I can't make heads or tails of this stuff!

owensdad74

New member
Greetings All!

New member here, trying to figure out how kart racing works and where to start.

So for the basics- I'd like to do road racing. Starting out I don't care about being the fastest, I'd rather have something reliable. How do I figure out what chassis and engine I would need? It seems like there so many classes to race in. I don't want to end up with a kart that doesn't fit in anywhere.

Thanks!

Bri
 

Bob Evans

Grumpy Old Admin
Staff member
I suppose step one would be to find a track that's close to you, and attend a race. Ask a few questions around the track about the classes. Pay attention to participation in each class, it's no fun to show up and be the only one in the class that day.
After you figure out which track you like best and which class interests you, and since you've already mentioned road racing, try posting in the Sprint/Enduro forum. There's not a whole lot of activity there yet, but there are quite a few experienced users who can help you out.
Another resource would be http://www.ekartingnews.com/
Ekarting is more road course oriented.
 

owensdad74

New member
Wow guys, thanks for the advice and the welcome!

I'm sure I came to the right place.

Going to an event is a great idea. Unfortunately the season has changed here in Michigan, so there likely aren't many events left to attend. I will look and see.

It's crazy how many classes there are! Even reading the noob article at the WKA was confusing. Maybe someone could make a flow chart? ;)

Bri
 

MAG17

Member
Are you sure you want to ROAD RACE..(long tracks like cars use) or Sprint Racing which is generally a short track on asphalt with left and right turns?
 

oletom

New member
where bouts in Michigan u located? Im in mid MI and we have 3 excellent oval dirts tracks close by but have not heard of any road course tracks close by.
 

owensdad74

New member
I guess I didn't realize there was a difference!

Rounding a full size track seems like it would be too much, so I guess sprint racing.

As long as I get to turn left- and right. :)

Are you sure you want to ROAD RACE..(long tracks like cars use) or Sprint Racing which is generally a short track on asphalt with left and right turns?
 

owensdad74

New member
Ok, so I was looking at a track in East Lansing, and they have this group:

TAG Masters
(35+years old)
Leopard & Motori Seven- 400 lbs
PRD Fireball- 390 lbs
Rotax FR125- 405 lbs
Vortex Rok TT- 410 lbs
Iame X-30- 410 lbs
Sonic TX125- 420 lbs

I'm 39 so I guess I would fit in here. But what do the weights mean?
 

MrMoody

New member
There used to be two great websites with years of forum history that could answer just about any question you could think of. Unfortunately this year they both went away and started fresh, so I suggest finding some locals and check back here as people rebuild the site.

Ok, so I was looking at a track in East Lansing, and they have this group:

TAG Masters
(35+years old)
Leopard & Motori Seven- 400 lbs
PRD Fireball- 390 lbs
Rotax FR125- 405 lbs
Vortex Rok TT- 410 lbs
Iame X-30- 410 lbs
Sonic TX125- 420 lbs

I'm 39 so I guess I would fit in here. But what do the weights mean?

The weights are total weight of the kart and driver (after the race). If you weight under 200lbs you'll probably be adding weight to the kart for most of those classes to make weight. Most people here run 4-cycles (as the name suggests), and on oval tracks. There used to be a lot of road racing info on ekartingnews.com but they ruined their forums too so you'll have to ask lots of questions
 

RadialFin

New member
The weights are for the minimum weight, kart and driver at the end of a race. The idea is that if you are a heavier driver, the more powerful motors will help you somewhat.
Does the track have anything four cycle? Don't get me wrong, I love and run two stroke stuff, but to start off the 4 cycle stuff is the least hassle. Less hassle = more fun!
Theres two good "road race" series near you. CES (Championship Enduro Series) and Michigan Kart Club.
These two series run the likes of grattan, gingerman, blackhawk, MIS, Waterford Hills and so on. Is that what you mean by road race? Running the full size tracks?
Thats what I do mostly and its awesome fun, but more travel involved than if you were to run at the local ovals.
 

owensdad74

New member
Thank you for the info! Believe me, I'm good at asking questions! And I sure don't mind doing it.

There used to be two great websites with years of forum history that could answer just about any question you could think of. Unfortunately this year they both went away and started fresh, so I suggest finding some locals and check back here as people rebuild the site.




The weights are total weight of the kart and driver (after the race). If you weight under 200lbs you'll probably be adding weight to the kart for most of those classes to make weight. Most people here run 4-cycles (as the name suggests), and on oval tracks. There used to be a lot of road racing info on ekartingnews.com but they ruined their forums too so you'll have to ask lots of questions
 

owensdad74

New member
They do have a four cycle listing, it is as follows:

4-Cycle

Clone Sportsman
(8 - 12 years old, 265lbs)

Clone Junior
(12 - 15 years old, 315lbs)

Clone Senior Light
(15+ years old, 345lbs)

Clone Senior Heavy
(15+ years old, 400lbs)

I don't think I'd like racing against 15 year olds, but I don't know. And that is just one track I found via Google. I am by no means tied to it.

