In recent years, I've really taken a liking to go karting. I've been addicted to it since the first time I tried it out. It's sort of like having the thrill of a Formula One or IndyCar, but without the extremely high cost and even more importantly... without all the risks and dangers involved in these professional sports.
Man people seem to think that karting is somehow a babies sport in comparison to Formula One. But nothing could be farther from the truth. People that claim this have obviously never driven a go kart before in their lives. If they had, they'd know that it requires real physical strength and mental discipline.
Racing around the corner in a powerful go kart is not for the faint of heart. Don't forget that you're pretty much completely unprotected in a kart. Your body catches all the wind. It's a real thrill. But you wouldn't understand it unless you've been through it yourself.
Karting is an incredibly addictive sport. After my first time, I was hooked. Oh well, better to be hooked on karting than to be hooked in cigarettes, you know what I'm saying?
With the engines that manufacturers are now putting in go karts, they can easily achieve speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Those kinds of speeds are no joke. Go kart engines come in 2 stroke and 4 stroke models. There are many manufacturers that make these engines, such as Yamaha, Kohler, and even Honda.
Their also goes a lot more technology into go kart tires than you'd think. Many people think that, because kart tires are so much smaller than car tires, that they can't withstand a whole lot of force. But as a matter of fact, tires for karts can easily withstand 2 geforces of cornering force.
While tires and engines are very important parts on a go kart, there is one more part that many people think doesn't matter that much... but it actually does. And that part would be the chassis. You see, if you have a strong engine and tires that can handle all the heat from it... you still have nothing if the chassis itself is unable to withstand the force of the race.
As a matter of fact, according to Memo Gidley, writer of 'Everything You Need To Know About Karting' and an accomplished karter himself, spends the lion's share of his book stressing how important a correct chassis setup is for a successful kart race!
The first few times that I went go karting, it was regular ole' indoor karting. I rented my kart and had to do with what the guy gave me. But the more I kart, the more I wanted to own my very own kart. The downside of karting is that it can still be pretty expensive if you are going to buy your kart new.
That's why I resorted to buying used go karts instead. You can find a lot of them on eBay these days. You can read more about it here. A lot of people are building homemade go karts, use them for a bit, build a better one and then sell the old one. Not all used go karts are homemade though. Some are store bought.
I've handled homemade as well as store bought used go karts and I can tell from experience that a homemade kart is not necessarily a worse ride than a store bought. Some people really know how to build their own karts. They buy all the best parts and turn them into a great kart.
Art Ingels is the guy solely responsible for creating the whole karting sport. It was in the ninenteen fifties that he built the very first kart. In doing so, Mr. Ingels ignited a spark that would end up setting the world on fire for go kart racing. It took a couple of decades for it to really catch on, but it's getting big now!
There are more and more indoor kart tracks popping up around the world. It's only going to become more popular from here on out. But you've gotta have determination. It's a really hard sport and it requires lots of practice to become good at it!
Don't believe it's hard? Watch this guy fail at drifting around the corner! :P
Here's some more pictures of go karts that I like: