Karting enthusiasts know what a perfect chassis should be made of-lightweight, yet durable material capable of launching a kart forward without showing signs of wear or tear.
The chassis is by far the most important piece of this machine. The construction is paramount in maintaining a solid go-kart. What constitutes a frame? In the case of these speedsters, the frame is welded together by torsion bars. Stiff frames are a result of shorter bars crossed together, and more flexible frames are associated with longer bars.
Stiff frames that do not provide flexibility were the backbone of earlier go-karts. First off, these go-karts do not have the specifications needed (most important, suspension and tire traction) to ease the punishment frames go through. Running on 2 or 4 cycle engines does not help compensate the health of a frame.
A lack of traction on your tires will cause uneven weight transfer and stability, ripping one or both sides loose at the same time. In essence, the frame is responsible for determining how well your vehicle moves on different surfaces, dictating your performance on wide turns and shorter turns.
A sturdy, well-built frame is the key to maneuvering well on the track, especially when turning. The most important criteria for an excellent frame is to negotiate turns well.
Frames are directly responsible for how well go-karts turn left and right. Weaker go-karts with cheap components are known to slide and drift along turns sometimes even flipping to its side entirely."Side bite" is referred to keeping a go-kart planted to the track without sliding. Without the proper frame, go-karts will man oeuvre out of control, even shutting off in some cases.
The design of the go-kart chassis has everything to do with how well it moves on turns and maintaining side bite. If the width of the rear rails (go-kart frames constitute front rails and rear rails) is narrow, it will have less side bite. Wider rails provide stability and "foundation" while turning, reducing the side bite overall.
Choosing the right frame for your go-kart can largely depend on the surface you are riding on. Dirt tracks for example, place a lot of stress and challenge on the front rail. The best frame for riding dirt tracks are ones with narrow fronts and longer backs.
The A-1 performance of a frame largely depends on tire traction as well. Low traction tires are not grooved enough to withstand the rigors of the surface. It also causes uneven weight transfer throughout the go-kart, and that is a no-no for maintaining optimum control of your money maker.
A major issue among karting enthusiasts is the durability and longevity of flexible frames. Exposure to punishing breaks and turns, can distort the frame which cannot be "popped" back to its original condition. Experts recommend replacing frames every year.
The question of choosing the right go-kart chassis boils down to flexibility. Options for frames mainly depend on what type of go-kart you're riding, as each go-kart and their engine work best under certain scenarios.
Stiff frames are a staple of 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines and flexible frames are found with higher horsepower engines. Remember, the more rigorous the circuit, the more flexible a chassis should be!