If you know that you will always need to add at least 30-40 pounds to make minimum weight, would you be better off putting that towards frame rigidity or other performance components first to close the gap? That would seem like a better use for the needed weight rather than it just being along for the ride.
If so, what would you target?
I’m about 5’11”, 138-140lbs and race rentals with ballast. As I’m thinking about the best LO206 kart for my size, this seems like a key factor to consider.
Anyone have any heavier kart brands/component recommendations to target?
I agree that weight as opposed to age makes sense. A light master could run senior as it stands tho. Some folks might prefer just to race with other adults tho.
Weights are always contentious because the people that set them have to think the spectrum of racers on the grid.
Us drivers are just thinking about ourselves on an individual level. The old chestnut of “well, more people would race if the weight was xxx” has shown to be false more than once.
Subjectively I’d say most senior 30mm chassis are good for anything for the 340-380lb mark. I don’t think I’d look too much into it in terms of kart decision. Above that, then maybe 32, but with an OHV four stroke I’m not sure how that would go.
It’s pain to have to put that much lead on (not to mention lifting the kart). At least you get that tuning window that others don’t have. It was a trick Adrian Newey used at McLaren to win at least one WC.
In summary, pick your chassis based on the support available at the races you plan running. If you can narrow that down to a specific class, tire and weight even better.
As long as you get a 30mm chassis the weight thing isn’t an issue as the kart can handle the weight just fine. I would sugguest scaling the kart so you can put the weight proportionally.
For reference- My daughters cadet kart has over 40 pounds of weight strapped to it, and even that chassis can handle the weight just fine.
Frame rigidity is not the 100% good thing it is in the car world. For a kart, the chassis is the spring, and handling is extremely sensitive to where it flexes and how much. In fact, this is what I see as the biggest difference between a 2-stroke chassis and a 4-stroke chassis (2-stroke chassis tend to have larger, stiffer tubes on account of higher loads from being faster and more powerful) since most 2-stroke chassis can accommodate a 4-stroke (but not all). There’s really not a “useful heaviness”. Brakes are dead weight most of the time, so going heavier there won’t make you faster (maybe even slower because they’d never get heat). Extra gas is not that heavy (6lbs/gal) and not helpful unless you need forward ballast. Heavy bodywork is all far from the CG, so the increase in polar moment is a huge downside of going heavy there. The seat must flex for the chassis to work, so heavy there won’t help. A couple parts like maybe bearings, spindles, steering components could probably get beefed up with minimal downside, but there’s not a whole lot of weight to be added to those.
I am 150lbs and my Praga Dragon (2-stroke chassis) and overkill brakes (2-stroke intent) with 206 scaled at 330lbs without lead. So even with a heavier chassis, 365lbs is pretty hefty.
Find out what track or tracks you will be running and see what brand of karts everyone is using. I would run a brand of kart that supports your track. For LO 206 kart brands , Coyote and MGM make really good karts.