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Old 03-05-2001, 09:05 PM   #1
FstrMnky
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Member#: 878
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Wichita, KS
Talking F125 kart drive: can't stop grinning !!!

Just in case anyone is considering running a 125cc shifter kart for either scca F125 autox or roadracing - read on:

i bought one a few weeks ago with a blown engine. we (the guy i bought it from and an old hand) finished putting it back together after putting in a rebuild engine (slightly newer). got to run it for the first time this weekend at a local 'fun-kart' type outdoor track. narrow and very twisted course with more than a few bumps but still beats sitting in the garage making 2 stroke noises.

My god!! nothing thats street legal can prepare you for driving one of these little rippers. almost drove off the track at the first turn because so little wheel movement is needed. Putt-putt’ed around for half of the first lap and was whooping, hollering and hanging out the rear by the end of the first lap. never before have i spent so much time driving a 'car' with power oversteer and drifting. such fun!! the handling totally blew my mind even though we were on worn tires (which we corded) and with the chassis set up stiff (softening the chassis would have allowed more traction). the feeling is so direct, so raw and a little intimidating.

we were breaking in the engine (running twice as much oil in the premix as recommended by the builder) which meant it was down on power and hiccup-ing occasionally. was actually glad for the lack of power because it was such a huge leap compared to any car i've driven. used to have a fast sport bike but this thing still blew me away and will take quite a while to adjust to before i can even think about driving the line. The sensation of speed is huge and hugely satisfying. The first order of business is going to be getting used to driving it and then learning to drive the line. Didn’t really try (or have time) to note brake, turn-in, apex and track-out markers and mostly drove like an idiot on crack. The speed is almost overwhelming and i was driving mostly by reflex and instinct.

I was initially concerned about down-shifting without the clutch (the clutch is only used to start moving from a stop or in my case - to stall) but it proved to be a non-issue. The funny part is for the first few laps my left foot twitched at every up-shift (looking to depress the clutch) which meant that I was actually jabbing the brakes – my bobbing helmet must have been funny to watch.

Unfortunately, a leaky radiator ended the day early but not before i drove through a puddle of coolant (after it had been sitting and pooling a little) and spun out due to the wet tire but stayed on the track so no harm done.

Driving home afterwards felt very surreal: everything appeared to be moving in slow motion (including my subie). I now have no choice but to stick with karting because nothing else with 4 wheels I can afford will give the same feelings. It was as much fun as the first time I had sex, nearly as awkward and is almost as alluring.

So, if you’ve been debating the value of turning your daily driver into an insufferable street ride and spending $^n for a competitive setup, consider this: the only class with a higher autox pax is A-Mod. C-Mod often beats kart too but at what cost$!! Plus for my autox budget I can get hours of seat time in a season instead of minutes in a season of autox.

If any karters in KS or OK read this please send me an email because I want to find out more about tracks and schools

FstrMnky
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Old 03-06-2001, 12:53 AM   #2
Lafora
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Anything like this in Ontario????

Man, how much did one of those set you back?

God, my friend's right. I have way too many hobbies for my own good.
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Old 03-06-2001, 06:45 AM   #3
kelley nelson
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I have been thinking about this too.

There are autocrosses and track days where you can drive. Tires and consumables are cheaper.. storage and transportation is cheaper and easier.. AND they go like stink.
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Old 03-06-2001, 06:55 AM   #4
richeich
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Thumbs up

Yep, I used to race enduro karts (laydown roadracers), and once you've done that, it takes all the fun out of driving your car! Mine wasn't a shifter, but the rush is similar. I've got a friend that runs a 125 shifter, hmmm....

Rich
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Old 03-06-2001, 09:05 AM   #5
steve_d
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Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
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I've driven a 125 before, A French Sodi that was well setup for a guy who tipped in at about 250 pounds.

I frightened myself. I also rode an 80cc, which was more my speed. One of the possibilities after the CRX is sold, would be to get an 80....

