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260DET

Going To Race A Go Kart.

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Z is still waiting on it's final dyno test and tune but I've had enough waiting around with nothing to go fast in, I've found that getting really good specialist car work done is an extreme test of patience, there are so few top blokes around and they are booked out forever. Anyway, rather that sit around grumping, I've bitten the bullet and ordered a new ready to race 125cc go kart. The local track is about 15 minutes away and if something breaks on the kart it's simply a matter of buying the replacement over a counter and bolting it on. 

 

For anyone who knows karts it's a top of the line Arrow X4 Vegas, engine is a water cooled IAME X30 TaG, which means it has a key turn starter. Concerned about rib damage so a Tillett rib protector is coming too. Driving a go kart will be good car driving practice anyway, any karting tips welcome. particularly as I expect the not so young body will take a bit of a hammering :)

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Get a good masseuse and chiropractor Richard you will need them........

 

Only reason i don't race karts is my back is well and truly wrecked from years playing rugby.

 

When I have driven karts it has taken me generally a week or so where I am not popping anti inflammatries like tic tacs to ease the pain.

 

Other than that, they are good fun, cheap and generally easy to service and don't take up as much room or time as big toys.

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Yes, the body cops a hammering I'm told, hence the rib protector. Also have a C shape neck support which may help. Going to have a go anyway and back off a bit if necessary which may involve being a bit smoother but stuff it, the body is there to serve me so that's it's problem. Yeah?

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He he ha ha gravity is a bitch . You may save your ribs Richard but your hip will hate you and only one side at that. Look forward to the Kart for sale add.

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I raced karts for 11 years from my 20's to 30's.  Your neck muscles and forearm muscles will take serious strain to start off with.  If your seat is padded and it is set up properly for you, your ribs should be fine unless the track is bumpy.

 

Practice, practice, practice! I don't know how fit you are, but you will need to start working on that if you want to be competitive.

 

Sounds like fun though, I miss it.......

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Where did you get the kart from?

How much for the setup?

Is it whats known as TAG-R ( restrictor on air intake?)

 

I'm after something for a bit of fun around my driveway,,,,,

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There is a restrictor racing class Jason, of course the restrictor can can be removed for practice or whatever to unleash the full tyre smoking 28hp. Mine is coming from Kaos at Nerang but except for the occasional special new prices are pretty much the same everywhere, $8,874 for mine ready to race. Good second handies are of course much cheaper. TaG = touch and go = electric self starter engine.

 

Even if my old body won't allow me to get up to full racing lap times, with the track just 15 minutes away a bit of practice fun will be always available, going fast around a race track takes some beating as far as I'm concerned, I need it  8)

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He he ha ha gravity is a bitch . You may save your ribs Richard but your hip will hate you and only one side at that. Look forward to the Kart for sale add.

 

Expecting severe body punishment Aub, part of the fun? Check your PM too you slacker.

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Booked in for a medical examination as required for old fellas to get a karting licence, the rest of the process is detailed too, much more than for a L2 CAMS licence. Perhaps the licence bit should have been done first in case of a medical fail before ordering a kart but race decisions are rarely logical or even sensible so too bad, she'll be right :)

 

Karting is going to be a different experience to car sprints I think, the corners come up much quicker so driving is going to have to be more intuitive, mostly there will not be enough time to calculate conciously. The good thing is that there is no gear shifting or clutch to worry about, left foot braking which will be compatible with the best way to drive the auto trans Zed too. All that's needed is the development of a lot more left foot pressure sensitivity, maybe easier said than done though. Oh well, it's all for a good cause.

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last time I went cart racing I got slamed backwards into a tyre barrier and couldn't walk or breathe properly for two weeks. GOOD LUCK. :-\

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Richard,

Enjoy. I raced karts during my late teens/20s. A great form of motorsport and I'm tempted to get back into them myself. Esp now the HP is up more compared to  the older aircooled classes. I've driven the watercooled TAG like engines and they are nice.

 

As said above, pad your seat well. I cut up fairly high density foam and gaffa taped it down (like image below). I needed to drill a 6mm hole in the back of the seat to let air in otherwise the suction made it hard to get out of the seat. Never hurt a rib let alone crack one. I know many who cracked them with poor fitting seat setups.

 

Karts are different to cars, and will punish you if you aren't smooth. Thats one of the rewarding challenges though and times can tumble with a good kart setup and driving improvements. Learn how the chassis works and go and test it once you've settled into a groove. Change the front and rear track widths etc and see how it affects the handling, especially corner turn-in and exit speed etc.

 

Its great fun, a technical challenge and the competition is always pretty fierce.

 

Now I wanna go get one myself!

tillett-go-kart-racing-seat-t8-1-4-padde

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Go kart hillclimb races at Jason's place, yes  >:D

 

Thanks for the tips Michael, had a seat fitting the other day and have bought a chest protector just to make sure. Kaos are going to bring my kart all assembled and aligned to Warwick later this month so looking forward to that.

