New to karting as a HPDE driver who bought a Shifter Kart

What’s up everyone, new to karting and diving in head first. I’ve done HPDE days for years in MR2’s and now my Mini that’s track prepped but every time I’ve ended up at a K1 Speed you have to drag me out of there so after finally looking into getting my own rig, finding out I’ve got a Kart Track 45min away and that I can get a years worth of track time in the cart for what it costs me for single day in the car, I grabbed a rig.

Found a screaming deal from someone local even, with my safety gear slowly rolling in I’m hoping to take it out by this weekend if my track membership comes through in time. It’s a Shifter Kart with a Swedetech CR125 that just had the top end rebuilt and it’s in really good condition, compared to some of the other karts I was looking at this thing was a jewel. The only downside is I can’t find any stamps or plates on the chassis so I’m at a complete loss for what the rest of this thing is.

Very nice kart, in great shape.

This one has me a bit stumped honestly. Having an MCP brake system on it make me lean toward it being made in the US. Can you find out where the previous owner bought it?

Being a shifter, even with your experience it’s probably going to kick your butt. if you don’t have a rib protector on your gear list, make sure you get one.

Smart guy. Karting is honestly is car racer’s best secret weapon. Once you get back in a car it will feel like everything is in slow motion and you’ll have a LOT of mental capacity to manage the car.

Keep us posted, let us know what questions come up.

Edit, had to zoom in but I can see Emmick stamped on the rear torsion bar clamps. Those clamps are 100% interchangable between karts of the same rail size of course… With the right angled front sidepod brackets that puts it at a post 2004 model. The full width plastic rear bumper puts it up to around 09 (I think) but again, that could be retorfitted.

I posted it on our facebook page…

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Welcome to karting! You’ve found the seat-time magic bullet! :wink:

Looks like an Early to mid 2000’s Emmick to me. Some stuff appears to have been updated.

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From FB, there could be something stamped on the inside of the bearing carrier…

Another HPDE kart enthusiast! Very cool. One thing that you could report back on is how you deal with trying to post a fast lap on cold tires. I assume there’s no warmup in HPDE, just a timed lap?

Thanks for all the comments everyone, looking forward to getting to know the karting community. Racers are a different breed and always a pleasure to get to know.

Coming from the HPDE world in cars, our sessions were always 20mins so you’d have a warmup lap then have at it. Not sure if it’s different in the karting world? My local track membership grants me access to the track for practice anytime its daylight and there isn’t an event being held, which with everything going on right now no events are scheduled so I could be at the track every day if I could get away from work.

EDIT: Unfortunately it looks like some manufacturers are having some pretty bad delays right now and my 360 neck protector hasn’t shipped and they’re not responding so doesn’t look like I’m gonna be able to hit the track this week…

Thanks for the tips on the bearing carriers, I went back out and found a very faint I130 stamp which, from what I can tell, appears to be a Emmick Intimidator 125. Unfortunately that’s about all I can find on that particular model as it’s from 03-04. But on a funnier note, I think I found my kart posted on another forum back in 2012. Everything looks pretty identical, seats a little worse for wear but if this is it it’s been kept in awesome condition plus a few upgrades since then for being 15yrs old.

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I’ve started looking into rib protectors as suggested above but my current seat is already a very tight squeeze. I’m a bigger guy coming in at ~245lbs and only 5’9", quite round lol. My question is that since I’m considering a rib protector and my seat is already on the verge of being too small, does anyone have experience with the Deep Seat or the Ribtect seat and do you still need/recommend a rib protector with these?

My opinion, if the seat is tight I would not worry about it much. I bought a rib protector but had the same issue with the seat being too snug (although I’m 6 foot about 210) . No problems with my shifter kart over a season, with a couple of rather hard hits sideways in the rain.

Yes. I bought a deepseat after breaking my ribs for the 2nd time. Problem solved. I wear a rib vest with it as well. I think it would be a very bad idea to try without a rib vest, even with deep seat. I forgot the rib vest for quali once and immediately noticed my ribs in turn 1.

Since you are describing the seat as tight, I urge you to go get seat fitted properly. Rib injuries will take 3-6 months to heal and are super annoying when sleeping, breathing etc.

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Considering seat fitment, everything I’m seeing suggests a distance of ~550mm from the front chassis rail to the front edge of the seat. Mine is measuring out at ~602, the previous owners were quite tall. I was checking this as I noticed the first time I sat in the kart I was having trouble reaching full extension on both throttle and brake, and my left leg was resting on the brake bias adjuster. I also noticed the front of the seat is flat against the front mounts with no spacers.

I see a lot of mentions of adjusting the seat for track conditions and grip level to allow the chassis to flex more or less as needed or get more or less grip on the rear tires to get it to rotate better. I assume this means the seats are strong enough to withstand several different mounting holes being drilled to make these adjustments?

I’m sort of clueless mechanically etc. I usually lean on a team owner who knows setup well to do my adjustments. You can always pay someone to help get it sorted.

Yep they are strong enough. Some seats end up looking like Swiss cheese. Of course you’ll want to use washers to support the load over a larger area.

Most Chassis manufacturers have an ideal seat position for your height that is more to do with weight distribution than fitment. I think they forget to take into account us heavier guys. I would suggest, at least the first time, having someone with experience help you mount the seat for optimal balance. Tillet’s website uses the seat back along with spine inclination as it point of reference compared to the axle. I think Ribtect does the same thing. Lower and further forward equals less Load Transfer to the rear outside and vice versus. Heavy and Tall drivers usually try to get the seat as low as possible without road contact. If most of your mass is in your upper body, you can compensate by leaning the seat back a little so your butt is far enough forward to reach the pedals. The pedals should also have some degree of adjust-ability, meaning you can set the resting points further back for better reach. Again, it gets complicated quickly and a Pro could take a lot of trial and error out of the equation the first time. Once you have good balance, you can make a note of the seat location measurements and make adjustments for conditions or have a reference for the next seat.

Thanks for the comments everyone. I thought it would be better to adjust the pedals vs the seat to keep weight in balance but mine seem to offer very limited adjustment. I’ll bring the tools with me to the track when I get down there and see if I can snag someones experience to help me get it dialed.

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Hey everyone just a friendly update, I finally got to take the kart out this weekend and unfortunately nobody was there to help me out with seat positioning. BUT after a couple hours of hotlaps I’ve found that I actually almost need the pedals further away from me go figure, keeping my feets completely off the pedals is actually causing a bit of pain in the ankles. Aside from that this thing is a riot and I’m gonna be back out there next weekend.

It does seem to hesitate under 0-1/4 throttle so I’ll be tearing into the carb this week to look at the jetting. FYI I’m a carb newbie and have worked with FI my entire life so this will be fun.


I hear you. I still don’t fully understand carbs, much harder than FI IMHO. :slight_smile:

You’ll need a jet kit along with a phone app to get you in the ballpark. One of the CR125 guys used the “Jet Lab” Honda CR app. Swedetech may also have some charts to help out.

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Given your pedals aren’t quite where you need them it’s conceivable that the throttle issue you have is related to that too.

Making sure that your pedals are properly placed is super important. I have large feet, and for entire season I realized that my foot was leaning on the brake pedal on certain corners. Just enough to wear the pads and be slowing me down.

Drove me crazy! A few extra minutes just rolling the kart back and forth on the ground to check, can save you a ton of pain later.

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The CR tends to possess more abrupt throttle response compared to KZ. This is partly due to the way the engine is tuned (for MX), as well as the stock carburetor. Of course, jetting does matter.