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Dabbling a little just because it's so much fun and trying to do it as often as possible. Anyone owned their own, or raced one in a series? It's frustrating not really knowing how to improve - drift or no drift for example?

Damn shame our nearest venue stopped a monthly adult grand prix which would have been a lot of fun.

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It's incredibly expensive to run your own kart. I don't know the actual costs but it's way more than you'd want to spend as a hobby.

Go-karts differ from cars in that they have a fixed rear axle, this means they'll only go in a straight line unless you spin the inside wheel against the track. For this reason the steering is set up with lots of caster so that you lift the inside rear and can turn, this is also why you can't turn the kart unless you're accellerating or braking. Having said that you don't want to be drifting as such, as you want to maximise exit speed by putting the power into forward rather than sideways motion.

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How about braking? It just feels wrong to be using the brakes too much, natural instinct is to want to just come off the power early enough to throw the kart into a turn rather than brake as late as possible and then turn but I guess what you're saying is the latter is the thng to do? (For hairpins I mean, obviously any corner that can be taken without braking should be).

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It's lines that matter really, and braking follows on from that. Cars/karts accelerate slower than they brake so the objective is always to come out of a corner or complex of corners with as much "exit" speed as possible. Often this will mean braking slightly earlier for the first corner and turning the car/kart deeper so that you can get a straighter line out of the corner, meaning you can get the power down earlier (you'll hear this as "slow in, fast out").

The main thing to concentrate on then is exit speed. For a corner into a straight you should always aim to use all of the track width from apex to the outside at the corner exit, with the car/kart at the limit of grip but not drifting (as that scrubs off speed). The number one rule is to time the power so that once it's on you don't lift off again. If you're having to lift off again you put the power down too early.

Once you've nailed that the braking follows on, you'll learn to naturally brake at the last minute whilst taking off enough speed to get that corner exit just right.

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Anything for 360? I've only got a wheel for that.

Thanks for the tips, going again on Sunday so going to be very careful watching for losing grip.

I'm in grave danger of starting an argument here but there's nothing on consoles with realistic physics and feel unfortunately.

Strawp's right, LFS is surprisingly manageable with a mouse, but it is more difficult and might put people off!

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My dad used to race karts back in the 70s and 80s when it was cheap. Short circuits had about 30-40 kart grids, long circuits went up to 60 with rolling starts. I've been all over the country with him. Knockhill, Silverstone, Oulton, Snetterton, Donnington, Mallory, Cadwell. The only places we didn't go were the southern tracks like Brands.

He tells me you've got to be smooth. As morcs says, brake early and smoothly. Steer smoothly too. One more thing is that if you watch pro karters drive, they often flick the opposite way before they turn into a corner.

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One more thing is that if you watch pro karters drive, they often flick the opposite way before they turn into a corner.

Yeah this is where my knowledge is lacking, in cars (with differentials) on grippy tarmac it's almost always better not to "drift", but with fixed rear axles on go-karts it's different. From what you're saying here it sounds like they're using the "scandinavian flick" to get the kart turning.

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Forza 2?

I've not tried it myself, but the truth is a game based on real-world physics wouldn't sell well to a mass market because it would be so difficult to play.

The problem is that without a full field-of-view and the sensation of forces through the seat and steering, it's really difficult to judge speeds and what the car's doing. The forums for LFS and other simulators are full of people complaining that the cars skid at too low a speed and it feels like driving on ice, despite people showing from the numbers that for example the road cars are pulling around 1G in corners. It takes a lot of practice to get the "feel" for driving in this simulated environment.

Force feedback wheels aim to alleviate this, but a lot of sim "pros" will argue that the force feedback is wrong and prefer wheels without it. The most expensive wheel/pedal sets seem not to have it.

Of course most console owners won't have something like this to play it on!

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It might be possible in forza 2 with a steering wheel with a rwd car with the differential changed to a 2 way lsd and lots of tweaking you could get a car to slightly emulate a go kart through the corners.

tbh though, I don't think any computer game will be able to help as much as getting in a real kart and doing a few laps trying different techniques

Of course most console owners won't have something like this to play it on!

