The Cost Of Karting

POSTED ON: March 7, 2010
The first lesson to impart to those planning to take up karting - its not a cheap sport. The sooner people are educated that racing costs money, the sooner their expectations can be managed. And for those who do decide that karting is for them, hopefully this article will help them keep their costs in perspective.

Lets take a look at two fictitious characters – Mr Oliver Twist and Mr Richie Rich. Both Oliver and Richie have decided to start karting. However, both enthusiasts take drastically different paths.

Mr Oliver Twist

Mr Richie Rich

KART

Chassis

Oliver is desperate to keep costs low and searches amongst the community to find if anyone has an old spare frame to sell. He secures a 6 year old chassis for $1000.

Richie opts for a new CIKFIA homologated chassis including front brakes for $7500. Accessories that he purchases for the kart (chain guard, axle stiffeners, disc savers, etc, etc) cost him another $1000.

Engine

As Oliver is adamant on a 125cc engine, he decided to purchase a 2nd hand Rotax for $2000 although a PRD Fireball $2700 or a Yamaha KT 100 $2000 was
also considered.

He opts for a 2010 spec KF2 engine which costs him $7500.

Tires

Oliver realized that tires accounted for a large part of expenses and purchased hard compound China-made tires of which he only needed 4 sets $800 for the entire year.

Richie opted to use the MG Yellow medium soft compound tires which cost $300 per set. As he looked for peak performance, he changed to fresh tires monthly.

Data Logger

Oliver bought a cheap timer and attached it to his steering wheel so as to manually capture lap time. When he decided he wanted information on his
sessions for reference, he paid $2 to loan a transponder from his local track for which he received a timing sheet print-out each time he went out.

Richie was looking for improvements each time he went out on track, and invested in a data logging unit with additional modules and sensors to capture track performance $2500.

Miscellaneous

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So as to benefit from whatever track time he had, Richie opted to kart under a team which maintained and serviced his kart as an arrive-&-drive package. In addition, he also took up the one-to-one coaching packages offered by local and Malaysian track pros whilst also employing a track-side engineer to assist in telemetry interpretation.

Storage

Oliver decided to kart in Malaysia where monthly storage cost $42 at the local track.

Richie parks his kart at Kartright for a monthly $150.

ACCESSORIES

Helmet

Oliver purchased a full-face Snell M rated helmet $200 initially but
subsequently upgraded to a HJC AR11 with Snell SA2005 rating for $600.

Richie picks up a Snell SA rated helmet for $2500.

Shoes

Whilst Oliver initial started karting using a pair of track shoes, he
eventually found that he could purchase Sparco factory 2
nd’s at a significant discount on eBay.

A branded set of karting shoes cost Richie another $200.

Gloves

Oliver bought a pair of good quality motorcycle gloves.

A good set of karting gloves cost Richie $80.

Suit

In order to reduce costs, Oliver looked on eBay UK for 2nd hand suits where he eventually found a Level 2 Sparco suit that fit him for
$100.

Richie is sold on the comfort and fit of a custom tailored suit. An Italian made suit costs him $750.

Rib Protector

Found a 2nd hand FreeM rib protector on KartingAsia’s classads.

Richie decided his ribs needed additional protection and purchased a FreeM rib protector and a Ribtect carbon fiber seat.

PERIODIC COSTS

Tools, Oils & Sprays

Oliver thought of another way of cutting costs; to share a common set of tools and sprays with a fellow karter, Charles Dickens. Whilst Oliver kept no chassis/engine spares, he had ensured that the track he patronized did maintain a supply of common parts and offered workmanship at reasonably low rates.

Covered under the arrive-&-drive servicing deal.

Replacement Parts

Service Charges

Track Fee

The track fee Oliver paid in Malaysia was about $35 for a full day of track time.

Richie pays $60 for a 3 hour block hour during the weekends at Kartright.

Cost Of Traveling

Oliver didn’t have a car and so each trip to Johor was spread across a duration of 6am-5pm. Oliver took a bus in-and-out of Johor and got in and out of the track by taxi $30.

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RACING

Racing Events

Oliver’s budget (and equipment) didn’t allow him to take part in any sanctioned or homologated event; but nevertheless, he enjoyed himself racing in club and mini races that were organized from time-to-time.

The cost for Richie to take part in the Rotax Max Challenge in Malaysia is $1200-$1500 per race. Richie also plans to race the Singapore Nationals. Either event will require Richie to apply for a SMSA license and the required insurance policy.

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