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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.
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.
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.
While hobby go-karts depend on gravity for propulsion, racing karts use a small engine. Several types are available, as well as differing fuel options. Gasoline 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines are the most common type, but other types of propulsion are available:
Engines running methanol or other alcohol-based fuels
Pressurized gas, using a cylinder carried with the kart
Electric motors powered by kart-mounted batteries
4-stroke engines are typically standard lawn mower, generator, or even chainsaw engines, sometimes with small modifications, developing from about 5 to 20 hp (4 to 15 kW). Briggs and Stratton and Honda are manufacturers of such engines.
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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