What age bracket are you in? Junior (<16), Senior (16+) or Masters (30+)
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?
Talk a little about your racing experience so far.
I have several years experience in a few open-wheel classes and in endurance racing. I’ve tried karting twice. They belonged to a teammate who used them for cross-training and I got the chance to try them.
What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started.
Deciding between LO206 and TaG X30, the logistics of kart racing and finding clubs/teams for newcomers. For the first time in my life I do not have a tow vehicle or one that could fit a kart inside the cabin, which means I need to find kart storage/transport or invest in a small pup trailer as well as a kart. If such a thing is possible, awesome.
The North Florida Kart Club is about 45 minutes away and I’ve watched a few races but didn’t really talk to anyone. I don’t know if there are clubs or teams that would welcome a newcomer to karting (not new to racing). I know the best thing I can do is learn from more experienced karters but I am a recent transplant to FL and don’t know anyone here, let alone in the karting community.
Thank you for any and all insights the group can lend.
Money and fitness. How’s your health and weight? If you are a sporty guy in good shape, 2-stroke is exciting (albeit expensive) fun. 4 is less fast, less acceleration, but a lot more cost efficient.
Finding a kart will be easy once we find you a team to talk to. Also, talking with the team people about your experience level and history will probably be helpful in assessing wether you should go to tag or not.
Transport: one thing you hadn’t considered is your team (should you choose to tent) can also do kart storage and hauling for you. Again, at a cost.
Even with your experience I’d lean towards 206. Yes, it’s slower… it’s also lower maintenance, requires less knowledge and demands less of your time to keep running at it’s best. This frees up your time to understand chassis setup, reviewing data\videos and the other things you’ll be learning along the way.
If you have two stroke engine experience, you could lean more towards x30, but really 206 is so (comparatively) hassle free it’s just a great way to get started.
A team isn’t totally necessary. It helps alleviate the logistics and storage, but it costs money and when you first start, the benefits the team brings are less important, as your main concern will be having spare parts and getting some advice on maintenance etc.
But it IS important to find a local shop (most shops operate some trackside team as well) that can provide you with parts and service. They will have a presence at most races and yeah, you can just go chat and ask questions and figure out what brands are supported in your local scene.
Basically a team is a fun name for a karting business that takes clients racing.
The teams are usually the folks with the big trailer, a huge tent with a bunch of karts under it. They run a business wherein they assist racers get through the race weekend, from soup to nuts. They typically have large quantities of parts on hand and have mechanics. Bend an axle and they can whang on kart for you between heats and get you back out.
To find a team it would be best to have referall from folks who use team services. That’s why I tossed out the name of Urace having had a couple pals speak highly of their services.
I am hoping that in this thread, someone local with experience will say “go talk to x team or guy”.
To TJs point, a team is not a necessity. It’s a luxury. A lot of folks operate out of the back of their pickup just fine. However, as a new guy, you probably could use easy mode for a bit.
103rd in Jacksonville has a healthy 206 group of karters. You’ll get plenty of help, advice and support from the local guys that run there. The beauty of it is it’s city owned and free to practice there as long as there’s no club race slated that weekend. If you can find a good used kart, which should be relatively easy to do here in north and central Florida and find a way to get it to the track, I think you’ll find the 206 community to be a fun low cost option to get into the sport. I run at Orlando Kart Center and started back in 206 last September after a very long hiatus from karting. The camaraderie, tips, help and support from the local guys has been nothing short of amazing. We try to help anyone out with whatever they need, whether it be advice, mechanics or lending tools or spare parts to get someone out on track with us. I haven’t been up to Jax yet but know several guys that run up there as well and it’s the same atmosphere I’m told. Good luck with whatever decision you make…I’m 57 and having an absolute blast. Oh, and I now have 3 LO206 karts…I wanted a second one to bring friends out there with me but keep finding deals I can’t pass up, lol.
I think your very lucky (if you go 206 masters) because North Florida Kart Club in JAX is the biggest and best run locals your going to find in Florida. I love running there since the Kenner family took over the club. The locals are an absolutely fantastic group. But dang they are very fast so the competition is pretty healthy. Which is a good thing IMHO. Great atmosphere overall.
Thanks to everyone whose responded so far, the insight has been very helpful. I’m going to start combing through listings for used 206 karts. I also need to check the JAX race schedule to see when the next race is just to go and see about arranging storage/transport until I can find a more permanent solution (aka get a vehicle that can tow). Any kart chassis manufacturers that you can universally recommend? I know that like asking for a favorite car company. Also, given it’s 2023, is there a year that I should not go older than? (assuming each year is a decent number of hours raced per season).
If your going used, find a kart where you can find support (parts) locally. At Jax there is alot of Coyote, MGM, Tony Kart. The track is city owned so they are not a kart dealer. Keep your eye peeled on FB Marketplace, and of course network with locals at the track. They often have inside info when something is for sale or about to come up for sale. I personally run TB Kart which their USA headquarters is in Florida. But most of the locals at Jax favor Coyote.
Definitely base your decision on condition vs age. From that standpoint almost anything from 2006 onwards (Plastic rear bumper) could be fine. Realistically you want to get the best you can for your budget of course and likely you’ll be looking much more recent than that.
Have you set upfront/purchase and ongoing budgets?
I dont know what used kart prices are like in Florida, but up here in Ontario that’s over priced. My son’s current kart is a 2021 Kosmic 4 cycle chassis, and was advertised with a built briggs for $3400 canadian, which is like $2600 USD. But like i said i dont know how used kart prices compare down there.
For just a Chassis, Engine and Mychron that is quite overpriced, especially considering it’s a 2015 chassis. The paint on the frame doesn’t look too bad, I wish the description was more In depth. Need to see pictures of the under of the chassis and detailed pictures of the seat struts to see the true condition. Overall I would pass on this one, if it was at least $700 cheaper I would consider it. The stand and kart do look very clean though but pictures can unfortunately be very different from what it looks like in real life.