One thinks those oversized karts powered by super sport bike 100 hp engines you see on youtube doen’t really exist. Instead we actually got to try one made by Praga Kart in Adria. Here’s how we did
You think that certain things can only exist on Youtube - like monster karts, contraptions that look like karts, but run on oversized engines that seem like an exaggeration compared to 100 or even 125 cc motors. You know, those videos of a guy equipping a chassis with anything that has some turbo, some NOS? Always pretty much on the improvised side of things... Anyways, you’re absoutely convinced all this only exists in some faraway place inhabited by weirdos looking to kill time. Then you find out the two weirdos - yes, there are two of them - don’t live that far from where you work and that their names are Marco Barotti and Marco Ziviani. Both are huge fans of mechanics, true motor heads, who dedicate 8 hours a day to IPK, the company that produces Praga Kart and OK1 chassis. Drawing inspiration precisely from Youtube, with blessings from the IPK management, the two decide to try first-hand.
Here is the monster kart in its full length: 2.80 meters.Read more
Marco Barotti (right) and Marco Ziviani (left) are IPK colleagues. They’re the ones who (with help from friend Fabio Bresciani) came up with what they define as “the insane idea of creating this monster kart and have it become a sort of company mascot”.Read more
THE CREATORS OF
IPK’s Cash Van Belle and Cesare Gastaldelli add the final touches before the test.Read more
MONSTER KARTS: CONTRAPTIONS THAT LOOK LIKE KARTS, BUT RUN ON AN OVERSIZE SUPER POWER ENGINE
As far as the exhaust goes, the IPK guys kept the original terminal at first fitting four tubes, then paired to just two tubes, and eventually to a single one.
Fun fact: the extension used to set the terminal in the correct position you see in the photo was obtained out of a 50 mm axle tube.Read more
How did they install the engine?
“We set the chassis on a pallet, wedged it in so it would all sit at the same height, then we set the engine on it, aligned it to the frame, and created supports on the chassis using the original attachments.”
Easy, right? Sure, if they’re the ones saying (and doing) it!Read more
Along with the engine, several other elements were “transplanted” from the Honda CBR 600 onto the Monster Kart, including the ignition switch (the electrical system, instead, gets turned on with the classic key); the radiator, placed on the right hand side of the engine; and the terminal exhaust.Read more
The steering wheel and the shift lever are kart-derived. In terms of changing gears, it’s not necessary to use the clutch pedal when shifting up; viceversa, the clucth is necessary to downshift. The lever is extremely quick and precise. The braking also seemed very good, even if we never pushed it to the limit.Read more
Braking action is enhanced by the extended levers that act on the master cylinders of the original IPK system. The kart comes with three pedals, as you can see - one being the clutch. Since the clutch turned out to be necessary to downshift, the crew opted for pedal instead of manual controls to keep things simpler, considering the kart’s heavy steering.Read more
They take a frame and get to work on modifying it, drawing on their welding knowledge. They basically lengthen it, so it’ll fit a rather unusual engine as far as karts go: a four cylinder 100 HP (or almost) taken from a Honda CBR 600 involved in an accident... They work endless hours, nights and weekends, but in the end the fruit of their labor is well worth it - as proven by the “likes” the photograph of “The Beast” gets on Facebook. The person writing is one of the many who see that photo. So, at the first chance I get to talk to Daniel Sliva (IPK’s CEO), I can’t help myself: “Does the kart on the web really exist?”. His delayed response and worried look, spelling out “what does the guy want?”, get cast aside by his honesty: “Yes, it exists, two of our guys created it.” This said, it doesn’t take me much longer to get a test day out of him. And, at one point, the date actually arrives: Sunday morning, Adria Karting Raceway, right after the WSK Night Edition. The Monster Kart with full Praga “uniform” is sitting in a box at the end of the pit lane. It’s huge, long, out of proportion - in one word: wow! It surely doesn’t look like a prototype, farthest thing from it. They really did a great job on it, finished and perfect in every single detail. Two things immediately stand out: the pedals (three of them, brake, gas, and clutch too) and the engine (of course, it’s huge!).
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