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Thread: Shifter Karts?

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    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Default Shifter Karts?

    aka ****ter karts, because they are so fast you'll **** yourself.

    Anyone here race competitively in these things? I am informed that it's fairly inexpensive. I'd be interested in an introduction to the sport. It seems like it would suit me very well. I'm light, small, and poor. I suspect a kart can be towed around with a car. I can transplant a motor with my hands alone.

    So, any resources I can look into to learn more about what the sport entails, who hosts track events, how often, how much, etc?
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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    fairly inexpensive

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    A buddy of mine just sold his Miata... to help fund his return to karting.

    If it's track time you seek, an engine for your Toyota will be a whole lot cheaper!

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    I bought a GP chassis TAG rotax about 6 months ago and have been loving it ever since. There is no substitute for having such a raw connection to the road and taming such an unforgiving machine. As far as costs go, I would say that doing normal "track days" is around 40% cheaper than my s2000 was all things considered but that includes having a kart shop do all of the prep, maintenance, and track side support. If you wanted to race W2W competitively in a shifter class, I can easily see how the costs can escalate VERY quickly.

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    if you can't afford rebuild your Toyota 2,000 cc engine, you can't afford to rebuild your 125cc kart engine every few weekend.......
    forgot who (a Trackhq'er, I think it is Oli) was it that said it perfectly: Shifter Karts are Italian built. you basically are racing a mini Ferrari.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    if you can't afford rebuild your Toyota 2,000 cc engine, you can't afford to rebuild your 125cc kart engine every few weekend.......
    forgot who (a Trackhq'er, I think it is Oli) was it that said it perfectly: Shifter Karts are Italian built. you basically are racing a mini Ferrari.........
    It's a 1.8l motor. Do you even Toyota?
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    Looks like I was misinformed. Someone told me that engines are only rebuilt once a year. A set of tires lasts a few weekends. One set as practice scrubs for the whole year. Fuel at $90 per day. Used karts for under $5K. Hearing all that, it seemed reasonable. Oh well.
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    I did it for a few years, raced a YZ125 powered shifter. I had similar money in that kart as I have in my Miata. Sure to just go drive and maybe the odd race, it can be relatively inexpensive. But if you want to run at the front, be prepared to race against Doctors and lawyers with truck loads of cash in their carts. Even in the TAG class, guys show up with three motors, run each one, and see which works the best. As for tires, if you don't put a new set on for qualifying, just think back of the pack. New tires for every race day! I had loads of used tires for pratice. Big fun if you can handle the cost vs limited track time during events. One event, Firday thru Sunday, total track time was 90 min. Go rent one a few times.

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    Write up from MikeK last weekend....

    Shifter Kart Racing at Laguna Seca - Build Race Party

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    Definitely not super cheap, but they're relatively cheap and easy to work on. I'm actually getting back into karting and picking up my new (to me) kart this weekend. Spec Honda is the most popular class. You're looking to replace the top end every ~10 hours ($100) and the bottom end, fuel pumps, carb, lines, etc. every season ($500). Scrub tires are cheap and plentiful and will run you ~$40 and will last you a few testing days. You can get away with mixing some cheap 110 with pump 91 for fuel for practice days, VP Spec 98 fuel for racing. Racing at the club level isn't too expensive to be somewhat competitive, but when you go up the ranks, you're racing against people who rebuild their engines throughout the year, new top end every race, new chassis every year or even mid-year ($3500+), new tires throughout the race weekend, trackside support, etc. etc.
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    might be some arrive and drive series that might level the playing field a little bit and no work required. maybe it ends up being more russian roulette though depending on what cart you get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewdruiz View Post
    Definitely not super cheap, but they're relatively cheap and easy to work on. I'm actually getting back into karting and picking up my new (to me) kart this weekend. Spec Honda is the most popular class. You're looking to replace the top end every ~10 hours ($100) and the bottom end, fuel pumps, carb, lines, etc. every season ($500). Scrub tires are cheap and plentiful and will run you ~$40 and will last you a few testing days. You can get away with mixing some cheap 110 with pump 91 for fuel for practice days, VP Spec 98 fuel for racing. Racing at the club level isn't too expensive to be somewhat competitive, but when you go up the ranks, you're racing against people who rebuild their engines throughout the year, new top end every race, new chassis every year or even mid-year ($3500+), new tires throughout the race weekend, trackside support, etc. etc.
    That's what I'm talking about. Is there a resource where I can find out more about spec Honda? An initial search (at work) isn't turning up much.
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    if you want to find out more about karting your best bet is to go to cal speed (autoclub speedway kart track) on a weekend and ask around, they have a race their this weekend it would be a perfect time to check things out (expect a 10 dollar gate fee). Also a good website is ekartingnews.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3d3g1 View Post
    might be some arrive and drive series that might level the playing field a little bit and no work required. maybe it ends up being more russian roulette though depending on what cart you get.
    Even if it wasn't a series, that would be so much fun. Just one day! What about renting the kart track at Willow? They aren't shifter karts but we rented it once with a BMW forum. It was 4 qualifying heats and a wheel-to-wheel for the last one. I think it was $200 per person, arrive and drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F@ck View Post
    Even if it wasn't a series, that would be so much fun. Just one day! What about renting the kart track at Willow? They aren't shifter karts but we rented it once with a BMW forum. It was 4 qualifying heats and a wheel-to-wheel for the last one. I think it was $200 per person, arrive and drive.
    Robert Williams owns Willow Springs Racing. His shop is right across the road from the Willow Springs kart track. Give him a call (818) 425-1283 (tell him I referred you) and he can answer a lot of your questions, and you can go for an arrive and drive kart day there to see if it is really for you.

    You will probably see my formerly-owned Formula Mazda there too.
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    I have an ICC shifter kart. Peaky, finicky, amazing fun. You want a "stock moto", 125cc Honda. More competition, cheaper and way less maintenance.

    If you just want to have fun and learn how to drive a kart, it can be pretty cheap. If you want to win it's like anything else - it will only take 110% of your money and effort.

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    I thought I had a good gif avatar but I digress. I'll be in my hole if you need me.

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