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Learn Go Kart Basics:
Art Ingels is generally accepted to be the father of karting. He built the first kart in Southern California in 1956. Karts were initially created in the United States in the 1950s post-war period by airmen as a way to pass spare time.
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.
Typically, for dry conditions a stiffer chassis with less flex is better, while in wet or other poor traction conditions, a more flexible chassis is preferable.
Important GoKart Facts & Tips:
Stiff frames that do not provide flexibility were the backbone of earlier go-karts and broke down easily. First off, simpler go-karts do not have the specifications needed (most important, suspension and tire traction) to ease the punishment frames go through while turning, accelerating, and stopping. Running on 2 or 4 cycle engines does not help compensate the health of a frame. A lack of traction on your tires will cause uneven weight transfer and stability on your frame, ripping one or both sides loose at the same time. In essence, the frame is responsible for determining how well your vehicle moves zipping on asphalt, concrete, or dirt - dictating your performance on wide turns and shorter turns.
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