1 2 3 4 5
chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/13/16 11:25 a.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

Ekartingnews' classified section is a good place to buy an older kart. Look for a 4-cycle kart or a shifter as both have the left-side drive you need. Otherwise you're taking a hacksaw to the frame...

If you've got the money and want to save time, Margay will sell you a complete package straight from the factory.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
10/13/16 1:07 p.m.
Furious_E wrote: In reply to Flight Service: I would be down. You're where, DC area?

Yup, in the DC beltway

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
10/13/16 1:09 p.m.

In reply to chaparral:

good info

drdisque
drdisque HalfDork
10/13/16 5:47 p.m.

Yeah, size and weight are the big things keeping me out of karting.

I'm 6'4", 215 lbs. While I fit in most karts, I barely fit and I simply never have a chance to be at the pointy end against good competition due to my size. I have fun karting, but I can't go down the rabbit hole of a sport where I could never be competitive to my satisfaction.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/13/16 6:06 p.m.
Flight Service wrote:
Furious_E wrote: In reply to Flight Service: I would be down. You're where, DC area?
Yup, in the DC beltway

Cool, I know there are some other members in the general northern MD/south central PA area. I'm sure we could rope at least a few more guys in.

trigun7469
trigun7469 Dork
10/13/16 7:37 p.m.

Karting is definitely a blast, I have been racing on and off for 16 years, have raced several different chassis and engine packages. Comparatively speaking it is one of the cheapest forms of racing. If you are a bigger guy like me (6'2" 235lbs) get a lay down seat it will help the handling tremendously. Beasely still makes them although if you run nationals they are trying to outlaw them ( I won't go into the politics of Karting). I have been running a Lo206 for 3 seasons. Very little maintenance needed, I have only changed the oil. Depending on the competition chassis setup is critical. Scaling you chassis helps. If interested in 4cycle, I would recommend getting a chassis that can accommodate that engine.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/13/16 7:40 p.m.

Looks like the Kartsport.na place which is affiliated with Gopro motorplex sells arrow chassis. And the L0206 is popular in the area

http://kartsportna.com/karts/

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/14/16 2:15 a.m.

In reply to drdisque:

On the Oval side, There are plenty big boys who weight north or 250 and are very competitive. Im working out to drive a kart again and im 20 pounds away from being able to make weight in a 425 class. Also, The UAS run many engine combos, the heaviest being a bored out 450 mx powered kart weight ing a min. of 430.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/14/16 2:16 a.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

Although not an American Chassis, The arrow is a great choice. My friend Scott has one and it works great.

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/14/16 2:18 a.m.

In reply to trigun7469:

I believe that the Answer is no longer the Miata but now is a kart!

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/14/16 8:56 a.m.

In reply to drdisque:

You're at the upper limit for being able to run competitively in a shifter - see if you can locally run an ICC/KZ2 at 425 lbs against Honda shifters at 385, which will allow you an ordinary kart and a little ballast to place. If you're fifteen pounds over in a Briggs you're sunk, but it matters less with more power and stickier/less load sensitive tires.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/14/16 9:18 a.m.
chada75 wrote: In reply to Jaynen: Although not an American Chassis, The arrow is a great choice. My friend Scott has one and it works great.

Arrows are Australian, made by Drew Price Engineering. They are very well-designed and good karts. Watch the rear hubs; I broke two.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
10/14/16 9:24 a.m.
Furious_E wrote:
Flight Service wrote:
Furious_E wrote: In reply to Flight Service: I would be down. You're where, DC area?
Yup, in the DC beltway
Cool, I know there are some other members in the general northern MD/south central PA area. I'm sure we could rope at least a few more guys in.

You could at that... (I live in southern MD, work in DC)

You know... SPK is talking about re-opening in spring in their new bomber factory digs...

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/14/16 9:36 a.m.
Jaynen wrote: Looks like the Kartsport.na place which is affiliated with Gopro motorplex sells arrow chassis. And the L0206 is popular in the area http://kartsportna.com/karts/

An Arrow 4S chassis with a Briggs LO206 would be competitive and inexpensive to run. I had a friend race one in New England and he did very well.

trigun7469
trigun7469 Dork
10/14/16 2:30 p.m.

In reply to chada75: About time I have been begging during all GRM surveys to do some spotlights on karting.

Jaynen
Jaynen Dork
10/15/16 9:52 a.m.

