Cadet Karts

Author
Discussion

PPEhero

Original Poster:

182 posts

35 months

Sunday 13th September
quotequote all
Just looking for abit of an insight please if anyone can help.

I’m looking at getting my son into karting, he’s 8 years old and been on some of the arrive and drive karts in the past. I’m considering taking the next step and getting him his own cadet kart.

I know the costs involved in buying the karts and necessary kit but can anyone give me some info on the general running costs and there experiences?

Is it possible for him to compete at a midfield amateur level on a normal budget or is it a waste of time unless your throwing loads of money at it?

What sort of costs are involved? Engine rebuilds? Other general maintenance schedules/costs? Do you need to change gears ratios and tyres etc every race to even stand a chance




cashmax

739 posts

200 months

Monday 14th September
quotequote all
PPEhero said:
Just looking for abit of an insight please if anyone can help.

I’m looking at getting my son into karting, he’s 8 years old and been on some of the arrive and drive karts in the past. I’m considering taking the next step and getting him his own cadet kart.

I know the costs involved in buying the karts and necessary kit but can anyone give me some info on the general running costs and there experiences?

Is it possible for him to compete at a midfield amateur level on a normal budget or is it a waste of time unless your throwing loads of money at it?

What sort of costs are involved? Engine rebuilds? Other general maintenance schedules/costs? Do you need to change gears ratios and tyres etc every race to even stand a chance
I'm afraid that it seems to be an area of motorsport where wallet racing has got out of control. Parents will spend thousands on multiple engines, perhaps 10 all tested and retain the best ones, huge amounts on instruction and kart setup etc. The best route would be one of the arrive and drive series where the karts are all identical and drawn randomly, this goes some way to keeping costs under control and allowing your lad to be competitive at a reasonable cost if he turns out to have some talent.

Tony Fowler

4 posts

57 months

Monday 14th September
quotequote all
If you want to win at a National level then the costs can be large, but costs at club level are much cheaper and you can still achieve success.

Find your local clubs and go visit a couple of meetings and talk to the other Dads.
Some clubs also offer taster sessions for people new to the sport. Most clubs also have someone who will introduce beginners to the sport.

When my son raced costs were about 100 for race entry and Saturday testing and another 100 for awning space. Tyres are the biggest cost but I think cadets are limited to a certain number of sets to reduce costs.

Honda cadets are the cheapest Cadet class and rebuild costs are very low as they are basically generator engines.

I recommend taking awning space with a team as they help with set up and driver coaching. I’d recommend asking around and maybe trying a few.

I’d recommend giving it a try. Its a great activity to bond with your son, and will teach him many life skills both mechanical and personal.
I loved our time in karting we still have many friends from it.

Wingo

244 posts

131 months

Tuesday 15th September
quotequote all
What level are you expecting to compete at? Starting at Clubbie level is good, if the lad or lass enjoys it then off you go, no need to spend a fortune at club level but when you start to step up big spending becomes the norm.

Running a cadet kart properly is a black art I never felt I came fully to grips with. It soon got to point where the driver was mid field in clubbie cadets and I didn't know if that was the drivers limit or if it was the kart/engine/setup that was the problem. I suspected the latter.

For the next step I was looking at getting some professional help in running a junior rotax kart, it didn't cost a fortune, a few hundred quid per meeting, but it would answer the question. In the end for one reason and another we gave up, now the driver sees me off in a car based motorsport usually, so obviously highly talented and could have made it all the way to top with the appropriate ££££££££££££ support.laugh

Number one advice is do it for fun at a level you can afford. I've seen the odd pushy parent have a karting kid in tears, not a good way to operate in my view.


pablo

15,222 posts

233 months

Wednesday 16th September
quotequote all
There are two Cadet classes, costs will vary based on whether you go IAME or Honda, IAME is a 2 stroke 60cc engine and Honda is a 4 stroke 160cc engine. Most circuits run IAME as it’s the premier British championship compared to Honda cadets (which is still popular) but IAME is more expensive. Both have a centrifugal clutch. Dependent upon gearing they can hit 50mph so are rapid machines.

General running costs are fairly low as there is nothing to them but that said, it’s all marginal gains so I’ve heard stories of high quality wheel bearings etc. There is loads online about engine rebuilding too so if you’re handy with the spanners you can buy and build a spare to save testing on the “race” engine.

