What Class to try next?

A post was split to a new topic: Shifter Karts on alibaba Marketplace

Haven’t seen the karts on Alibaba, but no those wouldn’t fit into any class here and I’m not sure how they would even mount onto a kart.

As James said, shifters are extremely physical. They’ll beat the crap out of you if you aren’t in good physical condition. Also, they’re incredibly fast. We’re talking supercar performance. F1 drivers say they are the closest thing to an F1 car out there. Without building up to that speed, grip, and power, you’re very likely to hurt yourself or someone else. It’s very difficult to mentally keep up with any kart, let alone a shifter. You wouldn’t jump into an F18 for your first flying lesson, you wouldn’t jump into a shifter for your first karting lesson.

Not to mention, with a handful of gears, a ton of power, and sticky tires, it’s incredibly easy to get complacent with your driving and develop a ton of bad habits that will result in you either plateau-ing in your driving skill or never developing the proper driving techniques to go fast.

Now, all that being said, if you want to go out and blast around on practice days by yourself and not actually race with anyone, it’s less of an issue. But putting a newbie on-track in a shifter with other karts is a recipe for disaster.

1 Like

@Scout This is why a shifter as a newbie is a bad idea. I normally roll my eyes when I see a newbie in one to race,because they’re normally intimated, exhausted or have crashed it by year end.

Better to ease into something, like 206, then TAG, then shifter.

A long reply because there’s a lot to cover, the races you’d like to attend with the classes you’re looking into all have their ups and downs:

Canaan (NHKA): If you’re starting to get bored running World Formula at Canaan, you will definitely be bored running the slower 206 engine there. Especially since the 206 classes are smaller than WF in the NHKA.

Rock Island and Elkhart: There was no TaG class at Rock Island this year. There was no TaG class at the Elkhart GP this year either. That doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be a TaG class at either event next season, but don’t be surprised if there isn’t.

However, there was a TaG Masters class (Age 30 or 35+, dependent on weight) and a IAME-only TaG class (16+) at the 2018 Brickyard race.

Daytona: They have a licensing system for the higher-hp classes like shifters for their Road Racing events. Recently, I was going over the minutes of one of the WKA Directors’ meetings, and it looks like they’ve made the experience levels needed to get a license to run a shifter at the Road Racing events more stringent. Your World Formula experience at Canaan might be enough to qualify to run a 125 shifter at Daytona, but I don’t know for sure. You’d have to contact the WKA to see if you’re eligible.

One thing I know for certain, you are definitely eligible, right now, to run a TaG kart at a WKA Road Race like Daytona. WKA has a sizable “IAME Sprint” class in Road Racing.

So there’s no perfect class to hit all of the races you’re looking to attend, you’d have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each engine on your own.

Two other things to consider about racing a shifter kart: there is more “stuff” to maintain on a shifter, and most gearbox karts do not have an electric start like TaG has. Have you talked to Dave Nadeau about his experience with a shifter? I know he dabbled with a Stock Honda while running World Formula in the NHKA. Keith Buffo is another driver who has done both.

Another idea, if you really want to bang gears, see if you can arrange an Arrive and Drive with one of the local shops like DRT, even though it’s late in the season, to get an idea what it’s like to drive a shifter kart, before you jump in.

One thing you can possibly do, since you already have a chassis for it, is get a TaG engine, and rent a 206 motor for Rock Island and Elkhart (big 206 fields there), I wouldn’t be surprised some shop or team would have 206 engines available for those races.

Finally KA100; it’s a really attractive package, but performance-wise, it’s right in the middle of WF and TaG, and I just don’t see the KA100 gaining a foothold in the NHKA or X1 while the World Formula is as popular as it is now, (and still growing). There just isn’t incentive for all of the WF racers right now to make the jump from such a healthy karting class to start a new one.

