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Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
1950 Chevrolet 3600 "Old Blue"
1954 Chevrolet 3600
I’ve noticed that the subject, “Where do I race my Cyclekart when it’s finished?” comes up
every so often. That is a problem since the only seriously organized group of Cyclekartist
seems to be on the left coast or desert South West and a small pocket across the border in
BC may sprout roots in the near future. Then there are a couple of the boys out east that
are trying their damndest to get something going and even though they've opened up their
backyards to destruction from sliding tires, so far it appears it’s proving rather difficult to
put together a meet with more than 3 or 4 participants.
Then there are those lucky guys who are blessed with few acres to tool around in and invite
a buddy to join them in the chase. After 75 years of living on a city lot I finally bit the bullet,
took my life savings, mortgage till I’m 100 sold my first born into slavery and moved out
here to Shangri la, i.e., 6.55 acres in the country.
Now, I'm having a hard time convincing sweetie face into letting me lap in a race course
in the middle of her fairway and….. I’m not to sure if I’m totally sold on the idea myself.
After all, I do spend half my waking hours tending to the grounds, grooming it to look
like “Shangri la”.
So my question is what's the reaction of your neighbors to you or a hand full of your
fellow Cyclekarts chasing each other around for three or four hours in the evening or
on the weekend? If I had still lived in the city on that city lot they would have had the
coppers out to put a stop to the noise.
Out here, in the country, which is zoned county, you can get away with a lot more mischief
before the Gestapo shows up at your door. I see Dennis T stirring up a dust storm often
with his get-togethers at his estate and can’t help but wonder what the neighbors reaction
is. And then there are the city bound guys that are using the neighborhood streets out front
of their houses, speed bumps and all to run their karts. Every neighborhood I've ever lived
in has at least one of those chronic complainers who can’t get along with anyone.
Any thoughts along this line??????

Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL

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Azroddy Avatar
Azroddy Jon R
Mesa, AZ, USA   USA

I live in a nice older neighborhood. It is very quiet and about 50 percent of the homes are couples in there 60's or 70's. The streets are wide and I drive my cyclekart like its a car. Stopping at stop signs and so on. I have never had anyone say anything. They wave. I even had a really old guy give me the thumbs up. I find that cyclekarts really don't fit in the same category as as minibikes, motorcycles or any other thing you can annoy the crap out of your neighbor with. Most people just stare and wonder what the hell I am driving, then I get a smile or wave. I think having acres of land would be better then living in the city with a kart. I am just lucky I have a business with a nice parking lot we can race at.

Have fun..

Jon R.
Arizona Cyclekart Club Member

Check out my Cyclekart videos

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-07-28 06:06 PM by Azroddy.

CmdBentaxle Avatar
CmdBentaxle Silver Member Dave D
Federal Way, Washington, USA   USA
1950 CycleKart Italian "1950 Ferrari 166 F2"
Jon, I get basically the same reaction in my neighborhood. Even the police have suprised me a couple of times. Once, the cop just waved when I saw him coming the other way and pulled over! Another time a little after sundown a friend came back to the house with a cruiser behind him and I thought well, this is it. The cop just leans out and says "Its getting a little dark to be out with no lights, and a helmet wouldn't be a bad idea either". I was dumbstruck! I do try to keep the speed down, and only run 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch so as not to become obnoxious.

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Woodysrods Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
As you have yet to have the opportunity to attend a CK event or have your Kart finished so you can take it out on the open road to experience the sound, you have yet to be surprised by how quiet they really are.
Even with the Stage I kit and a header you see them long before you here them. And the sound isn't unpleasant like some kid riding around their farm or in the bush on a two stroke motorcycle of any size???
I am sure you neighbours will come over to watch, drive, or drink beer with you if you start racing.
And as far as now events. There are over "Four" Times as many major events now than when I joined the Forum a year and a half ago.
Remember this is a "Relatively New" sport or hobby!
I personally think it is growing at an extraordinarily fast rate????
Good Roads

