206 trouble

Hi, I went out to the track yesterday for the second time, and I’m facing some difficulties. First, it’s important to know that I purchased my kart from an individual on Facebook who had left their kart at my local track. I had the track inspect it, and they confirmed that the chassis was in good condition. Since it only had the chassis, I ordered an engine separately and had the track staff install it. They allowed me to test-drive it to check for any issues, but at the time, I wasn’t aware that the idle speed was set too high. The track owner fixed it and sent me out again. This time, the kart felt much better. Previously, it was difficult to brake, and I was going too fast through corners. However, on this occasion, it felt good too me (since I lack kart experience, I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to feel). During my second day on the track, I thought everything was fine until I realized that my kart would shut off when I decelerated significantly to enter the pit. Meanwhile, others were able to stop while keeping their engines running. Additionally, on that day, it might have been my poor driving, but my father noticed that my engine seemed to gradually accelerate out of slow corners compared to the other drivers. I’m unsure if this issue could be related to the idle speed or something else. Thank you!

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My engine won’t idle, ever. You can turn the idle speed screw in to get the idle up or turn the brass fitting on top of the carburetor cap counterclockwise until you get the desired idle.

Poor acceleration out of the corner can be multiple things including wrong gearing, bad driving, bad chassis setup… It’s rarely ever engine related.


How’s the clutch look? It could’ve smoked with the high idle causing it to always slip, and the erratic behavior you get now could result.


As long as my engine idles in the 2000 rpm range, I consider it good to go. But definitely set it with the motor warmed up. Sometimes it might try to stall, sitting on the grid, but I just blip the gas. Once you’re racing you don’t have to worry about it much.

Your acceleration, as Matt mentioned, is most likely due to gearing and/or seat time. With you being new, find out what gearing the other homies are running, maybe add a tooth or two on the back until you get a little more practiced.

Good luck out there!

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For practice, I would actually try a tooth or two lower than the others. Undergearing the kart will hurt your acceleration off the corner, but it’ll make it more noticeable when you hit a corner right vs. wrong. Obviously for the race, go the same gearing or a little higher when you’re new, but I do recommend dropping teeth and trying to drive the kart to understand roll speed and what works well/what doesn’t in the corner.

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Generally, race engines aren’t very good at idle. You may have to work the pedal to keep it running. As long as this isn’t happening on the track its fine. Personally, I would rather have a low idle than a high idle. However, if the clutch isn’t fully disengaging and it is bogging the engine that is a separate issue with the clutch.

When you say this is your second visit to the track do you mean with this kart or ever? If you are new to karting I would suspect your corner exit is likely your driving or a gearing issue or a combination of both. If you are slowing too much for corner entry it will hurt your corner exit, especially with lower HP classes such as 206. If you feel you are not the issue try changing gearing to either a smaller driver or a larger sprocket. Does your motor hit the limiter on the straightaways? How does your gearing compare to your competitors?

I have a Stewart built motor and it will idle when cold but after it warms up it won’t. Completely normal. But if its box stock, it should idle fine, if it isn’t adjust the idle screw. Just don’t dial it up so high that your clutch spring engage at idle.

Poor acceleration out of the corner is most likely your doing what alot of new people do, your going into the corner to quickly and your binding up the kart on exit.

Thank you! I’m new to karting, I think I can improve my performance by carrying more speed into corners and reducing braking to avoid slowing down excessively. My Dad has noticed that other drivers have a noticeable advantage in exit speed, which I think could be attributed to their gearing. Although it appears significant in videos, I haven’t reached the speed limiter on the straight sections. By the way, I’ve never touched the clutch and I plan on cleaning it before my next outing. The engine has been running for 5 hours. Speaking of the clutch, should I use an impact wrench or a torque wrench with a strap to tighten it? I’ve heard that some people overtighten it with an impact. Thank you so much!

I think ive fixed the idle now thanks so much !

If you haven’t hit the limiter, go up on the rear gear until you hit the limiter just before the end of the straight section.

There’s no way to know without seeing in person, but 90% of new karters try to go too fast INTO the corner and end up scrubbing speed off and exiting poorly, like Dean is talking about. Slow in, fast out is a good general mantra to start you off. You need to get the kart slowed down, settled down, and back to the accelerator BEFORE your apex point in most cases. Most new drivers come screaming into the corner and barely use the brakes, are out of control until the apex, and then are on throttle way to late, which hurts them on exit and all the way down the straight.


Ryan Norberg has a good tip: if you find yourself wide of apex mid corner you probably went in too fast and didn’t brake enough.

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Im not very wide and im leaning more towards that its not my fault but to make sure do you think i could ask someone to use my kart for a couple laps to see if it is normal ?

That’s a great idea.

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This thread reminds me of me 2 years ago, gotta love KP, your karting IQ will rise rapidly with the advice you can get here.

I only bring up the corner entry speed cause it took me over a year to figure that piece out, slow in fast out, and I’m still guilty of doing it from time to time and coming in too HOT! :rofl:

What you’ll find as you gain experience is when you feel fast, your actually going slower and vice versa. Its a weird thing when your first starting out.

When you watch the fast guys in CKNA for example, they are usually very SMOOTH. Smooth throttle inputs, smooth steering inputs- they usually look like their out for a sunday drive. Then you see their lap times and your like :flushed:

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I concur. This was one of my first learnings and it colors how I look at new drivers footage. I expect it because it’s so common.

Just for fun: @Bobby is one of the few whose initial instinct wasn’t to charge the entry. @Stacker was the poster boy of ambitious new drivers charging the entry.

Couldn’t OP remove gearing as a variable here by asking one of the fast guys for their gearing or is that frowned on there? Video would help us understand what’s going on.

Possibly, but if he is either over or under braking chances are that gear will not work as well for him. He will likely be better served by adding a tooth or two from what the fast guys are running and adjust as corner speed increases. How soon or how long he starts hitting the rev limiter will be the evidence that corner speed is increasing and time to drop a tooth.

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Came here to say what TJ said almost word for word. Lol

The last thing to improve on is entry speed. When starting a new driver out with instruction the first thing we do is establish a return to throttle point (cone) and drivers are instructed to lift, brake and coast as much as needed to be able to hit throttle by the cone. Then I’ll move the cone earlier and earlier until I get to the right point. Then and only then do I worry about braking later or shorter duration.

In the 206 exit speed is absolute king over entry or even rolling speed.