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RE: Retirement and Custom Go Kart


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Well folks....Friday was my last day in Corporate America.  I have the good fortune of retiring with time on the clock left.  I have many thing on the bucket list.  One of those is a desire to build/buy a go kart with a 1000CC motorcycle engine.  In my college days there was a guy who built a kart with a honda 450 engine.  I've wanted something similar ever since but alas 40 years of corp America got in the way.  Now I need help.  I've googled my arse off for a builder, but no luck.  There are lots of videos with karts with R1's and other engines, but no builder or anything for sale.


It's high on the bucket list.  I'm not a welder, but have good overall mechanical aptitude (grew up in my Dad's shops - Chevy and Ford dealer)….overhauled my first engine and transmission at about age 12..


So the question....anybody have any clues on how to get started?  I don't want an ATV type...I want a pretty conventional kart but with motorcycle engine and shifter.  


Thanks all...……...much ahead in terms of fun as it has been largely work for many decades.

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John Ranalletta



With that kind of horsepower, you'll need a pretty stout frame, suspension and steering gear.  I built a yard kart for the grand kids when I retired and just sold it.  A used racing kart like that in this vid w/ a 1k cc motor looks like too much fun.



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The Fabricator

Over kill.   Too much weight.  Answer to the question not asked.  See what the real karters are using.  Using 80cc motorcycle engines [with trans] or purpose built 2 stroke 80cc kart engines with centrifugal clutches.  
They will go fast enough to scare you.  Kart tracks are not like  Daytona.  Kart tracks are tight corners, low speeds.  These are rigid frames.  How are those reflexes, old timer?

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Yeah, was thinking the same thing. Get yourself a Shifter Kart that fits you, find a local track and take up Kart Racing. :burnout: I raced Matt Sturgis a few years back up at F1 Boston and had an absolute blast.


(Those karts were way watered down BTW)  


Congrats on the retirement! Now be careful you don't get so busy you haven't got time to do anything. People tell me that. :dontknow:

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Congratulations on the new chapter and am with you that now that you have scraped your shoe of Corporate America with decades of subordinated personal priorities it is time for some fun


I also get it.  Some time too much just isn’t enough.  


This guy was running his toy just picking up a Pizza, I guess he wanted to get it home still hot!


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David, I used to race go karts. Survived that...


You need to go to to   https://msrhouston.com/karting/   and check out their Kart program. These are not what you are wanting of course, but I will bet someone there will know what you might need to chase down the karts with motorcycle engines. 


You will likely want to start with a frame close to what you need. The 80cc kart frames will NOT handle what you want to do....


You may have to reinforce the frame, make adaptor plates, etc. But getting the right frame with the pedals, brakes, throttle linkages, etc already figured out is a head start. FWIW, the biggest problem I had with karts was getting the engines mounted properly, the axle and sprockets mounted properly, so the chain stayed on. There IS quite a bit of flex built into the frames and this will be your biggest hurdle with the engine you want. 

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Terry, that looks way better than Disneyland! :yes:If and when I get the time, a cross country trip stopping at tracks like that would be a great retirement present to self. :classic_wink:

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I have had the honor of riding with Joe Johnson in his track only 1998 Cobra R on this track ( and Texas World Speedway ). If you have never been on a true road course, in a fast car, you have no idea how hard these cars turn! 


I have a friend that runs a new Mustang on this and a few other tracks. There is a "culture" of drivers that go to events a couple times a month. These are not "races" but controlled track events. Not to say there is no competition, but you don't pass without being waved around for instance. 


The local Mercedes dealer keeps cars there for track events. They have driving classes for inexperienced and experienced drivers. I think some Police training is done there too. 


Best part is that it is a few miles from my home. Plan a pitstop there!

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