Share Your Best Knucklehead Karting Mistake

I Have forgotten to put the transponder on my Sons kart…

First time stepping away from club racing at Road America and had never done qualifying before. Lined up like normal On the grid and as the kids were leaving the grid someone jokingly yelled out, “at least I remembered the transponder this time”

DOH!! :man_facepalming:

Randy will ask and double check just to make sure now.


@OldFartKarter I had the opposite happen to my boy (age 10) in his pre-final this past year. The locking nut wasn’t tight on the brake rod connecting to the master cylinder and about half way through the race the rod vibrated out. watched him blast through turn 1 at about 40mph (around a 20mph turn). He kept calm and thought quickly enough to park it in the grass before hitting something worse. safe to say that we have a backup cable on there as a fail-safe now…

Started from the pole at a WKA race at South Bend in KPV after dominating all day, went into turn 2 on the start (the chicane) and completely locked the brakes up, slid right into the run-off area and had to take the access road back onto the track. Lost 3 or 4 spots and ended up finishing 3rd with fast lap. :man_facepalming:

That’s a pretty awesome result, considering. But your pals probably enjoyed watching you scramble back.

Took a kerb that you shouldn’t take in qualifying at F100 O Plate and lost chain and pole.
Started final in 5th and thought it was easy money. First lap… same kerb… lost chain.

I couldn’t believe my own idiocy


Sucker for the send. I can relate.

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Ok. here is a triple/quadruple in one day. F Series at GoPro class F125 (Leopards only). 10+ hr drive from NJ.

  • did not qualify well, not sure why. Was in the top 3 in practice the day before

  • heat 1 - moved up enough to go to the tech barn and my fast lap was within .1 of winner’s fastest and .2 of fastest lap overall. Felt good but kart was super slow out of the slowest uphill corner but monster fast most of the rest of the track – especially the fast stuff. Spent lots of time between races trying to figure out what to do to get off that corner better. And tach was not working, reading at least 1,000 rpm lower than it should so the AIM guy took a look but could not find anything wrong. Ended up putting more caster in to try to get off that corner better. I am bad at front end stuff so this took just about all the time to get the kart ready between races.

  • heat 2 - spark plug fell out going into the monza on lap 1. backed into the wall but did not hit it hard. In tech for race 1 they took out the plug and I forgot to tighten it back up following tech. Damn…stupid stuff like this annoys me to no end.

  • heat 3 - on the gird start the kart on the stand and low and behold – lop, lop goes the left rear wheel…the axle was bent from the light contact with plastic barrier. I would never have guessed it would be bent. Too late to do anything. Watch the race from the grid.

  • pack up and go home. $2000 at least spent and one heat race completed. At least I would have good practice tires for the next round at New York Race Complex.

Follow-up on the Mychron issue. Re-route all the wires, change the RPM lead. Next race same problem. 1,000 rpm less than it should be. Oh well. Kart is still rocket fast, typically within .1 or .2 of the fastest kart. Still a touch slow off the slowest corner but richen the low jet and it helps. Monster fast on the straight – I must be 3-5 mph faster top speed than most of the other karts in the class. Motor was just rebuilt before GoPro so I am thinking my builder did a crazy good job this time. Just some bad in race luck prevented this from being a podium weekend.

Get home and prepare for the next race at Pitt Race – need to change to a 10-tooth driver. Low and behold, I had a 12-tooth driver on the kart at NY Race Complex and GoPro. Not sure how I made this mistake, I did not even know I had a 12 tooth driver. So I was turning literally 1000 rpm+ less. GoPro max RPM was 15200-15300, NY Race Complex 14,900. Honestly at NYRC, I am not too sure that it was that much of a disadvantage. The track is crazy fast so I don’t think trying to pull 16,500 with a Leopard is the fast way around the track.

Pitt Race with the right 10T driver - podium. It only took 3 races.


I wish I had a dollar for every time I saw the ol’ “wrong driver sprocket” one. Don’t think I’ve seen it take 3 races to figure out though!

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Yep, happened me in a shifter… I was wondering why I was doing TaG times at gingerman… All weekend I thought it was just shitty driving or the motor was tired…

Looked at the data after the weekend and sure enough I was just barely getting into triple digits.

I think my worst one was this year. Running at Badger, I made 3rd on Saturday. Feeling really good, we got the kart through tech and I was getting the kart ready for Sunday. I took apart the clutch to clean it, then asked my dad to put it back together while I got to cleaning the rest of the kart after the rain.

So, we get to Sunday and the kart is still fast, except in qualifying I forgot the fuel cap, so I had to run qualifying with one hand on the tank to not lose fuel. 24th, great.

Pre-final goes okay and I make it to 11th.

As we’re sitting on the grid for the final, I notice the kart is creeping forward while it’s idling, which it doesn’t normally do. I note it, but can’t do anything now so I decide to go out and figure it out after the race.

We’re 3 laps in, and suddenly my kart is revving super high but not accelerating at the top end, and suddenly the motor starts vibrating pretty hard as well, so I figure “okay, that’s definitely not right” and pull off.

Well, we missed the roller bearing that sits on the crankshaft and centers the clutch drum when we put the clutch back together. This meant the drum was sitting on the shoes instead of bring centered equally over the shoes assembly. Over the day, the shoes cracked, and by the final I only had one shoe left. The other two were completely cracked off.

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Here’s two more, one I was not part of, just noticed that a competitor did, and the other I was an accomplice to.

The first one, I witnessed, I think this is opposite to the ones where someone forgot the transponder. In our qualifying session, there ended up being a non registered transponder getting timing. Come to find out, one of the competitors had one in her pocket, while she also had one attached to the kart. She was running 2 classes, and her second class she didn’t have a transponder mount for that one, so she kept the transponder in her pocket.

The second one that I was an accomplice to, goes to the wrong driver. The last race may daughter ran in cadet, we had borrowed a clutch drum with a 10 tooth driver because our 10T was rattling pretty bad, and I only had an 11T as a backup. After the race was over, I returned the 10T and put the 11T on. I then posted the kart for sale, and 2 months later a friend at our local track bought it for his daughter. He ran several club races geared with the 11T with a rear sprocket for running the 10T. He couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t getting the RPMs. In August, the regional racing series came to our local track, and they decided to race it. Needless to say, she set TQ, and a lap record at the track, all on the wrong gear. Where she got hurt was the start as 2nd and 3rd were able to out accelerate her at the start. It wasn’t until 2 or 3 races later at a different track that someone else pointed out that we had an 11T driver on there. Then it all came back to me as to how the 11T got on there.