When to buy a new kart vs used?

About to wrap up my first season of Lo206 and will also be racing a World Formula. I can swap the motors between chassis but I am considering getting another dedicated chassis.

Considering another chassis for the WF and debating between new or used. Locally this class has less contact than 206 and I’m starting to keep my off tracks to a minimum.

Part of me wonders if I should buy yet another used chassis since the off tracks still happen on occasion. However I do like the fresh start of a new chassis that I know the history on.

When to buy new? When bright and shinny and new means more to you than the money you will save. Or when you want another of what you have to share spares. New instead of good used really just a manner of what you want to do.

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My chassis would all break eventually. There comes a point when welding is not gonna make it right and you pretty much have to get a new one. For me, all the kerb hopping would cause welds towards rear of kart to fail. I’d break a weld before I wore through rails.


If you race enough you’ll find the chassis is the cheapest part of the equation, almost disposable. My recommendation would be to get in a routine of buying new, then selling it and replacing with new every year or so. You’ll only be out about $600-$1000 a year on direct cost for the kart after you sell it almost like new. This way you are always in new stuff.

A good 2nd place alternative for me would be to buy a used kart that is swapped out like this and be the 2nd owner, keep it for a year then sell it. This way you may not be out anything for kart that is fairly close to new.

If you go this 2nd route look for karts from race teams that might have only used them one weekend. They will generally have extra holes drilled where weights were moved around and seat moved, and may have some beat up graphics but they will be all worked out and generally competitive.

This brings up a whole different topic I have pondered for a long time. Club karts vs National Karts. I’ve noticed a club kart generally has the seat mounted once, weights added once, etc. In other words, they get assembled, it feels pretty good to the driver on the one or two tracks they frequent and they leave it that way for eternity. It is somebody’s baby. A national kart on the other hand gets worked over time and time again. In a single weekend we can change the axle 3 times, ride height, seat position, weights, every front adjustment, grind things away for clearance, work on the chassis table, etc. I mean, they are fast but they look like they have gone through a cheese grater. Load it up and do it all again the next weekend. The kart is a disposable part of the program. Have drill will make faster lol


I’d almost consider getting a rotation going, similar to what Jim said. Whether you go new and cycle after a season, or go lightly used from a national race team and cycle after a season or two, I’d put the newer chassis on the WF, and then instead of selling it after a year, demote it down to the LO206 and sell the LO206 frame.

In my experience, the lower the HP, the less the age and ability of the chassis matters. I wouldn’t dare take a 2014/2015 chassis to a national X30 race, but I’d club race it in a 206 any day of the week.


I have been having this discussion with myself lately. And it comes down to am I at the point that a new chassis is going to give me that last little bit to be on the top step? If I am not mixing it up with the front guys on a regular basis then a new chassis isn’t going to make much of a difference. Especially at 206/WF hp levels. Id rather use that money for driver coaching, more practice days etc.

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not completely on topic but where do you race WF?

McMinnville Oregon, we have a big class of 15+ that race monthly. As well as the road races here in Oregon and Washington which can have 30+

opposite side of the country :frowning: we get groups 15-20 in new hampshire. wish it was wider spread

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I bought new chassis at relatively good sale prices. That said, I’m not doing the buy every/other year. The 2 I have should keep me GTG for a while. I hope. Chassis guards FTW.

Often it depends on the deals that are available to you vs what is going to work best for your racing program’s budget.

As mentioned above, the difference in cost between good used vs new chassis could pay for coaching, or a bigger tire budget… or anything else that might have a larger impact on your performance over the course of the season.

Example… If I had to make the choice… I’d take a good used chassis on fresh rubber over a new chassis and used rubber anyday… provided I have enough coaching to make good use of the rubber.

Ideal situation of course is to have a budget for all of these things…

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Considering new is partly due to availability of good condition karts in my area. I am near a big performance group (RPG) but they haven’t had any karts available.

I would prefer to spend less but spending more wouldn’t keep me from getting the things I want/need~I don’t really have a budget.

Side note on coaching, I would love to get some but hear it doesn’t have a big impact until your fighting for 1/10ths.

I would think that to get to the point that you are fighting for tenths would be the hard part. Coaching involves different things at different times in your development. To me, its probably one of the no-brainers, n00b or pr0.

But, it depends I guess on how you like to learn and think about your driving and whether you click with the coaches style, imho.

I actually love to learn and would love the idea of a coach. I was somewhat lucky as the guy I bought my kart from his son was one of the fastest 4 stroke guys here who have become friends.

They pit with me and have been helping, but I am a data nerd and would love to get some deeper coaching. Even video analysis if possible.

I think I’d disregard that particular piece of advice. Coaching comes in many forms.

At the least it sounds like a day or two with someone who’s good with data could help you…help yourself.

I feel like if you don’t think you’re ready for coaching then you’re probably not ready for a new chassis. I could be way off base here as I’m still super new.

It’s not about upgrading my current kart or expecting to get a ton of speed from it. I want to build a second kart so I can have dedicated karts for the two classes. So as I am looking for a second kart, trying to figure out what options I have.

I’m tracking now. I’m also looking to add a chassis to add a 2 stroke to the arsenal.

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I’m going to jump in here and say that good coaching always helps, whether you’re finding seconds or tenths. A good coach will know how to help you set the goals that you’re after. The driver mod is the best investment you can make, regardless of the age of the chassis.

Honestly, the age of the chassis and how much it’s been used will matter to me more than the year. Over all of the chassis that I’ve had, I’ve only bought new once or twice, either just for the experience, or to support a dealer.

It is a nice feeling to be on something that has only had one owner, but that’s just also to make myself feel good.

Like I tell everyone though, new eventually becomes used, so unless you’re fighting for national wins, look for a good kart, not always a new one.

Easy answer, if you feel like you need a new kart, is look to at the karts that are already fighting at the front of the field in your class. Are they regularly on new chassis? How much experience do the drivers in them have? That’ll help you make a decision.

But I’m with James, I’d rather choose a nice used chassis on new rubber, than a new chassis on used rubber, any day.

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