How much has karting changed in 10-15 years?

Lucky_7

Member
As the world of karting changed, most racers will adapt to the changes as they come. But, There are a few that struggle to keep up with the field. Maybe they get stuck in the old way of thinking, they refuse to buy newer karts and try them, or in some cases, the newer karts and setups are more confusing than what they used to be. Todays karts seem to have a base setup that is fairly close to the require percentage weights, with minor adjustments to compensate for track and weather conditions. After that base setup is in the kart, then all the focus goes straight into tires. As far as I've seen in the last 2 years everybody talks about tires. Duro, hard tires, soft tires, and numerous prep lines. What was it like 10 years ago? How much setup changes where made at the track? What about tires back then? Was the prep as important or did everybody just wipe what the guys pitting next to them was using? It just seems that the tire game is where the speed is at now, and I want to know if its always been that way. If not, when did it change, and why?
 
Honestly we still run our program low cost. I have to with both my sons running.. my youngest runs the Burris tires and I still find wd40 effective.. my oldest (14) is running the maxis and the prep game does come in effect. We go to have fun. And a lot of times we run pretty well . Won many races . I have maybe 4 sets of used tires on the trailer for both karts.. we don’t run at a national level.
 

Menace61

Member
Tire expense is directly related to the track surface.
For the clay track I race at I have a small fortune in tires and preps. Can never seem to get it just right on any given night.
On the DIRT track I race at I have 2 sets of 11's, only ever use the one set. They get washed on Thursday, one coat of creo on race day and i'm always racing up front. Way cheaper and way more fun than playing the stupid tire game.
 

XXX#40

Well-known member
As the world of karting changed, most racers will adapt to the changes as they come. But, There are a few that struggle to keep up with the field. Maybe they get stuck in the old way of thinking, they refuse to buy newer karts and try them, or in some cases, the newer karts and setups are more confusing than what they used to be. Todays karts seem to have a base setup that is fairly close to the require percentage weights, with minor adjustments to compensate for track and weather conditions. After that base setup is in the kart, then all the focus goes straight into tires. As far as I've seen in the last 2 years everybody talks about tires. Duro, hard tires, soft tires, and numerous prep lines. What was it like 10 years ago? How much setup changes where made at the track? What about tires back then? Was the prep as important or did everybody just wipe what the guys pitting next to them was using? It just seems that the tire game is where the speed is at now, and I want to know if its always been that way. If not, when did it change, and why?
we are doing the same things now that we were doing 20 yrs ago
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
There is no doubt that there is more emphasis on tires today - although they were just as important 10 years ago, 20, or 30 years ago.

30+ years ago, we used to take our T2 (treaded) Burris, mount them on 2 piece 5" wheels (maybe an inch wider than the tire size,) size them, then run them in a paved parking lot to "wear them in." For adjustments, we "tweaked" the frame to get some camber in the RF, offset the seat in the chassis, and moved our hubs in an out on the rear of the kart as the night went along. We offered one of the first offset chassis (Vector DO) in 1993 and that changed karting as well. Prep then consisted of WD40 or acetone/transmission fluid, etc. Today's tires, tire sizes, wheels, methods of cutting, refinishing, and prepping (internal and external) have certainly gotten much more sophisticated. Even the chemicals we use are considerably more effective today.

20 years ago it progressed to the point of slicks and the current wheel sizes that you see today. Again, cutting tires and preps were still evolving, but certainly not to the level that we see today. Chassis changed again considerably around this time as well, as we went to much stiffer (big tube) frames and the importance of getting grip in the tires to offset the "freeness" of the chassis became a bigger part.

10 years ago was really not much different than we see today. Still some refinements in the chassis & tire deal, but it has somewhat stabilized.
Has it gotten more expensive? Absolutely. But then again, hasn't everything.


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🏁Thanks and God bless,
Brian Carlson
Carlson Racing Engines
Vector Cutz
www.CarlsonMotorsports.com
Carlson Motorsports on Facebook
30 years of service to the karting industry
Linden, IN
765-339-4407
bcarlson@CarlsonMotorsports.com
 

kartracer_3

Member
On a local level 15- 19 years ago I could run one or two sets of tires almost all season , 20-25 races,yes, same set for open practice, class practice, H1, H2 and the feature. Simply wash tires with nothing but water and occasionally use WD 40 but not very often. Also on occasion I would grind them bolted to the rear axle of the kart just to freshen them up a bit. Yes I messed with the chassis set up all the time even at the track. Playing with toe, cross, LS , axle lead, camber, caster, you name it but I was learning at the time and had to find out what all the adjustments did. After I found what I was looking for in that chassis I hardly changed anything at all, not even the gear. My simple " local " racing program served me well , I won many features and multiple track championships. I also helped a few other folks win on that same kind of chassis . We had a blast doing all that. While I am at it I want to thank the folks on this website for giving me the knowledge to have all that fun. Now, did some big names show up every now and then with their fancy cut tires and preps and out run us , yes on occasion but we were still able to be successful and have fun.
So to answer your question no its not always been this way at least not at a local level. Today I feel like I need 30-50 sets of tires. a tire guy, a chassis guy to help with working on the kart/ engine/ gear changes and a karting guru to over see everything that way all I have to do is worry about driving, just to win at my local track.
 

SoCo Tire Treatments

Well-known member
I have never been to a local race where the winner has had 30 sets of tires, heck most of the time the majority dont have that at the big races.
Anyone should be able to go win at a local race with 5 sets, with a little knowledge and experience.
 
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