Scratch that itch; Caterham !

Scratch that itch; Caterham !

Author
Discussion

jimhcat

41 posts

106 months

Wednesday 10th February
quotequote all
IMHO I would ignore the comments about power and sweet spots.
I don't think it's mandatory to use full power all the time so of course you can have a very powerful Caterham and pootle around in it at low throttle openings.
From my experience you can't really fully unleash any Caterham on the road without risk to your license so if you are mainly driving on the road the max power is rather irrelevant.
If you want the exhilaration of superbike acceleration then get a powerful one.

agatebox

27 posts

98 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
Two other things to consider, albeit both can be changed at a later date, just more expense!

Standard or lowered floor? Again a highly personal preference, assuming you can physically comfortably drive the car! To me there’s a very different feel depending on whether you have standard or lowered floors, having owned both. Personally I prefer the lower option, plus for me being just over 6 foot it means I’m looking more through the middle of windscreen rather than the top half. Also I don’t get so much buffeting and occasional road debris arriving in my face :-) The disadvantage of lowered floors is that the seat bolts become the lowest part of the car, although I’d rather be grinding away seat bolts than the sump!

Seats? For some reason I find the shape of the Caterham “standard” grip seats to be totally uncomfortable for me after about 20 minutes driving, even though I easily fit into them, whereas I can drive all day in the kevlar composite ones! The leather seats, apart from obviously giving less side support, gave all day comfort I found.

As advised, you need to drive which set up you think you want, or al least as close as you can, and I’d recommend for at least half a day. Good luck in your search.

paul gee

Original Poster:

35 posts

28 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
jimhcat said:
IMHO I would ignore the comments about power and sweet spots.
I don't think it's mandatory to use full power all the time so of course you can have a very powerful Caterham and pootle around in it at low throttle openings.
From my experience you can't really fully unleash any Caterham on the road without risk to your license so if you are mainly driving on the road the max power is rather irrelevant.
If you want the exhilaration of superbike acceleration then get a powerful one.
Thanks so much Jim, all agreed and understood smile

paul gee

Original Poster:

35 posts

28 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
agatebox said:
Two other things to consider, albeit both can be changed at a later date, just more expense!

Standard or lowered floor? Again a highly personal preference, assuming you can physically comfortably drive the car! To me there’s a very different feel depending on whether you have standard or lowered floors, having owned both. Personally I prefer the lower option, plus for me being just over 6 foot it means I’m looking more through the middle of windscreen rather than the top half. Also I don’t get so much buffeting and occasional road debris arriving in my face :-) The disadvantage of lowered floors is that the seat bolts become the lowest part of the car, although I’d rather be grinding away seat bolts than the sump!

Seats? For some reason I find the shape of the Caterham “standard” grip seats to be totally uncomfortable for me after about 20 minutes driving, even though I easily fit into them, whereas I can drive all day in the kevlar composite ones! The leather seats, apart from obviously giving less side support, gave all day comfort I found.

As advised, you need to drive which set up you think you want, or al least as close as you can, and I’d recommend for at least half a day. Good luck in your search.
Hi agatebox, yes identical height to myself by the sound of it. You've made my mind up about lowered floor, very good advice, thanks. The seats.. the leather ones would be my preference and that sounds good. I'm hoping that ENTRY into the cars (SV,leather seats and removable Momo) will be striaghtfoward.. I'm fairly sprightly but do all you guys stand on the seat and then slide in ? smile

upsidedownmark

1,986 posts

99 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
jimhcat said:
IMHO I would ignore the comments about power and sweet spots.
I don't think it's mandatory to use full power all the time so of course you can have a very powerful Caterham and pootle around in it at low throttle openings.
From my experience you can't really fully unleash any Caterham on the road without risk to your license so if you are mainly driving on the road the max power is rather irrelevant.
If you want the exhilaration of superbike acceleration then get a powerful one.
Simplistically, that sounds reasonable. However, if you look a little deeper, the 'bigger power' variants come with other compromises that make them more different than simply extra power; heavier engines, stiffer suspesion, bigger rear tyres, different diff setup.. NA engines tend to have to compromise midrange to make more headline power, which is almost always near max rpm - so it may not be 'more powerful' in the rev range you actually use on the road. YMMV obviously as will your desires, but there are good reasons why folks talk about sweet spots.

P.S. Even a 620 doesn't accelerate 'like a superbike' - sorry (having come to caterhams from bikes..)

Edited by upsidedownmark on Thursday 11th February 17:28

agatebox

27 posts

98 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
“ I'm fairly sprightly but do all you guys stand on the seat and then slide in ?”
No need once you’ve practiced a couple of times, and you can’t stand on the seats if you have a roof/hood up :-)

Removable Momo is a bit of a double edged sword.
Advantages - easier access and added security, more difficult for opportunist thief to drive/roll the car away.
Disadvantage - if you leave the car unattended some opportunist scrote could nick the wheel unless you:- a. take it with you b. Chain it for example to the roll bar. C. Get a Rottweiler to mind the car.

Also after the last Grand Tour episode that will have given certain people ideas .... don’t leave your battery isolator key in place with the car unattended! Though again the Rottweiler could earn his keep!

