Tipping Out of Seat

Did my first “race” today. In the first practice I was being tipped out of my seat in the tight turns. I had to push on the steering wheel to stay in my seat. I feel like all I do is fight the kart to stay inside.
Second practice saw me get lapped twice by the whole field in five minutes. I literally cannot focus on driving in my kart: no idea where my lines were, where I was braking, or anything really.
I went home after that. I really need some advice or I’m afraid I just wasted thousands of dollars on getting embarrassed.

The seat is snug, but low. I also hate how much it leans back, I feel awkward and like I’m passenger.

Please advise.

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Hey Bryan- I’m sure you’ll find many knowledgeable people here that are eager to help. Could you post a couple of pictures of you current kart from various angles to show the current driving position and seat placement? Could be some opportunities to revise, though I’ll also say that karting is quite difficult and takes considerable time to be on the pace.

Did you jump straight into racing? Are you able to get some track time on practice days to practice and get more familiar with the kart and track?

It sounds like you’re trying to lean out of the seat and sit upright. If you have any photos of the kart and you in it that would help out a lot. It’ll take a good number of practice laps, but you will get comfortable with the seat laying back further than you’re used to.

One thing that will help out is to drive with your shoulders instead of your arms. Lean back into the seat, and use your back and shoulders to push your outside hand up and against the wheel. It’ll be easier on your arms, give you more control, and help you feel more stable in the seat.

Pictures of the kart would help us figure out if your seat is too big or too small. An improper fitting seat will also lead to the same feeling of falling out of the kart.

I agree, if you’re not naturally comfortable being laid back so much then straighten up the seat a bit. What prep did you do? Practice sessions? Or straight in?

First time(s) out in a race situation you can succumb to a bit of sensory overload- everything comes at you so fast you’re not able to process it quick enough. Keep at it you’ll expect what’s coming more and then it gets easier to concentrate on other stuff

So, to answer your questions as best I can:
I did one practice day, the day I bought the kart in January. Weather has kept me from more practice sessions. I had the same issue in my practice session, but I was so excited to have the kart I didn’t think about. Also, since it was just me on the track I did not realize how much I was being slowed down by feeling like I’m about to get tossed.

I uploaded what pics I have of the kart. I don’t have many of me in the kart, so apologies for that.

So, I am a larger man, and could it be that my ass is too big for the seat, and even though I feel very snug in it, and not actually contacting the bottom as much? I did read some other posts before I posted this and it seems that larger guys (usually taller than me) have had good luck with Tillet seats. I am wrong in thinking that a seat with a taller back and ideally sides might support me more and fix my issue?

I really appreciate everyone helping me. From the track to the forums this community has been awesome :slight_smile:

If you want to see what my hands were doing (and I know I was doing some things wrong) here is a link to my first time in the kart:

Practice session/Watch From 3:42

If you watch from 3:42 for two laps you’ll have an idea of what I’m doing.

Thanks again!

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Did you install the seat yourself or did you have a shop install it for you? We want to make sure it’s in the right place first off. You look pretty scrunched up to the wheel.

Depending on your body type, a deeper seat might suit you better if you feel you can’t hold yourself in the seat. That being said, karting is obviously very physical and you should probably be pushing yourself into the seat somewhat, but if your core strength isn’t high enough you might feel you are unable to hold your body up in the tighter corners.

I’ll watch this carefully but my intital observation is that it looks completely normal for first time in a kart.

There’s a period of simply just getting used to what the kart and the tires can do on a basic level and we all go through a period of learning that.

So, you go too fast into the corner and then push wide. But then next corner you try something different and maybe you are too slow. But eventually, you get it correct.

As you practice with other people on the track you will follow and observe them and copy them, learning much.

I really would not allow myself to feel too frustrated with your first day. It’s a process and it takes some time, but it will come and it is worth the uncomfortable ego realignment.

But yeah let’s get your seating position dialed in. You want to feel like you are on top of the kart and athletic when seated.


From my limited knowledge of 4-cycle chassis, that seat position looks completely normal. It is a tad reclined compared to the standard Euro chassis placement, but I think that’s pretty standard for 4-cycle stuff in order to keep center of gravity low.

