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First Kart, Getting Into the Hobby

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JimVarga Avatar
JimVarga James Varga
Milwaukee, WI, USA   USA
Hello All!

Right now I'm looking into building my first kart. One question I've got right off the bat looking at other designs is whether my seat should be lower than the frame rails, or sitting on top of it. Naturally putting the center of mass lower will be good for handling, but there are so many karts with the seat resting on top of the rails that I have to assume there are advantages there?

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1908Rick Avatar
1908Rick Rick Eggers
Cape Coral, FL, USA   USA
Welcome James.

Like any other form of racing vehicle, lower is more stable,
which is potentially faster.
There's a discussion thread about low center of gravity you should read.
There are guys building karts (myself included) with the frame just a few inches off the ground. Doing that presents other design challenges like the front suspension, but I think the low CG will be worth the extra effort.

Rick

roadster1 Avatar
roadster1 Silver Member Allen Bass
Bellingham, WA, USA   USA
Welcome Jim

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Rhysn Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK   GBR
Welcome Jim. I guess it depends somewhat on what your intention for use is. If it's a parade kart then do what you wish. If it's an expedition car as a few are being built for, for a very long distance event in NZ then the rules dictate seat above the chassis as the early Peking-Paris etc.If your sole intention is racing, then most race cars are low seat, except most of the dirt oval full size.
Personal opinion, note the word personal, as a few won't agree, is that it should be very representative of the inspiration car, many of the early ones were not low. Then again there are a few CKs now, that I struggle to see the inspiration.

1908Rick Avatar
1908Rick Rick Eggers
Cape Coral, FL, USA   USA
In reply to # 33252 by Rhysn
Personal opinion, note the word personal, as a few won't agree, is that it should be very representative of the inspiration car, many of the early ones were not low. Then again there are a few CKs now, that I struggle to see the inspiration.

I do agree with that. I think a guy should decide what he wants to do with the kart, and then pick an inspiration car that matches his intentions.

Woodysrods Silver Member Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
Welcome Jim
Most CKs that I have seen have the bottom of the tub or monocock 4" below the bottom of the 1" x 3' frame.
So.....with the front spindle tube equal to the top of the frame with the CT90 wheels an 17" x 2.75 tires (axle centre = 11" from ground)
You have 4" of ground clearance (which is desirable) but 3 1/2" is adequate for the type of racing we do with these CycleKarts!
Brian

CmdBentaxle Avatar
CmdBentaxle Dave D
Federal Way, WA, USA   USA
1950 CycleKart Italian "1950 Ferrari 166 F2"
Hi Jim, and welcome.
The fellows above have answered well, as far as I'm concerned.
All I'd add is, choose an inspiration car that matches the kind of driving you anticipate. Have mostly rougher roads to run on? Pick something that looks the part and has the ground clearance. Only, be careful of pushing it too hard in the turns. Want something more like a G.P. or Indy machine? Great. Build, and drive it accordingly. But know it won't be at home in the rocks.

Of course, this is why you're likely to build a second one. At least.

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