-Aircraft Mechanic dad
-13 year old son driver
-2015 X30 OTK FA Kart (great shape)
-New to the forum
As noted above, seeking insight on if his kart needs to be updated to all the post-2021 goodies? It has the old style exhaust and key start. He wants to race SKUSA. I’ll consider any advice you have! Let’s hear it. Also his kart weighs 242# with him in it. How do I add so much weight for him to run? I believe 320# is the race weight.
Welcome. Has he driven at all? For a newbie that kart will be just fine, no need to upgrade anything. Until he has a good level of experience he won’t feel the difference anyway. Though you will need to check the rulebook of wherever you’re racing to see what the requirements are for your engine. Most series would probably require updated engine bits per the latest regulations but some clubs or local series might be more lenient.
First note would be that SKUSA is a west coast based organization, though the Pro Tour and Winter Series take place east of the Mississippi these days. Jumping into SKUSA as a rookie isn’t advisable, as it’s one of the most high level series in the country. They may not even grant you a license as a rookie. And big races like that generally have a big field, so just making the final can be a big challenge. No fun to spend thousands of dollars and not get to race the final.
You’ll need to buy/make lead weights to mount on the kart. I would recommend going through this process with your local kart shop to make sure the weight balance of the kart is properly set for your driver. Weight distribution is a huge consideration in karting. With 80 lbs to add, you’re going to find it difficult to place all that weight, but it’s do able.
Lots of places to race here but you’re probably going to want to find the closest track and start checking out their local races.
Motorsports Country Club in Cincinnati might be the closest spot to you.
Have you been to a race yet or visited your local kart shops? Karting is very regional so it’s important to get the lay of the land so you know where you’ll be buying parts and getting kart assistance from, as well as what brands and classes are supported in your area.
A quick answer to one of your questions: Australia runs the X30 in Junior spec as a entry-level class for seniors, and I’ve been in this class for years now.
I’ve watched the engine go through multiple upgrades from the two-piece exhaust to the newer single-piece exhaust, and then newer electronics.
In short, as I’ve been told by an experienced engine builder down here, and personally witnessed: run the engine up to date as possible, with the largest restrictor opening legally allowed to be properly competitive.
But as TJ might have alluded to, you will be fine up to a point, and then when you reach that plateau - find a current spec engine and jump on it, the X30 is too expensive to upgrade in stages.
Correct that MCC no longer runs x30 classes during their pro-am weekends. New Castle Motorsports Park (NCMP) will be the closest to run x30, but not sure of their field sizes for club events.
I’d consider selling the x30 and starting with a KA100 package. It’ll be slightly slower speeds which can help the learning curve, but will be plenty fast that there will most certainly be a learning curve. More importantly, you can go pretty much anywhere in the country at this point and find a field of KA juniors to race against.
I agree with Chris here. So I think you guys skipped a couple steps on your entry to the sport, but that’s okay because getting into karting can be confusing thing to do. KA is a great class because it provides a cheaper engine package than X30, is more popular, and has a huge spread of talent from newer drivers to very experienced drivers.
Generally before you buy anything, you want to make sure you will be able to get parts and support and have a place to race. As I said, karting is very regional, so you need to see what classes are offered at your local tracks first before buying something you can’t race anywhere. Fortunately Comet are good people and they’ve put you in something that’s reasonably standard across the country, but if you had stumbled into a less-honest deal with someone else, you may have gotten sold something not race-able anywhere.
Anyway, I would recommend going to New Castle or MCC for one of their club race weekends and just walking around and getting a feel for it before just jumping into a race right away. There is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming at first. It’s nice to walk the pits, chat with people, and see how a raceday is run first before you dive into it headfirst with no experience. And of course, plenty of practice before you start racing.
Also… (shameless plug) My brother (@Bokeno_Racing ) and I are hosting an “Intro to karting” seminar this Saturday at the OVKA swap meet in Wilmington, Ohio. We’ll cover a high-level overview of the basics to get into karting such as classes, tools, safety gear, race day format, etc.
Also, if you think you already have the basics covered, the swap meet is a good place to find new or gently used equipment you’ll need for the upcoming season.
I second the suggestion that you come out to the OVKA Swap Meet in Wilmington, OH this weekend. There will be a TON of parts and supplies available, as well as our Intro Karting Seminar and other performance seminars.
I third the suggestion to attend the OVKA Swap Meet! The seminars are worthwhile and you’ll get a sense of what’s out there in the karting world wandering around. It’s big enough that it can be a little intimidating. With guidance, you might be able to find some lead - make sure it’ll work on your kart. You’ll also find that there is a large dirt/pavement oval contingent there so you’ll have to filter out the vendors selling oval specific stuff.