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Learn Go Kart Basics:
Karts were initially created in the United States in the 1950s post-war period by airmen as a way to pass spare time. Art Ingels is generally accepted to be the father of karting. He built the first kart in Southern California in 1956. Karting has rapidly spread to other countries, and it currently has a large following in Europe.
The go kart is not only a popular 'toy' with kids but with adults alike! They start small enough and slow enough for
toddlers to enjoy and then move up to the 2 seater models for kids and teens and even go up to sizes large enough to
comfortably fit two adults with ignition, transmission w/ reverse gears, full suspension and more. The whole nine yards!
The chassis is an extremely important element of the kart, as it must provide, via flex, the equivalent of a rear wheel differential. Without this, the inside rear wheel of a kart would cause very difficult problems during a turn. This is called inside wheel lift and is needed as otherwise due to the lack of a differential it would be hard to break the karts forward momentum. Karts typically have no suspension, and are usually no bigger than is needed to mount a seat for the driver and a small engine. Chassis construction is normally of a tubular construction, typically steel, with different grades and diameters of tubing as well as their actual configuration offering different amounts of flexibility. Chassis designed for indoor or non-professional racing usually have large bumpers on all four sides, while high speed shifter or direct drive karts have plastic or fiberglass spoilers to improve aerodynamics and crash protection.
Kart chassis are also classified as 'open' or 'caged'. Caged karts have a roll cage surrounding the driver, and open karts
have no roll cage.
Professionally raced karts typically weigh 200 to 300 lb (100 to 150 kg). TonyKart, Birel and CRG are a few well known examples of the many European manufacturers of race-quality chassis. These usually cost around £1700. American companies in the shifter kart market include Trackmagic and Margay.
Important GoKart Facts & Tips:
The question over choosing the 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 the 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, the more rigorous the circuit, the more flexible a chassis should be!
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