[Kartbuilding] Home made kart

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Fri Jan 5 11:54:34 GMT 2007

Hi Adrian,

Thanks very much for your email and insights. I have added a few other 
points below.

On Thu, 4 Jan 2007, admin wrote:
> The roll cage does take up a lot of space and stops the kart ever being
> mounted on the wall as some do when not using them.  I have a 5 year old
> son and 13 year old daughter that I hope will enjoy the kart.  If just

Aye - I used to stand my karts up on their ends. But its just a hassle. I 
mainly use 100cc motorbike engines. There is accelerator, clutch cables, 
fuel lines, and the chain to disconnect and then reconnect everytime I 
want to store/use the kart. I also find that the steering wheel is quite 
high and causes the kart to stick out from the wall a lot anyways.
I had thought of making a special trailer with enclosed body which I could 
store and transport two karts in!

> The pedals, as both are using cables can be moved back to accommodate

Nice idea! Of course it only does be myself and the brother racing my own 
- so it wasn't reall that much of a problem for me.

>> Your kart does look very well. I see you got a new engine towards the end!
> No this is the same engine just had a lick of paint on it!

You got me there! It came up very well. Did you use special heat resistant 
paint? I presume so.

> The main inspiration for my bender came from a the satelite TV programme
> American Choppers when I saw a motorised tube bender doing handlebars.

I do watch American Choppers myself - it shows some nice stuff. The later 
shows of it dont show as much of the basics details e.g. frame and welding 
etc. There does be some very good shows of it and others on Discovery 

> When I did more searching on the web I found several further designs all
> relying on hydraulic rams etc.  Then I found a site such as
> http://www.shopoutfitters.com/TubeBender.html  This seemed to say i
> could do what I wanted by hand so I built one.  I use it two ways, for
> the 19 mm tube of 16 and 14 gauge I clamp the bar and pull round a small
> following die it forces the tube around the main 3 in radius former.
> For the 1 inch tube of 10 gauge or 3 mm thick, I do not clamp the tube
> but allow it to bend around the main former directly.  I have attached a
> few pictures, sorry if large.  I will try to make up an avi file and
> send that to you sometime showing some bending done.

I saw the photos you sent on - thanks very much.
I also see that your turned your formers!! - Nicely done. Thats the 
hardest part - and as I dont have a metalwork lathe (or easy eaccess to 
one) its a pity. I had thinking of turning the formers out of oak/ask/teak 
on a woodwork lathe (which I did have access to). Another idea to make the 
formers was to get the various tube sizes bent in an engineering works - 
and then to saw the bent tubing in half - and to weld in supports etc. 
This would give a suitable former also.

Im glad to hear you didnt have to use heat for bending, and that you 
managed to sucessfully bend some pieces by hand. It will 
motivate me to investigate pipe bending further for my next project.

> I guess that haing the bearings on top lowers the kart at the back end
> and is better for racing as the whole profile will be lower, less drag,
> lower centre of gravity etc,  So may be a better idea.  I did not
> consider it at the time, I just considered that with the frame sat on
> top of the bearings there would be less stress on the bolts and
> fastenings as they are there to really hold it together .  If the frame
> is under the bearings the fastenings have to hold it in place and
> support the weight of the kart back end and driver.
> There is no difference in ground clearance as that is down to the
> clearance of the rear sprocket to the floor and would be the same in
> both instances.

Of course it doesnt reduce the ground clearance. Dont know what I was 
thinking! It does, as you mentioned, lower the Center of Gravity a good 

> Keep up the good work with the web site, I am sure someone is selling
> your plans on a CD via eBay so watch out for that if you do not know
> already.  It may even be you doing it!
> If not start to include a
> copyright notice within the pdf's and images.  You could stipulate copy
> and redistribution as not for profit and that references must be made to
> the originator, i.e. yourself so others at least know the are down to
> your efforts.

They are been sold on eBay by other people. Im not too worried. I try and 
put a www.kartbuilding.net watermark on images and plans from now on. I 
feel that if people search a little on google etc. they will come across 
the plans I provide for free.
I actually have finished up a set of PDF plans for a racing kart (putting 
a copyright notice). They are at: www.kartbuilding.net/racingkart
See what you think. If you have any comments or changes I should make - I 
would be interested in hearing them.

As for the smaller issues such as chain guard and roll cage etc, I feel 
that if people get enough plans and information to start making the kart 
and to get it moving - they will have motiviation to go on and include the 
pieces and parts *they* want. I didnt want to have too many plans or 
details. Just simply plans to get them off the ground. It would however be 
nice for me to include all details in a kart. Hummmm.... for another days 

> I am struggling to find areas to run the kart at present, but works car
> park is being used Friday as the boss wants to have a go.

Of course - thats a common problem. Im glad I prefer making and building 
the karts rather than racing them.
I head to an industrial estate on weekends - it does be very good - apart 
from the odd speed ramp. I had often thought of heading to a isolated 
beach somewhere. Anyways...Ive been out of the making and racing of karts 
for a year or two now.

Thanks for your information and help.
Best Regards,

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