Off-road buggies - any experts?

Off-road buggies - any experts?

Author
Discussion

dealmaker

Original Poster:

2,215 posts

218 months

Sunday 9th November 2008
quotequote all
Guys,

Looking to buy an off-road buggy - for my son of course! ...(of course I'm not interested at all in a rapid off-road device - thats potentially road useable!)

I don't really want him tearing up our gardens - so was looking for one that could be driven a short distance (we have some friendly farmers round here) and then used for it's intended purpose! I'm looking for a two seate and have been considering the Joyner 650 and the Quadzilla Bug Racer 500 :

Bug Racer:



Joyner:



Anyone know anything about these or know of alternatives I should consider??

dealmaker

Original Poster:

2,215 posts

218 months

Sunday 9th November 2008
quotequote all
^

mike_1985

357 posts

155 months

Sunday 9th November 2008
quotequote all
They are blooming expensive , thats all I know


EDIT :

I know you dont want him to be on a faster buggy but they are easily restricted and you should try get a bigger engine as they are easier to sell on . Also get one that is road legal (PLG) they hold value much better . Quadzilla has loads of dealers

Edited by mike_1985 on Sunday 9th November 21:53

JIM600

205 posts

164 months

Sunday 9th November 2008
quotequote all
I build/work on these as a job.

How old is your son - both of the karts you mentioned are big/fast - fine if he is in his teens, but not suitable for younger kids, even if just for the seat distance from the pedals.

We had one of the joyners 2 years ago - you can instantly see where they are made, rubbish welds, very cheap feel imo. Same goes for most of the Chinese buggies - they are much bigger than UK/American equivalents. But they use very thin tubing for the cage construction so are rattly and don’t feel very safe, they also tend to be sprayed rather than powdercoated, overcomplicated chassis and gearboxes (a torque converter is far more effective off-road than a scooter transmission).

Well worth looking at the UK karts - manufacturers like Gemini are very high quality, Honda GX engines are bullet proof and these are far more suited to younger kids.

If it has to be road legal then you’re limited to Chinese buggies really (unless you can fork out enough for a rage). Quadzilla have built up a pretty good reputation and are the best of the Chinese built karts at the moment - fine for going round a field but hugely underpowered - around 12/14hp from a 250 engine in a buggy that weighs 300-400kg.

As I say, it depends on the age of your son and what you want it for. My recommendations would be:

Young son/just pottering around - Bocart
Teenage Son / Needs to be road legal - Quadzilla 250/300
Teenage Son / Quick / Needs to be road legal - Quadzilla 500
Teenage Son / Not road legal - Gemini Liberator / Amis Kennedy AK40
Teenage Son / Very Quick - Any of the custom made karts out there.

If you want any more info - just ask, Anything using a Honda GX engine is likely to be easy to use, very low maintenance and more fun - but perhaps underpowered if your looking at 650/500 machines. But don’t expect much from these 500/650 engines - we have a buggy here at the moment with a 500cc 2 smoker engine from a snowmobile - 100hp and only weighs 250kg! You will be lucky to get over 20-30 hp from a lot of the Chinese made 650s.

Jim

dealmaker

Original Poster:

2,215 posts

218 months

Sunday 9th November 2008
quotequote all
JIM600 said:
I build/work on these as a job.

How old is your son - both of the karts you mentioned are big/fast - fine if he is in his teens, but not suitable for younger kids, even if just for the seat distance from the pedals.

We had one of the joyners 2 years ago - you can instantly see where they are made, rubbish welds, very cheap feel imo. Same goes for most of the Chinese buggies - they are much bigger than UK/American equivalents. But they use very thin tubing for the cage construction so are rattly and don’t feel very safe, they also tend to be sprayed rather than powdercoated, overcomplicated chassis and gearboxes (a torque converter is far more effective off-road than a scooter transmission).

Well worth looking at the UK karts - manufacturers like Gemini are very high quality, Honda GX engines are bullet proof and these are far more suited to younger kids.

If it has to be road legal then you’re limited to Chinese buggies really (unless you can fork out enough for a rage). Quadzilla have built up a pretty good reputation and are the best of the Chinese built karts at the moment - fine for going round a field but hugely underpowered - around 12/14hp from a 250 engine in a buggy that weighs 300-400kg.

