TOUGH CHASSIS QUESTION...Is there much difference with the top brands

racingman

Member
We are looking at getting a second kart...new. We currently run a 2020 Tony Kart. 401R model. Jr. 100cc class on asphalt road course. We think it's great and we know how to tune it.

QUESTION 1:
I know that OTK has about 5 kart brands (Tony Kart, Kosmic, Exprit, Redspeed and EOS). Is there much of a difference between them?

I presume a lot will say I have a ??? brand and it's great, but that doesn't say what the difference is between these karts. There my not be much difference with these OTK karts and the company may just be blanketing the market to get a higher market share. However, does otk make cheaper karts to get a bigger market share (so they can get more market share by selling lower and expensive priced karts). I don't know. Who does know?

QUESTION 2:
All know the OTK brands, but there are others. Birel, Top kart, Prada, Arrow, Margay, CRG, Parolin, Eagle, Coyote, just to name a few. Is one better than another, or is it all just speculation or an opinion?
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
We are looking at getting a second kart...new. We currently run a 2020 Tony Kart. 401R model. Jr. 100cc class on asphalt road course. We think it's great and we know how to tune it.

QUESTION 1:
I know that OTK has about 5 kart brands (Tony Kart, Kosmic, Exprit, Redspeed and EOS). Is there much of a difference between them?

I presume a lot will say I have a ??? brand and it's great, but that doesn't say what the difference is between these karts. There my not be much difference with these OTK karts and the company may just be blanketing the market to get a higher market share. However, does otk make cheaper karts to get a bigger market share (so they can get more market share by selling lower and expensive priced karts). I don't know. Who does know?

QUESTION 2:
All know the OTK brands, but there are others. Birel, Top kart, Prada, Arrow, Margay, CRG, Parolin, Eagle, Coyote, just to name a few. Is one better than another, or is it all just speculation or an opinion?
I have limited experience but I would say there definitely is a difference. 45 years ago, when I built my first Mayko Shark, it was a world of difference, to the better, from my margay New Breed. Stupidly I switched to a custom (my modifications) Invader and found it to be severely wanting. In 1977 I was sponsored a new Margay, also severely wanting. Also a 1977 I won a new Magnum, it was okay.

So in my experience, as old as it is, there definitely is a difference between chassis. Difference is that a new or inexperienced driver may not notice, but I did.

A friend bought a new kart built in the southeast about 1993. It looked like it had all the right stuff, but compared to a European kart, it was severely lacking. I think it had something to do with the American kart man chrome Molly and the European kart being mild steel. (Seamless and drawn over mandrel 1018). It's tough stuff without the spring of chrome Molly. My interpretation. One thing, chrome Molly frames seem to last forever, unlike the European frames which are disposable.
 

sundog

Member
I had a CRG which was world champ stuff at the time. Felt like a bag of squires to me. If you drive one thing enough you meld with it so I go with karts made in USA that hold up over many years like Margay or Coyote. I think those top euro teams toss the frame every 3 races. Of course their tracks are rubbered in much more than ours and work the frame to death so you can get a good season out of a euro kart in the USA.
 

racingman

Member
I have limited experience but I would say there definitely is a difference. 45 years ago, when I built my first Mayko Shark, it was a world of difference, to the better, from my margay New Breed. Stupidly I switched to a custom (my modifications) Invader and found it to be severely wanting. In 1977 I was sponsored a new Margay, also severely wanting. Also a 1977 I won a new Magnum, it was okay.

So in my experience, as old as it is, there definitely is a difference between chassis. Difference is that a new or inexperienced driver may not notice, but I did.

A friend bought a new kart built in the southeast about 1993. It looked like it had all the right stuff, but compared to a European kart, it was severely lacking. I think it had something to do with the American kart man chrome Molly and the European kart being mild steel. (Seamless and drawn over mandrel 1018). It's tough stuff without the spring of chrome Molly. My interpretation. One thing, chrome Molly frames seem to last forever, unlike the European frames which are disposable.
Thanks. I didn't give much thought to the US built versus European built and they difference in metals.
 

gary10

Member
All the otk karts are exactly the same other than the color. Having different brands within the same company allows them to have more dealers in the same area without encroaching on territories.
For 100cc otk is the most popular and often sets the bar for performance. Kart Republic is the only other kart I would put in the same category as far as results but multiple other karts can compete as well. Birel and Parolin make multiple karts just like OTK does such as Ricardo and Merlin respectively.
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
If I was going to get back into karting today, I'd spend a couple race days at the track writing down which karts in the first heat were in the first 2 rows, then in the main. Cream always rises to the top.
 

Brianf60

Member
Al I'm not sure that's the best way either. At least not in my area. It's seems that in most cases the driver makes the biggest difference. Buy the kart from your local track so you can get support. It's hard to win if you can't finish the weekend because you need a part that isn't available at your track...
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
Al I'm not sure that's the best way either. At least not in my area. It's seems that in most cases the driver makes the biggest difference. Buy the kart from your local track so you can get support. It's hard to win if you can't finish the weekend because you need a part that isn't available at your track...
I think you missed my point.
 

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
OTK seems to have a wider tuning window than some other brands, but perhaps less longevity. There's a reason most top teams sell off at the end of the year. If you're content to lose a couple of theoretical .01's that your driver can't get to anyway, this can be a way to get a good price, or build your spares inventory... OTK, CRG, and BirelART are the big 3, and TopKart / BeniK are also consistent front runners, and SODI is a good French brand. Kartmini from Brazil had some success... The closer you stay to the main brands, the easier it will be to source parts, but there's a fair amount of interchangability on the non-specific items other than brakes. With brakes you're pretty much stuck with OEM.
 

Mac_49

Premium User
A brand that's made a lot of news in the Canadian karting scene is K&K....I know you stated you race 100cc class but if the 206 peaked any interest I'd consider just at least calling them and talking about what they have to offer. They currently only have 1 parts supplier here in the states but they use Righetti Ridolfi components so finding parts elsewhere would be easy.

 
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