Karting costs: Europe vs USA

No loss of stock and inventory due to rust, minimal manufacturing process re-tuning due to changes in humidity, good availability of skilled & reliable labor, lots of local suppliers competing for business, occasional war-surplus parts, concentrated high-income local customer base - why wouldn’t you build a high-value-added low-volume product in SoCal?


I got it on yours, i was actual trying to reply to Matthew, it just tagged you.

The reality on the supply chain is like Evan said:
Manufacturer to importer/distributor to dealer to end user. Except in this industry half of the the importer/distributors will also sell direct to the end user and cut out their dealer network. Ironically those that do that also offer margins so low that it’s barely sustainable to stock their inventory.

The business model is horribly broken and the issues are only compounded by the ease of saving 17 cents and the instant gratification of ordering online.

Kart shops/dealers are primarily service hubs at this stage.

Not complaining in the slightest, we’ve found our nitsch and it seemingly works. It’s just a drastically different industry than it used to be and dealers have the least say (and cut of) the retail karts/parts pricing.


Anecdotally, I inquired with Dan Holland Racing about hiring a kart for 3 days at a Whilton Mill club race. An arrive-and-drive in X30 Senior, mechanic included, was £2500 ($3000). I forget exactly what else was included, as I don’t have the quote anymore, but I’m pretty sure it was all-inclusive except tires and entry fee. The last comparable arrive-and-drive I’ve done (3 days), it was $1500 solely for the chassis rental. I brought my own Rotax that I basically wrenched on myself

So yeah, I got my CIK license so I could think about doing some events over there in the future :joy: Seems like the cost for a weekend, even flying across the Atlantic, would cost about the same

EDIT: Clarifying that if you were to extrapolate the cost of a mechanic, engine package, and other costs to my US comparison, it appears that even going to a big operation in the UK would be cheaper.

Maybe don’t try one of the biggest teams in the UK lol.

Thats like going to RPG without them having ever heard about you.

Of course they have heard of Justin Dittrich and his bucket list!

Badger Kart Club in Wisconsin might be a closer representation for Midwest tracks.

Annual membership: $100 (per family) + $25 per driver
Member Practice fee: $15-30 depending on day
Non member practice free: $60
Unlimited practice option $400/year

Member Race day fee: $50
Non member Race day fee: $100

Member pit pass: $20
Non member pit pass: $40

Average race day with 1 family/friend:
Member: $70
Non member: $140

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Sorry, should’ve been clearer, my point was that even going with a big budget team in the UK had cost benefits compared to a mid-budget team in the US.


I hate to say it, and things might have changed, but the assumption by most UK racers is that US racers are not very good.

Ryan Norberg could turn up and he’d probably get top whack price.

Ok well just dump some race fuel in the harbor to protest this abusive treatment.


A weekend with RPG is north of $10k, so $3k to run with DHR is a pittance…that’s all Justin is saying. And no team gives a flying eff how good you are or where you’re from as long as you pay your bill.

It seems shocking how much cheaper it is over there…but the UK has economies of scale in its favor…big teams like DHR, Strawberry, and KR all bring full service tents to dozens of club races over there, let alone the big meetings. They are always at it. That is unheard of over here. A team like RPG might have their full service tent at less than 10 races in a full season.

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Along with that, is their price still $3k for a 3 day national weekend? I’m not sure what the primary national championship is now, but I feel like they have to be charging more for a 3-day national event vs. club

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Sorry but that does totally depend on who you are

I actually thought that was a little pricey even for a national weekend lol.

We are led to believe this, but is it true? The chassis likely are, but the small aluminum parts, wheels, etc I am suspicious that they are actually made in China or somewhere in Asia. Perhaps the OEM-branded stuff is European but the non-OEM brands I have my doubts.

Eastern Europe is a big hub for a lot of the components. I’m sure some stuff is made in Asia as well, especially non OEM stuff. I assume the non OEM aftermarket is a small chunk of the karting component landscape but maybe I’m wrong.

does anyone know if there are any kart tires actually manufactured here in the USA at a big tire factory in America?

I think Hoosiers are made in USA.

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Yes, but the cost is the same…

It’s probably a little bit more, considering Whilton Mill is their home track (if I’m not mistaken?), but that club race may as well be a national (compared to USA) with how many entries they pull in. 240 pre-registered for this weekend’s club race, 47 in Senior Max and 51 in Junior Max

It’s probably changed now but when I was in the UK the bigger 5 or 6 clubs would regulary have 300 entries with occasional 400+.