Starting Kart Racing In Australia (Aussie checkin topic)

gettingstarted

(Tinoda Pfidze) #1

I’m sure there is plenty advice to be had but I realize this forum is American based, so I was wondering if there are any Australian members on this forum who could offer me some advice/assistance in getting started karting in Australia.

Otherwise any advice is welcome! Here is a little bit of information if its helpful for anyone.

I am 15 years old (turning 16 in November). I was thinking of joining the (Beginner) KA4 Senior class and getting myself the appropriate kart, I was wondering what my best option would be (IAME KA100 Reedjet or Yamaha KT100J / new or second hand etc.). I have driven go karts on just a couple of occasions but I am quite competent with learning to control speed, acceleration and breaking when in a new kart. I am very competitive and confident at the wheel, but safety is always my priority. Any direction as to where to purchase a kart or what to look for when buying a kart would be awesome – this is same for protective equipment

(Keep in mind I don’t have an amazing budget but I do understand karting is an expensive sport.)

Thanks for any assistance at all!


(Dom Callan) #2

15 going on 50… very articulate. Pretty sure we get Aus visitors. I also expect that there will be some strong feelings KA vs KT from your countrymen. :smile:


(Dom Callan) #3

Dunno about Australia, but if you are in a budget, the kt100 is almost being given away used here as fewer and fewer places are running the Yamaha. Should be able to pick one up cheap.


(James McMahon) #4

Hey @Tinoda_Pfidze. Yes we do have some Aussies on here. Top Blokes too…

I believe @Motormouse is from down under.
Maybe @MeLLeR ?
@Jacedownsouth ?

There are others for sure, but I can’t think of their names (Sorry guys).


(Jason Allan) #5

@KartingIsLife Yes, I’m from Australia.

@Tinoda_Pfidze my advise to you is to get yourself down to your local track and find out which classes are popular, before you commit to anything.
There are 2 routes you could follow as a Senior Novice- either the KA4/3 path or restricted 125

My preference would be for you to bypass the Yamaha engines and get the KA100 which is in my opinion the best option. Depending on what your local club offers you can run either with the restrictor (KA4) or without (KA3)
These classes are both suitable for beginners.
There is nothing stopping you starting off with the Yamaha, you would not be competitive but you could get your experience up before buying a better package.

125 restricted could also be an option for you, essentially a quicker route through to the open classes. It is popular in most states, but to me it adds to many extra things, (radiators to be broken, pressure to move up etc.) when KA3 is generally quick enough to satisfy your need for speed without the added complications.

There are also 4 stroke options out there, but you really do need to find out what is popular in your area before committing to any class.
In my opinion the KA3 classes are only going to get more popular as the juniors who have been using the KA100 for several years now, are moving through to seniors.

I am in the West, so apart from saying the major kart stores would be willing to help I cannot speak for the eastern states.
I would stick with a mainstream chassis. Arrow, Birel, Tonykart, only because parts are easier to get than some of the others.
There are few 2nd hand KA100’s complete karts and bare engines around for reasonable prices, get yourself on one of the Karting Facebook Buy and Sell groups for Australia and have a look. The only real question you need to ask after checking that the chassis is ok is what size the piston is in the KA. Smallest is 48.2mm and biggest is 48.5mm.
This will tell you how old the engine is, you want as close to 48.2 as possible.

Feel free to direct message me.


(Greg Meller) #6

Hey @Tinoda_Pfidze welcome to kartpulse!

@Jacedownsouth nailed it perfectly.

  • Go to your local track and see what they race and advise. I’d bet they suggest KA100
  • Join kart buy swapamd sell australia on facebook and look for a second hand kart and gear.
  • Expect to spend $3k on a kart. $400 for a new lid and that again for gloves, suit and boots.
  • Visit the Karting Australia (the Governing body) website to apply for a licence. ~$200? iirc plus the costs of your local club membership.
  • SP tools do a deal on a basic kart tool set. Quality tools and a basic set to get people started. ~$250?
  • have a think about how you can transport a kart to and from the track.

Most of all, have fun and come and tell us all about it. Onya :+1::+1:


(Tinoda Pfidze) #7

Thanks so much everyone! I’ll take this all in and see what I can work out, I appreciate all the assistance It’s quite overwhelming to be honest but thank you all. I’ll let you know how it goes.


(Alan Roberts) #8

Hi @Tinoda_Pfidze.
What state are you in. I’m from Melbourne. Agree with above comments. Get along to your next club day which is the last weekend of the month for most clubs. If you happen to be in Melbourne (Todd Rd) we’re racing this weekend.


(Tinoda Pfidze) #9

Hello @Alan_Roberts I’m from Queensland and yeah will do.


(Greg Meller) #10

Im in Qld too, Cairns specifically :+1:

I don’t know if im allowed to post links here? Apologies if not James.
Check out http://www.karting.net.au/ for the KA website with a Get Started tab near the top.

And Karting Queensland: http://www.kartingqld.com.au/

Onya :+1::+1:


(James McMahon) #11

Of course :laughing:, as long as it’s relevant/helping the conversation.