Cat44

1 posts

2 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
I’d ignore any personal comments about looks etc as the best advice on here is simply to try one first. I hired an S3 and SV before buying and purchased the larger chassis. I plan to tour and found the larger chassis is simply more comfortable. I like the look of all 7’s but it’s personal choice. I also went for a Sigma engine so at the bottom end of power, and this is more than enough for my lack of talent.
The beauty of 7’s is that they come in a wide range of configurations and each and every one will make you grin incessantly.
I only have one regret, I wish I had brought one earlier.

ian2144

1,606 posts

186 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
I was never comfortable in a S3 my 49” chest wouldn’t let me, went straight in at the deep end with a 200hp dry sumped K series SV .... loved every minute just purely as a road car.
Seriously looking to get another, will definitely go Ford engine this time, so the other half doesn’t burn here legs on the exhaust.

Steve Campbell

1,581 posts

132 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
paul gee said:
I'm fairly sprightly but do all you guys stand on the seat and then slide in ? smile
If an SV, no...if S3, yes
If S3, You’ll start be being really careful. Tiptoe trying not to stand on the seat, but eventually in the dry you’ll just climb onto the seat and lower yourself in and not bother with the care :-). The trick to getting in (with no roof on) is to lower yourself in like getting in a bath (ie hands either side) once you are stood in the cockpit. With the roof on, well that’s another story and can be quite fun watching someone try it for the first time with no instructions LOL

Once you’ve lowered yourself in, you will have to get out again because you forgot the keys were still in your pocket......after you’ve done up the harnesses.....Expect to do this when the maximum number of people are watching.

Turn7

19,826 posts

185 months

Thursday 11th February
quotequote all
Where are you based OP ?

nunuk

33 posts

31 months

Friday 12th February
quotequote all
Steve Campbell said:
...
Once you’ve lowered yourself in, you will have to get out again because you forgot the keys were still in your pocket......after you’ve done up the harnesses.....Expect to do this when the maximum number of people are watching.
LMAO



ian2144

1,606 posts

186 months

Friday 12th February
quotequote all
nunuk said:
Steve Campbell said:
...
Once you’ve lowered yourself in, you will have to get out again because you forgot the keys were still in your pocket......after you’ve done up the harnesses.....Expect to do this when the maximum number of people are watching.
LMAO
We have all done it at some point biggrin

BertBert

14,875 posts

175 months

Friday 12th February
quotequote all
jimhcat said:
IMHO I would ignore the comments about power and sweet spots.
How strange to ignore views that might be helpful. Kind of defeats the point of posting and asking about them doesn't it?

paul gee

Original Poster:

35 posts

28 months

Friday 12th February
quotequote all
Thank you all, so much, superb info. Turn 7, I'm in Romford, London/Essex borders smile

paul gee

Original Poster:

35 posts

28 months

Friday 12th February
quotequote all
upsidedownmark said:
Simplistically, that sounds reasonable. However, if you look a little deeper, the 'bigger power' variants come with other compromises that make them more different than simply extra power; heavier engines, stiffer suspesion, bigger rear tyres, different diff setup.. NA engines tend to have to compromise midrange to make more headline power, which is almost always near max rpm - so it may not be 'more powerful' in the rev range you actually use on the road. YMMV obviously as will your desires, but there are good reasons why folks talk about sweet spots.

P.S. Even a 620 doesn't accelerate 'like a superbike' - sorry (having come to caterhams from bikes..)

Edited by upsidedownmark on Thursday 11th February 17:28
Hi Mark, forgive me what does YMMV stand for smile

Turn7

19,826 posts

185 months

Friday 12th February
quotequote all
paul gee said:
upsidedownmark said:
Simplistically, that sounds reasonable. However, if you look a little deeper, the 'bigger power' variants come with other compromises that make them more different than simply extra power; heavier engines, stiffer suspesion, bigger rear tyres, different diff setup.. NA engines tend to have to compromise midrange to make more headline power, which is almost always near max rpm - so it may not be 'more powerful' in the rev range you actually use on the road. YMMV obviously as will your desires, but there are good reasons why folks talk about sweet spots.

P.S. Even a 620 doesn't accelerate 'like a superbike' - sorry (having come to caterhams from bikes..)

Edited by upsidedownmark on Thursday 11th February 17:28
Hi Mark, forgive me what does YMMV stand for smile
your mileage may vary

Turn7

19,826 posts

185 months

Saturday 13th February
quotequote all
paul gee said:
Thank you all, so much, superb info. Turn 7, I'm in Romford, London/Essex borders smile
Ah, shame, to far away for me, you could have seen and sat in my lowered floor SV.....

If you are serious, then Id suggest joining :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/318610305307075

Bound to be someone nearby that will let yuo try the car for size etc.....

paul gee

Original Poster:

35 posts

28 months

Saturday 13th February
quotequote all
Turn7 said:
Ah, shame, to far away for me, you could have seen and sat in my lowered floor SV.....

If you are serious, then Id suggest joining :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/318610305307075

Bound to be someone nearby that will let yuo try the car for size etc.....
Thanks so much anyway smile

BertBert

14,875 posts

175 months

Monday 15th February
quotequote all
Paul, you seem like a sensible guy, but I really think you don't know what you are getting yourself in to.

If you don't mind me saying, you are looking at seriously fast bits of kit with nothing save the driver to make it work.

Just say you'll go and test drive to make up your mind and I'll be happy. But I really don't think that a big bhp caterham is for you.

With best intent
Bert

Boggo

72 posts

18 months

Tuesday 16th February
quotequote all
BertBert said:
Paul, you seem like a sensible guy, but I really think you don't know what you are getting yourself in to.

If you don't mind me saying, you are looking at seriously fast bits of kit with nothing save the driver to make it work.

Just say you'll go and test drive to make up your mind and I'll be happy. But I really don't think that a big bhp caterham is for you.

With best intent
Bert
+1