Archive for the 'Karting Fun' Category

Popular Science – Archives of Go-Kart articles

Popular science recently put all of their published magazines on the Internet. As soon as I heard, I couldn’t wait to search for any “kart” related articles. I remember seeing old magazines amongst my fathers collection and was amazed at the details and information which was available for making all sorts of projects going back even to the start of the 19th century. A quick search here led me to some of the articles shown in the image below.

Direct links to two of the articles are:

I came across lots of advertisements and classifieds for go-kart kits but a lot of these were pretty old. Other search keywords which returned lots of results were “buggy” and “engine” and “motorcycle”. Have fun searching through. If anyone comes across any more good articles, feel free to email them on or add a comment. In case anyone was wondering it is an old “Modern Mechanix” magazine article showing kart plans from 1962 on the main website.

What it feels like driving a Kart

Incredibly Fast Go-Cart

I’m sure you’ll agree its some experience. What more incentive would a person need to get involved in karting. I do hope that was a closed road they were driving on! If the above video stops working, just drop us an email ( ).

Coolest Backyard invention of 2008

I’ve always liked Popular Mechanics, from reading old copies which my Dad used to get (many years ago), to browsing their website. I’ve even blogged about articles from their website before, however this month’s article is especially cool!

The Top Coolest Backyard Invention of 2008:
DIY Rally (Jet-Powered Go-Kart)

Jet-Powered Go-Kart
Original Image obtained from the Popular Mechanics Website.

Bryan, a 37 year old assistant manager at a Mitsubishi dealership devised this backyard invention complete from old parts and scrap metal! He got the power turbine on eBay and modded the rest himself. His total bill came to $1000 which might sound like a lot, however we do not know how much the turbine cost. The final kart weighing in at nearly 500lb reaches an astonishing 60mph in 8 seconds! There is a youtube video also available, showing the kart in action. It sure sounds loud! I bet the neighbours were giving out, it been late at night and all when they took the video 🙂

It seems that you can buy just about anything on eBaythese days. For kartbuilding, this is great news as odd parts and components can easily be sourced, however it can cost quite a bit if you have to pay for shipping. Most of the time, with some patience and looking in skips and yards etc. all the parts can be obtained for virtually nothing.

While the articleitself lacks a lot of inside information into the build, it provides great inspiration to many people looking to build karts from old pieces of scrap and second-hand parts. The popular mechanics website also provides great inspiration and a wealth of information on engines, motorbikes, chassis’s, brakes and just about everything that’s involved with kartbuilding. Hopefully the summer and go-kart building is going well for all of you.

Red Bull Soap Box Race in Belfast (25 May, 2008)

Red Bull SoapBox RaceLooks like its too late to enter this years Red Bull Soapbox race in Belfast on May 25th, 2008. What a pity. Still the event itself should be a good laugh with plenty of ideas and soapbox carts/karts to see with 47 teams been given “Soap Box Racing licences”. The event seems planned very well, with plenty of information on the RedBull website, including details on brakes and steering!

Attending the race is free to the public, and as the teams are from all over Ireland/N.Ireland it’ll be well worth a visit.

Soap BoxSo, what is a Soap Box? They are simple vehicles which reply completely upon gravity. Typically they are raced together as part of a “Soap Box Derby” which is exactly what is happening with the Red Bull Soapbox race.

Keep the ideas and kartbuilding going!

Due to the interest and questions recieved about Red Bull Soapbox racing via email, some vidoes of previous races can be found on youtube. The following are two relevant ones. The first video shows part 1 of the construction of a soapbox racer. The second video shows one of the soapbox carts in action.


Going Karting

goingkarting This website offers great tips and advice to help you get the most out of go-karting. There is some good general knowledge on karting, with all types of karts (pedal to petrol etc.) been covered for both young and old. It also has information on setting up a karting meeting.

Worth a look.

Video on making a Go-Kart with Suspension

Dirt Devil KartThe following well produced video shows the stages involved in making a Go-Kart using the Dirt Devil  kart plans. The stages shown in the video below are:

  • Welding, Cutting and making the Chassis
  • Obtaining parts for the Suspension
  • The 18hp Engine
  • The Rear brake Calliper
  • Steering Setup
  • Testing and Racing the Go-Kart with Suspension

A lot of parts were taken from a quad and an other working go-kart! The suspension seems to work very well, however the camber angle on the front wheels seems too much. The front wheels are splayed out sidewards. Perhaps this is the suspension, but ideally this would need to be readjusted. Read more on camber angles here.

Popular Mechanics: Rotax Racing Go-Karts and a Honda ATV

Popular Mechanics LogoPopularMechanics is well established magazine, and has an excellent website where there are two very good articles under the theme of kartbuilding:

Doing 100mph in a Rotax Go-Kart

This article describes how a Rotax Go-Kart with a 34hp two-stroke engine of a mere 125cc! can achieve 100mph!! Including the driver, the total weight of the kart comes to only 300 pounds (or 136kg), with dual disc brakes on the rear axle, and disc brakes on each front wheels.

The Go-Kart has an amazing transmission. It has a 2 speed direct drivetrain which is chainless and shifts electronically via two large paddles mounted onto the steering wheel. There is an electric starter which can also move the kart in reverse!!

Overall its an excellent article with some very informative and detailed photos, and well worth a look. If you don’t have the $8000 money to buy it, you might at least get some good ideas! The article again is located at:

Details, Specs and Trial of a Honda ATV (Foreman Rubicon 400)

Although this article was written in 2000, it contains some up-to-date details and information on the transmission and capability of an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle). Details on the “Hondamatic” transmission providing engine braking are included, along with Limited Slip Differential are included! This article is definitely for the off-road enthusiast.

There are no exact details on the engine specs or the costs. There is also a hayes owners workshop manual available for this ATV. Perhaps some of the technology could be taken off one of these ATVs and transplanted into a Off-Road Kart.

The article again is located at:

“Making a Racing Go-Kart Vanish” – Magic Trick Revealed

A person attempts to drive a go-kart fast enough in order to make it disappear! The go-kart, ontop of a parking garage in Las Vegas is driven towards three people with fire extinguishers, and as the CO2 is discharged, causing a cloud of smoke, the go-kart vanishes into thin air!

Incase you were fooled in the above video, the go-kart didn’t disappear. The following website shows how a mistake in the camera angle, combined with slow motion playback, reveal the true outcome of the go-kart.