-C. Skowron

1 Like

And on the talk about NHKA running the full NHMS course again, oh please tell me this is true…

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Day out at Pacific Raceway

Tiny chance! A bunch of us were telling Keith and Mike that we’d be interested and willing to pay extra to do it once a season. Since the kart counts are so high the risk of sticking the club with a huge bill is much lower. The only problem would be the amount of barriers and cones needed and getting them from Canaan but the seed has been planted so let’s see what happens.

1 Like

I’ve talked with Keith a ton about the shifter and I’m more than ready, I love the competition in WF but I’ve been racing 4 cycle off and on since I was 12 and I think that I’d like a new challenge. I’m now 38 and in good shape so I’d like to give the shifter a go unfortunately everyone around here is running ICC. I feel it would be best to learn on a stock Honda, problem is there are only a handful to race with. As for the one offs, those are races that I would like to run if they don’t work out then I’ll keep enjoying my racing with the NHKA!

True KZ/ICC motors, (and KZ-derived engines like the Vortex Rok Shifter), definitely are the kings of shifterkart racing here in the New England area, I’ll agree with that. But even though they’re aren’t as many Stock Hondas running here, I don’t think they will disappear completely from the scene. If there are not enough Hondas to have their own class, I’m sure they would fit them in the existing shifter classes, at least at the club level like X1 and NHKA.

I know that Indy, Rock Island and Elkhart shifter races this year all had either separate KZ and Moto classes or were mixed KZ and Stock Moto. In other words, the Stock Honda had a place to race at all of those events this year.

If you’re a little torn between the Honda and KZ (The pedant in me says ICC hasn’t been a thing since 2006), you could to halfway and run the RoK shifter. I believe there are some guys running them in the F Series

ROK, or perhaps KZ-ES if you want CR-like durability & reduced maintenance intervals in a KZ motor with a starter, though at the cost of lower output compared to a full on KZ (TM KZ10 ES makes ~40 hp).

I was really going with commonly supported packages though.

I agree that he should stick to whatever is supported in his area (Which I thought KZ was), particularly with regard to the choice of engine.

1 Like

I didn’t think the ES was allowed in KZ classes. But you could remove the starter of course if the rest conforms, and I’m sure some clubs/tracks would accommodate it too. But the RoK gets in as-is.

The NHKA is pretty accommodating when it comes to classes and engines. If someone were to come with an oddball motor (within reason), they would find a place for it,

X1’s current rules for their Shifter Class are odd. Besides the Stock Honda, and true CIK-Homolagated KZs, they allow the old Sonik Shifter, and the Maxter MXE in their class. But no sign of TM KZ10ES or Vortex Rok in their ruleset.

And yet, I’ve seen Vortex Rok shifters race there as recently as a month ago. So I guess their class guidelines at that track are somewhat loose.


1 Like

The #'s are horrible at X1 and I won’t get into why but they’re definitely not turning anyone away! I know I’d be able to run the stock Honda at NHKA events but I’m going to get bored real quick racing 2 people, I’d rather run WF against 25 people. I’ve got some time to figure it out, worst case scenario I’ll stick to WF and run 206 at Rock Island and Indy.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Day out at Pacific Raceway

I’m in a similar situation. Great group here running WF but I’m wanting to run something else as well.

I haven’t done a road race so wondering if I tried that if I would be really into it and would satisfy my desire to change things up.

I talked with one of the HPD (Honda Performance Division) Reps several years ago during the SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. At that time he told me Honda had already ceased production on the 125 cylinders and parts. Whatever was left in their stockpile would be enough to satisfy the market for a few more years at the national level. Regional and Clubs could continue much longer.

I think this is why SKUSA began the shift to the IAME Shifter toward the end of 2018. They had already been developing it for two years prior. This to me says they knew it was coming and were trying to get ahead of it. Already in bed with IAME in the X30 program, it makes sense to implement another stock program with them in the shifter category as well. All of the infrastructure is already in place.

1 Like

Agreed, Honda CR125 is a slowly dying class.

In my experience shifters are too much work for technical sprint tracks, TAGs are much better as you get to use both hands. If you have a fast wide sweep track, shifters can be more fun.

1 Like