Unless it’s, eh, of a questionable nature :wink:


(Tinoda Pfidze) #12

@MeLLeR Thank you, I am familiar with the sites.


(Lee Swindell) #13

Gold Coast here.

My advice? spend your money on driving in a hire kart league rather than buying your own gear. I know it feels good to have your own setup, but apart from being expensive to buy, karts are expensive and difficult to run and rapidly obsolete. You’ll need crew (hopefully free but maybe not) and the right set of wheels to hump all your stuff to and from the track.

You can avoid all this by getting in with an enduro team, with whom you pay your dough, show up and drive - all that other stuff (which is not fun and gets in the way of learning the craft) is done for you. An enduro will cost 2 to 3 hundred bucks and gets you into the scene where you’ll learn stuff which will help you later go out and buy the right gear.

You might hate it. Best to find that out before building your own team.


(Tinoda Pfidze) #14

@Motormouse That is fair but I don’t think that would be an option for me, I’m in a fairly ‘rural’ area and finding a team like that is basically impossible. I am aware that karts are high maintenance and do drain a lot of money, I’m not too worried about spending long hours trying to fix an issue with the engine or repairing or replacing a part - I enjoy any sort of hands on work. But. I do see your point and that would be really great but it’s just not an option really.


(Peter Mitchell) #15

To be honest forget ka4 snr I’m yet to see any seniors race this class it’s a ka100 with a resteictor. Ka3 snr is starting to pick up slowly as has been mentioned due to the Jnrs moving up but that will still take some time. Personally I would go for ka3 snr or a Tag Restricted such as x30, then when you feel ready take the restrictor out and race opens. Price between the KA 100 and an x30 is not much difference. Along the eastern seaboard the Tags are way more popular and you won’t have to buy another motor if you decide you want to go faster. The KA 100 is a good motor nonetheless and is solid and has a 125 bottom end. Either way if you think you are going to be in the game for a long time I would definitely go to x30 where you have the option of restricting the motor initially and will have more competitors on race day.


(Tinoda Pfidze) #16

@Mav1 Thanks for that insight and honestly the idea of getting an x30 doesn’t sound too bad to me and I’d sure hope I’ll be on the scene for a long time, I know I’m no Lewis or Alonso but I really feel confident about being in a faster kart and I really want to get out there and do something and be competitive and have a real fun time. I assume the maintenance is much higher though right? Especially with a radiator and such?


(Jason Allan) #17

The costs between restricted 125 and KA3/4 are pretty much even. There are arguments both ways, but the average karter would not notice the difference between them.
Open 125 however… Tyres. You can expect to throw away a set of tyres after every race meet. Engine Maintenance costs also go up.

I would say again, head down to your local track and find out what is popular before making that decision. I would personally rather you were just “in” Karting regardless of what class you choose. That being said, buy a KA…


(Tinoda Pfidze) #18

Well yeah @Jacedownsouth I will head to my club and see what the go is but the only thing for me is I still have to wait a few weeks before I talk to my parents about it so right now I’m just absorbing all the information I can get but I’ll keep all that you said in mind for sure.


(Tinoda Pfidze) #19

Hey guys I’m here with an update with what I have found so far.

For my safety equipment I have generally stuck with SPARCO, they seem quite reliable (helmet and suit are certified) and the price is good, so good for someone starting out like me.

I have left out wet tires and a wet suit out right now just because I don’t think I’ll experience much rainy days in my area, but if I see it will definitely give me an advantage and be worthwhile, I’ll invest in some.

I have a few questions but first, I have talked to someone my age who races and he has a KA 100 and races KA3, and that is the only engine they run for that class. I have contacted my local dealers, there are 2 in my area (although I managed to piss one off for asking for a kart less than $3,000?) but I am waiting for a response from the other but they seem a bit more reliable. I’ve asked for their recommendations and then fill in the boxes and see where it stands. I have been looking on buy and sell but the locations for most of them are just out of reach.
I do want to avoid buying a trailer IF possible, I think I’d be able to fit a kart inside my car, its a 2016 Land Cruiser Prado? I have heard people getting-by by removing a set of tires or side pod and I wouldn’t mind the increased setup time really, but if anyone has any info on that kind of thing, it’d be helpful, otherwise I’m looking at adding another $1400 to my cost.

I’m not sure if this is a really tiny number but I am in the Good ol Australian Outback (The area I live in is quite small) but I found that there usually 3-4 people on the grid for track days, and about 7-11 people at regional races. I think that is a decent number but then again I have no comparison.

So my questions for you guys were,
What kind of fuel would I run with a KA, what octane and mixture ratio etc. And also how much I’d expect to be spending on fuel?

And

How much are race entry fees usually, because I have found between $50 and $55 but I presume it varies club to club?

Thanks for any and all feedback again.


(Dom Callan) #20

In the USA a 5 gallon drum of race fuel and a bottle of oil runs about $100 combined. We run vp98 for x30.