As I say, it depends on the age of your son and what you want it for. My recommendations would be:

Young son/just pottering around - Bocart
Teenage Son / Needs to be road legal - Quadzilla 250/300
Teenage Son / Quick / Needs to be road legal - Quadzilla 500
Teenage Son / Not road legal - Gemini Liberator / Amis Kennedy AK40
Teenage Son / Very Quick - Any of the custom made karts out there.

If you want any more info - just ask, Anything using a Honda GX engine is likely to be easy to use, very low maintenance and more fun - but perhaps underpowered if your looking at 650/500 machines. But don’t expect much from these 500/650 engines - we have a buggy here at the moment with a 500cc 2 smoker engine from a snowmobile - 100hp and only weighs 250kg! You will be lucky to get over 20-30 hp from a lot of the Chinese made 650s.

Jim
Jim,

Thanks for that - he's nearly 12 and he's bloody quick in a Kart and on a MX bike! - so I think he can handle most of these buggies - and I want to get one we can have a good few years fun from, not something we will both get bored of in a few days - Ideally I would have bought a couple of Honda Pilots - but decent ones are like Hens teeth - and theyve been out of prodcution for so long I fear they will be a maintenance money pit.

Something with a Honda engine would certainly be my preference (I love Honda engines on anything except cars - even my Jet Wash has one!) The problem with a lot of these competition buggies is that they are single seat e.g the Rage - something that is two seats means we can share the fun (doing it together - quality time!) - and will mean the thing will be more accessible - if we can drive it 5 minutes up the road and then use it - we're more likley to use it than if we have to go to the hassle of trailering it - and all that entails.

Do any of the "decent" manufacturers you mention make a two seat??..or a road legal?

JIM600

205 posts

164 months

Sunday 9th November 2008
quotequote all
As you say, if he rides mx then he will be fine in a buggy. But he will get bored in any of the Chinese ones. If he’s 12 im guessing hes on an 85/125? All the Chinese buggies will be pushing out similar power to his mx bike but will weigh half a tonne.

Your really would be best with something a bit more individual. My current kart is a "Gopro Tavoni". They make a 2 seater with an 85hp rotax engine, works out at about 300bhp/tonne. They are italian made, using quaifequaiffe forward/reverse boxes. I honestly don’t know what they charge for a new one as I bought mine as a wreck and rebuilt it with a fireblade engine. It will cost more than the Chinese equivalent but they use ohlins shocks, quaife boxes, Rotax engines, Brembos etc etc

I actually have a 2 seater Amis Kennedy ak30s2 (UK made) sitting in the workshop, its quick but not that quick. Very light with a 13hp honda gx 390cc engine and a comet torque converter - Again brembo calipers, Hagon shocks, OMP seats/harnesses, I was’nt looking to sell it but if you were interested you could come and have a go. Possibly a bit underpowered again though – although loads of fun as its got a fixed rear axle, so footbrake acts as a handbrake and it slides round anything.

Problem with all of these is getting them to go on the road, I just honestly think if your lads anything like me (had my first kart at 14 after doing mx for a few years) he will get bored of a big heavy Chinese kart very quickly.

Alot of the guys we do work for, just pull their buggies behind their cars with a towing a-frame. Much cheaper than insuring/taxing it etc.

Jim

Edited to add: - you could also consider a blitz buggy, 2 seats, not as quick as bike engined karts but easily made road legal, manual box from either a mini or a fiat 126 (both very easy to work on). Plus your lad would learn clutch/gears. They range from about 1k for a knackered one up to about 3-5k for a top of the range version. This might be your best bet. Its never going to have the speed of a bike engined kart, but you can modify mini engines or even drop in a v-tec, easy to get on the road, teach your lad to drive a manual and 2 seats.


Edited by JIM600 on Sunday 9th November 22:55

Bholton

1 posts

1 month

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
Hi Jim, I know this is a very late reply but hopefully you see it!
I’m looking at buying an AK40, it looks clean enough. Seller is looking for £2000. Is this too much? Also any info on the kart would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much