Question about getting into karting?

Just a quick about me.
(1) 56 YO- active
(2) I’ve been involved with motorcycles for 40 years, sport,adventure and hard enduro-trail riding. Raced some and have done some track days. Ride most weekends
(3) I have been quick to get into hobbies that i lose interest ie. Flying, kayaking, skiing,boating moto trials.

So my question is, I did rental karts at Carolina motorsports park several months ago and today at Gopro in mooresville nc. The karts feel like flintstone cars. Are the race karts a lot more refined and more fun. I’ m not saying these are not fun but i’m just not feeling it and I really want to like this sport. I am however a little gun shy about getting into another sport and losing the love. I’ve got a very nice Factory Beta 300 trials bike thats collecting dust…and a nice kayak. Lol

I realise you guys can’t decide for me but just wondering if any of you guys had some of the same concerns. The good is i live about a hour from both CMP and Gopro. I guess the worst case scenario i buy a new kart and sell it a year later if i don’t find the love. Also if yall have any other ideas as far as maybe going to karting camp…or a school where I would focus all day on it. Thanks in advance!


Rentals tend to be hit or miss in terms of quality but for sure a race kart will feel a lot more alive and sprightly than the beat horses they let the public rag on all week. Lighter weight, softer tires, much more power and supremely good noise will make it a better experience.

Obviously like you said we can’t tell if you’re going to enjoy a real kart enough to warrant your investment and not get bored, but a KA (100cc) or an X30 (125cc) will for sure get your blood pumping.

Do you have any interest in four-wheel motorsport in general? Sometimes if you’re a race fan you can enjoy something like this a bit more.

Being so close to GoPro, I would ask them about renting a KA kart for a day. That will be enough to give you a feel for what’s possible in terms of power and grip, but without throwing too much at you at once. If that still doesn’t do it for you then you could always try an X30 (softer tires and more power), but I’d be willing to bet that if the KA doesn’t wet your whistle (especially at GoPro) then karting may not be for you.

There should be plenty of options for kart rental given your location, so that will allow you to get a proper shake down before going all in on a purchase.

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Thanks for the responce TJ. I do like 4 wheels I’ ve thought about maybe trying to autoX my BMW. Its a work car so not a true M car. Its a 430i GC 4 cylinder, i did have stage 1 performed, so around 300hp… its the M sport so its a blast to drive. So, ive always been a car guy too. Ive considered joining SCCA and maybe trying cone killing to see how i like it.

I didn’t mention it before but i’m getting a little burned out on motorcycles…a little…maybe routine is a better word. Also i’m tired of the injuries. So i’m looking for something to add to the mix.

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Evan, good idea. I didn’t realize they rented pro karts. I really think the LO206 would be great as i’m not looking for super fast as much as I’m looking for refinement.


If they don’t rent them trackside, then they could refer you to a team in the area that could do an arrive and drive or equipment rental.

LO206 will definitely be more refined, and will utilize a better tire than the rentals, though the power won’t be much different. Sounds like that could be a good starting point for you.


You’ll definitely enjoy the feel of a racing kart.

It’s very different to a rental. Usually 100/150lbs lighter with very different tires (Not just a softer compound but very different sidewall construction) and a chassis that’s designed to work and handle vs endure.

I see your point on the tires. Work vrs endure…lol. I get that.

Hi Lane, I’ve been to both tracks you mention. I have a LO206 but I’ve driven the rentals at GoPro as well. I sent you a message about some of the services I’ve used getting started.

Rentals v lo206 at GoPro specifically: cornering speed is the main thing. Especially turn 4 “the bowl”. The top speed is similar entering that turn but you can carry waaaay more speed through that corner in particular.

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@Lane_Hollar there are a handful of shops that run at Go Pro and have arrive and drive programs. May be worth the time and money to go that route in a proper race kart prior to buying a set up. This way, if you think it’s not what you want, you’re out a few hundred vs a few thousand.

A couple places I can think of off hand

MGM - 206 - MGM Chassis - Paul and April Rice

Prodigy Motorsports - 206/Ka - Maranello Chassis - Chris and Alex Murray

Timmy Tech - Ka - Compkart chassis - Tim Shutt


Bert and Don thanks! That might be the best way. I appreciate all the input.

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Unfortunately in a modern car like a BMW you will spend all your time working around the computers when attempting to Auto-X.

Welcome Lane.

I find your comment “refined” a little confusing and hope you can elaborate on what you mean.

Karts, race or rental, are very basic with no suspension, solid drive axles, a hard fiberglass seat and steel frames. So running a kart on even a relatively smooth surface is going to be felt by your body. So when you say “Flinstone cars” I am a little concerned. It looks like everything you have driven/raced, etc has likely had suspension and a certain amount of what your tires are going over is getting filtered out. That doesn’t happen on a kart. Most everyone runs a rib vest which is a rigid vest that protects your ribs because your ribs will take some abuse. Your body will know you did something the day after a track day and the faster you go will only amplify that. I am 52 and been karting for about 5 years and it can be a love-hate thing sometimes. We have a guy at our track that is in his 60’s and he gave up MX a few years back to do karts and he reports karting is easier on him than MX so that may give you a point of reference too.

I think the advice of trying to find a race kart to run for a day would be your next best move. Some people love the sound and smell of a 2 stroke so the KA100 is great choice for that. The LO206 is a slower kart but that doesn’t mean its less intense, if you aren’t craving the 2 stroke, it is an excellent way to start in racing karts.

In my experience karting people are friendly and willing to help out. Befriend some people at either track and you may even find someone willing to let you try their kart or at least point you to who has a kart to rent.

Im pretty sure you can turn off all or most of the stability/ traction control …maybe because it has the M package…not sure.

Thanks for your reply Robert. I get what your’re saying about lack of suspension…i guess what im asking is are the race kart have a better feel? It just seems very heavy and a lot of play in the steering. Maybe like you said im just used to suspension. I’m probably going to rent a few more times and spend some time at the track, talk to some of the guys that are running race karts. Then maybe try to rent a higher performance kart to see if i like it.

Thanks again!

Without a doubt, yes they have more feel. They are also quite responsive to changes too. Changing front or rear width, caster camber and toe, are some of the easy and quick changes. There are bigger changes you can make too.

Some karts have a heavier feel than others too. I had an Arrow Kart that had very light steering but my current Birel based chassis requires much more physical input.

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