It needn’t cost much more than £200 per meeting from your own awning as entry fees aren’t that much, that includes consumables. Tyres should last at least three meetings. Awning space with a team is a great idea and you normally get offered levels of service based on what you’re prepared to spend.

You’ve probably already found www.karting.co.uk/mp will be the best place to look for a s/h kart, you shouldn’t need to pay more than £1500 for a competitive kart and an engine from a reputable builder. Better to get one that you’ve seen compete though. Budget the same again for race kit, awning, trolley/ stand, new tyres, set up scales, race day spares if you’re starting from scratch.

Testing time will be critical, when I had my Rotax Max, I’d take a day off work and take it to Llandow during the week for fun. A kid came on his lunch break from school with his dad, got out their mini max, do a few laps, change something, do a few more laps, pack up and go back to school.... I doubt his mother knew!

www.karting1.co.uk is a good site for advice

Good luck, have fun.


Edited by pablo on Wednesday 16th September 09:41

topsprayer

207 posts

94 months

Tuesday 29th September
quotequote all
pablo said:
There are two Cadet classes, costs will vary based on whether you go IAME or Honda, IAME is a 2 stroke 60cc engine and Honda is a 4 stroke 160cc engine. Most circuits run IAME as it’s the premier British championship compared to Honda cadets (which is still popular) but IAME is more expensive. Both have a centrifugal clutch. Dependent upon gearing they can hit 50mph so are rapid machines.

General running costs are fairly low as there is nothing to them but that said, it’s all marginal gains so I’ve heard stories of high quality wheel bearings etc. There is loads online about engine rebuilding too so if you’re handy with the spanners you can buy and build a spare to save testing on the “race” engine.

It needn’t cost much more than £200 per meeting from your own awning as entry fees aren’t that much, that includes consumables. Tyres should last at least three meetings. Awning space with a team is a great idea and you normally get offered levels of service based on what you’re prepared to spend.

You’ve probably already found www.karting.co.uk/mp will be the best place to look for a s/h kart, you shouldn’t need to pay more than £1500 for a competitive kart and an engine from a reputable builder. Better to get one that you’ve seen compete though. Budget the same again for race kit, awning, trolley/ stand, new tyres, set up scales, race day spares if you’re starting from scratch.

Testing time will be critical, when I had my Rotax Max, I’d take a day off work and take it to Llandow during the week for fun. A kid came on his lunch break from school with his dad, got out their mini max, do a few laps, change something, do a few more laps, pack up and go back to school.... I doubt his mother knew!

www.karting1.co.uk is a good site for advice

Good luck, have fun.


Edited by pablo on Wednesday 16th September 09:41
Not necessarily true. Iame is big in some areas but others non existent. For example forest edge down south has no iame cadets anymore but huge honda cadet grids.

Your best bet is go to your local circuit, find out what is the most popular and talk to the club, teams & privateers who race in them, that should give you enough ideas and potential karts for sale which you won't find online.

I've been racing for 3 years now and karting for 4. Never used a forum but learnt everything through the local club.

For costs a local cadet has a budget of 30k per year, I would not say that's even that big. So cadet costs are out of control. But for fun you should be able to pick up a kart for sub 2k, but you need kit, transport, racing licence fees etc. Whether that's competitive I don't know but first you just need a not of seat time.

There are series that aim to combat this, BKC, Daniel Riccardo series.

vulture1

7,713 posts

139 months

Friday 2nd October
quotequote all
30k? and talking about awning space with a team as a first go.

I'd just go with Dad and lad. Times all in the driver if he likes it after a year think about moving up the category of commitment.

Our first season in cadets for the first 4 or five meetings never even changed the sprocket as dad never knew it was an option.
By chance a competitor asked what we were running and the answer was "the same as at teh other tracks"
All of a sudden 1/2 second gained but all the time initially is in the driver.

We didn't even buy new tyres the first season just ran 2 different sets of slicks we got in a second hand package.



PPEhero

Original Poster:

182 posts

35 months

Friday 2nd October
quotequote all
Thanks for the replies. I’m off down to Norwich to pick up a secondhand Honda cadet kart in the morning, cost just over £1k with a few spares.

Iv been to my local track at tockwith and had a chat with some of the other dads. Most of the serious people seem to be running iame cadets, apparently at some places they run the Honda cadets in the same races as the Iames but they aren’t as quick. A nice bloke I was speaking to said his lad has 6 Iame engines for the season!

