What do you need?

So, I've considered my age & weight and have selected a class that should suit me .... What next?
Before you can race you need a number of things........

  • You need to join a kart club
  • You need a racing license
  • You need some protective clothing

.....And, of course, you need a kart

Getting a racing license has never been easier

After you have received confirmation from your local club you have two choices:

Go to your nearest MSA (Motorsport South Africa) office. You'll need to pay for a restricted karting license. Call MSA at 0861 MSA MSA or locate MSA's nearest office on their web site at  http://www.motorsport.co.za

Apply for your license online. It's really simple https://www.msaonline.co.za/ 
In total, your club membership and MSA club license fees should set you back around R 1 200. Regional and National licenses are a little more pricy.

What protective clothing is necessary?

You will need the following ....

  • A good quality crash helmet with visor (R 8 500+)
  • A karting race suit/overall (R 1 500+)
  • Boots which cover your ankles - Driving boots can be obtained from kart shops for around R 900+, but boxing boots and basketball-style sneakers also work well. Look for something with a thin sole.
  • Gloves which cover your wrists (R 290+)
  • A 1.5kg dry powder fire extinguisher (You need this for scruitineering, attach it to your kart trolley)
  • Neck brace - Optional (R 600+)
  • Rib-Protector - Optional - Compensates for badly fitting seats and bumpy tracks. (R 2 450)

You can probably get away with R 10 000-11 000 excluding helmet if you go for the budget options.....Otherwise the sky is the limit.

Where can I get a kart, and how much can I expect it to cost?

There are three places to buy a  kart:

If you're buying a new kart you can't really go wrong, however you need a slightly larger budget. To give you an idea, a new Bambino Kart will cost you around R 33 900 and a new Max kart will cost around R95 000, complete and ready to race. A new DD2 should cost around the R 130 000 mark. Used karts start at about half the new price for something decent. If you are not sure at this stage consider hire kart racing.

Buying used presents some issues:

  • Buying used from a kart dealer normally costs a little more (they have to make a living too), however most will have checked the kart and repaired any obvious faults. Don't expect a guarantee, but most reputable dealers are reasonable and will try to assist you with any problems you may have. They have their reputation to protect!
  • Buying used in a private sale is normally the cheapest option, but generally leaves you no comeback if you have problems. You can sometimes get very good "package" deals when someone is quitting karting. Sometimes you can pick up a kart (or two), trailer, spares etc, as a complete package, for bargain prices. HOWEVER: We suggest that, if you're buying privately, you should have someone who knows something about karts to advise you. Even then it's no guarantee, as you don't know the condition of the motor etc. If you intend racing make sure that the equipment you buy is current and racing in your region to avoid major disappointment.

When buying used (private or dealer), ask the following questions:

  • What model chassis is it? (This can make a difference when you want to sell/upgrade)
  • Has it been bent or cracked. Bends can be straightened, and cracks can be welded. Look for untidy welding on the main tubes. (The struts securing the sides of the seats often crack and need repairing so don't worry too much about those)
  • What condition is the motor in? A bargain may not turn out to be such a bargain when the engine needs major work!
  • Does the seat fit you snugly? If not, budget on having a new one fitted (R 1 100 +) as a loose seat is uncomfortable, tiring (your arms will always be fighting the G-forces), and can result in damaged ribs.
  • Are there any spares that come with the kart? Things such as trolleys, sprockets, chains, carbs, practise tyres, wet weather tyres, spare rims, hubs & axles all come in handy.

You will need a basic tool box....

  • Set spanners (an extra 10mm and 13mm are handy)
  • Screw drivers 
  • Set allen keys
  • Set T-bars (not necessary but handy)
  • A spring puller
  • Spark Plug Socket (21mm)
  • Tape measure
  • Straight edge (metal ruler)

....and some accessories:

  • Kart trolley with wheels
  • 20l Fuel Container
  • Measuring beaker
  • Trailer or bakkie or store your kart at your local circuit