You may see if you can test fit some other seats in attempt to find something that’s more comfortable for you. It should feel like you’re sitting IN the seat, and not on the seat.

A lot of your issues may stem from Dom’s points of karting being difficult when new to the sport. Core strength is an absolute must, and if you’re not in decent race shape the kart will let you know quickly lol

Don’t be embarrassed by being off the pace. WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE, and everyone has to start somewhere. It takes many many hours of practice and dedication to be at the pace of the “fast” guys, so don’t get discouraged, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to those around you. Nearly everyone at the track will be willing to help.

Like Evan said, don’t be worried about the pace. Get some practice in and you’ll get there quicker than you think.

For your seat, it looks like you need a deeper seat, and it looks like you’re very crowded in the seat as well. I would look at mounting the seat further back, and get a deeper seat if the issue persists.

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Seat looks way too small and you look like you’re sitting on it rather than in it.

One practice then straight in at the deep end - respect your ballsyness :joy:

I would advise a ton of practice until you’re within 4 or 5 seconds of a decent lap time then get stuck in to races and learn from those around you, but you gotta be within the ball park to learn - you won’t learn a thing watching them fly past you.

My first race I had to do the ARKS test to enter because I needed to get a cik license, which meant I had to get myself to within 5 seconds (1:04) of a good lap time (0.59) to be able to write the test, even then I was lapped by half distance, I think I’d be a safety hazard if I was any slower, but it all comes together eventually. Seat time seat time seat time. It’s essential.

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A few thoughts for you Bryan…
You appear to be a big guy and you also call yourself a big guy. To me the seat you have pictured is not helping your situation. Not so much the physical size of the seat but the depth of the seat up higher. Its tough to tell if you have a rib protector on, but I am going to guess if you don’t that seat will put a hurting on your ribs very soon. Tillet makes excellent seats but again not really deep seats. You have two options for a seat that is deeper. Ribtect (ribtect.com) and Deepseat (https://franklinkart.com). Eventually, you may find you want to go back to seat like you have pictured at some point but for now I think you are fighting too many things, make yourself as comfortable seated as possible. If you want to keep this seat it appears you could adjust the placement so that it is further back from the pedals and maybe not raked as much. Did the builder or kart shop recommened or install it in the current placement?

As for pace. unless you have raced karts before don’t worry about your pace. It took me a season before I found the pace to be competitive. If you have been involved with other forms of racing in my experience it doesn’t matter much. I have seen several guys that run SCCA or circle track think they are going to show up and be competitive and they usually aren’t. Practice is going to be what you need.

Your kart appears to be a locally made kart so if you can refer to the builder for help, they should be able to help with seat placement and chassis set up.

Another seat to consider

TJ I had the whole kart, seat install included, done by a local shop. They’ve been really good to me, but most of their clientele are a bit more svelte than I am. I am going to look into a deeper seat. I’m also going to play with how close I am to the wheel.
Thank you!

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Thanks for the kind words Dom! I’m going to keep at it!

Evan, I intend to keep at it until I’m better.
Most everyone at my track seems to have the X-Seat that I have, I think some folks below recommended the DeepSeat, so I am going to look at that.

Thanks again!

Deeper is the word I was struggling to find earlier when I was thinking of what my ideal seat would feel like.
Thank you!

“Ballsyness” is a kind way of saying “idiotically optimistic,” and to that end I intend to get my seat fitment issues sorted and then just practice, practice, practice.

It’s funny you mention worrying about being a safety hazard because that’s one of the reasons I left; I didn’t see how my being a rolling chicane was fair to the other guys in my class, or safe.

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Robert thank you so much for the links and also, like several others have done, pointing out that ‘deepness’ is the attribute that I need to find in my next seat. The builder of my kart installed the seat after having me try in out, and all I knew about trying it out was that it needed to be ‘snug.’ Mine is snug, but I do think I am more “on it” than “in it.”
I am thinking about adjusting the rake of the seat.

As for me, my only “racing” has been rental karts.

Thanks again!

Matthew, I have the tab open now in my browser, thank you!

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