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Old 29 May 2014, 18:28 (Ref:3412413)   #1
GeoffNorthWales
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Another newby karting question

I come from a motorcycle road racing background so know my way around tracks and had a few seasons of autograss racing, but after many years in retirement and at the tender age of 48 have decided to give kart racing a go.

I am a stocky rugby player build 6 footer so will need some horse power to pull my lardy ass around any track , my question is after looking at many sites on the internet I am still a little confused. I fancy a 125 gearbox kart and after many years of racing TZ Grand Prix bikes understand how much set up these peeky motors will need, but my confusion is, is a 125 gearbox kart a superkart or could run in the open class ?, also there is a suitable 125 gearbox kart on a well known auction site but what is putting me off that is that it has a 6 speed Motori 125 engine but I cannot seem to find much info on this engine after a quick google search, all advice greatly received.
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Old 30 May 2014, 17:18 (Ref:3412760)   #2
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Geoff, if you have Facebook there is the Superkart Drivers group where many of us are active between race meetings, we don't bite.. honest - https://www.facebook.com/groups/534983186517728/

Also there is British Superkart site that has all the latest regs / results / for sale etc - http://www.superkart.org.uk/

Superkarting UK is a club at Darley Moor which do race schools and let you have a go in various karts, 125cc being 1 of them and also you can do your Arks test there too - http://www.superkarting-uk.com/Race%20school.html

To help you out a little there are 2 125cc Gearbox classes. There is 125 Open which is mainly on long circuits which you can run any 125cc Kart Engine from current engines all the way back to early 90's, often on a long circuit style chassis (more laid down seating) with fibreglass bodywork.

The other 125 class is KZ2 which is mainly short circuit which is the normal short circuit style kart with plastic bodywork but restricted to more modern engines that have been through the last 2 / 3 homologation periods.

My advice is don't jump after something this minute and pick up the wrong kit, and stay off Ebay!

If wouldn't just restrict yourself to 125's, there are also 250's and 450 4/'s which are popular too. 450 also has the appeal of being electric start too!
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Old 31 May 2014, 09:53 (Ref:3413057)   #3
GeoffNorthWales
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Hi S Moss,
Thanks for your great reply to my post, I will take a look at the websites you kindly mentioned as an ex motorcycle road racer it would give me the chance to re-visit some of my old favourite track, if I go down the longtrack route, so plenty of food for thought, but think before I spend the hard earned will book into a half day course at Darley Moor, at least I can try different types of kart and see what fits the best.
Cheers
Geoff
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Old 31 May 2014, 11:50 (Ref:3413096)   #4
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S.Moss has given some good advice there. I come from a short circuit background and despite your size [you've yet to give us your weight which is most important], I wouldn't rule out the contemporary short circuit scene either. There are bespoke 'heavyweight' categories there so you can be competitive - 'Ghinzani' on here is a big guy and does relatively well in prokarts - though there's also Rotax Max Heavy for 2 strokes as well.

The most important thing at this stage is to go to race meetings - short and long course - and speak to people. Try out the schools - there are also short circuit equivalents - and build up your understanding and knowledge BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING !
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Old 31 May 2014, 14:52 (Ref:3413152)   #5
GeoffNorthWales
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Hi Davyboy, Thanks for your comments, I agree some very good advice from S Moss and I will go out and have a look at the other classes, weight wise I train a lot in the gym but am still probably too heavy at 17 stone but I dont intend to take over the world lol, just some good racing, I know I would never live with the lighter guys and gals but so long as I have some fun that's the main thing, but I will think long and hard before buying anything, I have been looking on Ebay but have been warned against it, I suppose a few people get rid of their crap on some poor unsuspecting person
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Old 31 May 2014, 17:14 (Ref:3413202)   #6
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EBay is absolutely fine - so long as you know exactly what you're buying and how much you should be paying for it. For now though just spend your time acquiring that knowledge.
17 stone is on the heavy side, even for gearbox karting. If you could drop a couple of stone it would get you closer to the gearbox and direct drive heavy weight limits.
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Old 2 Jun 2014, 14:17 (Ref:3414243)   #7
ghinzani
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S.Moss has given some good advice there. I come from a short circuit background and despite your size [you've yet to give us your weight which is most important], I wouldn't rule out the contemporary short circuit scene either. There are bespoke 'heavyweight' categories there so you can be competitive - 'Ghinzani' on here is a big guy and does relatively well in prokarts - though there's also Rotax Max Heavy for 2 strokes as well.

