Lighter is faster right?

metalmagic

New member
So lighter is faster right? Well I know in my boys bsp class there is a minimum weight but if u can move weight around where u want it then that's an advantage right..... Ok so what tricks and tips have u guys done to lighten your karts up..... I have a mill so I'm open to anything that will make him faster and be safe... Grams = pounds!
 

W5R

New member
Lighter is not always faster, it really depends on the track layout. On a momentum track or track with sweeping turns, the more weight would be an advantage because more weight equals more momentum and you can make a little more speed once you get going. You would be a little slower on starts being heavier, but once you got going you would keep picking up speed and momentum as long as your smooth. Lighter would be faster on a paperclip type track where your on and off the throttle alot. You can tell if lighter is faster or slower at your track by looking at the lap times betweeen the stock lite and heavy classes, the heavy classes will likely be the same times as the lite classes if not a little faster in my opinion.

Im a tall and slim guy and weigh about 150 lbs without the kart, and i consider it an advantage to be able to put my lead weight where i need it or want it rather than not having any weight on my kart at all and weighing more as a driver. I have about 60-70lbs of lead on my kart and usually run box stock medium and lite, i have the kart set up for medium and have a sheet of lead in the seat that i can take out if i choose to run lite classes. If im having problems on the track like not making enough bite, i can move a 5lb puck or 2 from the left side of the seat to the right side and it will give me a little more bite when needed, or if i feel slow and not making any speed like im locked down or chassis is biting too much, i can move weight from the right side of the seat to the left side, which adds left side percentage to the kart and free's it up a little. Its all about knowing your chassis and what adjustments do what when it comes to weight.
 

mikey56

New member
agree totally! i'm at 260 on a 350 minimum rule.....yeah i'm a fat boy....but once i get the kart up to speed, then it's a rocket! i've had issues this year with the clutch coming in way too soon and gearing issues, but i did get it up to speed and it was bad fast....took two karts in one corner just by getting inside and letting the kart roll thru the center....all while on the throttle....

like weddle racing says....lighter is not always faster...maybe on the take off, but ove rthe course of the race, more weight can be a advantage...just got to get the kart and driver on the scales and figure out where the lead should go! i've heard from several drivers who race at a variety of tracks that they felt better being 25 to 35 pounds heavier than the class minimum...because they could pick and choose where to add weight....
 

Yakattack

Member
With that being said...I was 25lbs over in my class... Yes putting weight where you want it is a bonus...
But, If you are like me getting the seat, and motor where it would make,your percentages where you wanted was key.
Then from there carefully scaling the kart, drilling a couple extra holes in the seat to raise or lower the seat was the way to go. Example the track had good bite, I would have it in the lowest seating position, if little to no grip raise the seat to the middle or top position...
This was a simple quick adjustment for track conditions. The reason I said carefully on the scales so it would not upset the rest of the percentages, and still keep them where you want.
 

JPMKarting

Premium User
Lighter is always going to be faster, its simple physics.

Now, when you have these discussions on Bob's, you will have the argument of "well I run a 350 class and weigh 400 pounds and win all the time". Not denying that, but your not comparing apples to apples...level of competition, setup, tires, etc all come in to play. Ill take 25 lbs over weight vs. the wrong tires any day of the week.

But in a true apple to apples comparison, lighter will always be faster. Momentum racing isnt really a factor...we race on ovals where you scrub speed when you turn the wheel, or pull up hill out of a corner to climb banking. If we raced downhill in a straight line, yea momentum would be great.

In our experience, 10 LBS of overall weight is close to a tenth of a second on the stop watch.
 

JPMKarting

Premium User
I'm talking more on how to lighten every aspect of the kart so I can put lead where ever he needs it

Even better....lead placement at X overall weight will be more advantageous then overall weight at X overall weight.

