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Brian
Brian MegaDork
10/11/16 10:00 a.m.

I have never done competitive karting, just recreational. I'm an hour from a mega mall with an indoor electric kart track. Being close to 300# makes me uncompetitive.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
10/11/16 11:04 a.m.

I raced karts for 5 years back in the day when karts were simple. No body work, air cooled engines, simple diaphragm carbs. Tires lasted a whole season.

I had a lot of fun and did pretty well. Great group of people.

I feel that it improved my driving skills. We ran on a paved .4 mile road course.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/11/16 11:29 a.m.
NickD wrote:
Furious_E wrote: You're all a bunch of dirty damned enablers
You're just figuring that out?

No, it just never ceases to amaze me

So it looks like the next session starts next Monday and runs for 8 weeks into early December, every Monday evening after work. Looks like 32 drivers, nominally, and $40/race, so $320/season. I'd probably be hard pressed to find a more effective way to make me faster for that much money, seat time is what I really need more than anything. I think it's gonna be just a bit too short notice to make it into this session, but I think I'm gonna jump on the next one.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
10/11/16 11:35 a.m.

I wish they did more Kart racing closer to me. I would drop the car in a heartbeat. I could build, race, and be competitive in new cart every year for what my tires and track insurance is costing me right now.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
10/11/16 11:51 a.m.

I do the weekly league at the local electric kart place- it's fun, and cheaper per race than the lame hotlap sessions you normally get.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
10/11/16 12:04 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: I do the weekly league at the local electric kart place- it's fun, and cheaper per race than the lame hotlap sessions you normally get.

I thought you were somewhere in the Lehigh Valley. Local would be F1 Grand Prix... gas karts, no? Do you run down in Oaks at Arnolds?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
10/11/16 12:13 p.m.

In reply to Huckleberry:

I work in Warminster, Speed Raceway in Horsham is on my way home. Lehigh Valley Grand Prix in Allentown is close too, that's probably what you're thinking of.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
10/11/16 3:17 p.m.

We should do a GRM get together after the first thaw of the year at a central to all of us mid-Atlantic people kart track...

TAParker
TAParker Reader
10/11/16 5:18 p.m.

We love karting, both asphalt and dirt!

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/11/16 7:01 p.m.

In reply to Flight Service:

I would be down. You're where, DC area?

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/11/16 8:37 p.m.

A quick introduction of the karts raced by adults in this country:

Amusement Park Karts, 160-240 cc 4t, 3-6 hp, 600+ lb race weight, 0.6-0.8g, governed 20-35 MPH

Indoor Gasoline Karts, 240-390 cc 4t, 6-13 hp, 450-550 lb race weight, 1-1.3g (z), geared out at 30-40 MPH

Indoor Electric Karts, 10-20 hp, 500++ lb race weight, 1-1.3g (z), geared out at 30-40 MPH

Clone Karts, Harbor Freight 212 cc 4t, 6-7 hp, 320-400 lb race weight, 1.3-1.8g, capable of 55-60 MPH

Briggs LO206 Karts, Briggs & Stratton 206cc 4t, 8 hp, 360 lbs race weight, 1.3-1.8g, capable of 60-65 MPH

Yamaha KT100 Pipe, 100cc piston-port 2t, 19 hp, 335 lbs race weight, 2-2.5g, capable of 85 MPH

TaG Senior, 125cc reed-valve 2t, 23-29 hp, 350-395 lbs race weight, 2-2.5g, capable of 95 MPH. The less-powerful engines race at a lower race weight and corner harder, but the weights are set to allow the more powerful ones to make up the gap on the straights. The PRD Fireball and Easykart are set lightest, the Parilla Leopard and Rotax Max in the middle, and the Parilla X30 and Vortex Rok TT are set heaviest. TaG Masters add 40 lbs.

Stock Moto Shifter, 124 cc 2t lightly-modified Honda CR125, 36 hp, 375-405 lb race weight, 2-2.5g, capable of 110 MPH in clear air.

ICC/KZ2 Shifter, 123 cc 2t kart-specific shifter engines, 43-49 hp, 375-405 lb race weight, 2-2.5 g, capable of 120 MPH in clear air

The main steps up are from rented equipment to purchased and then from 4-stroke to 2-stroke. A serious competitor indoors will soon adjust the numbers on the spreadsheet to make a 4-stroke kart seem less expensive than continued serious competition indoors. Once at the outdoor sprint kart track it's impossible to miss the flashy 2-strokes with their soft tires and dragonfly changes of direction.

How much does it cost?

