Glossary of Terms and Jargon Used in Karting

Lots of different terms are used in karting, many are specific to the sport but practically none are documented in a single space.

So, let fix that!.

This is a wiki topic, add some terms that come to mind and we’ll credit you in the contributors section.

Also, If have a term you’d like explained, just reply to the topic and we’ll work to get it added.

  • Bin It: To destroy your kart, accident yourself - Bring your kart home “in a bin.”

  • Case: The crankcase or “block” portion of a 2 stroke engine.

  • Cassette: AKA bearing cassette or bearing hanger.

  • Direct Drive: Essentially it means single gear kart, but has spawned two meanings.

    The first type (by far the most common) is equipped with an automatic, centrifugal clutch that operates like a mopeds.

    This is the kind of setup you’ll find on everything from rentals, Briggs 206 and TAG.
    The second type simply has no clutch at all. The motor and rear axle are permanently connected. These karts are started by pushing.

  • Expansion Chamber: The section of a 2-stroke exhaust system designed to capture the and time the travel of expanded gases past the divergent cone (the “balloon” part of the pipe.)

  • Fat: When the carburetor mixture (Jetting) is rich. Typically this is a “safer” setup.

  • Flat Kart: Used mostly to designate a non cage, dirt oval kart.

  • Graining: Describes the appearance of a tire that looks somewhat like sandpaper. Occurs usually when the tire has been operated just outside it’s ideal range.

  • Hot Shoe: A frequent race winner

  • Jug: The body portion of a 2 stroke engine, which includes the cylinder.

  • Pipe: The exhaust of a 2 stroke engine. May also be referred to (incorrectly) as “expansion chamber” and (correctly) as “tuned pipe.”

  • Laydown Enduro Kart: A kart set up for a long track (Over 1.2mi) and races for at least 30 Minutes. The driver lays down in a horizontal position, hence the name.

  • Shifter Kart: A kart with a gearbox. Most commonly comes in 80cc or 125cc two stroke configuration with six gears and hand operated clutch used for launch only.

  • Stuck It \ Stick it: Usually used by two stroke racers to describe what happens when you run to lean and the piston sticks and usually seizes the engine.

  • Tater Digger: Derogatory term used to describe a four stroke motor in a karting application. Maybe don’t use this one.

  • Tow: Another term for “drafting.”


Thanks to:

Flat Kart : used mostly to designate a non cage dirt oval Kart

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More Terms from a old timer. Hot Shoe a frequent race winner ie; Randy Fulks Stuck It , a piston melt down from too lean of a carb in a 2 stroke. Tater Digger’ ANY 4 stroke engine. Enduro Kart. any kart set up for a long track that races for at least 30 Minutes usually a Lay Down Kart. Wrench; Anyone that knows how to work on a kart.

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Gripped up, Binding and Free would be good terms - just above my pay grade to explain properly.

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Here’s a few more “pull” To keep up with a kart in front of you. ie; I was able to pull him down the straight. Straight"A long straigt section of a track. Bottom End, Mid-Range, Top End. Different power bands of your motor or the places your motor has or lacks power. ie: I’m fast on the bottom but slow on the top. Low end setting, The smaller jets on a carburattor. Top end setting, The big jet. ie; I’m too rich on the low end and too lean on top or vice-versa. I’m not good with words but us karters do have our own lingo.

May I suggest some changes? Direct drive = no clutch. 2 cycle exhaust = expansion chamber is a legitimate reference to the “tuned” exhaust on a two-stroke. “Pipe” is a vague reference and can refer to the expansion chamber on a two-stroke or the exhaust pipe on a 4 stroke.