Chassis Brands and Their Inherent "Feel"

It’s chassis shopping time… I realize this question is extremely subjective and will be mostly opinion based, but how would you descibe the basic handling charateristics of the major chassis brands? I.e., front/rear positive, heavy/light wheel, easy/hard to setup, forgiving or edgy; you get the idea…

Quick backstory, I am running an old 2018 Eagle in 206 Masters mostly at NCMP. I think I am to the point driving wise that I could benefit from something new or different. The more my driving progresses, the more i just don’t think I like how it drives; the front end feels numb and the wheel really heavy (I’ll make another post with some more questions about that), so I think I would like something a little nosier.

I would really like to hear any opinions or anecdotes… Thanks!

I believe with OTK simply put. A lot of front end. Very easy to tune and setup. Baseline is great.


You’ll certainly get plenty, however (and you seem cognizant of this) they are very subjective. Different seat position, caster, seat, seat brackets etc etc have huge influence on the feel. Especially the seat too far forward can make the steering very heavy… or not depending on the weight of the driver.

Maybe you’re just ready for something new, which I totally understand. Having said that, have you exhausted your tuning options with it? Verified that it’s straight and the corner weights are correct etc. As far as I know, the Eagle is very well regarded.

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I have driven a lot of karts in the past few years and most of them feel fairly similar, if they are set up correctly. The differences can be subtle.


BirelART AM29

I’m biased and we’re a dealer, but the chassis is very front end responsive and super light on the steering feel.

We’re down the road in Whiteland. Summer Sale now. $3600 until the end of the month. :grin:


Those pesky birels are super quick! The Stehle guys always giving us a run for our money!


Otk super front end grip and very pleasant baseline to start from . Very easy to find parts also . But the brand thats near your base so you can get tech help is also an important issue

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There is no best chassis.

Modern chassis these days are very similar, all could be setup either way

Go for the brand that is closest to you for the best support and parts availability. And of course if it suits your choice of color and design


I think I could have phrased my question better. I guess I am looking for generalities as much as anything. Kind of like X chassis is “known” for Y type of thing. There is a lot of expierience lurking around here and I enjoy hearing the different opinions about stuff like this.

The Eagle is a great chassis, with great support and has done me well as I’m relearning everything. I’m pretty anal about my setup and scale numbers and I’ve tried many changes with mixed results. My kart is 7 years old and had a rough life though. Even since I’ve had it, it’s lost some of that “crispness” I can’t seem to get back. I have also never had a brand new kart and wonder if there is something that might suit me better if I’m going to spend the money.

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I agree there is no best chassis, but there might be a better chassis for me… Maybe?

I understand most modern chassis are similar, but I don’t have many data points to recognize the similarities or differences. As odd as it sounds, I have never raced anything other than Comet chassis. When I was young I ran my dad’s hand me down Mach 1’s and EXP’s and when I got back in a couple years ago I picked up a couple used Eagles. I’ve never driven anything Italian or even anything with a 50mm axle…

As far as parts and support, I’m pretty fortunate. I live less than 45 minutes from Comet, NCMP and Whiteland, so I can pretty much pick whatever flavor I want and go with it.

Rumor is that OTK and MGM brands tend to be very on-the-nose. The one MGM I drove certainly fit that description. My Praga and both my and my friend’s CRG were far more neutral. The Praga more so than the CRG, to the point of being difficult to get to turn when it was cold or low grip. A lot of that was exacerbated by setup, so I was able to eventually get it to wake up in the cold as well as hot, but it always tended more towards understeer than oversteer.

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The differences is very subtle. Any big brands is good enough, and you can certainly setup whatever chassis you choose to your liking.

Strong front or rear or the other way round.

I’ve been karting for 19 years and driven multiple chassis, every chassis does the job equally good. You should invest more in knowledge than trying to choose the “best” chassis.

Sure, different chassis has different tuning windows. In my experience the otk has the widest without doing any bigger changes to it

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Thanks Caleb! That’s the kind of info I am looking for!