No matter what you do, you'll buy a kart suit ($89-$300) to protect your body from abrasion, your own helmet ($150-sky), a ribvest (the $21 ZRacing one is surprisingly effective but Yamaha, TaG, and shifter racers need more protection and spend $80-$250), a pair of mechanic's or motorcyclist's gloves ($9-$200), and a notebook. That's $300-$1000 to keep your body intact. Your motorcycle equipment can do double duty but your car equipment can't.

With a $1000 annual budget, you could race most weeks in a league at an indoor track. The competition will be close, the battles back-and-forth, but if you get the slow kart you're sunk.

After that, you need somewhere to work on a kart and some way to get it to the track. I estimate that the tools needed to do everything but straighten a frame, mill new parts, or rebuild bottom-ends of engines cost $800, but you'll have many of them already. What you won't have are Beta T-handle Allen wrenches. They're a lot of money for a surprisingly small amount of stuff (get used to this - but remember, you're removing a zero from the back of your seat-time bill) but they're essential. Almost any car can tow a $500 open trailer using a $200 hitch; failing that, most karts are within the weight limit of a roof rack. A kart stand costs $200. Tire-changing equipment costs $20 if you build the Woodrow Advanced Technology tools from plans, but most other systems are $200-$500.

For $1500 per year beyond these capital costs I could race locally and occasionally regionally for a season in Briggs or Clone. Most of that will be for entry fees and travel, using take-off tires from the fastest 2-stroke competitors.

For $3000 per year beyond these capital costs I could race locally and occasionally regionally for a season in Yamaha or Shifter. The other $1500 goes for 4 sets of tires, some clutch parts, a top-end midseason, and a bottom-end in the winter.

For $4000 per year beyond these capital costs I could race locally and occasionally regionally for a season in TaG. The additional $1000 goes to starters, batteries, clutches, chains, sprockets, and chassis parts broken by the additional vibration and violence of the TaG engine.

On that budget in each class I'd be able to get some podiums and maybe a win or two each season. The amount of wheel-to-wheel seat time is unrivaled. At East Lansing, a practice day gives you 6 10-minute sessions, while the race day gives you 2 practice sessions, two 5-minute heat races, and a 10-minute feature race. That's two hours under green per weekend during the main race season. In the late fall, it's possible to get 4 hours on track of practice if your equipment can stand it.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/11/16 8:41 p.m.

As someone who likes options, does anyone know how the kmod carts allowed at SCCA autocross are the same/different than what you would normally run?

I wonder how many karting options are close to Raleigh/Durham

Since I am between autox/track cars anyway and Karting ive always wondered about

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/11/16 9:13 p.m.

KMod karts are Stock Moto, Modified Moto, or ICC shifters with a lot of ballast and sticky MG Green tires. I think my ICC would have to run at 425 lbs. They're fast, but you get three minutes of seat time in exchange for worrying about sunburn all day instead of an hour at a sprint track, for roughly the same entry fee.

GoPro Motorplex in Charlotte

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/11/16 11:45 p.m.

Hmm your "season" numbers above how often are you racing/practicing?

That gopro place is 2hrs 20mins away, carolina motorsports park is 3hrs away. So far enough to really want to go overnight but not unreasonable.

I am always looking for the dad escapes for a day type activities that have less impact on wife being stuck with the kiddos. Ideally those are an hour or less away so I dont have to be gone all day

Cant beat the price of 5-6hrs of practice time for 60 bucks tho!

At 38 do I qualify for any of the "old guy" classes?

http://www.gopromotorplex.com/race-events/kart-owner-events/gopro-motorplex-karting-challenge/

So looking at this they don't have any TAG classes for this series?

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/12/16 3:40 a.m.

Coming from a Dirt Oval Kart background, You cant beat the cost of a kart compare to a car. The biggest thing is that around the Southern US, there are many races that pay $1,000+ to win on any given weekend. One annual race in Kentucky pays $50,000! To win a 50 lapper.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/12/16 3:43 a.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

I would just run the LO206 class. Wait until next year because gopro will have a MG spec tire. A good friend is racing said LO206 at CMP as well.

scottdownsouth
scottdownsouth Reader
10/12/16 6:56 a.m.

I went to Carolina Motorsport Park and did the rental carts with a few friends, it was great ! It was my 12 yo sons first time on a real cart and he learned that going fast in the real word was lots more fun that some stupid video game. Show up early on the weekend, pay your money and have a blast !

failboat
failboat UberDork
10/12/16 7:13 a.m.

Local electric kart place opened up less than 10 minutes from my office. I inquired about leagues, they are $45 a week for 8 weeks, 2 qualifying heats then a standing grid start race.

