Karting costs: Europe vs USA

I have now repeatedly heard that karting in Europe is generally cheaper than the USA, including two European people last year who told me they were shocked by kart tire prices in the USA.

  1. can anyone confirm if this is in fact true that kart tires, and perhaps karting costs overall, are more expensive in the USA than europe?

  2. if this is in fact confirmed fact true, why is this the case and what exactly is so much cheaper in europe than over here and how much cheaper is it in Europe?

  3. and randomly unrelated LOL, how do you guys remove the vents from your helmet before you paint them? I just got fancy new Bell helmet and want to remove some of the vents stuck on the outside to swap for different/larger ones but scared of damaging this beautiful carbon thing

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Almost everything in karting is made in Europe. Costs money to ship and have all the goods go through customs here.

Are you painting your helmet on your own? What helmet is it?

I read into that he’s not painting it just swapping out the vents for larger ones

not painting my helmet, wish there was a good kit for clear wrapping it though, the carbon on this Bell M8 is just gorgeous. only want to swap the current vents out for some larger ones.

TJ - do you have a sense of how much more a frame or set of rims or something costs in USA vs Europe?

Not apples to apples but an example:

OTK MXC Wheel set:

Mondo Kart - $466 USD
Comet Karts Sales - $706 USD


Crazy thing is I’ve bought some stuff from Mondo and Kartstore.it and the DHL shipping they use is so crazy cheap. I’m a dealer for quite a few things and some stuff I can buy retail from over there cheaper than I can get it from my distributors, quite unfortunate really.


The vents on most Bell helmets are just held on by sticky double-sided tape. Get a plastic trim tool and pry those suckers off. You won’t damage the helmet and the tape pulls off pretty cleanly so you can save the vents if you decide to put them back on.

As Derek said, check Mondo Kart for some pricing info comparing parts from Europe to America. I don’t know exact pricing difference, but shipping and insuring a pallet of karting stuff across the ocean is obviously going to add a ton of cost onto anything that arrives for sale here.

Buying one or two items here or there isn’t as bad on shipping, like Ricky noted, so sometimes it can save you buy even to buy overseas and ship here.

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It’s the same for me for rental kart parts and spares. Ended up importing because the costs were significantly more expensive from US suppliers. One can make the point about support, but I don’t need a lot of support if I’m
buying sprockets, chain, steering wheels and seats. Also response time was sporadic and they often didn’t have stock of what I needed


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So no American companies exist that mfg chassis in states?don’t the dirt folks have American stuff?

Dirt is almost exclusively American-made stuff. And there are some American chassis brands making 4-cycle dedicated chassis. And you’ve got Margay which used to have a huge presence in all levels of American sprint karting.

But sprint karting is now almost exclusively Euro stuff.

My understanding is they pay quite a bit more for race fees? Or am I mistaken.

Anything I need support on I purchase locally, general consumables I order from kartstore.it/mondokart as its cheaper base cost, shipping costs is reasonable and its usually in stock, to my house in 4 days… comparable to weeks for the local dealer to receive it from their suppliers.

I don’t want to completely blame it on greed, but I have had conversations will my local dealer about the cost discrepancies and it usually comes down to their suppliers cost which they are usually tied to dealing with for support on their side (ie. bad batch of tyres or engines) and then just the quantity/supply level in the US compared to Euro. It does bother me that I can order tyre’s from Italy(delivered) cheaper then they are locally.

Lots of American made stuff (at least in the 4 cycle world). Coyote, Eagle, MGM, Margay, etc. However, the market has already set the prices for them. They just price their stuff accordingly.


Bad thing is, if they priced cheap, people wouldn’t buy it because of the optics of being cheap.


Yes, Factory Karts manufactures sprint and shifter chassis in Riverside, California!

Even with the improvements we’ve put into the chassis, the airplane-grade tube, the nice parts, the quality control (they’re actually straight in the first place) and the good pay for skilled labor in the Inland Empire, Factory chassis cost the same as major-brand Italian chassis. That’s because it’s not a multilevel marketing scheme. If you buy an Italian chassis, it goes from the manufacturer to the importer to the distributor to the dealer, and each of them need to keep their bellies full and the lights on, and they pay a freight charge at every step. Buy a Factory and that goes down to just the manufacturer and the dealer.


And they’re priced similarly to competing European brands.

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An EvoKart is just as good as any other 25CrMo4* generikart chassis out there, it costs three grand, and they haven’t exactly set the world on fire sales-wise.

*European for “AISI 4125”

There’s no need to villainize ordinary supply chain.

Also, most euro brands I know don’t have the fourth tier you mention (distributor), but your point remains heard.

I do hope more people give the American brands a shot, as there seem to be some high-quality chassis being made stateside. Personally, I’m quite happy with my HMG Kart (made by Factory).


In line with the topic - we’re not getting ripped off on imported chassis, but Factory’s higher costs on some items don’t require cutting corners to reach the same price point, because the imported ones have higher costs in other places.

I think that’s a good way to put it.