Let’s face it…karting is expensive. To be honest, getting into karting is much harder than karting itself, so saving a dollar or two certainly helps. And one of, if not, the best ways to save is buying a secondhand go-kart. Sure, they may not be the best-looking go-karts out there, and they may need a bit more attention and work compared to karts that are brand new and in mint condition. But if you do your due diligence and research, ask the right questions, and know what to look for, you will be sure to find that go-kart where you get your money’s worth. So, here are some of the ways you can do so.
- Know where you’re racing
- Before even thinking of buying a go-kart, it is important that you must first know where you’re racing to begin with. Specifically, you must know what class you want and are eligible to race in. Knowing the classifications in a certain class such as the engine (some championships may use any engine while others such as the Rotax Max Challenge are a one-make engine championship) and go karts used (some championships welcome any brand, while others may only use a single brand) are some of the key things you need to know. Furthermore, finding a class that accepts competitors of a certain age (for example, the Junior Class May accept ages 12-15 while the Senior class accepts ages 16 and above) is essential to know what kart you are looking for in the market. So, make sure to inquire on this essential information, or you won’t see yourself competing in championships anytime soon.
- Look for A Go-Kart
- There are many ways you can go about this stage. A quick google search of go-karts for sale will present hundreds of listings which you can scour through. Forums where people are selling their go karts are also a good place to look. But one of, if not, the best places to look for a go-kart are at kart tracks near you. Kart tracks have so many options, all of which you can see in person. In fact, some of the karts you’ll find in these tracks are still in great condition, they don’t look and feel like secondhand go-karts at all! Either way, all options mentioned are great places to find go-karts.
- Know the Go-Kart’s History
- There is obviously a huge difference from a go kart fresh off the assembly line and a tenth hand go kart that has rusty parts and a bent axle. Learning the history of a go-kart is a very important step in the process of buying a second-hand go-kart as it helps you set your expectations if you do buy a certain go kart. This step is also where you’ll learn if a go-kart is indeed worth the money a seller is asking for. DO NOT hesitate to ask the seller questions as this helps you get more knowledge about a go karts history. Questions such as how old the go kart is (A 4-year-old kart is the oldest you can go if you want to have a cheap kart with somewhat decent performance) how many times its parts have been changed, and if other people have had the go kart at a certain point in time are some of the many questions you can ask the seller.
- See the Go-Kart in Person
- In a world full of misinformation, nothing beats the real thing. That listing you saw online can very much be photoshopped, so to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, make sure to see the go kart for your own eyes and not just behind an LED Screen. In this phase of buying a secondhand go-kart, be sure to pay attention to even the smallest of details. For most drivers, it is a hassle to constantly maintain the condition of a go-kart. Unless you have a mechanic or have enough time to study the intricacies of a go-kart, it is a daunting task. So, make sure that before you buy one, it is in a somewhat acceptable condition. Acceptable in the sense that you get performance from a go-kart that does not require a lot of maintenance. Taking a thorough look at the parts of the go-kart is the best way to start. Check if the fuel tank is dirty, or if the chain is rusty. Check if the axles are bent or if the bumpers have scratches. Looking underneath a kart will show you how many off track excursions this kart has encountered, It’s normal to see some general scratches, but if the chassis has any flat spots, it probably isn’t worth your hassle. For all you know, the model may be so out of date that you might not even be able to race it competitively. These small details may not carry much importance now but may become an issue and affect your driving in the long run.
- Test the Go-Kart
- After seeing the go-kart in person, only one thing is left to do, and that is to get a feel for the go-kart which you are eyeing. Because while the go-kart may look nice and is in pristine condition, it will not matter if the kart does not suit your driving style. Just remember that not all sellers will allow this to take place, but if purchasing through a kart shop, they might allow it. It is also possible that you may find problems with the go-kart when you get it up and running. If the engine bogs and/or has trouble starting, or maybe you hear some clanking noises, these are some examples of a go-kart that has been through a lot and may require a lot of your attention.
So that is how you buy a second-hand go-kart. Karting and Motorsports in general is and always will be an expensive sport. But if you do your due diligence and follow everything that has been mentioned, you’ll be able to cut some costs which can help you find victory lane.