Hello, im a long time motorcycle rider and racer. Ive ridden dirt, MX, street, roadrace etc. Im also a certified factory tech for KTM, Ducati and Triumph. Due to yet another knee injury im thinking of trying kart racing. I’m partial to 85 or 125 strokers. Id be looking for an affordable complete kart. Doesnt have to be the fastest thing. This is just something to have fun with as i get older. ( by the way, none of my injuries have anything to do with motorcycles)
Anyway I’m looking forward to your advice and guidance.
Topics similar this have been posted several times over so if you don’t get a lot of response you may want to search too.
SO, my first question is how does your knee injury cause you to consider karting? Next would be where are you located and are you aware of a kart track nearby? With your history were you thinking shifter kart?
If you have a kart track nearby and just want some track time I would start there. Your local track may have karts to try, may have karts for sale or know of people selling. While a kart can be shipped anywhere buying something in your area would be a logical way to get in.
The 2-strokes like ka100, rotax and x30 are really fun bit cost more to run than 4 strokes and use more tires. All of them are fun, though!
I guess it boils down to budget, what’s most commonly run in your area, and health. I’m sure it’s the same in bikes but the higher hp 2-strokes get quite demanding, physically. If you are in decent shape, it wouldn’t be too hard, however. Shifter we don’t usually recommend for new racers because that gets quite demanding physically (wallet, too).
If I had to make a recommendation for a new guy who has background, is in decent shape, doesn’t want to spend big $ but wants a high revving, quick engine, consider the 100cc class. Ka100 and in some places KPV.
But the most important is field. A well populated class is best, even if it’s not your ideal engine package. See what’s around you series wise and what’s most commonly run. If you want, let us know where you are at and we can direct you to someone who can help answer questions/find gear etc.
Well i broke my tibia in 2021 and last Sunday my femur. Partly due to the previous injury. None of my injuries had anything to do with riding. In fact Sundays fall i was walking my dogs. My left knee, even before this had a limited range of motion and i resorted to using a thumb shifter. Im just tired of these surgeries and recoveries. As for a track, im lucky that i live 20 miles from a really nice kart track in Redding and have already started taking the steps to join the Shasta Kart Club. Ive actually ridden the track on my KTM SM
I’m 65 and i dont feel like hurting myself again. I understand it’s still possible with karts but the knees are less at risk. I guess im just not ready to give up and sit on the porch.
As for type, i like the power and ease of maintenance of 2 strokes and would probably prefer a shifter.
Thanks for reaching out to me.
I’d love more information on the KA100 and KPV. I dont need the fastest thing and really dont care about winning races. This is more about having fun. Budget will for sure be a factor. I dont have unlimited money.
Check out your local track and see what’s offered for classes there. Karting is very regional in terms of what is supported.
The best advice to newbies is to find a local shop who can sell you karts, parts, and offer some support on tuning your kart and guiding you into the sport a bit.
Dom’s advice is good. The KA package is a great middle ground. Fast enough to be challenging and exciting, but reliable, bulletproof, and well-supported around the country. But yes, make sure you have a class to run with at your local tracks. The best engine package in the world is no fun racing with two or three guys.
It’s pretty much universally recommended to not start in a shifter as a newbie. They can be really physically demanding and you maybe end up trading your knee injuries for rib injuries and a sore neck. Plus consumables end up being more expensive and entry numbers are sporadic throughout the country. I’d recommend starting in something like KA to get your feet wet and if you can handle it easily, you can always trade up to something faster if you want.
If you’re comfortable rebuilding 85s and 125, rebuilding your own KA100 or X30 engine will come naturally to you.
Kart tracks are sized so that 22 hp is enjoyable and a 43 hp 125 shifter is a missile with wheels. Lots of people jump into the sport by buying a shifter and scaring themselves silly on practice days, keep complaining about the kids with 60cc miinis passing them all the time, and stick around for a year or two until they break something significant.
I may not be unbiased, as I have a kart with a KA100 for sale in Southern California, but I recommend buying a kart with a 100cc reed-valve electric-start engine. Either an IAME KA100 or a Vortex VLR100 will do, just make sure it’s what the other drivers at your local track have. Five ounces of your preferred 2-stroke oil per gallon of avgas, check the chain tension every session, air in the tires, and keep the pointy end forward and the rubber side down!
Thanks everyone. Great information. Im not buying anything before meeting with the club and seeing what the local racers say. Ive never heard of the KA before, is there anyplace online that i can check out to learn ? Pictures ? Specs ?
Im very comfortable overhauling a 2 stroke, or 4 stroke for that matter.
Our local track is large with a variety of lay outs. They host professional Supermoto races there.
I think the limiting factror wil be budget. I aint rich.
Well i have to sell a couple motorcycles first. ( Anyone interested in a decent 1983 Suzuki GS750E ? Its the beautiful maroon one)
Another question- im 6’3". Do i need a special chassis or can the controls be modified ?
The kart in the picture is beautiful