Instead I opted to start an interoffice "league" where we run over there every couple weeks at lunch time for a quick $15 race.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/12/16 9:04 a.m.
Jaynen wrote: Hmm your "season" numbers above how often are you racing/practicing? That gopro place is 2hrs 20mins away, carolina motorsports park is 3hrs away. So far enough to really want to go overnight but not unreasonable. I am always looking for the dad escapes for a day type activities that have less impact on wife being stuck with the kiddos. Ideally those are an hour or less away so I dont have to be gone all day Cant beat the price of 5-6hrs of practice time for 60 bucks tho! At 38 do I qualify for any of the "old guy" classes? http://www.gopromotorplex.com/race-events/kart-owner-events/gopro-motorplex-karting-challenge/ So looking at this they don't have any TAG classes for this series?

That's for 6-8 weekends of practice Saturday race Sunday and 3-4 practice days at the end of the season.

You'll want a Kid Kart or Cadet kart depending on your children's ages. They're inexpensive and if you race yourself you'll avoid the "kid kart dad" problem.

They have a TaG class (IAME Senior / IAME Master) but it's limited to IAME engines due to sponsorship.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
10/12/16 9:20 a.m.
chaparral wrote: A quick introduction of the karts raced by adults in this country:

Great info, thanks for taking the time to put that together.

n8
n8 New Reader
10/12/16 9:37 a.m.

All this talk about expenses and seat time reminded me of one difference between 4-stroke and 2-stroke running costs that is a direct correlation to seat time.

4-stroke engines burn 93 Octane pump gas.

2-stroke engines burn some variant of race fuel with a castor oil mix. When I ran a TaG kart (IAME Leopard) I used VP110 mixed with Burris Hi-Rev Castor mixed at a 16:1 ratio. That came out to $14-16/gallon a few years ago.

With all the other expenses it's fairly negligible, but pump gas is a lot more convenient.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/12/16 10:17 a.m.
chaparral wrote:
Jaynen wrote: Hmm your "season" numbers above how often are you racing/practicing? That gopro place is 2hrs 20mins away, carolina motorsports park is 3hrs away. So far enough to really want to go overnight but not unreasonable. I am always looking for the dad escapes for a day type activities that have less impact on wife being stuck with the kiddos. Ideally those are an hour or less away so I dont have to be gone all day Cant beat the price of 5-6hrs of practice time for 60 bucks tho! At 38 do I qualify for any of the "old guy" classes? http://www.gopromotorplex.com/race-events/kart-owner-events/gopro-motorplex-karting-challenge/ So looking at this they don't have any TAG classes for this series?
That's for 6-8 weekends of practice Saturday race Sunday and 3-4 practice days at the end of the season. You'll want a Kid Kart or Cadet kart depending on your children's ages. They're inexpensive and if you race yourself you'll avoid the "kid kart dad" problem. They have a TaG class (IAME Senior / IAME Master) but it's limited to IAME engines due to sponsorship.

My kids are too little to really get involved (2.5 and 6) both girls I guess my eldest could more I was just talking about time wise

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/12/16 10:18 a.m.
chada75 wrote: In reply to Jaynen: I would just run the LO206 class. Wait until next year because gopro will have a MG spec tire. A good friend is racing said LO206 at CMP as well.

I agree the LO206 class looks like a good starting point. I would not be starting this year anyway. Where should I start looking for carts to get an idea on prices for one of those specifically?

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/12/16 10:19 a.m.
n8 wrote: All this talk about expenses and seat time reminded me of one difference between 4-stroke and 2-stroke running costs that is a direct correlation to seat time. 4-stroke engines burn 93 Octane pump gas. 2-stroke engines burn some variant of race fuel with a castor oil mix. When I ran a TaG kart (IAME Leopard) I used VP110 mixed with Burris Hi-Rev Castor mixed at a 16:1 ratio. That came out to $14-16/gallon a few years ago. With all the other expenses it's fairly negligible, but pump gas is a lot more convenient.

According to the spec rules for the series being run at the Gopro motorplex the 4strokes briggs are running 87 octane sunoco and the 2 strokes yeah 100 sunoco so race gas.

I also see VIR has kart rentals 60 bucks for an hour of seat time but does not appear to have any bring your own kart stuff

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/12/16 4:50 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

Look for an American 4 cycle chassis. Coyote, MGM, Margay , and Arrow are good choices. If you buy a used chassis, make sure that the seat struts are bolt on and not built into the chassis. I personally would go with a coyote since they built many American Four cycle frames. To look for used karts, The usual places like Craiglist, but also Ekartingnews, Bob 4 cycle.com on the sprint kart section, and Go kart and parts on Facebook has a Sprint kart once in a while. Some huy from Statesville was basically giving away a Coyote with the CIK and full bodywork on the Facebook page a few months ago. Prices I seen go from $700 on up.

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