New forum member with question

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Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:59 pm
First Name: Shawn
Last Name: Sentner
City/Town: Calgary
CKRC Member ?: No

New forum member with question

Post by Chopped » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Hi Everyone,

My name’s Shawn and I am looking into getting involved in Kart Racing. I had a question that I wasn’t able to find answers for online.

1. What division should I join, I want to be in a division that will allow engine/chassis modding as I am a engine builder/tinkerer in my spare time (mostly motorcycle engines).
2. What are the popular chassis’s in the group? Also, I am 6’1”, 40 yrs old and around 250lbs so not sure what to look for. I am currently trying to get down to at least 220lbs.

Thanks for any help you can give

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Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:16 am
First Name: Steve
Last Name: Orton
City/Town: Calgary
CKRC Member ?: Yes

Re: New forum member with question

Post by SteveO » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:52 am

Welcome to our club forum!

In terms of engines, we run 3 different classes.
  • Briggs & Stratton LO206 Four Stroke
    This is a sealed engine to ensure consistency across the board. For Seniors horsepower is approximately 9 hp.
    There is very little that can be legally done to the engine. Grinding the valves is basically it.
    This is our largest class, and offers the most competitive racing.
    It is also the least expensive to get involved in.
    We don't rebuild the engine when it's at the end of life, we'll buy a new one.
  • Rotax 2 stroke
    This is also a sealed engine, but has many more tuning options. Horsepower output is approximately 30 hp.
    The Masters class (ages 32+) is quite large and there's competition for everyone.
    The engine must only be opened & resealed by a Rotax dealer (e.g. Joey at Overdrive).
    There are more parts that can be changed to tune the engine, such as spark plugs & carb needles.
  • Shifter
    If you want to mod the engine, this would be the class for you.
    It's also the fastest kart out there, pushing 50 hp with a six speed sequential gearbox.
    You can rebuild your engine and throw everything at it.
    There is no restriction about what type of engine can be used, but it must be 125 cc.
    The CR125 is a popular engine to start with.
    The TM engine is also popular and what the guys at the front run.
    I believe there are a few others that are allowed in this class.
At your current weight, the shifter would allow you to be the most competitive.
However, I usually don't recommend people jump right into the shifter class, but some people do.
You may want to come out to one of our Try A Kart events, and see what the Briggs feels like, then you'll have a bit better feel for what you're getting yourself into.

There are a wide variety of chassis used.
OTK -Tony, Kosmic, Expirit are very popular.
There are a lot of BirelART chassis in the 4 stroke classes. PCR's are still very popular.
There really is no one dominant chassis, like Mercedes in F1.

I'm not a shifter guy, so hopefully one of the crazies that race in that class can add or correct any of my comments.
Hopefully, we'll see you at the track in 2019.
Stephen Orton
Try A Kart Coordinator

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Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 9:00 pm
First Name: Jack
Last Name: Mazury
City/Town: Calgary
CKRC Member ?: Yes

Re: New forum member with question

Post by Jackmazury » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:10 pm

First off welcome to the forums. I’ll add to what Steve said.

Briggs and Stratton is often the best starting place for new racers. It is the easiest type of kart to learn to drive and requires the least maintainence and is the least expensive. Engines are factory sealed and do not allow for modification if being raced. Like he said you can lap valves and such but nothing further (cylinder doesn’t come off and bottom end can’t be opened) these karts are pour gas and go. About 10hp in senior spec with a light and heavy class (375lbs kart and driver). These karts lap about 1:03 a lap

Rotax max makes about 28hp in senior spec. This is the entry to two stroke racing still single speed yet with electric start and water cooling. Engines are factory sealed and can only be rebuilt by an authorized shop (overdrive is the one in our area). Again no tinkering with the engine internally. This isn’t a bad starting place but not the best either in my opinion. These engines require much more maintainence than the briggs but offer significantly more performance. Engines can go for about 50 hours before a rebuild is needed yet to be competitive you’ll want to rebuild every 20 or so. IF you choose this route and plan on racing make sure it has the evo upgrades which came out a few years ago. These karts lap 53-58 seconds a lap with 53 being the very fast guys

Shifter is the class that would allow you to tinker however is not the best starting place. Call it as you wish this is the gentleman’s class yet also the elite one of the club. 6 gears and a live clutch are the requirements. The cr125 is a good starter engine in this class with good longevity, about 9 hours on a piston and 25-30 on a bottom end. They make about 35hp in base spec complying with stock moto rules. The other option is a kz or icc/rok which make 40-45hp depending on engine. All shifter engines are non sealed and open to development at the expense of reliability. These karts have 4 wheel brakes and require the most maintainence. A Cr can be fun for about the same cost as a rotax for a season. A European kz or icc will be a bit More expensive yet much faster on track. The popular makes for icc are tm and vortex with iame’s, matxters and so forth all being allowed. It will be difficult to learn to drive one of these karts without previous experience in another class as there is a lot going on. This class has a large range of lap times due to the difficulty to drive. 51 seconds on a good day for the fast Kz motors with a good driver all the way to 1:00 for less experienced drivers who just want to have fun banging gears.

