Only those who have a deep love of karting would attest to the statement that a perfect go kart frame must be impeccable in both design and prowess. It should be sturdy enough to last the wear and tear of time, and yet be lightweight to not spoil the riding experience. Both power and durability are must feature of a go kart frame.
Does maneuverability matter? Of course yes. Any go kart frame with tires having insufficient traction; which can’t turn fast while running around the curves; and, which intermittently raises its wheels along the corners is a regrettable cart to have. We must have complete control of the cart; otherwise, it is just a piece of metal junk.
It is always fruitful to look into intricacies of the kart frame, as it will help you narrow down your choice of the frame, or might make you alter one. The base frame, or chassis as called in enthusiast circles, is the pivotal part of the cart. It must be strongly built to sustain pressure and must be flexible to bear the impact of occasional strains. The frame is welded together by torsion bars, and the length of the bars decides its stiffness: the more the length the lower the stiffness.
The earlier go karts had stiff frames that allow for little flexibility thereby increasing the chances of break down. These karts didn’t have sophisticated features like suspension to add to flexibility and tires with strong traction and thus were more prone to failure. The abuse that turning, acceleration and stopping result into, need a flexible frame to bear. Also, the frame must be supported by tires with sufficient traction to evenly divide the weight while turning, and to maintain the stability of the frame. Otherwise, there is a sufficient chance of one or both sides of the frame breaking apart. The strength of your frame dictates the performance of your frame on wide and short turns.
The prowess of a go-kart frame is determined by how well it turns around or in the left and right direction. If a cart can manoeuver while turning, it has evidently a good frame. Weaker go-karts slide and drift around along the turns, and in extreme cases, it flips to one side. In the absence of a good frame, the go-kart has low maneuverability and it can even shut off the engine.
If you happen to be in the karting enthusiast circles, you would be familiar to “side bite”—how well kart maintains its control along the curves. All frame designs give special consideration to the side bites. Go kart frames constitute two rails: front and rear. The width of the rear rail decides how low the frame has side bite. The narrower the frame, the higher the side bite would be for the frames. Wider frames, on the other hand, provide stability and foundation and thus reduce the overall side bite.
The design of the frame has a lot to do with the track you are planning to ride on. Asphalt, concrete and dirt tracks require optimum frame design for appropriate performance. For asphalt and concrete, narrow backs and longer fronts work best, while for the dirt tracks the opposite is true. Dirt tracks put excessive stress on the frame, and therefore a wide back is necessary for the stability required.
As already discussed above, the tire traction (how well they stick to the ground) has a crucial role to play. If tires are not grooved well, they will have minimal traction, and the loose traction unevenly divided the weight on the cart cutting short its life span. Furthermore, it has a deleterious effect on the stability of the bike. So if you want your frame to last longer, go for the tires having good traction.
All karting enthusiasts want their karts to be durable. The frame is bound to distort as it gets punished by breaks and turns over the period of time, and it is irreparable damage. The experts recommend replacing the frame once a year, but if you have been cautious it can have a much longer life. There are several maintenance techniques out there to extend the age of your kart, and the most effective of them is running the kart through a course backward. Racing a kart from the finish line as your starting point will have a ‘reverse effect’ on its frame and will definitely release some fatigue stresses and strains.
Go kart frames define the final look and performance of your go kart
Frames can either come pre-welded or unwelded, depending on your level of kart-building motivation you can choose what to go with. It’s usually not a good idea to go with used kart frames because it’s the part that practically holds everything together in place.
While selecting a frame pay special attention to what kinds of engines it accepts, since there are many types including 2-cycle and 4-cycle and air cooled or water cooled. Going with a kart frame that accepts the Yamaha KT-100 2-cycle engine is the safest bet because this is the most commonly accepted type of engine in the karting scene.
If you plan to race competitively with your customized go kart, get the frame that supports all the components and specifics required in a specific racing class. Racing classes are distinguished by engine type, muffler and the drive type (shifter or non-shifter). Flexing is an important aspect of all frames since it dictates how much the chassis “bends” when making a curve. The more the chassis bends, the less strain it puts on the wheels and the more they are going to last. To find more about classes keep surfing through this karts site or visit the articles section.
There are specifically designed frames for every type of driver
If your plans are for building a yard cart, or a non-competitive vehicle, then the selection of the chassis doesn’t have to be so restrictive. Just choose a frame that’s appealing to you and that satisfies your visual appreciation of the vehicle. Concentrate on how it’s going to look after performing bodywork including the front nose and side panels. You can even consider getting a two seat frame so you can share a ride with a friend and make things more exciting.
The final decision to choose a go-kart frame rests upon only one feature: flexibility. Low traction tires with a stiff frame will take less time to break apart, as it will exact grueling effort on the curves. Low traction tires are, therefore, highly undesirable. The frame choice has also to do with the engine powering the kart. A stiff frame usually comes with 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines while the flexible frame is known to have the engines with superior horsepower. The track also has a say in the final decision of choosing a frame. Only those frames are suitable for rigorous circuits which have sufficient flexibility to bear the abuse of extreme riding.