Friday, February 13, 2015


Having the right seat is a combination of comfort and safety.  It is important to get a seat that fits snugly, but not tightly around the driver's hips.  The height of the back should extend up to the driver's shoulders, but not so high that it touches the driver's neck brace. If the back of the seat pushes on the driver's neck brace or helmet, it can be very uncomfortable and even unsafe.

After selecting the seat, get ready to mount it to the chassis.  Place the chassis on a flat surface or on your kart stand.  Your goal is to mount the bottom of the seat level with the bottom of the chassis rails. If it is any lower, it could become damaged by the items on the road.

Use a board between the kart frame and the stand or trolley to position the seat.  Put the seat on the board and place a heavy object in the seat so that it sits flat.  The front edge measurement is taken from between the furthes forward edge of the seat and the front chassis tube which is where the driver's heel would rest.  This dimension will vary according to the seat shape and size though it should be approximately 61- 62 cm.  Measuring perpendicular from the spine on the back of the seat to the middle of the rear axle, the distance should be 17 cm.  The seat should sit in the middle of the seat supports. 

Once the seat is in position, it is time to start marking holes. Before marking the holes, bend the tabs of the seat stays so that the flat of the stays are parallel to the sides of seat. Place nylon seat washers on the stays and then mark the mounting points on the seat.  Drill the 4 holes in the front and mount the seat. Again, bend the tabs of the rear seat stays, place the nylon washers on the stays, and mark the holes.  Drill the holes and insert the bolts. 

It is vital that the bolts slide cleanly straight through the seat and the stays without any pressure or twisting on the seat.  If it takes pressure to correct the alignment of the bolt holes in the seat and the holes in the stays, you need to restart the alignment and drilling process. Misalignment pressure on the seat, can cause it to crack during the rigors of racing.

There is a detailed description, along with videos at

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Off-Season

The weather has been pretty rough in the north, but racing is already starting up in the southern climates. We are jealous, to say the least.

Even if we cannot start racing yet, it is a good time to look at our karts for off-season maintenance. Scouring the web, there are a number of pretty good checklists for what needs to be done regularly, though experienced karters probably have lists of their own. All of these items are in addition to the normal things you would do between races to make sure your kart is in peak condition.

The off-season is a good time to remove body kits and bumpers and inspect for damage. If there is anything too bad to repair, this will give you time to replace them.

 Remove wheels and tires to look for bent rims. Next, remove the rear axle and clean and check the axle bearings. Check brake rotors and calipers for cracks. Clean brake pads. Remove the brake master cylinder and brake lines. Replace parts that old or visibly worn. Check the hub and sprockets and replace any bent sprockets.

Finally, inspect the chassis for any defects or wear. Make sure the seat mounts and bumper mounts are tight. Look carefully around the engine mount area for any cracks. Repair any defects and then clean or repaint the chassis. As you reassemble your kart, check for bent or cross-threaded bolts and torque them to correct specs.

Performing off-season maintenance will not make the cold weather go away, but will get you ready to hit the track on that first nice day.