That looks like it costs as much as a real car....

ot edit: you can probably spend as much on forza 2, go all out with 4 360's and screens http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/...21033732495.jpg

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My dad used to race karts back in the 70s and 80s when it was cheap. Short circuits had about 30-40 kart grids, long circuits went up to 60 with rolling starts. I've been all over the country with him. Knockhill, Silverstone, Oulton, Snetterton, Donnington, Mallory, Cadwell. The only places we didn't go were the southern tracks like Brands.

He tells me you've got to be smooth. As morcs says, brake early and smoothly. Steer smoothly too. One more thing is that if you watch pro karters drive, they often flick the opposite way before they turn into a corner.

Sounds fun. I was watching a meet a few weeks ago and really rather jealous - loads of kids from all ove the country meeting up in different places, must be great.

Don't understand the whole smoothly thing. I really need to see decent drivers doing it. Hopefully I will tomorrow.

Maybe we could get a 'muk Karting league going?

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Well that was a humbling experience. First time in a twin engine kart and it was several inches deep in water, spun all over the place, went through a massive puddle and one of the engines cut out, I knew there was a problem but not what it was, so lost most of my session until I beached it and he started it up for me. Was just getting the hang by the end. Can't wait to go back. Never would have dreamed it was possible to have so little grip.

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Well that was a humbling experience. First time in a twin engine kart and it was several inches deep in water, spun all over the place, went through a massive puddle and one of the engines cut out, I knew there was a problem but not what it was, so lost most of my session until I beached it and he started it up for me. Was just getting the hang by the end. Can't wait to go back. Never would have dreamed it was possible to have so little grip.

Yep, that was really hard work. I was just by the end of the half hour starting to feel like I had the thing under control. A bit.

However, a highly educational experience, because I now know what morcs meant by this:

you can't turn the kart unless you're accellerating or braking

The first few times when I was coming up to a corner, had braked up to the corner and was going to coast through the middle of it (as you can generally do in the dry), and then realised that if I did that the car didn't actually turn at all no matter how much I turned the wheel, was a bit of an eye opener. Learning to accelerate just hard enough to keep grip through the corner but not spin it is really really hard when you have no grip whatsoever when you're not accelerating. Which means next time we're on a dry track, I'll know exactly where I do and don't have grip. So I suppose it was worth the half an hour of soggy backside and not being able to see where I was going through the raindrops all over my visor... :lol:

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I try to do some karting whereever there's a track available to do it.

Weymouth, Coney Island, Walabi World (Flevoland).

I normally start off poorly, get better, and then either the throttle sticks, or I spin it trying to accelerate out of corners

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Never would have dreamed it was possible to havIe so little grip.

Had that experience at Birmingham Wheels circuit. It was pretty wet and they still had slick tyres on. I was last out of the pits to start and I could see yellow flags being waved already. When I got out of the pits there were karts all over the track facing in different directions. Absolute carnage :lol:

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Had that experience at Birmingham Wheels circuit. It was pretty wet and they still had slick tyres on. I was last out of the pits to start and I could see yellow flags being waved already. When I got out of the pits there were karts all over the track facing in different directions. Absolute carnage :lol:

It was mental. I'm so annoyed I didn't just ask the marshall to help when my kart started running slow. Oh well, that's why we went, get a bit of practice in :lol: But it was literally a case of approaching a corner, braking ridiculously hard way early, and then turning to no effect until you got the tiniest bit of grip. I kept trying to go that little bit faster but went straight through both the biggest puddles :(

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Don't understand the whole smoothly thing.

I don't think you want masses of opposite lock coz slding will only scrub off speed.

Check this out. The corrections on the steering wheel are quite small most of the time. It's like they set the kart into the corner and then walk it to the outside of the track on exit with little opposite lock inputs. From the outside it looks like they're on rails.

In the aerial footage you can see the little movements the karts make in the corners but the overall line around it is a smooth one.

However, my dad used to race gearbox karts on long circuits so maybe the approach was different. Silverstone is such a big track for karts that the old layout in particular was flat out for all but probably the Superkarts.

I've never been able to drive one like that though :lol:

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Had that experience at Birmingham Wheels circuit. It was pretty wet and they still had slick tyres on. I was last out of the pits to start and I could see yellow flags being waved already. When I got out of the pits there were karts all over the track facing in different directions. Absolute carnage :lol:

There's an amazing indoor circuit in Birmingham, with electric karts that have ridiculous amounts of torque and drift like crazy; I haven't been on that outdoor one, any good?