I think its coming down for me to Cars are more emotionally exciting there is more variance/sounds/etc but Karting is going to have a more competitive experience. Autocross/HPDE will never be competitive like actual racing and I won't be affording to race a full size car anytime soon. And honestly while you CAN race chumpcar I think chump type racing has less of the emotional excitement about loving the car you are driving

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/15/16 7:50 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen:

I think your next step is to go drive a fast kart - even a Briggs LO206 almost alone on track should give you quite a surprise. They have a personality all of their own. My Arrow was solid, consistent, heavy at the controls, fast when everything was perfect, slow when I was lazy on either driving or tuning. My Margay was mercurial, ferociously grippy and fast on new tires, demanding of a super-sensitive touch, capable of a few insane laps before the next part broke. My new Birel is reliable, abuse-tolerant, and an absolute bear to drive, with brutal understeer only compensated for with the application of grossly excessive thrust or braking at the rear tires.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/15/16 9:09 p.m.

Last Sunday was the "Fun Race" at East Lansing, a good day to give the ICC its first racing outing. East Lansing adds informal races to the schedule on big days like the Bobby Haun Memorial or the Fun Race. The Mechanics' and Powderpuff races sound silly, but they serve the important purpose of getting spectators into the karts without having to worry about getting in the way of experienced competitors looking for that last 0.05s.

It was time for one of my friends to move up from cars to karts. He'd raced Miatas and light FWD cars in SCCA and NASA, and had a good, analytical approach to driving. Based on where he's from, where he races, who he works for, I'm amazed that he's not already on the GRM forum. Today, he'd help me work on the kart, and would drive in two rounds of practice and the Mechanics' race.

I drove the first session to make sure the machinery was intact and give the engine a good, easy warmup. The first start with the TM is the only difficult one, needing a few yards of pushing after dropping the clutch for it to run and get away. After that, I short-shifted for a lap and a half to avoid overheating the piston as the engine warmed up. The decade-old tires were still totally shot.

First Session

Ogre drove the next session, his first in a racing kart. If you learned to swim in a public pool by being told to jump off the edge into the deep end, then the instruction technique of being pushed down the pitlane and starting in a vehicle with a projected PAX index greater than one (z) makes sense. He thrashed for a bit, looked out of control sometimes and timid other times, and paddled around after a few minutes.

I'd traded two cases of beer for two sets of take-off tires, and it was time to mount them. We removed the wheels, deflated the tires, removed the three bead-lock screws that keep the tire from coming off the rim (zz), then turned to the heavy machinery.

Bead Breaker This machine uses a lever to push a foot against the edge of the tire and with enough force the tire de-beads. I did not take pictures of the Woodrow Advanced Technology tire tools. The tool to remove the tire consists of a sheet of plywood with a 5" hole, sawed in half, with the two halves joined by ropes, placed on a bit of carpet. Place the wheel with de-beaded tire in the hole, press the two halves together, put the assembly on the carpet, stand on the plywood, and then grab the tire and yank it off. Two good Ultimate players in the peak of condition were found to be half the man of an engineer twice their age. The Woodrow Advanced Technology tire-mounting device was then used - a segment of 5" pipe sawed up and mounted on a block to hold the wheel. We shoved the tires onto the rims (I got none, Mike got one, Mr. Woodrow got three), then inserted the beadlocks halfway and inflated them to seat the beads, then sank the beadlocks and set the pressure before mounting them on the kart. This winter I'll buy tire-changing tools and practice.

First heat! I get out of the pits and immediately have more grip and more power. The two warmup laps go well, and I start to circle the oval to form up the grid. Then the left front wheel falls off. There's no positive retention device at all for the hub! It's just clamped around the wheel bearing carrier.

Wheel falls off, followed by discussion of Birel machine design

After some careful cleaning and light lapping to get the hub to stay on the carrier, I went out for the second heat race. This is the Fun Race, so track configurations are unpredictable. Time for an oval race! Twenty laps and probably fewer than four miles. It took me five laps to figure out that I could upshift once on the start-finish straight, then downshift into 1/1S, then upshift on the straight back to 10, then downshift into 10. After that I demonstrated that a massive power advantage is useful even when you can't get it down.

Oval Race

During the intermission, they held the Mechanics' Race. Mike hopped into the kart, I push-started him, then sprinted up to the commentary box to announce the race. Four karts started, the shifter, two TaGs, and a Yamaha. Taking the lead into the first corner, Mike used the immense acceleration off of slow corners to balk the karts behind him in the corners and blast off down the straights. After three laps, he figured out some of the faster corners enough to drive away and pull away by a few seconds. A lap later the 2nd place kart spun and he was clear to drive home to the first victory in Paid Off Racing history.

We took out the 10 mm and 13 mm wrenches, the 5 mm and 6 mm Allen sockets, and the 13/16" for the sparkplug, and carefully checked over the kart for my feature race. The front tires were alternately hooking up and failing to, but the engine was ferocious. It also had a "quadra-bog" worthy of the fastest 403 Firebird in the country. Between those I think I shook the GoPro until it quit. I passed two karts after halfway and finished 2nd.

That meant two trophies for the new kart on its first day, for the cost of $5 worth of fuel line, $15 in gasoline, and $15 in beer traded for tires!

