Getting My 5 Year old started and need some help

Where are you located?

Bay Area California

What age bracket are you in? Junior (<16), Senior (16+) or Masters (30+)

Baby, Bambino, Micro (5 Year Olds)

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?

8-9 Have wrenched on cars my whole life

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

So my son and his buddy have done one training class with Lisa of Race Karts Inc. It was a great class and he absolutely loved it and Lisa and her team were amazing!
I personally have done multiple 24 hours of LEMONS races and my teams best finish ever was second in our class.

What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started.

So I have found a Kart (Honda GHX50) which is one item checked off the list. I have read the proffered tools posts and have most of the staff covered less the chain break and tire dismount equipment. I am thinking I really shouldn’t need those items for the first couple of months at least. At this point finding the safety equipment for my kid. Seeing as this is an experiment I am trying to buy second hand to minimize up front cost to see if this is a long term passion of his.

So far I need the following for two kids.
Suit: SFI 3.2 required or normal abrasion resistant ok? I have been seeing both listed but not sure which is critical at 5 years old.
Helmets: Is snell rating ok are do i need to look for something else?
Chest Protector: What do you guys recommend?
Neck Brace: Same as suit I see fire retardant and non fire retardant.

Any other pro tips would be very welcome.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. The karting community is amazing. Everyone I have talked to so far has gone above and beyond providing information and feedback. This community is truly amazing and I appreciate all of you so far.


Suit: kart suits are like bike suits, abrasion resistance not fire resistance. Since they are little and will grow like weeds, I’d recommend going low end and getting a simple k1 suit if those are made in kid sizes. They are inexpensive.

Snell rating is ideal for helmet.

Chest protector: I ran my son junior so not required but I hear armadillo is real popular.

Neck brace: the standard donut is fine. Some folks like the more elaborate ones like the Leatt and similar.

Shoes: anything goes, sneaks fine. Commonly see Sambas (thin soles).

Suits are rated CIK level 1 & level 2. A 1 is thinner/lighter-weight material than a level 2 and slightly less protective. Common material is Corura.

Helmet must be Snell Certified Child under age of 16. CMR/CMS both acceptable, but 2007 rating expired last year. Most current is CMR/CMS 2016.

Chest Protection and Neck Collars are mandatory for Kid Karts.

So are Gloves and Shoes, but no real spec to speak of as far as construction/materials. Would recommend leather shoes and maybe some karting specific gloves for comfort and grip. (it will keep their hands from getting too tired)

I would also suggest a Rib Vest, as this could prevent painful injury if they get bumped around. Some manufacturers combine rib and chest protection into a single piece of equipment. As Dom mentioned above, Armadillo has such.

Always check the local Track’s Rulebook for any specified equipment requirements. Additionally, many Tracks/Clubs have forums pages were members post ForSale/WTB items. Nice thing about Youth Gear is that they grow out of stuff so quickly that you can usually find 2nd/3rd hand gear in good condition. Also check with the local racers, as they may have a line on used gear.

These are the two most common Rule Sets tracks go by: (see page 375)

Yeah. To Greg’s point, ask the teams at the track about used gear for the kiddos.

Thank you so much everyone!

For helmets, definitely try to find Snell CMS 2016 rated helmets if you can. The CMS cert requires the shell size to be smaller and the overall weight lighter than standard Snell helmets. This can be really important when you’ve got a younger driver with less neck strength.

Most orgs will require a chest plate protection for younger drivers which is why the Armadillo is very popular because it’s both a rib protector and chest plate in one device.

Also agree with finding used suits, gloves, chest protector, and rib vest when possible because kids grow so fast. I’d recommend buying helmets new unless you have very good knowledge how it was used in the past. Just a good drop off the kart stand can greatly reduce the effectiveness of a helmet.

Agree with Greg check your local track or series organisers regarding event format and requirements.

I work with the Rotax series bambinos with CRG Middle East (part of my IAME CRG race fées deal), whilst the series organisers are super strict with the competitive classes, Bambino is recognized as entry level. They don’t expect the latest and greatest from the parents whilst not compromising safety. Bambinos don’t race as such, it’s a time trial event for them, so they’re not at the same wheel to wheel racing risk level.

Had to laugh at one parent at the end of last year though, all his comments about it just being for fun to see if he likes it, not serious etc then he’s offering his boys kart for sale (kid’s old enough to move to micro) - hollow axles, ceramic bearings, the whole go faster nine yards :rofl::rofl:

Thanks for the advice everyone. We are ripping in parking lot right now!

Cutest 5 Year old future stig I have ever seen. Mind you he iss 44" and 40 pounds lol.
His Safety gear weighs half what he does.