Did you know that you can race them at big tracks like mid ohio for only a couple hundred bucks for the weekend?
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Old 03-06-2001, 09:09 AM   #6
Youngun
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But like in autoxing, you have to wear a helmet, cos those things are just so rigid that they'll roll on you like that. Sound like a lot of fun tho :-)
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Old 03-06-2001, 09:53 AM   #7
ColinL
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Location: Wichita, KS and Whoring, OT
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So how much have you got into the kart so far, approximately? I'm sure many folks are curious how much it costs to get started.
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Old 03-06-2001, 03:41 PM   #8
FstrMnky
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Location: Wichita, KS
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richeich: 'used to' - why did you get out of it? where did you run at (I hear Norman, OK is fun) and how did you get into it? Any plans for this year?

Youngun: really, just like that? helmets? (sarcasm). a helmet is not enough: neck brace, gloves, shoes (enough to protect the ankle joint), abrasion resistant suit and a rib protector are required. I think people tend to get "ejected" more often than rolled on but both are objectionable.

Steve_d: yes, you can race at the bigger tracks but, from reading around, you spend proportionally more time at max/high rpm which will increase engine costs. It is supposed to be quite the ‘kick’ though!

costs: i got a '97 MacMinarelli 'sit-up' 125cc shifter chassis with spares and a blown (Kawasaki 125cc motox) engine for $1800. $500 and the core got me a rebuilt, 1 year newer, engine (including pipe because it was easier to swap pipes due to year differences). Like anything, you can go wild and drop a bunch of money on the newest & greatest setup. In my case that wouldn’t make me any faster (at least not this year ;-). I shopped around and feel it is a good deal, especially considering it was local and the seller is helping me with everything. Colin, look back at old autox results for Jack Brock and Rick Knapp’s times to get an idea of the capability of the guys getting me into this. I think my trust is placed in good hand.

As far as I can tell on tires: a set of tires cost about $140-$200 depending on brand, size and if you can find a sale. if i just autox it as much as I did last year then 2 sets of tires will last all season (3 sets if i want to go to nationals on fresh stickies). one set should last at least 2 weekends of club sprint racing. Engine should last me all season before needing a rebuild. if i roadrace (45mins-1hr) instead of sprint race (20 mins long) then the costs jump up - mostly because of engine build and rebuild requirements.

Well, have fun all. Off to forage for dinner …. drool 8-P
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Old 03-06-2001, 04:00 PM   #9
slidewaysmike
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I have driven a Sodi also, with a TM motor. That was the most fun I have ever had on 4 wheels also. I was fortunate enought to get to drive basically un-molested at the nice karting track they have in Vegas. I was having so much fun that I didn't ever want to stop.
As far as costs of these things, I am not really sure, but I know you can find used ones where I am for around 2-3 grand.
New ones are probably gonna cost quite a bit more. I would estimate probably for a nice setup your looking at over $6,000 dollars.
Here are a few links I found after just searching the net: http://www.simcoekartclub.com/kartin...tm#INTERESTING RACING LINKS http://www.skusaonline.com/link_gen.htm http://www.skusaonline.com/

Try those out.

Mike



[This message has been edited by slidewaysmike (edited March 06, 2001).]
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Old 03-06-2001, 06:42 PM   #10
tom@kartboy
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SIGH the good old days...
i used to road race 125 and 250 superkarts at sears poing laguna ( the last race there) and thunderhill. i'll tell you this there is NOTHINg like bbanging gears iin a shifter kart at a road race track
going 3-4 wide into a turn. your just laughing as hard as you can thinking this is insane having this many people in one turn..
DAMN i miss my kart now

tom@kartboy.com
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Old 03-06-2001, 08:12 PM   #11
richeich
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Hmmm...Kartboy. It all makes sense now!

FstrMnky-
I got out of it due to a divorce about 10 years ago. I was in the IKF. Back then we raced at Hallett OK, Garnett KS, Lake Afton KS, and Topeka KS (the BIG track- very cool!). Since then, I guess they've added Texas Motor Speedway, and St. Louis, maybe even more. I never did run at Norman. I don't know if they run Garnett or Lake Afton anymore. I haven't really kept up with it.

I got into it because my friends' brother-in-laws are the Foster Brothers, out of the Portland area. They were pretty big names in Karting, at least back then. My friend got into it because of them, and then I did since I was helping him so much. Greg Moore drove for them (or at least ran their motors) back when he was a teen.

I have no real plans to get back into karting, although the thought crosses my mind sometimes. I just don't have the time or the money. Not that it's very expensive, I'm just that broke!

Rich
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