Boy, I just don't know about the road race thing. I just assumed karts used the road race tracks in the area, I didn't know there were sprint distance tracks. If the big ones are fun, I'd be in! As that what I'm out for- fun and camaraderie. Any of those tracks you listed are withing striking distance for me- especially Gingernan, blackhawk, MIS and waterford hills. That much travel is no problem.

The weights are for the minimum weight, kart and driver at the end of a race. The idea is that if you are a heavier driver, the more powerful motors will help you somewhat.
Does the track have anything four cycle? Don't get me wrong, I love and run two stroke stuff, but to start off the 4 cycle stuff is the least hassle. Less hassle = more fun!
Theres two good "road race" series near you. CES (Championship Enduro Series) and Michigan Kart Club.
These two series run the likes of grattan, gingerman, blackhawk, MIS, Waterford Hills and so on. Is that what you mean by road race? Running the full size tracks?
Thats what I do mostly and its awesome fun, but more travel involved than if you were to run at the local ovals.
 

TedD

New member
Don't count out the 15 yr. olds. They drive better than many of the racers out there. Contact your local track or possibly Kart club, see if they have someone available to mentor you thru the beginning phases or at a minimum willing to share their experiences to assist in getting you started. They might have some one with an extra kart and gear who can take you out and give you a taste of what the sport is about. I just started racing Clones and am close to 50 yrs. old and its a complete blast going both left and right on a sprint track.
 

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
I'm a sprint kart racer who's dabbling in the dirt here on Bob's.... to start, TaG is quite a bit of power, and for learning basic driving techniques (which are unique to karting, though some car stuff applies), the KT-100 is a popular and good starting point. You can jump right into TaG, but the learning curve will be steeper and it will be faster and it will take longer to isolate what's changing what....

I'd look up the Yamaha 4-hole can class, where the motor will last a while, it'll be fast enough to be entertaining, and it'll give you time to adapt to karting and tuning. There's a carb setup that I posted for the KT-100 in the 2-cycle section of this forum that will help immensely. Also, for initial kart, I'd get something '99 or newere. A 40mm rear axle is fine, or the more modern 50mm. A good used chassis should be available for around $500-600 as a roller minus engine and seat. Brakes should work, and there should be minimal flat spots on the bottom of the chassis where it's' rubbed on kerbs. As usual, the better maintained it looks, often the better treated it was. Or it's a saavy used seller -- sometimes that happens. Fresh spray paint makes me run from most deals, but I've gotten lucky with those too.

For TaG, the Parilla Leopard and Rotax FR125 Max are your best bet as they're the two most popular and most racing TaG will have spares to help you out or advice if things go wrong.

Buy a rib protector -- a good one. the lateral G's can literally break ribs, or at least severe bruising. Yamaha isn't so bad that way....

Drop me an email (ted@hamiltonhelmets.com) or a PM here if you have more questions. Welcome to the worlds 2nd most addicting activity.......
 

owensdad74

New member
Thank you guys for all the great advice. You gave me lots to read up on!

Ted, to make sure I understand, the KT-100 is a class of it's own, not a TaG class?

I'm sure there are some well known and well built chassis out there. What are some names to keep an eye out for?

Thanks again!
 

Ted Hamilton

helmet painter and racer
Owensdad -- yes, the Yamaha KT-100 is a stand-alone class, and the engine requires a stand-alone starter. TaG stands for "touch and go", and is notable for an on-board battery and starter on the engine. The starters often fail due to vibration and they are often started with an external starter too.

For reference:

5hp Briggs - 12hp
Clone - 14-15hp
KT-100 can - 12-14hp
KT-100 pipe - 18hp
TaG - 28-35 hp depending on model

Generally the KT's are about 2 sec a lap slower than the TaGs on a decent-sized track, but the close competition makes up for any lack of speed and they're still not "slow".

Hope that helps.
 

owensdad74

New member
That does help, thank you so much for your help!

Owensdad -- yes, the Yamaha KT-100 is a stand-alone class, and the engine requires a stand-alone starter. TaG stands for "touch and go", and is notable for an on-board battery and starter on the engine. The starters often fail due to vibration and they are often started with an external starter too.

For reference:

5hp Briggs - 12hp
Clone - 14-15hp
KT-100 can - 12-14hp
KT-100 pipe - 18hp
TaG - 28-35 hp depending on model

Generally the KT's are about 2 sec a lap slower than the TaGs on a decent-sized track, but the close competition makes up for any lack of speed and they're still not "slow".

Hope that helps.
 
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