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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 4/24/2016 4:17:40 PM EST
I want a fast car but don't have room in my 3 car garage or driveway for a project vehicle, but a shifter kart would fit and I could run it at the local autocross races and also Miller Raceway park. There is also an old abandoned kart track just 2 miles from my house (see pic below). I've raced lots of indoor karts which are way different than real shifter carts. I know my way around engines having raced motocross when I was younger and have small motorcycles for the kids now.

-Can you get a decent shifter kart for fun for under $3k?

-They used to all be 2 strokes but it looks like most are now 4 stroke Rotax engines? Is 125cc too large to start? I know car control very well but I'm sure I'll still learn a ton from karts

-Do cops bug you much if you practice in large mostly unused parking lots?

If this idea doesn't work out I'll buy another motorcycle or eventually buy a project car.

Tell me what I don't know.

Old abandoned kart track in a farmers field near my house. I used to take my dual sport on it and pretend it was a supermoto bike
Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 3.02.10 PM by hartzpad, on Flickr" />
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 4:21:46 PM EST
500cc two stroke is the beginner cart of choice.
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 4:31:53 PM EST
tag for info
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 4:31:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/24/2016 4:36:46 PM EST by uglygun]
I took a pair of 1 day kart racing classes from Jim Hall's school in Ventura/Oxnard. It is possible to see the track lay outs on google maps, Ventura Fairgrounds is where most of their lessons are. The other in Oxnard is at 2600 Challenger Pl, Oxnard, CA 93030. The track runs counter clock wise and from turn 1 to turn 4 I would just barely pass 41mph which feels plenty fast with your butt just off the pavement. Cornering g's were in the 1.2-1.5 range i am guessing. Was enough that after day 2 and pushing against people with racing experience my ribs were sore from a not so well fit seat.


The 100cc karts could get my 260 pound fat ass up to 41mph at the end of a straight and could whip into corners pretty damn well. I still want to buy a 125cc kart for fun, have some tracks local to me. But it is way down on my list. I know my speeds because I was using a gps telemetry software while video recording my runs on the track. A shifter kart would be fun but not at added expense.

Used and somewhat abused serviceable karts are in the 2500-3500 range in my area. If you are a bigger guy then CRG chassis are likely way to go as they are more rugged I guess than the ultra competitive lighter weight racing frames.


For a fun toy, 2000-3000 is my ball park and I realky want to buy 2 so my dad and I can have some fun for a dew more years before hit hits the big 70. Yup, he was 64 and taking the kart class with me. 2nd class he hurt himself weeks earlier and could only do half of the 2nd day class.

Also look at TAG karts. I say it only because the starter option seems nice. I dont want a race spec kart. I want a fun track day toy that doesnt need 2 people to operate/start.
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 4:41:10 PM EST
FPNI, as usual.

If you dont know what FAST is, you dont need or want a shifter cart.

go visit a local cart club race, at a real facility, and have a look at what is going on.

And if you are contemplating parking lots, think Briggs & Stratton.

IMHO YMMV
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 5:09:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/24/2016 5:17:26 PM EST by uglygun]
Yeah...

Regarding car control...

Left foot braking and rear braking only solid/locked rear axle is something that can take some getting used to. Especially trailing braking.

There are some TAG carts that have front disc brakes but it is just extra cost. To get a kart to really turn you need to take advantage of the caster built in and get the inside rear wheel to lift. It is what I struggled with during my kart classes and lack of experience had me braking earlier than I needed and not entering corners fast enough to rock the kart into the corners. As I got more agressive the turn in was better.

Honestly a simple 100-125cc kart is a hell of a lot of fun.

/edit

Damn this thread for making me browse craigslist looking for TAG karts....
Several for 2-3k available.
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 5:23:59 PM EST
I raced 125 shifters. They're a lot of work to maintain, and a lot of work to drive. I could drive an 80 shifter til the tank was dry and barely break a sweat. A 20 lap main in the 125 would have me drenched in sweat on a warm day. Much more physical to drive. Very, very quick. I swore the first time I drove one that the front wheels would come off the ground when it got on the pipe, and that it would spin anytime my attention lapsed. You get used to it obviously, but they are very quick. There's a reason that virtually every pro driver keeps sharp between races by karting. If you can afford to maintain it properly and have a good place to drive it, you won't come across anything that's a much fun for the money.
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 5:35:15 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cxwrench:
I raced 125 shifters. They're a lot of work to maintain, and a lot of work to drive. I could drive an 80 shifter til the tank was dry and barely break a sweat. A 20 lap main in the 125 would have me drenched in sweat on a warm day. Much more physical to drive. Very, very quick. I swore the first time I drove one that the front wheels would come off the ground when it got on the pipe, and that it would spin anytime my attention lapsed. You get used to it obviously, but they are very quick. There's a reason that virtually every pro driver keeps sharp between races by karting. If you can afford to maintain it properly and have a good place to drive it, you won't come across anything that's a much fun for the money.
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Are you in the bay area? Seems 90% of the Karts I see for sale are bay area centralized. I am southern Ca and from Kern Co south it is slim pickings. All the quality and diversity seems to be bay area.

When I go by Buttonwillow Raceway the karts are very active, same for Willow Springs if I recall. But it seems all the racers are non-local.
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 5:37:19 PM EST
Always wanted one. When I did Supermoto at Infineon raceway we alternated practice between karts and bikes. Amazing how much faster your average kart driver was than the pro guys on 450cc and open class bikes.
Link Posted: 4/24/2016 5:48:04 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By buckstrucks:
500cc two stroke is the beginner cart of choice.
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This.
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