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
1950 Chevrolet 3600 "Old Blue"
1954 Chevrolet 3600
Not trying to be argumentative Brian, but it seems to me that it’s moving more like
a snails pace.
Pete and Mike put the first ones together decades ago and we've only got one really
serious meet and a few scattered weekend get-togethers drawing a half dozen or less
interested parties. At least that’s the way it appears from what little coverage there is.
I can't help but compare Cyclekarts to the go kart craze which started in the late 50's.
Art Ingels threw the first one together in '56 and by '58 they were on the cover of
Rod & Custom magazine. GoKart Mfg. Co. was producing inexpensive karts
for the masses and for under a couple hundred bucks a guy could go, go kart racing.
'59 saw a well-known manufacturer, McCulloch, jump on the bread train with the Mc10.
Within a couple of years there were dozens of manufacturers of go karts and parts.
I was just turning 16 and right after reading about them in my R&C magazine in the
summer of 1958 and I bent up a frame out of black pipe and put an old West Bend
two cycle engine off a junk lawnmower on it. I talked a buddy of mine who lived down
the street into throwing one together also and we had a lot of fun that summer. A couple
of years later I built a much more sophisticated space frame with a Mc10, which
came in at 63 lbs ready to race. But by then, even it wasn't fast enough to keep
up with the best at the show. About that time my big bro and I entered into our
first midget and I left the go karts behind. And by then, less than a decade from
when the first one was thrown together the hobby had grown into a multi-million
dollar business for many with tens of thousands of followers, a national sanctioning
body and races in or around almost any city that you lived in.
And that’s why I feel this hobby should be moving at a much, much faster rate. I
understand, as usual, the purists in the hobby want to keep it small town and not
see it grow. And as usual, I’ll no doubt get trounce for daring to suggest that manufactured
karts and parts are absolutely necessary if the sport is to survive. And as usual, I’ll repeat
that I can’t believe that this can hold a grown mans interest for very long unless there is the
possibility of improved performance along with the availability of completed karts and parts.

Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL

Denny's first real homebuil gokartt.jpg    36 KB
Denny's first real  homebuil gokartt.jpg

jameskilmer57 Avatar
jameskilmer57 James Kilmer
Ames, Iowa, USA   USA
I agree, it'll be a few years down the road but it'll happen. In Iowa there aren't many ck'ers, but lots of farmsteads all over with possibilities for putting In a track.

Woodysrods Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
In reply to # 25645 by jameskilmer57 I agree, it'll be a few years down the road but it'll happen. In Iowa there aren't many ck'ers, but lots of farmsteads all over with possibilities for putting In a track.

Get a group rev'ed in your area James.
Go man Go!

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jameskilmer57 Avatar
jameskilmer57 James Kilmer
Ames, Iowa, USA   USA
I'm about a good strong week from getting a running chassis finished. Lots of trial and error, even more of overthinking the problem(s). But it's been a lot of fun relearning some long forgotten skills.

In reply to # 25649 by Woodysrods
In reply to # 25645 by jameskilmer57 I agree, it'll be a few years down the road but it'll happen. In Iowa there aren't many ck'ers, but lots of farmsteads all over with possibilities for putting In a track.

Get a group rev'ed in your area James.
Go man Go!

Woodysrods Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
I think the boys in Arizona have taken the type of approach that will soon put CycleKarting on the map.
It differs greatly from the way those who have gone before them were doing it, like the Gittreville Group.
Things should certainly start to move now.
I know they have already started here!
Don is out to Car Shows, Parades, Fall Fairs, and anywhere else he feels he can drum up interest, so we will have others to race against more locally.
Good Roads
Guess I should get back to my build so I will be ready when the wave comes to shore.

