Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

80Jr and Sr, 125 Senior, Stock and Masters

Moderators: Brian Traw, Mike Hewitt, Tom Dunlap, John Bartos, Rick Miller, Garrett Boone

Post Reply
Ro Jackson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:37 am

Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Ro Jackson » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:19 pm

Myself and three other "senior" age men are interested in shifter Karts. We all currently "track race" our Zo6's. We have inquired with 3g racing, but have received no response except from their Dallas connection named Mark French.
Our quandary is, we would like to experience driving a shifter Kart to see if it's as neat and cool as described by the North Texas Karters that put some good sales on us at the last Nascar race. We've been trying to do this since early November. We all think we'd enjoy the "hard" racing. I've been present for several race days as an observer at the Katy track, so I'm not a stranger to this. Can anyone offer any assistance? This is becoming frustrating.

Brad Johnson
The master poster
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:59 pm
Location: Magnolia, Texas

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Brad Johnson » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:19 pm

I'd love to help you out but my shifter is in pieces right now getting ready for this year. If it were together I'd offer to meet you at the track for some laps. Maybe one of the other guys would be willing to let you. If you can give me a couple weeks I should be back together and ready. Tough thing might be finding a seat that will fit but you can drive one that's a little big. It's way better than one too small. It can be a beating at times and a workout but after a good wheel to wheel session it's great to get out and shake hands congratulating everybody on a good race.

I can't speak as to why you haven't gotten any response from 3G. 3G is a good group to deal with, should be able to set you up if you choose to join us. I'm not sure of the status of Kart Nation at MSR.

I'm a bit biased but I think shifters are the neatest and coolest. The 250 Superkarts are the kings in my opinion but those are only for the big tracks. Actually any racing karts are cool but shifters have the sound and speed. Maybe not as cool as track days in a Z06 but I get by with what I can. Jumping in a shifter is a pretty steep learning curve, not to say it can't be done but you shouldn't expect success right away. But who knows you and your friends may take to it easily. It would be great to have some more shifters at the races, so good luck in your efforts.

Ro Jackson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:37 am

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Ro Jackson » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:04 am

Brad, thanks for the prompt response. I'm sure 3g is just a communications error. Tracking a Zo6 is expensive, and for a couple of us, is getting tedious, plus wear and tear. I understand shifter Kart racing is "expensive", but not compared to keeping up a Zo6. My understanding of a 125 shifter, is that the performance is equivalent to a Z06, with superior cornering. I think the four of us could adapt fairly easily, the learning curve would be in racing/passing etiquette. We are already used to clutch-heel/toe shifting, sub 4 second acceleration, and super hard braking. We are NOT used to no suspension and passing in the corners. The nice guys we met with North Texas Karters, all suggested we not make new purchases, until we had some seat time, to find out if we really wanted to commit to Karting. I think that's a good idea. I know what you mean when you say it's VERY competitive on the track, but you come to the paddock and shake hands, laugh, and back slap. It's that way where we've been running.

Thanks Again

Mike Books
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:32 am
Location: Houston

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Mike Books » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:20 am

Ro,
My son races 125 shifter out at Katy and would glad to help you guys out. The only drawback is our kart has a fairly small seat, don't know what sizes you guys are but if that's not an issue we could definately offer some seat time. Otherwise if you just wanted to meet and talk and go over any questions we could do that too! I live on the northwest side of town around 290 and hwy 6 area. Let me know if we could help, my cell is 832-372-0612.
Mike & Kyle Books #26t

Brad Johnson
The master poster
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:59 pm
Location: Magnolia, Texas

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Brad Johnson » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:41 pm

Ro,

I would expect shifters to be less of a financial consideration than a Z06, but it is a good idea to look at some used packages first. I would extend that tip even to someone looking to get into a single gear type kart. It's just makes sense to give yourself some time to see if it's for you and then maybe after a year or whatever you decide is right for you go ahead and spring for new shiny goodies.

I think you will find all the karters, shifters and TAGs alike, at Katy are helpful and welcome as many newcomers as we can get. Being car guys already things shouldn't be to out of reach for you or your friends. Once you get used to no heel/toe shifting, and basic set-up ideas to get it handling, and run lap after lap. :) Just messing around on the heel/toe thing as you only use the clutch handle to start and stop.

As Mike mentioned the toughest part of a test ride is finding one that fits, at leat sort of. I'm 6'2", and around 210, I use an XL seat. I'm not exactly built to be a kart racer but oh well. If you or any of your friends are around that size or smaller you can probably get away with a ride in mine once it's back together.

Brad

Bryan W. Joplin
The master poster
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:38 pm
Location: Magnolia, Texas

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Bryan W. Joplin » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:16 pm

Hi Ro,

If you are interested in going to the track tomorrow, Saturday Jan 8, give me a call. I have a shifter, tag and chonda, with xl seats on all three. I am 6'1" and 195 so most can get into my seats. You need to check with me to make sure I am going (almost certain) and my back permitting, I get all three loaded. My number is 281-356-6438. I live in Magnolia.

Bryan

Ro Jackson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:37 am

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Ro Jackson » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:11 am

Thanks everyone.

I've got scheduled weekend plans, but thanks for offering a Saturday test. While we are all anxious to try this, we are also patient, since we've already waited since early November. In order not to inconvenience anyone, I'd like to coordinate with the other three people. I've got one in the Woodlands, one in Nederland, and two of us are within 20 miles of the Katy track. I know the weather is spotty for the foreseeable future, and meeting with everyone will be difficult, but we'll get it done. I am the largest of the group, 5-10, 225, definitely a xl. I look forward to meeting you all.

Thanks

Ro

Scott Boone
The master poster
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 11:23 pm
Location: Houston, Tx

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Scott Boone » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:15 am

Ro
I want you to be aware of the norms in karting. The vast majority of karts are sold without a test drive. Especially new karts to new drivers. Experienced drivers sometimes get to "test" new chassis but these tests are generally arranged through importers and not the local kart shop I applaud those who are offering to let you test-drive their shifters. There are risks involved that are real out at our track. I see new drivers getting into Chondas and driving over curbs and into tires. The owners of thes karts smile and go back and repair their karts and the test driver never knows what an imposition that event was to the owner of the kart. Test drives of shifters and tags multiply the odds of off track damage by 100. I strongly recommend that you wear all the safety gear especially a good rib protector. Seats that are not properly fitted to the driver can easily bruise ribs. Be careful and have fun.

Bill Choice
The master poster
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:16 pm

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Bill Choice » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:30 pm

All good points Scott! A good driver, even those with track day experience and high performance car, is not always ready for how a kart handles or the power to weight ratio. Like Scott said, I have had many people who drove to the track in their car mess up my Chonda. I would suggest you get some laps in a Chonda, then TAG, then a Shifter. I have many laps at our track and jumping into a shifter is still a challenge!

- Bill

Mark Reid
The master poster
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 7:44 pm

Re: Getting into Shifter Kart Racing

Post by Mark Reid » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:31 pm

Ro -

I just moved to a Shifter after a couple years in a TaG (45 years old). It is violent and tough on the body but oh so much fun!! If you guys like tracking Z06's, you will love this. The racing is even more fun, more economical and easier to deal with for a "one-man-show". Dave or Ab at 3G are usually responsive (especially if you show up in person at the shop). Anyway, call me anytime if you want to discuss. 2816101495.

Regards,

Mark Reid
Mark Reid

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests