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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. 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.
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:
As well as "serious" competitive kart racing, many commercial enterprises offer casual hire of karts. Such karts are usually powered by small, detuned four-stroke engines and are far slower than the fully-fledged competitive versions.
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