There are lots of competitive chasis’. IPK(praga,intrepid and formula k), OTK (tony kart, exprit, redspeed, Alonso, kosmic) as well as CRG, PCR and so forth. CRG makes an extended foot platform which would help if height becomes an issue not sure who else makes one. Feel free to send me a pm with any further questions I’m happy to help or call overdrive or pay them a visit to have him set you up on the right path for you.

6 gears is better than 1
Briggs light #24
Shifter #302

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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:59 pm
First Name: Shawn
Last Name: Sentner
City/Town: Calgary
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Re: New forum member with question

Post by Chopped » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:40 pm

Thanks for all the info guys!

I am not super interested in being competitive, it’s more for fun for me. I may look into the shifter class by the sound of it. But this was all really awesome info. Much appreciated.

Posts: 316
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First Name: phil
Last Name: haggerty
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Re: New forum member with question

Post by phil » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:43 am

Hi Shawn,

Welcome to the group! I will add a bit more to what has been posted so far. I'm not sure where you are at for budget, but I think the best way to put it is that it increases drastically as you progress classes.
For Briggs, you could run a season with some testing on one chain, a couple sets of tires, and a set of brakes will typically last several seasons. For Rotax, you use about twice the fuel ( maybe more), add oil, and if you run a conventional chain, you can expect to go through probably three sets in a season, and probably four sets of tires, as well as a few sets of brake pads (depending on chassis). The Rotax is much faster than Briggs, but the racing is not usually as tight. The Shifter uses race fuel ( can be blended with premium), and more oil, and uses a lot more of it. The shifter will go a long time on chain and sprockets if looked after.Shifters need more frequent overhauls than Rotax, but are not sealed, so can be done by yourself, and usually at a lower cost. The biggest expense with Shifters is the tires, as they can chew them up very quickly depending on the driver. Some of the more experienced drivers can get three races out of a set, others can barely get through a race day. Chassis set-up, and driver inputs are the big game changers there. Shifters, while being aggressive under braking, are also surprisingly kind to the brake pads, and usually can get through a season on a set (front brakes help longevity, but add more parts)

Driving, and learning, are the biggest differences from class to class. A kart track is very short, as is the time between corners. A Briggs gives you time to breathe, and prepare for the next corner, and you carry as much speed as possible through the corners, without a lot of braking. Rotax starts to get busier, and the braking zones and corners come at you much faster, and you tend to get beat up a bit more in the ribs than in the Briggs. With the Shifter, it gets real busy real quick, with adding upshifting and downshifting to the braking and corners. They also run stickier tires, so the G-force is higher, and the ribs take a lot more abuse than the other classes.

As for being 6'1", you should fit fine in a regular chassis. My son, Alan is 6'2", and 215, and has no problem. I would strongly recommend that whatever class you decide, make sure you get a seat that fits you properly and a good rib vest.

Doing a Try A Kart day is a good intro, and can give you a good idea of the direction you might want to go. They are all Briggs karts, but at least show you where the entry level is. My son, Alan also has some rental karts, if you want to try out the different classes. Feel free to call if you have any more question. We have a great club, and everyone is there to help.


Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:50 am
First Name: Robin
Last Name: White
City/Town: Banff
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Re: New forum member with question

Post by RAVEN » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:09 pm

Hi Shawn

Here's another take on getting into karting, but still in Shifter class , which seems to be your lean, running a DD-2 Shifter , ROTAX engine at about 35 hp. , two speed , paddle shift, runs on mixed pump gas
These have front brakes like all other Shifter's , less maintenance , less tire wear, you can run either Vega Purples [ Shifter class, sticky tires ] , Purples should easily last three to four race days.
Vega Blues [ Rotax Class ] easily last four to five race days. No chain to lube, [ internal gear box & final drive ] and can still be quite sporty. If your not planning on serious racing in Shifter
class then these could be just the ticket. Great Fun , easy to race and maintain. Check the Classifieds in the CKRC site. As mentioned in all the Posts above , doing the TRY-A-KART Program is a must do, sign up
you won't regret it, and as Phil said , everyone is there to help, there's a wealth of knowledge you can tap into, and Great People out there at the track willing to share.

Rob 1 403 762 8098

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