Rockin' the Rock Island Grand Prix with a $1000 Kart | What could go wrong?

I picked up a Merlin LM30 with a 206 a few weeks ago from FB marketplace for the princely sum of $1000 including a manual winch one-person stand. Might seem like a ridiculous idea, but there’s some logic to it because Merlin karts are very well supported up in these parts (MN)

When I went to look at it, the owner said the engine is very fast, only had 30 hours on it and was good for a lot more :smiley: (Yeah not believing that, I suspect a head job in the future.)

It also had a light on the front because they had been ripping it up and down the street in addition to the local track (Stockholm Motorsports park).

So, it’s a bit rough but fundamentally seems OK. Bearings and joints etc. are decent (but will be replaced). Main thing I’m concerned about is dodgy assembly. Loose seat bolts, steering wheel pinch bolt and whatever else. For sure a good checkover and TLC will be happening. It at least has the required plastic rear bumper and modern bodywork which my current Wildkart from 2006 does not.

Once the TLC is done, assuming it doesn’t seem to be glaringly bent out of shape, I’ll take it to the local track for a shakedown

Ran it on the chassis dyno a couple of weeks ago, and went in raw with no work attempted. No chain lube, didn’t swap fuel… nothing… First issue is that clutch is dragging so I’ll have to address that. Recorded a peak of 10HP at the wheel, take that for what you will, seems optimistic at best. I don’t have anything to compare it to other than the four stroke shifter (204cc, pretty highly strung) which recorded a baseline (no tuning) of 19HP at the wheel. The main purpose of the runs was to make sure the engine pulls somewhat OK… and as far as I can tell… it did.

More pics from the ad, isn’t she lovely?

  • Yes, she’s lovely
  • Eh, she might be lovely, needs some love.
  • Dude, you bought a total dumpster fire
0 voters


That’s a fine looking machine imho. I am into the headlight.

Padded seat! Oh wait those are spare tires. Which are probably useless.

1 Like

Kyla Anderson was selling some Merlin axles up your way. May want to reach out to her. You may need and extra or two for Rock :flushed::laughing:

1 Like

Good call on the axles. I might see if I can grab a few this weekend.

I saw her ‘22 chassis for $1350 on marketplace and I’m very very tempted. I told her she should up the price for $2200 so I don’t have to buy it.

1 Like

Love to see another older Merlin still racing. I got my 2016 MR29 for $700 and it’s been amazing. Just got a club race win and qualified 2nd at CKNA with an 8 year old kart lol.


I also have a used Merlin axle medium hard for sale!

1 Like

Nice, I’ll keep that in mind too!

I think this kart needs a name, any ideas?

Cyclops, just because of the single head light :laughing:


I like " Nemesis" as a name the greek ancient godness of revenge!

Are we looking for ominous or playful?

On the ominous side “Morgana” very Merlin-esc!

On the playful side “My other Brother Daryl”.

1 Like

Ominous or playful or good.

Short update: Finally broke down and ordered a Mychron 5 to replace (or work alongside) my aging MyChron 3 gold. Shoutout to Franklin Motorsports for getting it to me in two days.

Whipped up a quick image for the startup screen, needs a bit of work…

This increases the value of the kart to $1700!!

I’ll be tracking expenses as I go, grouped into essential and non essential. A MyChron5s 2t is definitely non-essential.


how did you create that logo page on your mychron?

Create a 268x128 image in your fave image editor. Export it as a BMP and use Race Studio 3 to upload it to the device.


I would like to order layout #2 lol

1 Like

Well, now you can!


Ya know I have a mychron 5 but no charger. Anyone got a spare charger to sell?

1 Like

A post was merged into an existing topic: KartPulse Compound at the Rock Island Grand Prix 2023

“Weight Reduction, Remember to Poop”, this is my Mantra!! Says the guy with no Lead, minimal fuel, Lightest components and Fasts for 2 days before a race! :rofl:

1 Like

I should probably download this and save it before the thread gets lost in the mists of time. Great idea.

OK, so haven’t had time to work on the kart but I’m bringing it to the track today anyway as a backup and/or work on it some.

But before I do that, figured I’d at least clean the carb.

Notice anything wrong?

1 Like