Who Makes What (2022)

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, Gillard, Exprit. Recently left: FA Kart

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

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

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, TopKart

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, Jacques Villeneuve

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

Independents include Margay (in St. Louis, Missouri, USA), Factory Kart (in Riverside, California, USA) Haase, Mach 1 (DE), Wright (UK), AirKart (UK), 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.

2022 update: Swiss Hutless karts are now made by Birel, and Gillards are now made by OTK. Given that Dartford Karting has bought Gillard’s old equipment I’ll probably soon be listing Solo as an independent brand again soon!

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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.

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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?

how much faster could one chassis be over another on specific tracks that suit one better than the other?

A tenth or two here or there. As Charles said, most kart brands these days have found a big sweet spot for the kart to work well across a variety of tracks and conditions, so these days it isn’t so much a matter of “kart A is good at fast tracks” or “kart B is best at tight tracks”.

Some brands seem to excel better in different categories, but overall most of the major brands are going to be fairly close in lap time.

My observation is that it’s not down to the chassis color or brand, but more down to the people that nail the setup on the day. You can interchange those people between brands and they will still come out on top.

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I saw in late 2018 that Biesse was making a return to karts but it has had zero updates since the release of a few images.

I’m not sure if they are still around and if they are building there own products or not. I enjoy my old Biesse chassis…

Elias,

I think the adjustment range on any current 30mm kart with torsion bars, axles, camber/caster/steering ratio changes is larger than the difference between a 28/30 and a 30/32 from that same manufacturer, let alone between 30 mm karts from other companies. If you need to fix handling problems beyond that, moving the seat to change the weight distribution by a full point fore-aft will do even more.

Any modern or not-so-modern chassis works, but the brand your kart dealer sells is fastest because he’s more familiar with it than the other ones! The slow ones are the ones that are bent up, have seats that are too big, have bearings that are worn out, or are psychologically incompatible with the driver - I drive a CRG and have a black helmet, so I must play the villain.

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32/32 fanboy checking in.

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Update: OTK will release a new Gillard kart at the end of the season. AirKart in the UK has been shipping out karts.

I’m not sure what to do about the 4-cycle chassis. There is a long list of them, mostly independent - bestsellers include Comet Eagle, Coyote, VLR Emerald, and Invader.

I completely missed this announcement. That’s very cool.

Based on the above brands / manufacturer alignment, here are the 2022 SuperNats entries. I was not sure where to put Benik and Nitro so I gave them their only group. So 7 or 8 make up 91%.

Manufacturer % of Entries Entries
OTK 44.9% 221
Birel 13.8% 68
Kart Republic 6.5% 32
TB Kart 5.9% 29
CRG 3.3% 16
Parolin 9.3% 46
Emme 2.2% 11
Nitro / Benik 5.3% 26
91.3%
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Historically, the Nitro team has used OTK products. I assume that hasn’t changed.

Benik is a Parolin brand.

This is the chassis listing rather than the team listing. So is the Nitro cadet kart an OTK chassis? I can put Benik with Parolin.