Setup Advice

Hi all,

I have had my kart for a few months now and have a run a good amount of practice laps at this point. Been really focusing on the basics, using all the track, minimizing sliding, maximize braking, etc. Still probably not super consistent but feeling much more capable. I have noticed I’m usually able to keep up with other guys in the turns.

But I am left dumbfounded as to why I am losing so much speed on the straights. My lap times are about 2 whole seconds off the pace. At first I thought it was just me driving improperly. So I focused on getting on the gas sooner, assuming I wasn’t getting enough momentum off the corners. This didn’t seem to help much. It also feels like I just have less grip than other guys (had my rear tires around 9-10psi). I have two seat struts, HH axle (I was told this is the best axle for the track), and I am running the neutral setup up front.

The other thing is that I am around 5800-5900 RPM at the end of the straight. I didn’t want to immediately change gearing, as I thought I might just be driving wrong. A radar gun showed my speed at 54 mph and everyone else at 52 mph at the end of the straight. Also note I was told the kart was all setup for the track (the track sold me the kart, so here I am thinking this is just hop in and go fast). Last owner seemed to always win with it (believe he is/was with the RPG team).

So all that said, any ideas to get me more up to speed? Will a gear change make up 2 seconds? Do I need a carb adjustment? Where can I find more grip? Just a little frustrating having a great kart but everything seems off.

Thanks for any thoughts/input.

Hi Lorenzo,

Sounds like you’re taking the right approach in your driving with regards to improving and being smooth etc.

A gear change won’t get you 2 seconds. Typically you’re looking at a tenth or two from a gearing adjustment. If you’re getting up to 54mph and the other guys are 52mph, I don’t see how you could be losing much time on the straights, especially when you say you can keep up just fine in the turns. I can’t speak specifically to 4-stroke gearing, so I’m not sure what your RPMs should be.

If you’re looking for grip you can go to a softer axle. The HH axle is almost the hardest axle in the OTK range, so you are pretty far on one end of that spectrum.

The reality in most cases is that 2 seconds is still likely to be down to driving. Tuning adjustments can’t find you 2 seconds unless something is mechanically wrong with the kart. Got any on-board video to look at?

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I do have some video. I need to upload it first though so stay tuned! Yeah the speed thing really baffles me. Everyone just pulls away out of the corners and leaves me in the dust!

With the 206 the whole idea of the game is to keep speed up through the corners. You have no horsepower to make up for a bad line. What I told my teammates when they were rookies was to feel the chassis and try to listen to the engine. You can sometimes hear when you’re binding the chassis up or pushing too hard as it overpowers the engine. As far as the axle I would maybe try going softer. In my Birel we run the softest compounds since in 206 racing we don’t have that big speed in the corners. Also the setup that may work for one person may not work for another.

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Here is a link to some laps:

Couldn’t upload in HD for some reason… so not the best quality.

Are you letting the kart roll through the corners. Sometimes not letting the kart jack and properly roll can cost you speed.

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I think so. Can you be more specific? I can definitely feel it jacking.

Counted roughly eleven turns. If you are loosing 2 seconds a lap, that would be under two tenths of a second per turn. Hopefully you have a data logger and can analyzed the data to see which corner you are the most inconsistent at. Work on that corner and as you get better at that turn, starting working on the next worst corner for you.

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It is hard to tell, but it looks like you are not getting down to the apex on some of corners. Make sure you are doing that. When I started someone identified two corners as most important. The first is slowest corner(tightest corner). That will be where you spend more time than any where else, so gains can make big difference. Then the corner entering longest straight since you are rewarded or penalized the whole straight.

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Thanks for the replies Tony and Todd. I definitely have room for improvement and i didn’t really think about it as two tenths a turn. That kinda of changes my perspective a bit!

One other thing to note is that most of the other guys seem to redline right after the start finish line. Does that really matter or should I still be able to keep pace with my current gearing? Just not sure if I should change that.

Personally i believe you need to find out exactly what gearing front and rear the front pack is running, put that gearing on your kart and run it the entire time. You will completely rule out gearing as an issue once and for all and will be able to concentrate on other matters.

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Makes sense! :+1:

Also, I know there is a lot of contradictory info on axle choice. So I’m curious what the rule is for OTK. Will the axle make a significant change to the grip/feel?

I am not that familiar with 4 stroke but the driving in the turns seems dominated by big lifts to rotate and slow down kart. In short, you appear to be off the gas quite a bit which would account for slower exit speed.

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For OTK:
Softer = more grip
Harder = less grip

(softest) U > Q > N > H > HH > HD (hardest)

An axle will change the way the kart feels and handles, but like I said, the time gained is going to be in the 0.1-0.2 range usually, even with big changes like an axle.

Agree with Nicholas that you probably want to make sure your gearing is the same as the leader so we can rule that variable out.

As Todd noted, there were some missed apexes in there, so that’s something to work on, hitting every apex every lap.

Overall it doesn’t really look too bad. Just make sure you’re eliminating coasting as much as possible. It’s always either brake or throttle to keep the kart loaded and make sure you’re using the tires as efficiently as possible. Also, you almost always want to be driving through the turn, so getting back to throttle before you hit the apex. There were a few corners where it felt like throttle application was still a bit late.

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where did you put the carmera @TalianStalian13? I am in no way an expert but if your not even hitting the rev limiter on the straight, then you need to add teeth. The track is mostly all low speed corners. Getting to apexes are huge, you can lose as much as a .1 a corner from not getting to an apex. With the 206 on a standard otk chassis I have found that the harder axles help free the go kart up for hairpins. If you don’t want to spend the money, then cut the axle. 1000mm is normal for a cut axle but I have seem axles as short as 880mm. Just my 2 cents.

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@tjkoyen good to know. It really does feel like I’m just lacking grip. They even put new pavement at the track and now it seems like I have even less rear grip! But more front grip? I had to change to a softer front bar cause it was too twitchy.

Here is another video of someone else on the track (old pavement):

For one he doesn’t even let off the throttle in the first turn! I’m not able to pull that off, don’t ask me how I know.

@Noahkoenig134 camera was right behind my visor. I’m hoping to get a go pro mount for the side to get a better shot. I would also note that I have been trying to avoid hitting the curbs at all, just to save my chassis. So that might be hindering my times as well.

Comparing the videos, he lifts about 4 times on a clean lap, you look like you’re lifting about 6 times, and definitely rolling less speed through the center of the corner.

Maybe a little more grip will help you get the confidence up to carry more speed. Getting down to those apexes consistently will definitely help that. Try attacking the corners in different ways and finding what kind of turn-in point it takes to get the kart to go through the corner quicker.

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Two seconds is a lot for an axle change in those conditions. If you’re down overall grip the first thing I’d ask about is the condition/freshness of your tires.

Old rubber that’s been laying up could account for 1-1.5s of the deficit you’re seeing.

Actually at the time of the video I had new tires on. I will say they were probably a couple psi too high though.

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