So there sits your brand new (or newly purchased used) kart in your garage, just waiting for you to get it on the track. As a matter of interest, I just purchased a used kart so I will be doing the exact same things to my newly purchased kart that I am recommending to you. To make it easy, I will break this article down into three easy steps: Step 1 – Pre-Track Prep/Checklist, Step 2 – Basic Set-Up, Step 3 – At the Track.
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“Driving a go kart is the closest thing to driving an Indycar.”
Michael Schumacher, 7 time Formula 1 World Champion, and Buddy Rice, 2005 Indy 500 Winner, and at last year's SuperNationals.
You could put any number of famous IndyCar drivers’ names behind that quote. When I tested a shifter-kart during the 1996 Indy Lights off season, the first thought that went through my head was, “Wow, this feels only a fraction slower than my Lights car.” A couple of years ago, I asked 2005 Indy 500 winner and fellow karter Buddy Rice how he would compare driving today’s karts to driving a current IndyCar. His response was very telling, “since they keep slowing IndyCars down for safety reasons while we keep developing our karts and finding more speed, the two now feel identical to drive.” Need more testimonials, read Michael Schumacher’s comments on the Bondurant SuperKart School’s home page.
Awesome, you say, I’m sold, so how do I get involved?…
Although karts look simple, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Luckily, these deceptively high-tech machines offer the most affordable bang for the buck in the racing world! Great you say, but what kart should I buy? What do I look for in a kart shop? How do I know if a used kart is any good? How much other equipment do I need to buy and how much is that going to cost? These are all great questions and to help you answer them I have broken the kart buying process down into 4 Steps to make your entry into the sport as easy and gratifying as possible.
But first, here are some general guidelines you should adhere to:
- Buy a chassis (new or used) that is carried by a local kart shop – this is will pay huge dividends when buying spare parts and when you need technical assistance from the shop owner.
- If you are just starting, consider a “one-make” (where everyone uses the same engine) or “sealed” engine class as this will flatten your learning curve. Try to choose a motor that can be serviced locally as well.
- Definitely buy a data acquisition/dash system that has a temperature gauge to reduce the risk of damaging or blowing a motor.
- Try not to buy anything that is more than 3 years old.
- I would try to avoid buying a used kart over the internet that you will not be able to evaluate personally beforehand.
To read more, click here to receive a FREE TRIAL ISSUE of FIRESTONEKARTINFO and learn how to:
- Pick what type of Kart to buy – Make and model is only the beginning, this article will give you tips on which class of kart to pick
- Evaluate a kart shop – there are differences so know what to look for
- Determine your budget – includes a printable Kart Budget Spreadsheet to help you
- Determine pricing
- Evaluate a used kart like a pro – includes a thorough 14 point inspection guide and Checklist to help determine if the kart is even worth buying and if so, negotiate the best price
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