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Discussion Starter #1
I’m very interested in picking up a kart. However, I only have a corvette that could haul it around with.

I am researching trailer hitches and found a Class II 1 1/4" receiver hitch from Reese.

Then I was thinking of getting a cargo carrier like this:
Tow Ready Cargo Carrier - 1-1/4" :: Trailer Hitch Universe

Then I’ve seen upright Kart holders like this:
http://www.out2win.com/catalog/img/rlv0050.jpg


I’m wondering if a shifter kart would simply be too much weight for the hitch and the cargo carrier.

Class 2 style hitches have a 3500 lbs. gross towing weight and 350 lbs. trailer tongue weight unless noted otherwise.

How much would a Kart weight? I dont think it would be over 200 lbs, but would like some input. I know it would be better to get a tow along trailer, but I just dont have the room / place to store it. A truck would be even better, but Im stuck with the vehicles I got at the moment.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Should be more than fine.

Kart weighs about 210 pounds. Trailer adds 300 pounds. Towing about 500 pounds.

I towed 1000 pounds behind my MR2 for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
But this isnt traditional towing....Im worried about the "tongue weight."

Randy - your part to blame for this interest! haha

How wide is the back end of a Kart, would it even fit onto the back of that cargo carrier?
 

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I think you need 51" width for the kart. Many people loosen the rear wheels and slide them in to get more clearance. Takes a couple minutes.

I can't imagine using an upright deal and putting all that weight on the hitch. I think that is scary.

Better to get a trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah that’s what I was afraid of...there are plenty of traditional trailer options that would work like a champ. It's the storage issue. Really, I guess it wouldnt be that bad at all to just get a storage unit.

Just trying to keep it easy as possible.

If there was a Class III option, I wouldnt be worried at all. However, with a max weight of 350 and having the Kart weight about 210 and the cargo carrier under 50, thats still within manufacture limits. Last thing I want is have that thing rip off.
 

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You are forgetting the affect of the wind resistance adding more load.

When I got my kart, I rented a 10x15 unit for $150 a month. Worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Randy,

Sounds like words of wisdom. Thats a lot cheaper than one regular track day. Would get plenty of other uses out of the extra room as well.
 

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I had a friend that installed a Handicap tow extension on a 1990 honda civic hatchback and put his Kart on it, worked well for him. You still need room for tools and spares and a gas can -- gas can usually goes in the seat. Suggest you also label the gas can (or cans) as MIXED -- locked up a few motors forgetting if I had mixed the gas yet or not.

But what are you gonna do about a canopy? You WILL want some shade, trust me -- the energy level you need for a Kart is 1000X more than you need for the Lotus -- coming off track and baking in the sun will not do your lap times any good. Canopy is probably 60-70 lbs or so.

Did you check out the Kart track at ButtonWillow -- it's an interesting track, I ran it with the ProKart challenge folks in S3. Competition is INTENSE, you get racers that are doing this as a career in hopes of moving up into other professional series along with a lot of National level drivers. You'll appreciate just how soft and comfy the Lotus is :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Im just living the dream. Starting to think that tracking the Lotus is a little pricey. The idea of paddle shifters and left foot brake is starting to perk my interest.

I know Im by no means fast. But the track is a freakin blast!

I liked your set up Robain. Right now, I dont even have folding chairs b/c I can only carry what I can fit into the trunk of the Elise! Talk about compromise!!
 

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You will not regret tracking/racing karts. I am shopping for a new one, we can go to some tracks together, it will be fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll take you up on that Randy!

Im leaving for Taipei Thursday, but when I return...I'll get the trailer hitch installed. I would like to be able to pick up a whole package from someone who decided to stop karting. I know that if I buy a kart, then I'll need this, and that and then I'll want XYZ.

Margaret wouldnt mind a kart as well. Thats the scary part! On the in-door karts, she is only a second or two off me. Last thing I want is for her to catch me!!!

Plus, I dont want the fastest right out of the box.
 

