Replacing just the bare chassis

(Luke Anderson) #1

I am curious to hear everyone’s opinions. Would it be worth it to change out just the bare frame instead of buying a new roller every season? A new roller is $4-6K and bare frames new are $1500 give or take. Do the other components lose their competitiveness along with the frame or can they be used on the new frame with parts replaced as needed?

(TJ Koyen) #2

“Re-framing” is a pretty common thing, even at pretty high-level racing. Much cheaper than buying a new roller, as you said, and most of the components stay good for a few seasons. On our OTK stuff, we start to see a little slop in things like heim joints or bearings after 2-3 seasons of hard racing, so re-framing makes sense in that timeframe.

(Dom Callan) #3

Yes on reframe. Just had to go that route myself. No need to buy complete roller. If you are getting same brand frame, no need to mess up your feel by switching out the hubs etc…

(Ji Simmons) #4

Where do you guys get the frames? Our only kart shop in the state is pretty much out of business and unable/unwilling to answer emails or phone calls.

(Matt Martin) #5

Depends which frame you are looking to replace.

here are some from a quick google search - both of those places will ship.

(Ji Simmons) #6

In my case, it’d be a Tony Kart Krypton. This topic is relevant to me as I’m sure it’s a matter of time before my frame is done and would hate to have to scrap most everything minus the engine.

I’m not married to OTK, but how much swaps between brands? Are the C’s on the frames all the same dimensions, therefore allowing spindles of identical king pin diameters to be swapped? I’m sure seats would need to be redrilled, but that’s not a deterrent. I’m guessing engine mount rails are all the same spacing and diameters? What else? Maybe a new set of master cylinders due to variances in mounting?

(TJ Koyen) #7

Probably very few components would fit from a Tony to a CRG for example. If you’re going to re-frame, going with the same brand is pretty much the route you want to take.

(Ji Simmons) #8

Thanks, TJ. I’m guessing OTK frames are unavailable for purchase?

(James McMahon) #9

You should be able to get one. Another option is to acquire an Exprit frame which would likely fit the components as they are OTK. I remember the Krypton from a long time ago, 2000’s. Is yours a later model of that?

(Ji Simmons) #10

Mine is an '05. I don’t need a frame now, but it’s something I’ve thought about that I may have to face in the future.

This may be a bit off topic, but the more I dig into this kart, the more I’m finding that parts are no longer available. Stuff like brake lines, rear bearing cassettes, front hubs, brake rotors, ect… Not stuff that’s necessarily considered consumables, but stuff that will need attention as the kart ages.

Is buying a new kart every five or ten years just what needs to be done to ensure parts availability? How do you guys, short of owning a machine shop, keep older karts on the track? Or is the inevitable fate of every kart to be relegated to a neighborhood street basher that eventually rusts away to nothing behind the shed?

(TJ Koyen) #11

Sometimes there are universal parts that will fit from brands like Wildkart or something, but the reality is there just isn’t a ton of support for karts that are almost 15 years old. Most people that are seriously competing at a regional level or higher are buying a new kart every 1-3 years. In terms of backwards compatibility of parts, most things off a kart from the past 5-8 years is probably replaceable with new stuff and it should fit, at least on OTK stuff. The karts haven’t changed a whole lot in configuration in that time frame.

Check with some of the bigger teams if you want to pick up a frame. There are plenty of guys out there with more money than they know what to do with, who are disposing of a frame every race weekend, so there are frames out there with almost no time on them. Just make sure it’s straight! And as James rightly noted, all the OTK frames are the same just different colored, so if you find a good deal on a Kosmic/Exprit/Redspeed/Tony Kart/FA, it’s all the same. That will help broaden your search a bit when the time comes.

(Ji Simmons) #12

Interesting stuff! I’m not familiar with the different names for the frames, but are you saying that an LO206 frame is the same as a 125cc shifter frame? I’d imagine stuff like the shift lever bosses on the steering support aren’t present on the non- shifter chassis?

(Matt Martin) #13

No, I believe he’s saying that frames will often sell under various brand names. I.E. Kosmic=Exprit=Redspeed=Tony Kart=FA; but the type of chassis will still be unique in its configuration - TAG, KZ, 4-Stroke, etc.

(TJ Koyen) #14

No, in most cases an LO206 frame will be different than a 125cc frame.

As Matt noted more clearly than I did, I’m saying for example all of the 30mm OTK branded karts for 125cc are interchangeable, as they are exactly the same kart just in a different color.

(Ji Simmons) #15

Oh! I understand now. Thanks for clarifying that!

(James McMahon) #16

Yeah I would qualify what I said by adding the caveat that the frames are interchangeable amongst their peers.

I’m not sure if it’s worth reframing an 05, unless it’s super low miles. For sure talk with someone that knows how the 05 krypton compares in mouting points to the current chassis. One example could be that the spindle rake changed in that time. Things like that.

Reframing makes the most sense when the components are in really good shape. If you have worn steering parts, axle bearing etc etc it can become less economical in terms of time and money.

I might have missed this earlier. But why are you considering a reframe?

(Luke Anderson) #17

Thanks to everyone for the replies to this thread. I asked because I am running a Tony Kart Racer 401 with a KA100. The chassis was previously run in SKUSA X30 and beat on pretty well. In the short time I have had it, I’ve welded seat stays and the bearing cassette holder when I found cracks. I have been told OTK frames are best out of the box and lose flex/spring after a season or 2. I weigh 200lbs so I would also like to go to 32mm tubing. I will get a bare 801 frame and use the majority of parts in the rebuild like pedals, bodywork, and brakes (rebuilt). Most likely replace all bearings, steering components and hardware. My guess is for $2500 I could have a practically new roller saving half off a new one.

(TJ Koyen) #18

Just wanted to note that you can absolutely be fast on an OTK kart that’s older. Plenty of quick guys running 2 or 3 year old stuff at a high level. At the first USPKS race this year, I was on a 2016 that had been run in SKUSA/USPKS/Route 66, and it had a little sag in the front end, but when we compared it to the new 2018 I put together Saturday night, it was within a tenth or so.

I think your plan of reframing to 32mm is a good one. That’s probably more suitable for your weight and you can save some money going this route.

On that note, you can find used roller karts for 2500 as well that have little time on them. Our team is selling a used 2017 roller with 6 weekends on it for 2000 right now, but it’s a 30mm.

(John Leah) #19

Advertised on UK karting market place at the moment are:

2018 Exprit 401…“Professionally repaired bottom seat lugs”

Alonso 2018…“Had normal bearing weld”

2018 Alonso…“Welded on bearing hangers”

Adverts with similar wording regarding bearing hangers and or seat mountings on OTK are not at all uncommon.

Do you have the same problems in US or elsewhere or is it the UK approach to kerbs?

(Dom Callan) #20

I believe it’s universal. American, and had two weld jobs last season, broke again first race 2019. I use frame protectors but it seems 1 season of hard driving is enough to kill a frame.