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Tkart magazine

The Expert Advices | How to adapt a MINI kart to an 8 year old child (90 cm tall)

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24 April 2021

Before buying a kart to be driven by a child, it is better to understand which type is suitable for the age of the young driver: a higher class kart requires more strength to drive (given the greater power to manage and probably the greater grip provided by the tyres) with the risk of quickly tiring the driver. This will soon lead to a decrease in attention and an increase in the possibility of accidents.
Age is therefore a fundamental parameter for deciding on the offer of products dedicated to the youngest drivers. Precisely for this reason there are two age groups for which two different types of karts are designated for little drivers:

6-7 yeas of age: the Baby class, for which there are no races, is dedicated this age group - the first which, according to the regulations, is open to children (although, it must be admitted, some fathers have also put 4-5 year’ olds behind the wheel of a kart ...) – and for which there are only non-competitive track events or practice laps on dedicated track days.

8-12 years of age: the first class that opens the doors to racing is designated for this second age range: the MINI. MINI karts must be adaptable to the most disparate heights because children have different development and growth methods between 8 and 12 years of age. This is why all chassis manufacturers have accessories that can be installed to adapt karts to different needs. However, if a child is less than 100 cm in height, other changes will need to be made to optimise the driving position.

1 What is the first step to adapt the driving position to a small driver?

The first controls on which to intervene to adapt the driver's seat to XXS size drivers are the pedals. In fact, the opposite happens in general with karting than with normal everyday cars, where you have a fixed pedal and move the seat closer/further away. In fact, moving the seat of a kart also means moving the centre of gravity of the kart (as we will see in the following slides), which is why - if possible - the tendency is not to move it but to bring the controls closer to the seat. In particular, the best solution to significantly reduce the distance between the seat and the standard fitting position of the pedals on the chassis is to install a pedal unit.

Its fastening to the chassis is generally carried out on the lower support of the steering column and, in addition, through a bracket on the side of the brake pedal (which is pressed by the driver with more force than the accelerator) to avoid any rotations or misalignments of the pedal. The pedals have a raised foot support which in this way does not therefore interfere with the normal movement of the steering arms. The fitting position must be arranged so that the child can press the pedals as far as they will go without the slightest difficulty.

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