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CmdBentaxle Avatar
CmdBentaxle Silver Member Dave D
Federal Way, Washington, USA   USA
1950 CycleKart Italian "1950 Ferrari 166 F2"
I think that maybe to hold the gokart phenomenon of the '50s and '60s as a yardstick for cyclekart growth is to set yourself up for disappointment Denny. That movement took off during a perfect storm of favorable conditions. For one, there is nothing today to compare to the general car craziness, accross the age groups that existed in North America during that period. For another, and this is not to call anyone out or anything, but I do not see the level of courage required to engage in risky activity as prevalent as it was when I was a kid. Certainly there are still lots of thrill seekers, but do you remember
when any kid in the neighborhood would scramble up a tall tree without much hesitation, or interference
from "responsible" adults? I mark the beginning of this wimpier age as the Bicycle Helmet Era. You know what I'm talking about. Then, and this is related to the above, is the litigatious nature of our society, causing anything that goes fast, makes noise, internally combusts, or creates exitement, to be viewed as
unacceptable liability to property owners. Greed, and lack of personal responsibility have kept the Ambulance Chasers in fat times, and guys like us chased off of any horizontal surface of any use.
Then, and you may not agree, but I believe that size does matter. Cyckarts are actually kind of big,
Easily twice the size of a gokart in length and hight, besides the weight. I knew a guy down in L.A. who
kept his gokart in his Apartment! And you could stick one out the trunk of your car. Cyclekarts demand a large vehicle or a trailer for practical transport. Finally, they are nothing compared to building an actual automobile, but they are alot more work than a gokart. And if there were more complete kits available,
I doubt you'd see them much cheaper than the 7 grand or so VKco is asking.

The fact Is, I'm afraid, that we are a bunch of dudes who just have this wild affinity for what
a cyclekart promises. The nostalgia of bygone technology, and style. The chance to exercise skills that are fading from the common awarness. The unexplainable desire to drive at potentialy lethal velocity
over surfaces ill suited for it, in a device you have conjured mostly from your imagination, and the hardware store. These things make us Renaissance men. Throwbacks, in the eyes of most people these days. This is why it warms my heart to see young people who "get" cyclekarts, for I understand that the mainstream pull is not toward things as creative and whimsically adventurous as these.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-07-29 02:10 PM by CmdBentaxle.

Woodysrods Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
Once again have nailed it.
And in a "Positive" way!
For those of us in "our" age group, it is a chance to bring back some of the thrill of our youth without spending our children's inheritance.
And a chance for the younger guys that are getting into this, to taste a bit of Automotive History by replicating cars that raced in days gone by.
We should "All" be beating this drum in a "Positive" enough way to "MAKE" it happen.
Not, trying to point out why it "WON'T " work.
Why dash the excitement it has already generated for us "Old Farts"!
Let's Build and Race................Let the fun begin!
Good Roads & Smooth Tracks

Notso-Chinsee Avatar
Notso-Chinsee Gold Member Albert Lies
Spokane Valley, Washington (WA), USA   USA
1927 CycleKart American
1938 CycleKart American "Burd Piston Ring Special"
What I see today when you tell people I’m going to build a cyclekart, they say what’s that followed by their eyes glazing over as they say ok and the interest is over. Bring one out and it’s a whole other thing their eyes light up and the question flow. So let’s put this back into the 50’s mind set get moving just build it.