Feature Race

(z) ICC weight in autocross is 425 lbs. Unballasted the kart is 392 with me in it. (zz) MG tires do not come off the rim unless they are totally flat and strike a curb under maximum load. The only reason the tires go totally flat is because the beadlock screws leaked. I lost the biggest race I ever led because of that. The Margay ran non-beadlock wheels and never had trouble with deflation.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/15/16 10:34 p.m.

Today, I went back to East Lansing to test the new fuel pump and filter setup and to let my roommate drive the kart. After a few sessions spent troubleshooting, I went out for the last session the tires could possibly stand.

I set the GoPro to record my inputs. Here's what it looks like when you're scrambling for grip in a shifter kart. This is not speeded-up.

ICC to the cords

A Briggs racer was interested in trying out the shifter, so I threw him in, and then jumped into his LO206 kart. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. A seat that fits your body really helps. I'm not particularly large, so an XL seat is painful even with padding and makes the kart difficult to control as my body moves around. When cornering at 2 g, to brace my 190# body in the seat takes a force of 380#, which gets old pretty much immediately. I do not have a flat bottom, so a flat-bottom seat is no use to me no matter what the kart manufacturer thinks it does for the handling. This one was smaller than I'm used to, and held me in place perfectly. The little kart practically jumped into the corners, and then the Briggs could be gently throttled out of the corners.

I was faster with 8 hp than 45. The driver in the second video is much, much better. Controllability matters - and if you learn nothing else from this thread learn that.

Birel Briggs

n8
n8 New Reader
10/16/16 10:07 a.m.
chaparral wrote: A seat that fits your body really helps.

It's one of the biggest handling and drivability changes you can make on a kart. Get a seat that fits you tighter than you think it should and get a rib vest if you don't already have one. I started in the same boat as you, and it was a night and day difference just fitting properly.

Also it's hard to tell from that camera angle, but with the understeer you have it's possible that you're leaning into the corners. Keep your weight back in the seat and against the outside of the seat. Basically, you need to lean out of the corner. It's strange until you get used to it.

Another thing to try if you haven't yet. Narrow up the rear end. Try bringing the hubs in 2mm per side at a time. A little goes a long way. When you're too wide at the rear, the kart corners flat and with both rear tires on the ground it can only push through the corners. Widening the front end has a similar effect as narrowing the rear.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/16/16 10:43 a.m.
Apexcarver wrote:
Furious_E wrote:
Flight Service wrote:
Furious_E wrote: In reply to Flight Service: I would be down. You're where, DC area?
Yup, in the DC beltway
Cool, I know there are some other members in the general northern MD/south central PA area. I'm sure we could rope at least a few more guys in.
You could at that... (I live in southern MD, work in DC) You know... SPK is talking about re-opening in spring in their new bomber factory digs...

Cool! Where's that located? Separate from their regular complex, right?

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
10/16/16 10:49 a.m.

I'm finding this thread fascinating, thanks for all the info chaparral.

Chada75:

What's the roundy roundy end of the karting spectrum like? Are the classes similar? Are the chassis specific to oval tracks, or do they just set them up differently?

chaparral
chaparral Dork
10/16/16 11:18 a.m.

In reply to n8:

The gross understeer was because the https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153799349161507&set=p.10153799349161507&type=3&width=500 front tires were worn to the cords.

It's a classic way to miss the setup for a race: tune around tires that are totally shot.

n8
n8 New Reader
10/16/16 11:40 a.m.

Yeah, those are way past done. Even if you tried, you can't tune that out.

I always ran the same compound and I knew what my kart did on a new set and after they were going off. If you're using takeoffs, it's harder to find a setup unless you have a consistent source. If you always use takeoffs, I'd set the kart up for low grip and fine tune from there.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
10/17/16 8:02 a.m.
Furious_E wrote:
Apexcarver wrote:
Furious_E wrote:
Flight Service wrote:
Furious_E wrote: In reply to Flight Service: I would be down. You're where, DC area?
Yup, in the DC beltway
Cool, I know there are some other members in the general northern MD/south central PA area. I'm sure we could rope at least a few more guys in.
You could at that... (I live in southern MD, work in DC) You know... SPK is talking about re-opening in spring in their new bomber factory digs...
Cool! Where's that located? Separate from their regular complex, right?

They no longer run at Summit Point, the new location they are working on is the Middle River Depot in Essex MD (Northeast of Baltimore)

It was a bomber factory, its huge, they are going to have something like 4 tracks. They just bought 45 more karts and are overhauling (and retiring some of) the old karts.

https://www.facebook.com/jensscott/videos/10201687923277877/

Not open yet, but hopefully in spring...

1 2 3 4 5
Our Preferred Partners
AwWLyfuVcmUrOol9jzPqk06l8N0bItririnC0qUz8bZEgEQSALNlseihVv9MdQfs