Who Makes What (2021)

Since kart manufacturers like creating alternate brands to get a different color scheme and some minor geometry changes out in the market, there’s some confusion as to where to get parts. During my kart search this winter, I did a bunch of website searches, looked up stated locations on Google Maps to find if the “manufacturer”'s address was a factory or just an office, and checked the FIA Karting homologation documents.

SodiKart (France) - Sodi, Alpha

OTK Kart Group - TonyKart, EOS, Kosmic Kart, Redspeed, Exprit. Recently left: FA Kart

Tinini Group - CRG, GP, DR Kart, LH Kart, Evokart. Recently discontinued: Zanardi

BirelART - Birel, Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc, Kubica, CompKart

IPK - Praga, Formula K, OK1, RS Kart, ItalKart. Note: IPK is the only manufacturer that lists their chassis’ weight on their site! Everyone else just says they’re the lightest.

Parolin - Parolin, Merlin, Vemme, Energy

Breda - Kart Republic, Alonso, Will Power

Emme Racing SAS - Mad Croc, Race Factory, Drago, Magik Kart , AK USA

Righetti Ridolfi - Mac Minarelli, AllKart, Extreme, Gold

TBKart - TBKart, GFC, Trackmagic

Drew Price Engineering (Australia)- Arrow, Sera, Monaco. Recently discontinued: Deadly

Independents include Margay (in St. Louis, Missouri, USA), TopKart (owned by Comer), Haase, Mach 1, Swiss Hutless, Wright, Gillard, and Tecno.

Intrepid karts just magically appear from somewhere. I would not be surprised if Rodney Berryhill is making them in an Italian-sounding town in Oklahoma.

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First great topic, IPK bought out SKM in about 2010/2011 and Intrepid was made by IPK as recently as 2015ish. IPK also manufactures Ital Kart. There are many things on the Intrepid that are made by IPK (ex Brakes) but im pretty sure the manufacture starts with an M and I think its the same people making the Gary Carlton/TrackMagic Chassis which also use lots of IPK parts.

Nitro is made in conjunction with MGM chassis and I think MGM and Paul rice make the chassis in house. They use Martin for brakes etc…

We had a thread on this a few years ago. It might be a good idea to merge the the two threads and I or @KartingIsLife can go back and update it.

Technically a different topic, as its who actually manufacturers what chassis etc…

Nitro used to be made by Parolin, didn’t realise they’d moved away. At one point all the successful cadets were made by parolin (Nitro, Benik).

Intrepid was made by SKM up to 2010/2011. As you say Intrepid bought SKM (whose majority business was components). Then Mirko Squerzoni took on the Intrepid name and kept making the karts.

There’s a lot more independents, if you want to call them that:
Margay, Haase (used to be made by OTK), Tecno (which has changed ownership a few times), Wright, Gillard (which unfortunately is closing down), Invader etc etc

You missed one bigger factory.:

EMME Racing SAS - Drago, Mad Croc, Race Factory, Magik Kart, AK USA

I remember a few years ago, 5 of them accounted for 90% of chassis sales or something like that, OTK, BIrelArt, CRG (TInini Group), Parolin and IPK. Everyone else is small fry globally.

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I put them in order of my rough estimate of size based on looking at the manufacturing equipment they show and the manufacturing processes chosen on the karts. If you have other information to challenge that order, I’m all ears. Thank you for the Emme information.

Sodi looks like they could build 20k+ karts per year - and they probably do, but 90% of those are rentals.

OTK chassis feature way too many castings and forgings to be worth making that way at under 8k-10k per year and the factory scale reflects it. A good example of this is the bearing carrier - blank cast, then forged, one milling operation to drill and tap all of the holes, one milling operation to get the clamp bolt hole in, one turning operation to get the radius for the bearing. All of the smaller manufacturers will machine these parts from solid in several operations, and will mill that bearing radius - OTK puts three holes at 120 degrees separation to allow a fixture to hold it.

Righetti Ridolfi are hard to rank - it doesn’t look like they make very many chassis but they’re a big supplier and you could joke that after four or five seasons most chassis have turned into them because their parts are the discount option at your local kart shop!

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An update: if you are a dealer or importer, I would like some actual chassis weights.

To get a $20 check from me, send me a picture of the chassis you’d use for Senior TaG on the scales, with a medium seat, and the standard wheels, axle, and torsion bar. First non-redundant weight for each manufacturer gets the twenty bucks.

Any indication as to the actual construction of the chassis’s themselves that justify the differences in price? High quality tubing, better quality welding and craftsmanship, et. Cetera.

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No.

There are old stereotypes about the old Big 3 but I don’t think they’re valid anymore. The old jokes were:

TonyKarts were beautiful-handling karts so soft you could bend the frames picking them up wrong, using technology that the Soviets would reject as too crude, especially in the brake system.

CRGs had a handling sweet spot smaller than the sharp end of a needle, but you could go cartwheeling through the air halfway down the straight and just replace the tie rods. The brakes could’ve stopped the truck and trailer.

Birels both stopped and turned, but the parts catalog needed a year-by-year guide and every kart shop always had spares for the kart built a year after yours.

I wouldn’t believe any of those old saws anymore. Each of those 15 manufacturers has found a recipe for chassis that work, at least with new tires on a hot rubbered-in track. You’ll find an owner of a ten-year-old chassis of any color who puts it on the podium and swears it hasn’t changed, and an owner of the same brand chassis ten weeks old who’s being driven right up the wall trying to keep it aligned. TonyKart still holds the brake disc on with three M6 bolts in single shear but I haven’t seen one break yet so they’re OK, I guess?