[Kartbuilding] Interview for Junior Research Project

Stephen Burke sburke at burkesys.com
Mon Dec 21 22:54:20 GMT 2009

Hi John,

No problem. If you have any other questions just drop us an email.

Best of luck,

On Mon, 21 Dec 2009, Caliendo, John wrote:

> Mr. Burke
> Thank you for taking the time to answer my interview questions.
> This is a big step towards the completion of my junior research project.
> Thank you,
> John
> ________________________________________
> From: Stephen Burke
> Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 5:42 PM
> To: Caliendo, John
> Cc: kartbuilding
> Subject: Re: Interview for Junior Research Project
> Hi John,
> Sorry for the slow reply. I'm not sure if you done the interview yet or
> not, but I'll answer your questions below.
> On Thu, 10 Dec 2009, Caliendo, John wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I am John and I am a student at Hickory High School.  I am doing a Junior Research Project to graduate, and my topic is on how to build a go kart.  If it is not too much trouble, could you answer these questions?
>> 1.         What are the different types of braking systems on a go kart?
> Typically you have "Disc Brakes" and "Drum Brakes" similar to that of a
> car and a moped/scooter. The post popular ones would be having a single
> Disc brake and Calliper on the rear live axle.
>> 2.         How much horse power is sufficient for a go kart?
> The horse power depends on what speeds you want to do in the go-kart. You
> would do 15mph with a small 2hp engine.
>> 3.         What type of clutch is best for driving on the road?
> The best and most popular type of clutch would be a centrifugal clutch.
> You can read more about this type of cluch here:
> http://blog.kartbuilding.net/2007/06/26/using-a-centrifugal-clutch-and-chain-drive
> Its an automatic clutch. When the speed of the engine increases the clutch
> engages, and the kart takes off.
>> 4.         How much should it cost to build a go kart?
> The cost of building a kart depends on how far you want to take it. If you
> just want a simple kart, you can make it for little or nothing, using old
> scrap parts and material. Typically I find it costs around 50 Euros for
> hardware (nuts,bolts,washers) and some lengths of steel tubing. The wheels
> and engine are the hardest to get.
>> 5.         What is a good gear ratio for a go kart with a centrifugal clutch?
> A good typical gear ratio would be 5:1. I use this as a rule of thumb and
> it works well for most general purpose engines.
>> 6.         What are the advantages and disadvantages of a centrifugal clutch?
> Advantages: no cables or configuring. Just setup and off you go.
> Automatic. Easy to use and cheap.
> Disadvantages: can wear out quickly if an incorrect gear ratio is used.
> Can be hard to fit correctly to some engines. Can have poor initial take
> off and acceleration if gear ratio is incorrect.
>> 7.         What are the advantages and disadvantages of a torque converter?
> Advantages: variable gear ratio. You have quick take off and high top
> speed.
> Disadvantages: costly and difficult to attach to engine.
>> 8.         What type of tires should be used for driving on street?
> Typically tires with a flat profile (as opposed to round knobbly tires).
>> 9.         What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single seat go kart?
> Advantages: easy to fabriate and build and design.
> Disadvantages: heavy. difficult to design and build.
>> 10.       Is it illegal to drive go karts on city streets?
> The short answer is yes.
> I hope this information helped.
> Best of luck,
> -steve

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