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Got a rib protector the other day in anticipation but delivery of the kart has been delayed due to the supply of a 30/30 chassis instead of a 32/32. That's OK, at present the emphasis is on getting the Z track ready so a few weeks for the kart does not matter.

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Finally got the kart the other day and took it for it's first run this morning at the local track. The seat is pretty snug so didn't wear the chest protector, only did two ten minute runs due to horrible handling but so far my  body feels fine which is a pleasant surprise. Yeh, the handling, yuk. Lots of tail wagging when exiting corners, felt like it stepped out a foot at one time and only just caught it. And it's real bitch to turn in, hard to describe but it's a fight to get the front wheels pointing where they should.

 

Going to start with checking the front end alignment first and get that right, I suspect that it may have too much Ackermann. It wasn't a fun morning but I don't really enjoy driving anything that is handling like a pig, that should change with some sorting out though. The basics are all there, plenty of poke, lots of shiny new parts :)

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Glad your kart arrived. Sorry it wasn't inspiring.

These things are very sensitive to setup. When I was racing we'd change the setup every race and be trying to predict the setup changes for the next race as newer rubber got laid down from the races in between. Karts inherently want to understeer due to the solid rear axle and it is caused often by 3 things: Too much rear grip,  driving style, not enough front end grip. Yes I stated the obvious and mean no offence. And sorry if I'm telling you how to suck eggs. 

 

Watch how little steering input Lewis Hamilton puts into a hire kart piece of shit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKk7oeUhwdg

 

And this one. Hectic start, interesting to see the heart rate. But again, most of the steering input in cornering is neutral. A little flick to break the rear grip and then often the wheel is held pretty straight in corners. 

 

I'd leave the Ackerman alone, karts need this (and caster) to steer and its quite exaggerated. I never changed ackerman. With the fixed axle you need to lift the inside rear tyre to turn. So I'd be looking at:

 

a) Rear track width, then front track width

b) Chassis stiffness : do yo have a removable 4th rail?

c) Weight distribution

d) do you have seat stays installed

 

So in karts grip is often a function of the opposite end of the kart. Understeer would suggest too much rear grip and I'd be looking to change that. A 5mm change in rear track width will significantly alter the karts turn-in. Experiment and see which way helps. The direction to go depends on where you start. Too narrow - could benefit from widening. Too wide (need bigger leverage to lift inside wheel) and benefit from narrowing rear track.

 

Driving technique is also something to pay attention to.  Reefing the wheel (not suggesting you are doing this, just discussing) can overload the front grip. So you need to drive around what's available. But focus on the rear end, the money will be there. It'll take a while to understand the chassis. They are remarkably complex for what they are and have numerous options for adjustment.  I'd suggest experimenting with increasing and decreasing the rear track width to see how it feels, and also experiment with front track width (widening exaggerates the caster and ackerman effect which helps jack the inside wheel off the ground). Also remove any seat stays if present and remove or loosen a 4th chassis rail if present.

 

Did the Kaos guys offer much help?

 

Anyway, as mentioned, not trying to teach you how to suck eggs. Just some of the things I learned from experimenting.

M

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I was fighting it most of the time, it was not nice to drive at all so all advice and experience is welcome. Yes, looking through the setup guides it seems like the rear track is the place to start. Afterwards we watched a couple of kids going round, they were so smooth and it looked effortless, we'll get there.

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Yes. An old expression is that the boring looking driver is the fastest. No room for hanging it out in these ones because they work on a delicate balance. But when its right its magic, and an experience you won't get in most vehicles. There is a reason the F1 guys still love them.

 

Karts are a bit like golf. They shit you to tears but you keep going back for more because occasionally you find the sweet spot. The learning curve is steep and humbling.

 

At least with the water-cooled engines you can do a lot of track time. Testing used to be so expensive with the air-cooled engines. You'd be replacing pistons every 2 hours and a full bottom end, rod and repeat top end every 4 hrs. Not to mention tyres (every 2 hours at least), chains, sprockets etc.

 

M

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You dont reckon the shop you got it from, with their experience, set it up to suit you?

It's the latest model so I don't think that there is much experience with them yet. For a while on the track I was blaming myself but after a while it was, no, this thing really is not right. Plenty of zip from the engine, it does not have a restricter, so once it's sorted it will be lots of fun and it will help keep the brain active for the Z. Which always will be my main fun machine.

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Spoke with the dealer's tech bloke and he tells me the rear track has to be increased substantially, it was delivered incorrectly adjusted. He was pretty good on the phone, gave me all the important setup figures so that's a plus. I described how the kart was driving and he said, yes, definately too narrow in the rear track.

 

And a couple of gratituous pics.

post-101215-0-31403100-1461056226_thumb.png

post-101215-0-56534100-1461056253_thumb.png

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Nice one!

Where did the track start at and how far have you increased it?

Will be looking forwards to reports after your next run

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