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Captain Buddha


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Considering getting his n hers karts and joining NTK. Purpose is to have FUN and also hone control and racing skillsets. I'm 6' 300# on a good (or not so good) day... Appreciate recommendations for appropriate karts. Cue Matt....

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The quick and easy answer is the old addage "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?"

First would be to establish a base class, which puts you in a particular engine and chassis type.  (Make sure this choice can support the amount of cargo you are carrying.)

Then you choose your preferred chassis Mfr-- usually you want to pick something that is popular locally.   Find out what the shops around you sell and support and stick with one of those, cause you'll need parts and chassis setup support.


For a beginning point and cheap running costs, I would suggest that you look at LO206 class.  These are the 4-stroke sealed Briggs engines.  cheap and reliable w/ low running costs.  pump gas.

you could go a little faster with an "Animal" or "world Formula", which is an uncorked/ modified LO206.  (actually, the LO206 is an Animal engine that's built using spec internals and then sealed at Briggs..).  you can play with those guys-- start with an Animal block and add stroker crank, rod, higher comp piston, cam, etc..   and get pretty good power out of them.   a stock LO206 gets roughly 10hp and you can build an Animal into the 20s.

Next would be one of the 2-stroke "Tag" classes.  more power & softer tires = more speed and more $.    ~25hp, 13,000rpm..   

then there's a shifter.  2-stroke (dirt bike) engine, 5 or 6spd trans, etc.  4 wheel brakes, soft tires, lots of wear and tear and maintenance but TONS of fun.

There are some other entry level stuff like "Chonda" or Clone engines, which is a cheaper 4 stroke class using Chinese copies of Honda/ Briggs 4 strokes.   cheaper engines than 206, but I haven't seen one in Houston since I started the kids in racing.  


The biggest issue for you though is being able to fit your body in a seat.  I have the largest seat I can find, and I have to stuff myself into the seat to get in it at 250lb.  I don't know of anything larger, but I'm sure it's out there.


Now..  the above is the "sales brochure" of beginning karting.  which chassis and seat to pick are all part of the combination based on which class/engine you want to run, and then you go from there.  Honestly your best bet would be to call NTK or DKC and get advice for a local shop to help you get started.

for starting, expect to spend absolute minimum of $1000 for a beater LO206 which will need work and just get you started.   for $2500 or so, you can buy a pretty good condition used 206 or maybe a Tag setup.   Shifters start around $2000 for a beater and quickly go up from there.

A new complete rolling chassis will start around $3500 and a 206 engine is around $1000 by the time you piece everything together.  (you buy the longblock and then add clutch, engine mount, accessories).   Tag engines are roughly $1500/ea new and then $750 or so for a rebuild every 20 hours.  Shifter chassis start maybe $4500 and go up from there because of the 4 wheel brakes and beefier parts to handle the additional power and grip.


Again, regarding chassis selection and whatnot, I'd call someone local with more experience.  based on your size and weight, they might recommend a stiffer chassis, but might keep with a "standard" weight chassis.   there's about 10,000,000 combinations and they can all work if you set them up right.


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I appreciate it Matt! I'm thinking of starting on the upper level of things - maybe a Sodi DD2? Looking to buy a pair of nice used karts. I've had some folks hit me up with theirs on the NTK facebook page already...

What's your thought on this for a pair? Might be jumping in over my head - but that's par for course LOL... Not sure the wifey will want something like this though....doesn't look like they've been cleaned/cared for though...he's asking $5K for the pair.

I have 2 shifter Karts that are 2008 and 2014 SODI DD2 chassis with Rotax engines. I have all the paperwork for the engines from Rotax and some spare parts.
They are winterized right now but I can put water in the radiators and crank them up. The brakes work great. They are ready to race. I have a spare set of tires and wheels that I’ll throw in.



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Here's a pair of karts that look *very* clean and nice...and they are his n hers.

Both engines have less than 5 hours and very well maintained. They are CRG/DR karts. IAME X30’s, Mychron 4’s with GPS included for data. He's asking $7,500 for both.


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Another pair....very clean....matching set of karts. Shifter and a TaG kart 

2019 Shifter has very little time on it. Cr125, newline radiator and Mychron 5. The motor is Austin’s (his son, a pro, in college now) national #1 motor and it is the motor he set the track record at rock island Grand Prix in the king of the streets. 6 Speed.

2018 with a x30, new radiator and Mychron 5-2t. Kart is in good condition. TAG

Asking $5,000 each, $10K total – willing to deal on the pair/package....



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We have been racing OTK products for the last 3-4 years.  I would suggest sticking with OTK for most 2 stroke applications.  If your going shifter Sodi is another option.  Right now everyone wants a 206 or KA.  If you want to go fast and are not concerned with a lot of racing competition at the club level, used Tag engines are very reasonable right now.  Just a little higher than a new built 206 ($1200 - $1500).

Again if you just want to go fast, a good option is Rotax.  They have long rebuild cycles and are relatively in-expensive to operate(more like 10 - 30 hour rebuild cycle).  X30's are reasonable now, but need rebuilt every 7-10 hours.  A top end rebuild is $800 - $1000.  A bottom end is $1000 - $1300.

Personally, I don't get DD2's.  A well driven Rotax Max is almost as fast, much more common, and doesn't have the unique issues a DD2 has.

OTK parts are available locally at Crosslink or online at several paces.  OTK tuning information is widely available. 


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Of those three options, I would pick the second one in the list.  they look to be in really good shape, DR karts are a relatively new "maker" based on a CRG chassis.   so you're not going to get something from 2008 with a sticker kit being passed off as a newer chassis.


I would shy away from the Rotax stuff because their popularity around here is going away and getting parts and service in the future is going to be more challenging.  the IAME engines are the current normal thing with the KA100 as the new kid on the block.  I don't know about rebuild cycles on the 2 stroke because I don't run them, but Austin seems to have a good grasp on that.


The bigger issue for me is which ones will fit your frame.   being able to find a seat and get it on the chassis with an engine next to you will be the challenge.  (actually the real challenge will be watching you get in and out of one of these things!!! LOL )


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Matt & Austin - I appreciate y'all's input!

Matt - the 2nd set (CRG/DR Karts) are actually his n hers....he is 6' 270# so that should work pretty good.

These are probably different dimensions - but I have no issues fitting in the normal rental karts at DKC. Granted, when I get out - I'm literally suctioned to the seat - so that's kind of a good thing! LOL!!

So - discussing all of this last night with wifey - then she's like "well, you know the economy....and....the stock market....and um, well, maybe I should just get a Formula Mazda instead..." LOL!

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