As the lead guy for a grass roots motorsports organization, I meet and talk with a lot of people who are looking to break into motorsports. Some are looking to get their child involved in the sport, while others are looking for themselves. As I talk with these people, I always thank them for their interest in the sport and for their desire to get involed. Karting is a great sport and it is a great way to spend the day or weekend, with your family and friends.
People ask me where can I get the equipment I need to go racing? They ask me should I buy used equipment online or should they go and buy brand new equipment. While karting is the least expensive form of motorsports, it can be a pricey at times. My advice to newcomers is when first starting out, there is nothing wrong with saving a few bucks and buying a good used kart from a reputable source. Many times people in the sport will look to upgrade their equipment either by choice or because their driver is moving up a class. Picking up a used kart chassis will save you a few bucks and get you on the track pretty quickly.
The kart chassis is just one of the many pieces of equipment you will need to go racing. The next biggest piece of equipment you will need is your Driver's Safety Gear. This is the equipment that will help protect your driver and keep them safe. Let me STOP here and add this note. All forms of racing is DANGEROUS and no one piece of safety equipment will keep you from the potential of getting hurt. The risk is always there, but having good driver safety equipment will go a long way in helping to keep your driver safe. So while I tell nemcomers to the sport that it is ok to save a few bucks on a used kart chassis. I tell them the exact opposite when it comes to Driver Safety Gear. Invest in your Driver Safety Gear. You can always buy a new chassis, buy you can't buy a new you. Do your homework. Find out what equipment you need to compete in the series you are looking at. Different series have different safety requirements. Once you know the specific type of equipment you need, now start researching what is the best equipment you can afford that provides the maximum amount of safety.
In our next article we will get into some of the specifics of the Driver Safety Gear; Helmet and the Different Ratings. Until then...
Go to the Track, Make Friends, Have Fun and Go Home Happy.