Go Karts - Becoming a Racing EnthusiastWritten by Michael Walker
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900 BHP horsepower engines are norm for souped-up Honda Formula One karts. Capable of reaching speeds of 200+ mph, they represent all-out nature of karting technology. For novices, a simple 2-cycle engine will do! Running on gasoline and electricity instead of petrol (typically mixed with other fuels to suit environmental conditions for Formula One,) sprint karts run on either 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines. 4-cycle engines are weakest engine around, with horsepower topping 20 HP. Think of power needed to run a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner – that’s how much power a 4-cycle engine exerts. 2-cycle engines are typically associated with likes of Vespas (European motor scooters) and mopeds. These go up to 90 HP. Added cylinders (individual horsepower generators in go-karts) can boost horsepower, adding pure speed & power to your machine. Perhaps 10-cylinder Formula One kart engines and its incredible capabilities ring bells to you now!
Want pinpoint control over speed of your go-kart? No problem here! Go-karts have basic transmission systems with gears that control speed to its desired amount. Coming with clutches, shifter karts (a popular type of sprint kart that allows you to move at a certain amount of speeds) make best use of engine power when zipping along a straight path or maneuvering over short or wide curve. Depending on amount of cylinders and engine, shifter enthusiasts can lay opponents in their dust blazing trails up to 90 mph. Shifters usually run on larger road courses known as road racing. It is flush in structure with qualification criteria like class of kart, weight of driver, etc. Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha are popular suppliers of engines. These companies are at forefront of karting technology, regularly tinkering with what’s already available or creating new concepts of their own.
Sprint karting opportunities are available to everyone. If you want to enjoy it as a form of recreation instead of competition, visit your local track and rent a kart! Make sure to sign any insurance waivers and become acquainted with rules and regulations! If you like to compete, inquire from within. Sprint karting is one of least expensive sports out there. People from all walks of life and all economic backgrounds can drive a kart, or even purchase their own with a powerful engine. There are many karting schools available all over nation that will let you ride their karts for a nominal fee. In essence, karting is more than a pastime. It is a bonafide sport capable of preparing you for more advanced karting by helping you shape your judgment, hand-eye coordination abilities, and technological/dynamical know-how of instruments you’re using.
Michael Walker is a freelance author providing information about a variety of go-kart topics including go kart kits, go kart frames and go kart engines.
Go Kart Frames - Choosing the Right One for YouWritten by Michael Walker
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Choosing right frame for your go-kart can largely depend on surface you are riding on. Whether it is asphalt, concrete, or dirt – different types of frames behave differently according to surface. For example, dirt track frames should consist of a short front rail and a longer back rail. Dirt tracks place a lot of stress and challenge on front rail and stiff back rails zipping through dirt can cut power to engine while cutting a turn. The best frame for riding dirt tracks are ones with narrow fronts and longer backs, vice versa to asphalt and concrete.
The A-1 performance of a frame largely depends on tire traction as well. Low traction tires (tires that do not “stick” well to ground) are not grooved enough to withstand rigors of surface, rattling stiff frame to oblivion. It also causes uneven weight transfer throughout go-kart, and that is a no-no for maintaining optimum control of your money maker. Consider this scenario: you have two pairs of roller skates. One has wheels half-an-inch in width and other has 3-inch-wide wheels. Which pair would provide better balance as you roller skate? If you love mathematics, treat traction as a formula with equation: traction = stability. Go ahead, transform yourself into a karting aficionado with this valuable piece of knowledge!
A major issue among karting enthusiasts is durability and longevity of flexible frames. Exposure to punishing breaks and turns, along with gruelling hits to track walls every now and then, can distort frame which cannot be “popped” back to its original condition. Experts recommend replacing frames every year. There are many maintenance techniques you could practice on your kart to keep flexibility intact like running your kart through a course backwards. Racing a kart using finish line as your starting point and your starting point as finish line will have a “reverse effect” on frame, shaping it opposite of what it would be shaped if you were racing course normally. It’s like turning back hands of time on your speedster!
The question over choosing right go-kart chassis boils down to flexibility. High traction tires and a stiff frame is a recipe for disaster, causing your machine to turn stiffly and generate strenuous effort on curves. Low traction tires will cause uneven weight transfer and break apart your frame like bread crumbs. Options for frames mainly depend on what type of go-kart you’re riding, as each go-kart and their engine work best under certain scenarios. Stiff frames are a staple of 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines and flexible frames are found with higher horsepower engines. Remember, more rigorous circuit, more flexible a chassis should be!
Michael Walker is a freelance author providing information about a variety of go-kart topics including go kart kits, go kart frames and go kart parts.