The most important thing at this stage is to go to race meetings - short and long course - and speak to people. Try out the schools - there are also short circuit equivalents - and build up your understanding and knowledge BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING !
Davy is correct you can still be a big guy and race Prokarts and Max, however that is only in the heavy classes. Given your georgraphical location I am not sure where your nearest Prokart Heavy grid is but Rotax Max 177 they will probably run at Glan Y Gors or up at the tracks near Liverpool. In terms of weight, I am 15 and a half stone now after a recent crash has stopped me training and I weigh around 198kgs in a Prokart, so depending if they run a 190 or 200kg class that gives you an idea. When I was fighting fit at 14.5 to 15 stone then I was quite close to the 177 Max weight limit, however I still had fun when I was around the 16 stone mark and it does encourage you to lose the weight. Max being 28hp are of course a lot faster than Prokarts at 14hp, but in turn a lot more expensive.


Another alternative it to try the hire kart series to start with, no overheads and several including Covkartsport and Club100 run heavy classes.

Last edited by ghinzani; 2 Jun 2014 at 14:19. Reason: spelling is poor - see me after class!
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Old 2 Jun 2014, 17:35 (Ref:3414371)   #8
GeoffNorthWales
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Thanks guys for all the very helpful replies, Rotax max does seem very popular and I think they do race that class at Glan Y Gors, so only about 20 miles up the road, three sisters and Darley Moor are also not to far for me to travel to as I don't mind travelling to a decent track, so here comes another question, if I went with Max what are the rebuild hours on the engine?
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Old 2 Jun 2014, 17:36 (Ref:3414373)   #9
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Also nearly forgot to say time to get back into the gym and get some more weight off, last time we went to Glan Y Gors all my skinny mates were pulling away on the straights so know what carrying a few extra kgs can do
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Old 3 Jun 2014, 09:55 (Ref:3414654)   #10
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Thanks guys for all the very helpful replies, Rotax max does seem very popular and I think they do race that class at Glan Y Gors, so only about 20 miles up the road, three sisters and Darley Moor are also not to far for me to travel to as I don't mind travelling to a decent track, so here comes another question, if I went with Max what are the rebuild hours on the engine?

Depends really, how competitive you want to be, but they can generally do 20 hours before a rebuild. However when people sell they always lower the life of the engine and what its done so you can only really be sure when you have had it done yourself.
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Old 3 Jun 2014, 11:03 (Ref:3414676)   #11
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Ya exactly as Steve says, around 20-25 hours between rebuilds on the Max... however I know plenty of people that stretch it to between 40 and 50 hours. One thing to remember about the Max is that in order for it to remain legal for MSA competition it must be rebuilt and sealed by an official Rotax agent... so you can't work on the innards of them yourself. They are quite reliable though. It's the class I currently race in and I've not had any serious engine problems.

In all honesty, I think Rotax Max would be a very good starting place for somebody joining the sport for the first time. It's by far and away the most popular formula with grids run at practically every track in the country. There's a plentiful supply of used rigs for sale all the time. They're relatively cheap and easy to run and when you want to move on, they're relatively easy to sell too. It'll afford you the opportunity to learn how to drive and race a kart before taking to something else e.g. long circuit gearbox racing, or whatever else takes your fancy.

Gearbox karting on long circuits isn't for the feint hearted. The rigs are expensive and complex. The speeds are very high and the risk of serious injury to somebody inexperienced is equally high. A year spent 'learning the ropes' with a Rotax Max on short circuits would be time well invested... just my opinion by the way, I know others might have different views.
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Old 3 Jun 2014, 16:15 (Ref:3414810)   #12
GeoffNorthWales
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Thanks for your advice Davyboy, it starting to make more sense the more I think about it, I do seem to remember a thread about trying to get a 2009 onwards engine but I cannot remember the reason why, but a change to the porting is the little bit I can remember. I will visit a few meeting to get a feel if max senior heavy is for me and it would be a good entry into the sport, I need to get my adrenaline fix now the Mrs won't let me race motorbikes anymore.

I will keep checking the other online site to see whats for sale as well as Ebay and figure the cost of an engine re-build into the price, a good retirement package or someone moving class would be ideal for me, will see what I end up with and keep you all posted.

It's a great shame that you cannot re-build the engines yourself, I have always built my own race engines when I did autograss as well as road racing and Enduro, but on the flip side be good to keep my hands clean for once
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