New to the kart world

Looking at potentially joining the sport. I live in Columbia SC and plan to run mostly at GoPro for now. I found a local outfit that let me do a test day in their 206. I had a coach go out and do lead and follows with me. It was my second time on this track and first time in this kart I was around .5 back. Had a blast and looking forward to trying a race.

Eventually I do see myself wanting to move to the ka100, is there a chassis that is good for both classes? Used vs new considerations?

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everyones advice is going to be start in 206, and choose a chassis that is supported in your area. You can go to a race and see what teams/manufacturers are there and talk to them. (im not familiar with SC) Most manufacturers have a 4t chassis, a 2t chassis, and a shifter chassis. each of them can mount both a 206 and ka with the right mounts. (i believe) 206 is a low powered engine, and 4t chassis’ are made specifically for them. a ka100 is also lower powered, but its still double the power of a 206. you could go with either chassis, but a 2t chassis may be too stiff for a 206, on the contrary, One of the most competitive guys near me had a 2t chassis with a world formula engine (pretty much the same as a 206) and did very well. a ka100 could probably work well on a 4t chassis but I dont have any experince in ka so take that with a grain of salt.

basically see what companies are supported in your area the most, talk to them and get their advice on what chassis to use. (they know more than me) they will almost always have new and used chassis in good condition available for sale or rent.
in terms of engine choice, both are great options. but make sure both are used in whatever series you want to join.

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I got a margay recently that is lo specific. It seems they are flexier than the TAG compkart chassis I used prior.

Personally I’d go with either of those two engines and the appropriate frame for the engine type. Odds are you’ll wear out the frame by the time you decide to switch engine packages.

Lo vs Ka100:

Ka100 is two stroke and feels so very good. It goes braaaap and has power. As far as two strokes go, it’s quite economical.

Lo206 is 4 stroke and very low powered. It’s a momentum based driving style that teaches you to be efficient. It is also very fun, particularly for a newer driver as the speeds are a bit lower and the acceleration is tepid and not likely to spin wheels. It is ultra inexpensive compared to two stroke, both to buy and maintain. So, there’s that.

From my experience, (I started in 100cc and then went to 125tag), you’d be doing yourself a favor doing lo206 for a season or two. The lower power keeps you from being a savage and forces you to learn how to drive efficiently. Then, when you jump into more powerful engines that can break traction easily, you will be ready. This is only relevant if there’s a healthy lo206 field. End of day, the fields with a good crowd is where you want to be, ideally.

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Generally a chassis for 206 lends itself well to KA100 (Or VLR100 etc. In fact there are even some chassis marketed as being suitable for both.

Upping weight and power to TaG (Rotax, X30) might change that some.

But for KA, I’d be pretty comfortable swapping out a 206 for a KA when the day comes.

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I too live in Columbia and am interested in getting into the sport! Small world! I’m attending kart school at Atlanta Motorsports Park in a couple weeks. That program let’s you drive concession, LO206, and TAG. (at the instructor’s discretion) But that’s why I picked it, to get a taste of each. But I’d like to keep up with how things go for you. I too expect to be racing at GoPro.


Definitely don’t need to buy new right away. You can pick up gently used chassis etc. for a pretty steep discount from new, and most karts are going to be solid for a few years before you notice any differences in handling. And even then they can still be tuned and competitive. Find a local shop/team (there’s a few in GoPro’s vicinity) and figure out who can provide you with parts and tuning advice. That’s the main consideration when choosing a chassis.


Thank you for the replies so far, going to keep a lookout for a good used option. May even just keep doing the arrive and drive for now.

Does anyone have experience with storing their kart with a local shop at track? Would I want a kart that they support or would brand not matter too much? I don’t currently have a truck or trailer, my main concern would be the maintenance upkeep. I prefer to do most my own wrenching but for now this may be the only option I have.

Bert that’s awesome, let me know what you think of the school. I looked into that as well but it didn’t fit my schedule.

Depends on the facility. I pay for storage at OVRP for example. Think it’s 500 or so.

Prior to that, when I tented with Kartworkz (tent program) jerry would show up at track with our karts and haul em back to Pa. after the race. Since we were racing at several tracks, this made sense to me.

He would charge me mileage for this service. I can’t remember exactly what.

Ideally storing and transporting your own kart is the cheapest way to go. Tent program storage/transport is probably least cost effective but it’s not unreasonable.

Gopro might have on site storage, pretty sure they do. It’s a popular place so might be in high demand.

Another side note: I’m signed up for the Ironman rental kart race on August 2 at Go Pro. You mentioned wanting to get your feet wet with a race, so check that out if you’re available. This’ll be my second race there, beginner friendly event.

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Dom you are correct that gopro does offer storage units to rent, I believe they are all accounted for. I stopped in and talked to kartsports na. They mentioned they would store karts for $100 a month, just call ahead and they would get the kart out for you. Their shop is located on the track property.

Bert mondays have been a no go for me lately not sure I’d be able to make that. I did however commit to racing the 206 at the next kart challenge on the 24th.

What time did you have to leave to get there for the drivers meeting? I’m in downtown Cola.

Tyler, Yeah I wish they had more weekend rental events but it’s probably a conflict with owner races and general rentals.

Michael, I’m downtown as well. I left around 3, takes about 2 hours. Got there in plenty of time, sat around for an hour. I was planning on doing some practice sessions but it rained and they were waiting on the track to dry some before the race.

Went out for a practice day today at GoPro, started the day on the same setup as the last race I did. Did about 3, 10 lap sessions and my pace was about the same as race day occasional mid 59xx mostly high 59s. I tried adjusting my driving every way I could imagine to get more pace, nothing was working. The kart felt very knife edge and had to be extremely delicate on the wheel or the rear would be loose and step out at every part of a corner.

Before my 4th session we reduced the amount of positive caster. I went out and immediately smashed personal best with a 58.1. The kart now drove more like I would expect, I was able to able to get in a pack with a couple others and stay tight and battle for position which is a huge improvement from the last race where everyone on track would just drive away from me. I’ve signed up for another race next weekend and looking forward to hopefully keeping up and battling with a group this time.


If it feels good and has good pace that is a good thing. Not to burst your bubble, but keep in mind that this is just for today, it is possible your next outing you may have to make another change or even move your caster back to where it was. It is always a moving target (sometimes literary).

I have no illusions that setup changes are required even throughout the same day. I’ve had no reference for what the kart should feel like and still don’t think that the setup was completely dialed but it was an encouraging day to be on pace with others for the first time.


a good chasie would be a otk almost everyone runs it but i would just get a lo206 and run it GoPro has a insanely tight grid and it will teach u how to drive with others and learn how to be smooth. ka100 is just a all out war at GoPro. also are you going to be a jn or sn?

I’ll be running senior in the 206 for awhile is the plan. There are a few karts I have my eye on but I’ve been pretty happy being able to do an arrive and drive setup for now. While I’m new to karting and wheel to wheel, I have over a decade of racing autocross and a few years racing time trials both at a national level. I’m enjoying the kart experience so far, its challenging for sure.

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After you git gud in Lo, you gotta try a 2-stroke. But not until you git gud otherwise you’ll probably run out and buy a 2-stroke.

The 2 stroke power appeals to me, I’ve driven a couple the sodi gtmax at dallas karting complex and a tony kart with a ROK gp motor at orlando kart center. The extra cost and two stroke tuning part is not as appealing to me, I like the simplicity of the 4 stroke.

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Bullet dodged.:smiley: I find the wider power delivery of the x30 to be addictive.