I’m going to let my lad have a run about on it on Sunday and see how he gets on, I’m hoping he will like it. Then spend abit of time stripping the kart down and rebuilding it with him as he always takes an interest in how things work and as we have a newborn it’ll be nice to spend some quality time just me and him.

It’s all just going to be about quality time to start with and I’m keeping my fingers crossed he’ll take to it!

I understand the benefit of different gearing for the different tracks but the karts coming with 3 different diameter rear axles, what is to gain from using different sizes?




Edited by PPEhero on Friday 2nd October 20:15

vulture1

7,713 posts

139 months

Saturday 3rd October
quotequote all
PPEhero said:
Thanks for the replies. I’m off down to Norwich to pick up a secondhand Honda cadet kart in the morning, cost just over £1k with a few spares.

Iv been to my local track at tockwith and had a chat with some of the other dads. Most of the serious people seem to be running iame cadets, apparently at some places they run the Honda cadets in the same races as the Iames but they aren’t as quick. A nice bloke I was speaking to said his lad has 6 Iame engines for the season!

I’m going to let my lad have a run about on it on Sunday and see how he gets on, I’m hoping he will like it. Then spend abit of time stripping the kart down and rebuilding it with him as he always takes an interest in how things work and as we have a newborn it’ll be nice to spend some quality time just me and him.

It’s all just going to be about quality time to start with and I’m keeping my fingers crossed he’ll take to it!

I understand the benefit of different gearing for the different tracks but the karts coming with 3 different diameter rear axles, what is to gain from using different sizes?




Edited by PPEhero on Friday 2nd October 20:15
Very little imo, (or it was in my day)that is looking for a 1/10 of a second at best whilst gear is a second a lap (if massively wrong) or 3-4 in the wet. Main thing is don't even think about being competative in the short term just have fun.


Edited by vulture1 on Saturday 3rd October 01:14

topsprayer

207 posts

94 months

Sunday 4th October
quotequote all
PPEhero said:
Thanks for the replies. I’m off down to Norwich to pick up a secondhand Honda cadet kart in the morning, cost just over £1k with a few spares.

Iv been to my local track at tockwith and had a chat with some of the other dads. Most of the serious people seem to be running iame cadets, apparently at some places they run the Honda cadets in the same races as the Iames but they aren’t as quick. A nice bloke I was speaking to said his lad has 6 Iame engines for the season!

I’m going to let my lad have a run about on it on Sunday and see how he gets on, I’m hoping he will like it. Then spend abit of time stripping the kart down and rebuilding it with him as he always takes an interest in how things work and as we have a newborn it’ll be nice to spend some quality time just me and him.

It’s all just going to be about quality time to start with and I’m keeping my fingers crossed he’ll take to it!

I understand the benefit of different gearing for the different tracks but the karts coming with 3 different diameter rear axles, what is to gain from using different sizes?




Edited by PPEhero on Friday 2nd October 20:15
30k seems mad but I've seen his schedule and not even in British kart championship, top team awnings are about 1 k a weekend plus tires and more if your hiring kit. Crazy money. But as has been said just get bum in seat time and have fun. A lot of the dad's I see at races seem to pile a huge amount of pressure on to justify spending/ be the next star, would hope I'm never in that position.

Iame tends to be more popular up north from the grids I see, engines tend to need more work thou.

Can't tell you anything about cadet kart set up cause tires are very different to what I use but will all be to do with amount of grip, too much and tires heat up and go off, too little and they never come on. Set up for my kart is based around axle width, front geometry (castor, camber, toe), bumpers and side pods being tight (increase grip by stiffening chassis) or loose (opposite), tire pressures, seat stays bearing carriers etc. But first of all get seat time in a neutral set up then when comfortable do some testing. Oh and have fun ! I love it and always get the racing excitement when on race weeks

PPEhero

Original Poster:

182 posts

35 months

Tuesday 6th October
quotequote all
Didn’t get out at the weekend due to the unfortunate weather.

Took the kids upto tockwith and had a chat with Nigel Moore and his wife. Nigel said he would have a look over the Kart so I took it up yesterday for him to put his eye over.

He said it needed a new clutch and a spacer on the carb. Knowing that the boy was wanting to use it at the weekend he talked me through fitting it but then took it upon himself to do it there and then for me incase I ran into any problems. He was leaving for Italy today for racing (think he runs an LMP car) and was clearly extremely busy trying to sort it out. So massive thanks to him and his wife and tockwith motorsport, we’ve only been up a couple of times but talked to some friendly people that are always willing to help and advise. Top marks Tockwith!