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New to Karting

Discussion forum for Yamaha classes.

Moderator: Kevin Crowe

New to Karting

Postby Kevin Emmert » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:48 am

Hey Ya'll,

I have been interested in karting for quite some time, beginning when there were advertisements in the magazines showing the KT100 dirt kart sliding sideways through a turn, 30ish years ago. Unfortunately the opportunity, either funds or location wasn't there. Both are here now, well, sorta. :)

I have been reading through the forums, and it seems that the consensus for starting out is to go to the Yamaha classes. I am planning to come to the track when it opens up, and also driving down to Waco for the November 15th race with kids in tow.

1) I am heavier (changed jobs sitting at desk more, sigh), although am back to exercising, eating right, etc, I will still be 215 to 220 when I start driving. I am assuming that the Yamaha Heavy class runs an expansion chamber since a can isn't spelled out in the rules (on web site), is that correct? Would I be better off starting in a can class, even though I would be losing 15 precious pounds in kart weight?? I am also thinking that chassis flex would play an important role here also. I would think a chassis that isn't as stiff as a shifter cart chassis would work better in the Yamaha classes, however, I am concerned about the weight of the cart effecting the handling (won't notice the difference starting out) of a smaller tube/thinner walled chassis. What chassis would ya'll suggest to start with?? Also if I could be pointed in the direction of used karts, it would be greatly appreciated!!!

2) I have two children, daughter 13, son 16 who are very interested in karting also. Neither of them have any experience driving a kart with the exception of a lawn kart at my grandparents farm. My question for them centers around sharing a kart. I am looking at Jr and Sr Super Sportsman for them. I realize that there would be a class weight difference for them, is there anything else I should be concerned about? I am thinking of adding weight to the kart for my son to run and removing it for my daughter. Wear and tear on the kart/clutch, enough cool down time for both engine and clutch between classes? Both of their classes should be run separately, since she would be in Jr, and he in Sr, correct? Or, is this a pipe dream and tightwad Dad should spring for two separate karts for them?? I am trying in the beginning to cut some costs to see if they will like it....

I am looking at picking up a used kart fairly soon to see if we like it.

Thanks for wading through my long post, and once again I do appreciate any and all advice that ya'll may have.

Kevin Emmert
Kevin Emmert
 

Re: New to Karting

Postby Bob Preston » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:11 pm

Kevin,
I started last year myself and ran some Sr sportsman and then heavy and once in master can class. To me after having tried all three I do not think it would have made any difference which class I started in so I would say start in the class that suits your weight. I am 185-190lbs and had to run about 5-10lbs of weight in the heavy class...so I’m thinking you may be close with a little tweaking on the kart to get the weight as low as possible. I am running an arrow AX8 that has 30 &32mm tubing mixed and get plenty of traction (chassis stiffness) so pretty much anything 31mm & up should be OK although I will defer to the experts that have input on this. My only advice on this is get the best (& newest) possible chassis and scrimp on the motor if you have budget concerns as you can always get the motor BP’d or rebuilt. The chassis will be what it is the day you buy it and sell it.
The Yamaha heavy is “any pipe” and most are running an A2 or L2....
Waco will be running that extra feature of 20 laps that may be a pretty good show. We should be there for my boys to run the JR SS class.

You could, with a lot of work and help from the race director, run a kart in both classes JR & SR sportsman. I suppose that the weight cans would be easiest to remove & replace quickly. If your daughter is 40 lighter than your son you may not have to move any weight and just change the gear. The race director would need to balance your need to move the classes apart while considering the same kinds of requests from others so it may not always work out in your favour.

I would be happy to help so contact me anytime if you have questions.
Regards,
BP
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Re: New to Karting

Postby Bob Schabel » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:19 am

Kevin, you can also contact our Yamaha Class Mentor: George Kraus 972-254-1068. Bob
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Re: New to Karting

Postby Kevin Emmert » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:30 am

Thanks to Bob Preston for the reply. Sounds like I would be better served to have three karts when we start racing to save a lot of work for everyone. I didn't know if the classes would be run close together in time or not, sounds like they are. Good advice on the chassis too, makes sense to purchase fairly new to new here. Maybe we will see you on 11/15 in Waco.

Bob Schabel, thanks for the number to George Kraus, mentor to the Yamaha Class.

Kevin Emmert
Kevin Emmert
 

Re: New to Karting

Postby Yaani-Mai Gaddy » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:39 am

Kevin,

When we started karting we also thought our 2 boys (17 months apart) could share a kart. It is a good idea in theory but doesn't work out as expected. There is a lot to learn when you are starting out about handling & chassis set up, distribution of weights, etc... It is hard enough to get the kart fine tuned & "dialed in" for one driver & I doubt it can be managed to suit two drivers, especially when you are learning kart setup & tuning.

I would suggest you buy them each a used kart to see if they like karting first. We started using used equipment, after a few years we ended up with both boys running in 3 classes each (Rotax & Yamaha classes) we couldn't afford new karts for all those classes so we always ran used equipment. We had separate karts for each class set up for that driver in that class. They developed their driving skills & were very competitive locally & regionally. It can be done with used equipment. In all the years we raced I think we bought 1 new chassis.
Yaani-Mai Gaddy
www.gaddywebdesign.com
972-462-8393
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Re: New to Karting

Postby John Flores » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:07 pm

If you need any help or would like to discuss give me a call anytime.

John

940-395-0363
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Re: New to Karting

Postby Kevin Emmert » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:02 am

Yanni-Mai Gaddy, the more that I read about karts, the more I realize that it would not work with one kart for both kids. I didn't think about the weight of the driver and how it is distributed would effect the handling of the kart. Reading your post drove it home. I am going to purchase a kart for each rug rat.

John Flores, I really appreciate you offering your phone number. Things like this makes the difference in a club. It makes me feel like I am making the right decision, both with karting and NTK.

Thanks again!!

Kevin Emmert
Kevin Emmert
 

Re: New to Karting

Postby Yaani-Mai Gaddy » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:07 am

Kevin,

It's hard to explain but when you get a kart & go out to the track you will understand.

You take the kart out for a session, drive several laps, tuner (Dad) & driver discuss the handling, adjustments are made (lots of variables here, tyre pressure, weight distribution, spacers to move wheel hubs in or out, etc...), drive several more laps, repeat the process till you get the handling correct.

The kart is adjusted for the driver to their personal driving style.

If you want to just drive for fun I'm sure it will be fine to share a kart. The problem is everyone ends up wanting to go faster! :lol: Then you start with the adjustments.
Yaani-Mai Gaddy
www.gaddywebdesign.com
972-462-8393
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Re: New to Karting

Postby Kevin Emmert » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:22 pm

That makes total sense, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. You are totally right about always wanting to go faster. :D
Kevin Emmert
 


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