As soon as you get the reputation that your karts are not equal, your regular clients will start to lose interest. Kart maintenance is crucial to assuring equality and retaining clients, who may represent a significant revenue.
These customers might not represent a huge number of drivers, but it is a significant revenue nonetheless. Assuring an equality between your karts may seem like a difficult task, but it does not require much more than an accurate follow-up of the fleet, of the tires, regular testing, and listening to some of your drivers. We can even go further and say, that you can save money by following the upcoming tips.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the difference of speed between your karts under 0,1sec between the fastest and slowest kart per 100m of track length. Faster tracks, such as outdoor tracks, may have a slightly bigger difference.
Preventive kart maintenance
It is important to do a preventive kart maintenance of the entire fleet after 100 to 150 hours, so that the karts can get checked by your mechanic. For fuel karts, here are the elements, which need to be regularly checked:
- Steering geometry
- Sparking plug
- Air filter
A preventive maintenance is the first key to keep an equality between your karts, but it has a lot of other advantages:
- Less repairs
- Less broken karts during races. In fact, the less broken karts, the less loss of revenue. And that is without speaking of the stress put on your staff.
- A good steering geometry causes less “stress” on the kart and avoids damage
- On top of all that, the value of your fleet increases when you want to resell it.
A good tire follow-up is crucial
The tires are the contact point between the kart and the track. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly check up on them.
You should always make sure that the diameter of your tire is the same. It may seem logical, but you will realize that there may be differences, especially with “low-cost” brands. So, for the kart’s behavior to be predictable, it is always better if the tires have a similar diameter.
Like for the preventive maintenance, it is crucial to check how long the tires have been in use. This allows you to know, in theory at least, how worn out they are.
The tire pressure should be checked on a weekly basis. You can also look at the wear at the same time. By doing so, you may guarantee that the tire will not put the safety of the driver in jeopardy.
Once the tires are halfway worn out, and knowing that on a track, karts always drive in the same direction, we recommend putting the right tire on the left side, and vice-versa. Once again, this is for safety, but also economic reasons.
Tires that wear out quickly also increase the difference of inequality within your fleet faster. Moreover, they make the task of keeping the karts equal more difficult. In our various tests, we noticed that BEBA tires allowed us to keep the differences between the karts small. This is mainly due to the fact that they wear less than other brands. The fact that it takes less hours annually to change the tires is a nice additional benefit. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to test the BEBA tire brand.
Finally, we advise you to change the tires on your whole fleet at the same time. At best, just before an important race. The performance of a tire is very different when it is new, half-worn or worn.
Regular testing of your karts
Each kart is different but so is each driver! It is therefore a good idea to take the time to test your entire fleet. Indeed, nothing will replace the sensations of a driver and the lap time achieved by the kart will speak for itself.
The person testing can be your mechanic, a track marshal, or even a regular customer (to make him happy!). You just have to make sure that it is a person who has already driven enough karts on your track and is able to drive very consistently. Indeed, he will have to do 4 or 5 laps with each kart, one after the other. A second driver will warm up the karts at the same time just before the driver does his testing.
Furthermore, it is preferable to test all your karts at the same time. This is to avoid a change in temperature, humidity, and air pressure between two test periods.
It may be even more interesting to test the fleet right before an important race, since you can select the karts and reach even smaller differences.
Listening to some customers
Let us be clear, most customers’ opinions should be ignored. Bad lap times are almost always synonymous with the phrase: “the kart is no good”. But on every track, there are some great drivers with great opinion and advice; drivers who come back with a constructive and detailed evaluation. Drivers who want to move you forward and know where the problem might come from. Find those drivers and do not let the others demotivate you to keep a good kart maintenance on your karting center.
With these tips, you will put all the chances on your side to have the most equal karts possible and all the benefits that follow!