Hello. New to Karting at 38

Hi, I tried real karting around 6 month ago. I practice once every 1-2 month.
Joining this forum to learn from the masters here and to share my experience.

Where are you located?

Jakarta, Indonesia

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

Masters (38), with no skill

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

Willingness 9, ability 4

Talk a little about your racing experience so far.

Never gone racing. Just practice for fun

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

For now, I’m just starting, so I need help in setting up the kart for ergonomic. I am short with height of only 160 cm

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Welcome! Your height isn’t abnormally large or small so you are probably in a good spot, kart-wise from a fitment perspective. What issues are you running into that we can help with?

You should be fine. I was 38 once. But only once.

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What’s the karting situation in Indonesia? Where do you kart and are there multiple tracks? Is there a race series?

Edit: looks like you have a bunch of facilities. This one looks like a cool rental kart place, the masonry is unusual to see at a track but sure is pretty:

But for 365 days. 366 if you were lucky!

I am short so I am not very comfortable with the steering wheel and pedal distance. I already asked the builder to move the seat forward more, but the builder is very reluctant to do that. The builder did move the seat forward, but not by much. The builder said the seat position is already more forward a bit much than it should be.

At this position, I can reach the pedal at the nearest position, but I thing the steering is still a bit to far for my comfort. I feel that its very tiring to steer because I feel that the steering wheel is too far.

I don’t really follow the karting situation in Indonesia, but as far as I know, there is only 1 track for the true fast go kart. The series is only for vortex rok engine without transmission. Most chassis here is intrepid or tonykart with only rear brake. The popular engine used to be rotax, but now the popular one is the vortex rok. Other popular build is kart with 2 stroke shifter (they use an engine and transmision from motorcycle) for engineering students’ project.

The other track in Indonesia is for very low power rental kart with narrow and tight tracks, although I heard that they are building 1 more track for fast kart. The one in your picture is in Bali. I don’t think you can enjoy that track with rotax or vortex engine. I tried playing the rental kart there, the kart condition is not very good, and the difference between kart is big. One of the karts steering is very bad, the engine performance also differs. And I heard the engine they use is a lawnmower engine.

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Moving the seat too far from the recommended settings can throw off the handling pretty drastically, so moving it a bit for comfort is fine but if you can keep it closer to the factory recommended settings that is helpful. Can you move the wheel closer to you with a longer steering shaft or a different setting on where the wheel is mounted?

There are pedal extenders, I believe. Also, like TJ said, there is some adjustability in the steering shaft. Has your kart person looked in that? Perhaps it could be angled down a bit or a longer steering shaft.

OTK pedal extenders

I think handling is not yet a problem for me. I am 8-10 seconds of the pace. On my best time I can be 8 seconds of the pace but my body just gave up from the g.

As for now the pedal is already ok. But the steering is a bit far.

Is it ok to put the steering column inverted like this?

Is this steering shaft angle to much?

Shouldn’t be an issue to run it like that. But at 8-10 sec off the pace, I do agree that moving the seat forward to get you comfortable enough to drive is more important than optimal handling at this point.

If you don’t have a rib protector, get one immediately. It saves old guys, should make the G’s less taxing.

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Welcome to the sport!

As long as the shaft is not binding at the bottom it should be fine. I have the opposite issue of the wheel being too low. It gets in the way of my knees. I have the steering block (1st pic) all the way up and the shaft just barely has enough clearance to rotate at the bottom. After bending my steering shaft in a crash, I replaced it with a longer shaft which helped. The also make spacers you can add between the shaft and the wheel.

Keep in mind you are not pulling on the wheel with your arms, but pushing on the wheel with your shoulders. This serves two functions. Lessens fatigue on your muscles and keeps you planted pushing your back into the seat.

The further forward you place the seat, it will take away weight shift on the outside rear tire when turning and less inside rear tire lift causing the kart to bind up through the corners and bog down your corner exit speed. Doing this all around the track will add up to a lot of time lost. Slow exit speed means slower top speed on the following straight away. It all adds up. Try to imagine your head and the two back tires form a triangle. The taller the triangle, the more weight can be shifted to one side or another. You cannot change how tall you are, but you can raise the seat up or add weight higher on the seat to accomplish the same results.

By far the biggest improvements can be made by changing how you drive. If you can, find a driving coach and get some training. They may also be able to help with setup to get you to a proper base line from where you can make changes to suit varying conditions.

Thank you very much for your advice.

I think I know what you mean by less inside rear tire lift causing the kart to bind up. There is 1 corner that if I do it faster/more aggressive, I feel the cart is sliding and if do it slower, the Kart is not turning.

For now, I think I will try to familiarize myself with the kart. I have only driven kart for 6 times. If I can get to within 4 seconds of the record, I will search for coach. For now, my body and my balls is not strong enough. There are corners that I feel I can go faster, but my body says no. If I force myself, maybe I can only go for 1 lap.

The balls come with experience, generally. You don’t trust the kart or yourself yet so no need to push too far outside your comfort zone. It will come as your understanding of what the kart can do (and is going to do when you make a mistake) gets better. Pick a thing to work on and push yourself incrementally. If you can, video yourself and watch yourself driving. You will learn a lot from the calm perspective of the couch. Also, you will likely be amazed if you go back in a year or so and review your early efforts, likely having progressed. This will make you feel more confident and put wind in your sails.

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Oh hey, another thought for you, a quick solution is a seat insert.

Here’s what it looks like, it’s made of foam rubber:


This raises you a bit in the seat but since you are new, it’s not hugely critical. These pics are from a race with @E13 and he’ quite experienced and was quite fast even if he’d have preferred a properly fitting seat. He is probably faster in a seat insert than if he was banging around in too loose a seat, too far from pedals.

You can Google “kart seat insert” and buy one or make your own solution using padding you sit on. If your existing seat is a snug fit, the big one like Elias is using would be too big. But, you could use pieces of foam with Velcro or adhesive. You can get foam in various thicknesses, too.

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