100% This is the way.


You can make an OTK feel more rear biased or make a CRG be front-end heavy with setup. Hell, you could just move the seat forward or backward from the recommended spot on any kart and completely change the feel of the kart.

Certainly some karts work a little differently than others. For example, the Kart Republic or BestKart both function without a front bar and the OTK functions almost solely with the front bar. This means the OTK has heavier steering out of the box. But after moving my tie-rods down on my BestKart for faster steering rate, it is now HEAVIER than the OTK steering and it doesn’t have a front torsion bar. Lots of things affect the “feel” of a kart.

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Disclaimer: All my experience is in low hp stuff as a giant human crossing the scales at 375-390 lbs, so my views are from that experience

@dodo Was that MGM 25/50 or 17/40? MGM is VERY similar to an eagle and definitely has the flat front feel.

@C-Hogue070 Eagle and MGM are the ones i would stay away from if I was looking for more front end feel. Ironically, those are my two favorites, but its more of a fit to my driving and tuning style than anything.

OTK and Birel tend to be very responsive front ends with good baselines, but both lack that rear end free-ness that I require. The only other karts I have experience with are the Margays. I would classify them as a very “snug” kart that is hard to make work with modern sticky tires (although, like every generality, there are people who can make them work).

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I still think there is an inherent “feel” to a kart and how it tunes. For example, the OTK stuff tunes stiffer for “freeness” and the Eagle tunes softer. There is nothing you can do to get an Eagle to lift and rotate like an OTK. You have to tune it flat (see other threads where TJ does an excellent job explaining those tuning styles). I think its ok to ask about which karts feel which ways. Or maybe it would be better to ask which karts tune which ways? Definitely would go into the decision process when picking a chassis for “less experienced” folks.

That’s not “feel” though, that’s tuning methodology. Or at least what I understand “feel” as. But otherwise, fair point. I think maybe it’s not quite apples-to-apples to compare the Eagle to the OTK, because the Eagle, as I understand, is designed for 206 racing. Maybe I’m wrong. And of course, my knowledge is in Euro karts mostly. For me the OTK, Birel, CompKart, and KR all felt pretty similar when they were setup correctly. Lots of front end, good tuning window.

The “tuning window” thing is what most brands are focused on these days. Since the design or layout of the actual tubes have converged somewhat, factories are looking at components, heat treatment, material alloys, tubing size combinations etc. to help the kart be more versatile in a variety of conditions and have ample room to tune when the track conditions change. This is where OTK has gotten it right for many years; that kart has always had one of the widest tuning windows. You pull it out of the box, set everything medium/neutral, and it should be fairly close. But more and more karts are able to do that these days.

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I only have experience with OTK and then recently bought a GFC and I would personally say the OTK had a very wide tuning window and was fast out of the box at baseline, was pretty responsive to very minor tuning changes, and the front end felt very responsive, the brakes were awesome but I didn’t love the way they had to be bled and there were a few annoying things in the design, like the way the shifter attached at the bottom just perpetually would come loose and never felt good to me and I had a few other minor niggles, it also bent pretty easy (shifter chassis),

After about ten races I would find it was off when I would laser it even if it was straight before just from basic driving and racing even without much contact. So this time I went with a GFC shifter chassis and it is hard to describe but the GFC just feels “easier” to drive, the steering wheel I believe is larger and the front end geometry is different so it takes noticeably less muscle/effort to drive and turn the wheel than my OTK and the way the shifter feels is much better.

The OTK was great and any kart can go fast but my next chassis will for sure be a GFC. In a pretty competitive group I qualified pole in my second race ever in the GFC and was within 5 hundredths of setting fastest lap of the day at last weekend race despite me being mid 40s and only started racing karts three seasons ago vs the fastest drivers who are more like 18-19 years old and racing since diapers. My next chassis will for sure be a GFC. I can see why they win so much or are often up front in shifters.

There is only one answer : tecno