OTK Neos vs Rookie


Looking for a new go-cart for my son next year then he is 9 years old. have competed in cadet for two years with a CRG hero but now i want to try something new. Have thought of an OTK chassis but then I do not find any information what is the difference between Neos and a Rookie chassis? which is better suited for mini60 engine?

can anyone help me with what is the advantage of the various chassis?

When the Neos first came out it was very slow. Whatever they are using this year seems very fast. So I would look up Supertune on Facebook and ask them which cadet they are using. Or just get a Nitro Kart :wink:

What do you think separates the Nitro chassis from the others Jim? Thinking from a local/regional racer’s perspective.

@EK16 welcome! Where are you located? That can be an important factor for choosing a chassis too.

I could be wrong, but I think the Neos is just the new version of the Rookie with the upgraded braking system.

@Ryon_Beachner might know.

And isn’t the Nitro just a Parolin cadet? Or is it a bespoke design? Not to knock it, the Parolin cadet is an excellent kart.

Nitro is manufactured at Parolin in Italy. They have always been fast. No bad ones. Tons of readily available setup info available which takes the chassis out of the equation. Lets people focus on developing the kid. I was just throwing it out there. We see so many people struggle with chassis setup, and it frustrating to watch. The newest Tony is fast, just make sure you get the newest.

It’s kind of a mess, but the new model that’s been in use all year is the Rookie EV. Unfortunately no one really knows that because none of the Karts have the model designation on the floor pan as the other OTK models do.

The Rookie chassis from 2016 and before is an entirely different chassis. The Neos from 2017/2018 was meant to be the big step forward to finally take it to their competitors and it had a pretty lackluster reception. The Rookie EV was basically the “back to the drawing board” moment, and they really nailed it. So, despite the name, it doesn’t have much of anything in common with any of its predecessors aside from wheelbase. (Different geometry, material, ride height front/rear, seat, axle, spindles, brakes.)

Edit: Just an addition, but the kart has been ridiculously easy to work with. Majority of the tuning being done is simple rear width adjustments, caster, and tire pressure. Front ride height always low, and we’ve run the A axle in everything from high grip with 100 degree temps to cold and rain.


These are the exact reason that I am leaning towards getting a nitro cadet next year when my sons ready to move up. Seems like they have a strong following and willingness to share info.

What worries me with the smaller/new brands is what happens when they decide they are done. Reason being is that 90% of the local chassis are Parolins since the importer was here in town, but they closed the shop and he is just selling parts out of his trailer. I am not sure of his plans, I assume he will continue but you never know.

That “fear” of parts makes me want to look at brands like Margay, BirelArt, CRG and OTK since they were all around 19 years ago when I was racing back in my teen years. Although my fear is likely overrated if I cant get brand specific parts for the kart its likely time for a new chassis anyways.

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Like Ryan said - the latest version, whatever it may be called or labelled as, is the only OTK cadet you’d want to own now for TAG Cadet classes. The other ones may work well for 206 or ??? as what made them not great for Rok/Swift, etc is what could make them good for a 206. Ryan also nailed it on the tuning - they are like racing a green Benik or Energy now. No head scratching or throwing the kitchen sink at them - baseline is ALWAYS good and you can still fine tune from there.

As for the Parolin issue, don’t be concerned about parts availability if there is local support and you like the karts. Parolin has been around a long time and someone will pick up that ball soon enough. Too much success right now for that not to happen.

Really comes down to where you are located, how much travel you do, how much support you look for and how picky you are about fine details. If you are in the upper midwest its hard to beat Merlin, east coast Nitro has great support, travel to big races and have the budget/stomach for the big tent fees the Tony is outstanding, budget minded but still want an easy fast kart the Parolin shines, want the nicest components/fit & finish on an easy fast kart the Energy is great. The Energy folks also offer hands down the best big international programs with Parolin very close behind.

Just my (pretty consistent) two cents…

Great responses in here that I appreciate as another dad looking at the jump from kid karts to cadet.

Any feedback on the CompKart ranger and or Birel cadet chassis? Who makes Benik now that they’re not made by Parolin anymore?

Thanks Dan.

I am not sure if the local guy will continue since he got hurt in an accident.

Are the Parolin, Nitro, Energy kart all made by Parolin? I assume at that point all the main parts will transfer between the three, brakes spindles and steering shafts seem to be the most common kart specific parts.

The CompKart guys have been working hard on their cadet. The latest generation looks like a really solid piece. Love the little details that are showing up on the Ranger now and the design changes they’ve made are the right direction for sure. Particularly if you have some local support, I think the new Ranger is going to be their best one yet. Great outfit there behind CompKart.

The C28 needed a solid makeover, primarily at the rear of the kart, and that doesn’t seem to have happened yet. I am thrilled to see a refined version of the banana brake back on it though - never should have changed from that system! With top flight support they have success with the C28 but it isn’t baseline easy like the current front runners.

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Chris about half the current cadet karts made are affiliated with Parolin. Can put the Merlin, PDB and some others in there as well.

That said there are variations. For the most part it’s just place an order for x number of karts, check off the boxes for the variables you want and write the check. The variables include various styles and quality levels of kingpins, spindles, columns, fasteners, bearings, etc. There’s are also variations in heights of spindles C’s & cassette towers (ride height variables) as well as tube thickness and composition. So yes some things are compatible, but no the karts aren’t all the same.

The exception to that rule is Energy which has bespoke columns, spindles, axles, etc and sources superior consumables such as bearings, tie rod ends, etc. You’ll see some front runners running Energy components on their other brands but not often the other way around. I’m a component and fit & finish geek - I know what I like. :grin:

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