not different enough to effect it much.

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