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Wheels is good yeah, I've only been to a couple of places (there, Whilton Mill and Brandon). It's quite a large circuit (although my mate who races karts properly calls it small) and I didn't see much action because everyone was spread out over the track. It's very well organised though.

The most fun I've had was at the little indoor circuit in Leamington, I was with a bunch of really competitive chaps and 6 people at a time round there gets pretty manic.

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Wheels is good yeah, I've only been to a couple of places (there, Whilton Mill and Brandon). It's quite a large circuit (although my mate who races karts properly calls it small) and I didn't see much action because everyone was spread out over the track. It's very well organised though.

The most fun I've had was at the little indoor circuit in Leamington, I was with a bunch of really competitive chaps and 6 people at a time round there gets pretty manic.

Ooh, was that Mr Karting? I love that place. I'm 0.19 of a second outside the all time top 50 lap times there

Whilton Mill looks ace but you have to organise a group to get on the main circuit

I'm going to become a regular at Daytona Milton Keynes, I really want to take part in the monthly events. Thing is I desperately need a practice in the dry with both engines working (!) to see if I have the nerve for some of the corners...

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It actually depends more on your driving style and how you prefer your kart to handle. I raced karts for 6 years or so (won a shitload of trophies as well ;) ) and nearly everyone on the grid had their rear tyres really narrow so that they'd have lots of grip. Me on the other hand had the tyres out really wide and would literally throw myself into corner, scrubbing off some speed, but still accelarating out the corner.

Well I think that's how I did it, it sort of came naturally to me on how to drive fast :(

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Interesting... I much prefer as you say throwing the kart into a corner than braking and turning, but I think it was costing me speed. I just want to be able to watch someone doing it properly at each track otherwise you're just guessing. Not that I mind that, it's all good fun, but really want to get better

Can you clear something up for me? Is it true that accelerating through a corner actually gives you grip? holly and I were finding totally different things yesterday in the very wet conditions, I found I was approaching a corner maybe too fast as when i turned the kart didn't but if I put any power down at all I spun. Was I just doing it wrong, or do you have to wait for the kart to find grip for itself? (I'd obviously drifted off anything like a dry line by that point)

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Can you clear something up for me? Is it true that accelerating through a corner actually gives you grip?

Yes and no. Accelerating transfers weight and therefore grip to the rear tyres, this is one of the main advantages of rear-wheel drive, the grip goes where the power goes. Having said that the more you accelerate the more grip is used up in pushing the kart forward, so there's less available for turning. The thing to read up on is the "circle of friction".

The best thing I found for making me quicker was learning to look ahead. A bit like with everything else if you look where you want to go, you'll automatically steer yourself there. There's no point looking at the bit of track right in front of you as you've already taken the kart there, you're supposed to look ahead through the apex and corner exit long before you actually get there.

Yeah Mr Karting that's the one, great fun that was!

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Yes and no. Accelerating transfers weight and therefore grip to the rear tyres, this is one of the main advantages of rear-wheel drive, the grip goes where the power goes. Having said that the more you accelerate the more grip is used up in pushing the kart forward, so there's less available for turning. The thing to read up on is the "circle of friction".

The best thing I found for making me quicker was learning to look ahead. A bit like with everything else if you look where you want to go, you'll automatically steer yourself there. There's no point looking at the bit of track right in front of you as you've already taken the kart there, you're supposed to look ahead through the apex and corner exit long before you actually get there.

Yeah Mr Karting that's the one, great fun that was!

I think I'm an OK driver generally, I just got really frustrated yesterday having sooo little grip. I mean there was standing water everywhere but I had to go so damn slowly through the corners that putting power down just wasn't an option. I'm desperate to go back and try again though.

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Yeah Mr Karting that's the one, great fun that was!

Half an hour at the big Daytona circuit in the wet felt shorter than 15 minutes at Mr Karting, it's so knackering on a little circuit cos there's just nowhere on the whole circuit you can let go and relax. Wicked fun but every time I go to Mr Karting I end up with blisters on my hands (I partly blame the crap gloves but it's mainly cos I'm hanging on the whole time) and a massive bruise on my left elbow from bashing it on the corner of the petrol tank. Like you say though, great fun :(

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