Al Lies
The "Not-So Chinsee" guy

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
1950 Chevrolet 3600 "Old Blue"
1954 Chevrolet 3600
Ya make some good points Dave, thanks for posting a reply that clearly shows
you’ve given it some serious thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that the Cyclekart hobby could ever reach
the level that the Go Karts have. Other than the materials and engines the Cyclekart
is basically a Cyclecar of the teens and twenty’s Design and performance wise they
already went thru their metamorphosis in the 1930’s.
We’re all aware of the evolution of the racing car into what it’s become today. There’s no
need for a repeat of that process, i.e., starting all over with Cyclekarts.
But….addressing the car craziness, I think that Woody can agree that the car craziness
still exists and is as strong as it ever was. When I retired in 2005 and I had a little more time
to work on an old car/truck, I started going to car shows on a regular basis in the summer.
I still don’t have the money to have anyone restore my truck, that’s why it’s half & half, red
& blue. Nor would it be any fun having someone else restore it for me, but even though it’s
not finished, and even though it’s not a hot rod, and even though it’s in no way a show
quality restoration, I have been in attendance at car shows for the better part of a decade.
Many shows in this part of the country draw entries well into the hundreds and a few
during the summer over a thousand cars. And there are usually several shows to choose
from either day of the weekend. So…..I don’t think there is any less car craziness today
than there was in the past.
Almost every mention of taking the karts to a parade, car show or whatever the event may
be, draws a positive response. Neat, cool, where can I get one, where do you race them,
can I get a kit, who supplies parts, etc. So the interest is there for the sport to grow big,
granted not as big as go karting, but a lot bigger than it is. And to do that it there needs to
be a way the unskilled members can join in.
Now for the business of engaging in risky business, I think that’s alive and well also. I’ve
got nephews who are into rock crawlers and off road motorcycling, way more risky than
anything that I’d attempt today. I think maybe we don’t see it because in our old age we’re
just traveling in the Geritol circuit and are out of touch with the fast crowd.
Litigation wise, well that simply requires, as it always did, a waiver.
I give it to you on the size. Same width but twice as long can create a problem. But, almost
everyone now a days owns some kind of a hatch back vehicle or pickup. The SUV seems
to be the standard family vehicle today. Brian C from over close by me in Naperville, IL
managed to get his Bugatti in the trunk and out to Tieton last year, so I’m sure it’s not an
issue for most.
Building a Cyclekart frame in the Stevenson manor is no more complicated and maybe
even simpler than a Go Kart frame. Other than that, the only major difference is putting a
body on it. There’s no need to sit the driver above or at frame level. The CG can be
dropped along with the drivers hind quarters to a few inches off the ground. A good
example is Jason and Anthony’s Gypsy which we saw at Tieton 5, sticks quite well in
the turns and…..didn’t someone here post that they did an inspection of the belly and
found no rocks stuck to the bottom?
This subject like politics could go on forever. But if I ever get caught up, I see lots of
changes which I plan on incorporating into my first kart. I want it to surprise the driver
when he steps on the loud pedal and I want there to be a real need for brakes when you
get off of it.
This might be of some interest since we are talking about evolution. This name dates
back to the early days of Go Karting and this interview is quite informative when
considering how to turn a hobby into a sport.

Gotta go, did a 20” Ash tree yesterday and got another one to take down today,
Dang bugs!!!!!
Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL

CmdBentaxle Avatar
CmdBentaxle Silver Member Dave D
Federal Way, Washington, USA   USA
1950 CycleKart Italian "1950 Ferrari 166 F2"
Well clearly, even with a diminished pool, there are certainly enough of the right type of people out there for significant growth, if not a new craze. The key, as Al has pointed out, is places to hold events. To which I would add, people willing to organize them. Dumfries and company are actually so buried in event prep that it seriously threatens their participation in their own races. If we want more events, organizers and land are what we lack. That said, It absolutely bends my mind that after what John has done with that N.Y. property, 3. THREE! people have shown up to take advantage of it! I mean W.T.H.!
The guy builds a kart, or finishes one anyway. Still alot of work. And then goes out and carves a cool track out of his land, hosts a gathering and God bless 'em, 3 show up. I understand that some of us may
be a little reclusive, lone wolf types. But come on! I notice that none of people crabbing about nowhere to drive back there have uttered peep since the moment he announced his gathering. Even showing up
Kartless to support him would be a laudable effort, and good on those who did.
Sorry to rant, but I do mean it.

CmdBentaxle Avatar
CmdBentaxle Silver Member Dave D
Federal Way, Washington, USA   USA
1950 CycleKart Italian "1950 Ferrari 166 F2"
Oh Denny, I also wanted to say before I got sidetracked, that only a few cars at Tieton were running a drop-frame configuration like the Gypsy. Another was mine, and it is so stable in corners, (It has been spun out 270 deg in testing on dry clean asphalt, not by me.) that I don't think I would want to build one any other way, for racing anyway. My pan is 4.5 inches off the ground and it was never a problem, I did scrape in the orchard a lttle, but figured I would. That Gypsy would go by the pits and would be clattering over the gravel every lap, but they know how to build a belly pan over there, apparently.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-07-30 06:39 PM by CmdBentaxle.

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