206 Weight limits are IMO ridiculous

Like our resident @tjkoyen I am hollow boned and weigh about 140lbs. Until I was about 22 I weighed about 120lbs so ballast has always been an issue for me both in the UK and now the USA. I currently race Stock Honda (125 shifter) and LO206 and it’s highlighted starkly for me the seemingly ridiculous weight limits in some classes.

For example. Stock Honda 125 shifter weight limit for the battle of the brickyard this yr is 375lbs. LO206 senior at the local track I race is 365lbs, just 10lbs under shifter, and 206 masters is 385lbs, 10lbs HEAVIER than my shifter! When you think about how much more hardware a shifter kart has on it compared to a 206 (Front brakes, gearbox, liquid cooling system incl radiator, clutch) it boggles my mind where some weight limits are derived from.

My biggest peeve is the argument that massively underweight drivers are at an advantage because they can place the ballast where they want. While this is true to an extent, my 206 is running approx 50lbs of lead and that is a LOT of lead to place, which you cannot distribute all of in the optimal positions.

Luckily I have a Stone kart stand that reduces the effort somewhat as I would be killing my back lifting that thing.

Anyway rant over :slight_smile:

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Everything is Bigger in America…lol!!! I only chime in, because I am on the opposite end of the scale. I weigh in at 225 lbs. Most of the people racing in my classes are well under 170. In Tag Senior, the weight limit for Kart and Driiver is 360 -400 lbs (depending on engine package) and for Master (what I run when there are others) the limit is 390 and 430 lbs. My package is an 09 Leopard. I should cross the scales around 390. Instead I cross closer to 415. Keep in mind, there is no lead on my kart, other than the driver. That puts me generally 15 - 25 lbs heavier that the competition. Given all else the same that leaves me about a second off the pace in Senior and about half a second off in Masters. Eventually I will up-grade to a newer package and hopefully putting me closer to a competitive weight.

At our track the split the field for 206 between Heavy and Light. Light is 360 and Heavy is 390 lbs. As for shifter, I don’t think there is a split weight as our shifter group is relatively small, but at larger events I have heard of a Masters class that runs at a heavier weight.

I guess my point is, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. You can however, please most of the people, most of the time. In the case of Karting Weights, Taking the average weight of the Drivers across the Class and shooting for somewhere in the middle. Not too many having to pile on the lead and not too many over-weight without any lead. All in an effort to keep things Competitive! Otherwise the Feather-weights would always win and the Heavy-weights would always lose. I think most of us enjoy this sport for the Competition. Without it, we are just turning laps.

While some are on the cottage cheese and fiber diets, you may want to consider the Donuts and Gravy route. :wink:

My only other suggestion, given there is a demand, might be to commission the powers that be to add an optional super-Light-weight class. You could probably pick up some of the newly moving up Juniors that haven’t filled out yet and well as others of your like build. Just comes down to field sizes and keeping in fun.

I can’t make sense of the weights you listed for the classes. Either it’s in KG or you run the lightest karts in the world. Doesn’t matter either way for our discussion I suppose.

I’m 5’11” and weigh 190lbs. The only way that you and I could compete fairly is if I cut off my legs to remove 50lbs or if you add 50lbs of lead to your kart. I think the adding of weight is a more reasonable option.

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Lead sucks. That being said, I do rental racing these days which isnt weight adjusted.
It kind of stinks being 165 vs 120 for the lads. Lead is a hassle but worth it.

When I ran Komet Senior Light, weight was 320 lbs. Good times. Yamaha Pipe ran a medium weight of 340, and the heavy class was 360.

Junior ICA was 305, which was awesome. And before my time weights were even lighter. Now with starters, batteries, water cooling, extra bodywork etc. karts have gotten pretty inflated. And weights here were never as low as they were in Europe.

Unfortunately for us little guys, we are the minority.

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I’m not in perfect shape by any means, but at 6 foot tall I’d have to be a twig to make some of the weights. If I was at my high school weight of 155 I’d be fine, but I am an average 185 now. I was a solid 15lbs over weight in Rok shifter at Rok the Rio last year. 🤷

I am guessing this has a lot to do with age. Probably not too many older folks in shifter, so lower overall weight since the drivers are fitter/younger?

However LO206 is “friendly” to all ages and budgets and is often the “starter” type engine. So much broader adoption? Therefore the wider weight class range?

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The worst part about being light is lifting your kart. my kart weighs 225 without me in it. Im pretty much a skeleton but at 16 I have to lift my kart. I have also experienced some cracking issues on the seat where some the lead is mounted.

Are these the weights for the driver? why dont they do total weight?

I’m 5’11” 160lbs and 30yrs old now. If I wanted to run TaG Masters I’d have to meet weight at 395-405 (depending on series) which means adding ~40-50lbs of lead to the kart. I’ve been sticking with senior just for the sake of not having to lift a ridiculously heavy kart all day. That, and the competition in senior around me is a lot more fierce, so it’s a lot more of a challenge.

Hey! Don’t forget about fuel. 2 stroke burns through it a bit faster, but for 206, topping off the tank before you final could equal around 5 pounds or so at the end of the race. Plus, being at the waist of the kart, I would imagine it would not affect jacking as much as it would hanging off your seat.

Cars have always used fuel as a means of tipping the scales to make weight.

Mid 1980s in UK min.weight was132kg. 291lb. Senior Britain and National classes.
1cwt. lighter than Greg Fs ’ modern’ kart!
100cc aircooled rotary valve engines from Parilla, Komet, Yamaha rotary, Hewland, TKM, Dap,et al.
Direct drive ,no clutch ,push start and restart.
No bodywork except maybe a ‘Nassau panel’ .Type 000?

@OTKDriver

I hate it as well. I have about 30 pounds on you, but I still have to stack my 206 with lead. :man_shrugging:t2:

It sucks, but I gave up arguing because the only discussion I can get is “It’s to be inclusive, you can add weight, they can’t take it off…”

But, I mean, they CAN take it off. :flushed:

It’s easy to say they can take it off, but the realism is that most of karting is filled with working class individuals with families. Sometimes finding time to work out or whatever to drop weight can be difficult, especially if you work rotating shift work like myself. I’m not exactly heavy at 185, but I’ve come in overweight more than once.

Another thing many don’t consider is weight of the actual kart, you’d be surprised how much variance there is in weight of rollers. I bought and tried a TrackKart a few years ago and that thing was a featherweight, probably 20-30lbs lighter than another chassis I’d used. No idea where the weight savings was, but it was light. I had to add a fair amount of lead to that one, but didn’t mind.

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Apologies Chris, I just saw that. I amended the post to show the correct weights (replaced the 1 with a 3)

That’s one thing I like about the VKA, my kart doesnt need lead so is nice and easy to pick up!

Hey Ricky, you probably don’t remember me but I raced 206 at TCKC in 2016/17, hope you are doing well. Yes you make good points, I believe the track kart is for starters thin wall tubing for the chassis but I haven’t verified that myself.

I agree with you Matthew, I know it’s a losing battle sadly. I guess I’m just extremely light.

I remember them, in fact I still have my early 90s TKM! Direct drive screaming beast

My bad, total weight. Change the 1 for a 3