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Exactly.

I am looking for a full package 125cc shifter.
 

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I used to tow my 125 shifter with a Miata using one of those simple utility trailers (like this: Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices). I just built a wood deck on the trailer and built it up high enough that the deck was level with the fenders, then the kart fit on perfectly. If storage is an issue, the trailer can be stood up on end in the garage, or I've even seen people hang them on the garage wall.
 

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I sold my full package 125cc Stock Honda 6 speed last year for a bargain $6K and it included a ton of spares including AIM gps air density tools -- basically everything you need to compete in Las Vegas Nationals in Nov. Check out the these folks:

SoCal News - PKC SoCal

They have a classified forum somewhere with used Karts.

It's slightly cheaper than racing the Lotus, new set of tires is $200 vs. $800, top end kit $100 every 7 hrs, pads $200 a month (if you practice regularly). It's definitely a less expensive way to race, but still not cheap -- chassis is about $2000 and I had to get a new chassis every year (sometimes two). Seats need replacing about twice a year. They are super simple to work on.

The ProKart Challenge guys are A BLAST, very well organized and have some of the BEST tri-tip on this planet :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why do you have to get new Chasis? Do they flex and brake a lot? Or was it b/c of accidents. Never would have guessed that a chasis is a "replacement" part.
 

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Only for the really serious, which is why it is easier to find deals on last year's cast offs.

Many of the top drivers are also sponsored with the latest and greatest.
 

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Yes, they flex and bend and scrape and welds lets go and accidents happen. I consider it a standard replacement part. Engine appears to last the longest (at least in Stock Honda) so long as you budget in a bottom end rebuild every year ($500) and as I said, top end every 7 hrs ($100).

As has been said, depends on how serious you are and how good you are at avoiding incidents. I was going thru 2 chassis a year on a semi-serious basis. Top drivers often have a different chassis for each track, pro class and yes they are sponsored.

Cheap folks like myself would buy just one set of tires for a weekend, norm is 2 sets, pro appears to be infinite.

Don't be discouraged, it's still one of the cheapest forms of racing and the 125cc shifters will do 100-120 mph (pending gearing/tune) on big tracks. I stopped Karting just because my body could no longer take it -- it is definitely a sport that benefits those with less ... errrr .... body mass ;)

It was great fun, enjoyed it a lot.
 

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I stopped endurance karting because I wanted to stay alive. :)

I want to get back into track days and autocrossing karts.
 

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Doug DO NOT GET A SHIFTER. If you are just getting into karting or are serious about becoming a better driver, a shifter is usually the wrong route. Nine times out of ten a good driver in a clutch kart will be faster than a shifter. To get to the level in shifters where you are really fast takes lots of time, tuning knowledge, setup expierience, etc. You will learn more driving a clutch kart, than a shifter because there is so much to learn. Look into a Rotax Max or Junior, 125cc, water cooled, rear brakes or both. They are very reliable, long engine life between rebuilds, and there is still tons of things to learn in owning, driving, and tuning. Shifters are fun, banging gears and standing on the brakes is a rush, but you will learn alot in a Rotax or other clutch karts, which are by no means slow. I' done over 105mph on SOW. I will tell you that if you think its fun diving into the bowl in your Elise, it terrifying in a kart.:evil: Call me if you want, I know many people in the industry.
 

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Brent,

I'll disagree with you on the clutch kart faster than a shifter, maybe on very tight tracks, but otherwise no way.

However, from a learning perspective, I will agree with Brent, starting with a non-shifter is the traditional approach, then move to shifters. But a shifter is more closely related to what one does in one's lotus (minus the heal toe) - rpm matching, braking forces, etc. and you definitely do NOT want to be banging gears in a shifter. Smooth is fast in all cases.

Oh yeah, do NOT get any of those paddle shifter kits -- they are complete junk. No one has produced a reliable kit yet. Everyone I know that had one of those kits went back to the manual shift arm.
 
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