Getting started in Karting - Atlanta

An engine that’s a full second off would be an outlier IME. I’ve seen people literally bolt one on out of the box and finish top 3 in top levels of competition.

That price is for a new engine? If it is, that price probably doesn’t include exhaust, engine mount, chain guard and clutch which is probably going to run you $300 - $500 depending on how fancy you want to get with the mount.

If that’s a price that includes the accessories listed above then that seems like a good way to go. Blueprinting (With the 206 it’s more of an additional QC really) is good for piece of mind and developing a relationship with a builder. But it’s by no means required.

You can be sure lots of people will tell you otherwise though :smiley:


Plenty of good advice here. Find you an affordable used package and start pounding out practice laps. This winter get it refreshed by any reputable shop and you will be ready to go!


I know we all like the idea of being self sufficient but having a good builder can make your racing journey much more pleasant.

When I ran with Kartworkz and had Jerry on speed dial, our relationship allowed me to focus on racing and having fun.

When I went solo and tried to race on the cheap, I regretted it big time. I was sold a kart but then it was my problem to figure out and there was zero post sale support. It, sucked so bad I gave the kart to a young driver and walked away.

I see the relationship with someone like Derek and Ghost kinda analogous to my relationship with Jerry. It was personal and I came to trust him and his recommendations implicitly. He helped me maximize not only my results but most importantly my time on track and my enjoyment of the whole process.

Take a look at some of Derek’s responses to questions here as a for example. He knows what’s up and appears to be uncompromised and honest, generous with his wisdom and time, humble but accomplished.

Personally I’d pay 2x the cost of the stock engine to have his help getting it ready, knowing he’d be there for me when I’d need his help, which I would, sooner rather than later.

There are probably some sketchy guys out there and as James points out, some dudes will make dubious claims in order to close the sale. Ignore all that nonsense.

You are looking for a partner of sorts, when you choose a builder or tent program. That’s a relationship, not a transaction.

It’s not a requirement and you can run a box stock engine. But, I am confident that a good engine builder would add more value than is immediately apparent.

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I’ve been told it’s including everything. I’ll double check next time I go to the shop. I’ll probably buy a new out of box engine, see where I’m at, run it for a while and have it built/checked. Thanks for the help


TBH coming from cars, the cost for karting is very reasonable. Unless for the purpose of learning and having fun, I’d have no problem paying professionals to do it… Thanks for the detailed instructions.

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Buying a box stock one and running it in is a perfectly good answer. My only watchout is make sure you do a good break in (which is hard to do on track). With a sealed bottom end and a very tight cylinder/ring package, proper break in is one of the very few ways you can actually make sure your engine performs well.

There was a video posted here recently comparing the tilly to the lo206 and had a bunch of dirt fellas discussing it. One of the fellows seemed to be a very accomplished racer and builder and have some detailed instructions on his break-in procedure which he also said was pretty critical to ensuring the engine is good.

I believe he had articulated 3-4 steps. Something along the lines of run it at x% for y minutes on the stand. Then change oil. Then run it at 25% on the track for some period of time, again, drain oil. Then whang it.

Does anyone recall that vid?

I think you have a good plan. Excited to see how it goes for you, esp with the experience from cars. AMP looks like a killer track too.

Often I find folks that say karting is expensive…. But they have not run other forms of motorsport yet :joy:

Do you have an article you can share about break in? Opinions always vary of course, but if you have a reference for the OP that would be great.

AMP is a really fun track and they have a shop, so it would be easy to start there

Its a fair question and I truly dont. We break in 100% of our engines on the dyno per a test plan we found works best for us. My advice would be to not prolong your light load periods and to change the oil often during the first few sessions.

Here we go…

More updates. I bought an out-of-box engine, all accessories(chain, sprocket, motor mount etc), and a set of wheel and tire from the AMP kart shop. Quite a bit more expensive than I anticipated ($2400). Still need a kart stand and I can start putting everything together. Thanks for the video on break in. The mechanic at the kart shop told me he runs 10min on idle, cooldown, 2min on idle, 8min elevated rev idle, then stop and oil change. Then 70% max throttle on track, then full out on track, then another oil change to regular oil. I’ve seen some other instructions online also, seems everyone do it a bit differently. Do I need to check valve clearance etc after break in ?

Also bought some gloves and a kart suit. Will need to buy neck support, rib protector, and maybe some knee’eelbow pads. For the rib protector my local vendor has OMP and stilo, but not bengio, probably need to buy online.

Still need to figure out transport, planning to buy a small utility trailer. WIll probably tow it behind my girlfriend’s SUV. One potential problem is space. I have a 22’ two car garage and I intend to park 2 cars in it regularly. I can fit the kart in front of a car, but not sure where to put the trailer. I’ve seen some foldable trailer that can be stored upright. Any idea on this?

Final thing, data acquicision. I see many people use Mychron. I already have an Aim Solo, Apex Pro, and I have some hardware/analysis software I made myself. I’m more inclined to use what I have for now and build a custom system myself. What do kart data acquicision typically have? I’m guessing rpm, steering angle, brake pressure, lateral/longitudinal acceleration, then a 20Hz GPS. Maybe add a synced video?

Attaching some pictures of the kart. The seller gave me 3 rears by accident.


Most data analysis for karting boils down to GPS speed, RPM, engine temp, and lat/long Gs. Brake pressure sensors and steering angle sensors aren’t that useful for the cost, and you can see all that stuff with accel/decel Gs and a speed trace anyway.

But don’t over-think the data too much at this point.


Hey I’m a new guy who just joined AMP. Hope to see you there. I’m just practicing and trying to get my lap times on pace for now, but will enter some club races at some point in the future.

I agree with you, but as a coach do you think that steering angle can assist with chassis tuning?

For example:
Corner entry… if you see steering angle start to turn, but no lat-G → Understeer
Corner exit… if you see counter steering → Oversteer

I totally agree that the driver input is the 80%, but I’m curious on your feedback on this. (Having custom channels to catch Loose & Push behavior)

Sure, it could totally do that. Or you could look at the tire wear and see if it shows understeer.

The data can do all kinds of awesome stuff, but my main point is that there are other ways to get that data for free without buying sensors and plugging into a laptop. I can tell you if your kart is understeering 10 seconds after you get off track just by looking at the tire wear, whereas if you were to identify it with data only, you’d have to push back to the pits, download the data, make sure your overlays line up, and then study your traces before you come to a conclusion.

You can also visually just see oversteer by watching the driver’s hands from the grid.

I get your point!
This is going really off topic, but I’m very interested to seeing a tire pattern that understeers. Care to share such a pic? Maybe in the tire reading thread?