A common question we hear: “If I start at the beginning of a season, how much will I need to budget to race all year?” We’ll try to get you in a range.
Whether you start with new or used equipment will impact the amount you spend. SRR sells a lot of used go-karts in our parts store ‘The Pit Stop’. As a matter of fact we sell far more used karts than we do new ones. This tells us most new go-karters start with used equipment. This is often a good strategy, as a chassis as old as 10 to 12 years (and older in some instances) will be competitive in our Box Stock Honda class. Sometimes you’ll find it with a used engine ready to go. A good visual inspection of a used go-kart will show many potential problems, but you can’t tell what is inside the engine. Once you buy your used kart we can do a free engine leak down test to see if the used Honda needs any engine work. Anything we sell used will have this done and will be at a level good enough to win races.We also sell new go-karts in our shop. We are factory direct dealers for two different brands of karts, Margay’s are manufactured in St. Louis, MO, and Coyote karts are manufactured in Spencerport, NY. Both of these builders offer excellent models for any of the current classes in go-karting. Let’s talk about average costs for these different options:
- A five to twelve-year-old chassis will range in price from $500 to $1,000. This is without engine. Adding a new engine will cost approximately $600. Included is a new 6.5 HP Honda engine with the needed hardware to get it bolted to the kart and hooked to the drive wheels. If you get a steal on a go-kart without an engine, don’t go to your local lawn mower shop or on-line store to get your engine. Although the 6.5 HP Honda on your power equipment might be similar, it could violate our rules. All Honda engines are not created equal. Depending on what application the engine is built for determines if Honda uses a different camshaft and/or camshaft timing for torque or for higher RPM (e.g., power washer vs. generator).
- A two to five-year old chassis will range in price from $700 to $2,500. This may include a used engine or it may not. The $700 example is without, and the $2,500 is obviously with an engine, and likely with a new engine. Where the kart falls in this age range will have an impact on price, but let the buyer beware. It is sometimes very hard to tell a two-year-old kart from a five-year-old kart. Some brands have serial numbers on them that may have a date stamp. A couple of places to look are on the brake caliper plate (Coyote) and/or the yoke on the front axle where the spindle bolts on (Margay). If the seller is honest you’ll know the kart’s year of manufacture. Probably the best way to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth is to buy from an established kart shop, or base your value judgment on condition and not worry whether you buy a 94 or a 96. You will find vast differences in chassis condition based more on how much track time it has vs. the model year. Many go karts end up sitting in a garage and not being raced.
- New karts ready to race will cost in a $2,750 to $4,500 range. You can learn more about what is available in new karts by coming into the Pit Stop at SRR, checking out our website, and/or checking out the different go-kart manufacturer’s web sites. Where do you find go-karts for sale? At SRR in ‘The Pit Stop’, Craig’s list, in the pit at the track, at swap meets, or go-kart racing friend. When buying on the web (we know you’re patrolling E-Bay Craig’s list looking for that past champion’s kart for $500) expect that what you buy will need different tires and maybe wheels, engine, clutch and likely some repairs. Translation; it better be cheap because you’ll spend $900 on the correct engine and tires and wheels alone.
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