Aluminum clevis that are drilled, carbon fiber floor pan, aluiminum drilled axle keys, drilled steering wheel, drilled brake rotor, short axle, 3 piece body, carbon fiber seat, aluminum spindle nuts. All things to help lighten
 
Lightweight disc brake with an MCP Lite caliper, thin walled rear axle, butterfly steering wheel. That should save you a few grams.
 

Racin18

New member
We have won light races coming across the scales at the heavy weight 380. Tires, tires, tires, setup, and did I mention tires.
 

Flash06

New member
Lighter is always going to be faster, its simple physics.

Now, when you have these discussions on Bob's, you will have the argument of "well I run a 350 class and weigh 400 pounds and win all the time". Not denying that, but your not comparing apples to apples...level of competition, setup, tires, etc all come in to play. Ill take 25 lbs over weight vs. the wrong tires any day of the week.

But in a true apple to apples comparison, lighter will always be faster. Momentum racing isnt really a factor...we race on ovals where you scrub speed when you turn the wheel, or pull up hill out of a corner to climb banking. If we raced downhill in a straight line, yea momentum would be great.

In our experience, 10 LBS of overall weight is close to a tenth of a second on the stop watch.

This is not true every where you go, at the track I run at the 375lb guys run 2 tenths of a second faster than the 330 with all the same rules except weight and all the same drivers from each class. That being said why not just run 375 in the 330, simple because you'll get smoked on the start and every restart. So yes the lighter kart should win unless the race goes caution or stop free. But to answer your oringal question use carbon fiber in stead of fiberglass and titanium or alluminum where it can be used instead of steel. Plus any of the other tricks mentioned above.
 

JPMKarting

Premium User
How good are the guys in 330 vs the guys in 375? How much faster is the track when 375 runs vs. 330?

Again, thats not comparing apples to apples
 
Normally one would think yes. But one night we were about 10 lbs. light, then after it was added, we were .2 quicker. Yamaha 2-stroke, Buller velocity. Also faster and quicker aren't the same here, faster meaning top speed and quicker meaning acceleration. I'm thinking that the amount of the weight and the power to weight ratio of the kart would matter some. Also top speed would take more weight to be a factor than acceleration does.
 
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Hawkeye79

Member
I would think that the heavier the class, the more of a disadvantage extra weight would be. Karts are already underpowered (box stock, especially) and taxed even more at the heavier classes.
 

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
Being heavier than the allowed weight limit is never faster unless it causes some mechanical grip advantage that it unavailable to the lighter drivers. The only way that's possible is by the greater weight allowing for more traction. And in such a case, that's because f = p/a where force = pressure / area and you're increasing the pressure, so the allowable force is greater. A smaller driver can gain that same advantage by going to a narrower tire in such a case, assuming there's still available grip to be had from that tire combo. Wider is only better if you have the power to use it. Heavier is only better if you're going downhill. IMO, anyhow.

But if you must lighten, you can saw off the extra length of bolts, replace "placeholder bolts" (driver fairing, etc. NOTHING CRITICAL) with aluminum bolts, use titanium hardware, replace steel items with aluminum items, run as little bodywork as possible, swiss cheese items that are solid, and the number one area: SEND YOUR DRIVER JOGGING!! :)
 

mikey56

New member
set one weight standard and race....that's my take on it. too many weight classes make for a long night of racing and then with the way some talk on here, the classes only put on 4 or 5 karts at a time. i've seen it where there are only 2 or 3 karts racing. why lighten a kart up? the way things stand right now, if you have a 350 kart and you weigh in at 375, then race in the 375 class! simple right? no....because someone along the line decided that they had to break things up by weight (not by motor configuration or any other way) so that you could race alot more and get more for your entry fee....which you have to spend double or triple to enter as many classes....

take three weights, say 330, 350 and 375....run 15 lap heat races and a 25 lap feature...and be done with it!! or better yet....three motor classes!! stock, super stock and modified!!!

but my meds have me seeing reality....
 
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