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TKART magazine Special | All about transporting the kart
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11 December 2020
In the car or van, on the trolley or in the camper: all the possible and imaginable ways to take your kart from the garage to the kart track. Between do-it-yourself, like that of a well-known F1 driver, and hyper-professional solutions


The most convenient and certainly immediate solution is to transport the kart inside (or outside) your vehicle. However, it is not so obvious that it can fit there, nor that the regulations in force allow you to do so (in case you decide to put it on the roof). And then it is necessary to remember that the space on board will also serve you to house a toolbox with at least the bare minimum and the kart trolley to be able to move on the track.
By placing the kart in the trunk of your car, did you think you had found the solution to your needs? Too bad. First of all it is necessary to have a station wagon or at least two-volume car, because in the case of a sedan it is almost impossible to place the kart in the luggage compartment. Access is prevented by the kart's height, which is usually around 50-60 cm (20-24 inches). This does not mean that the situation is easier with other types of cars (not even in the case of SUVs) that have a much higher luggage compartment height. Because, regardless of the external dimensions, the dimensions of the room are the real discriminating factor. And even going up with the size of the car, it is difficult to exceed 110-115 cm (43-45 inches) in width. And the depth is at best around 190 cm (75 inches). Obviously the segment of small cars is precluded from the possibility of transporting a kart easily (without having to disassemble it almost completely in order to load it). While station wagons, hatchbacks, minivans and SUVs can only carry some types of fully assembled karts, such as the MINI, whose length is around 1.3 m (51 inches) and the width is 1,1 m (39 in). The Junior and Senior category karts (both single-speed and shifter) that can reach 2 m (79 inches) in length and 1.5 m (59 inches) in width, have a much harder time finding a place in the car. The idea of ​​disassembling the wheels and fairings is plausible, you can gain a few centimeters. But make sure that this does not become a stress: every time disassembling and reassembling the kart takes a lot of time away from the fun on the track. Taking that into account, especially when it comes to a recent car, the interior volumes are often limited by an aesthetic factor, unlike older cars, usually more squared, practical and functional. The advantage of being able to load the kart on your car does not necessarily require the presence of a friend or family member for the loading and unloading operations, working directly with the kart trolley.
A fully assembled kart has dimensions that are not easily digestible by most of the car trunks on the market.
By removing the fairings and removing the tires, width and length decrease significantly.
A further difficulty can be encountered due to the height of the kart. When trying to load it in the trunk, to gain a few cm in length, it might come to mind to lift the front part, perhaps resting the front on the toolbox ...
… It is a pity that the steering wheel could prevent you from doing so, crashing into the roof of the car. In these cases it is advisable to unscrew the bolt of the steering column support, so that the steering wheel can be lowered by a few centimeters.
If the passion for karting is strong, however, transporting your vehicle by car will certainly not be a problem. A solution is always found… Just take into account to disassemble different parts and not be obsessed with order.  Photo credit: KartCafe
Modern cars, in spite of generous external dimensions, offer small luggage compartments. An example? The Peugeot 3008: 1.84m (72.4in) wide, has a cargo compartment that has a 1m 5cm (41in) wide entrance. Too small for a kart that - without wheels - measures about 1 meter and 20 cm (47 inches).
On the other hand, cars from over 20 years ago, such as the Volvo 245, with an external width (1.72 m / 68 inches) less than 10 cm compared to that of the modern Peugeot 3008, offer a significantly higher internal trunk width: 1 meter and 32 cm (27 cm more than the 3008), or 52 inches (11 inches more than the 3008) .
If you decide to discard option one, but still have the idea of ​​using the car, an alternative is to load the kart directly on the roof. An operation that you can hardly perform alone, keeping in mind that you should lift a weight of about 70-80 kg (variable according to the type of kart). Therefore opting for roof transport necessarily requires the presence of at least one other person. And unless you want to ruin the bodywork of your car, you need to equip yourself with bars or roof racks. The first are transversal elements, the average cost of which is around 70-80 euros (practically the same amount in dollars). There are special attachments on the car roof to install them. If not, there are kits, sold at the same time as the bars (often included in the price) that "hook" the upper edge under the door using a hook system. The upper part of the bars is, in some cases, covered with non-slip rubber, in order to prevent the movement of the load. In principle, if we take as a reference cars ranging from the compact segment (Ford Fiesta) to that of the larger family members (Volkswagen Passat) the distance between the two bars will be around 700-800 mm (27.5-31, 5 inches). This means that the wheels of the kart, both front and rear, will be outside the "pitch" between the two bars, since, depending on the model, the most common wheelbase of karts is between 1045 and 1055 mm (41 -41.5 inches). The bars tend to be calibrated to support a weight up to 100 kg. However, there are no luggage racks dedicated to the transport of karts. These are elements that must be fixed to the cross bars mentioned above and can cost figures in the order of 500 euros. The only tangible advantage over a pair of bars is that they have a floor. So even more functional to keep the load firm.
If you have any doubts about the regularity of placing a kart on the roof of a car, know that its dimensions are not such as to exceed the shape of the car. In fact, every country applies its own rules, so it would be wise to consult its own highway code. In Italy, for example, the roof load can protrude laterally up to a maximum of 30 cm from the position lights (maximum overall width 2.55 m / 100 inches). At the rear, on the other hand, the load can exceed up to 30% of the length of the vehicle (and must be indicated with a special panel). Finally, no front projection is allowed. This last rule is basically valid for all of Europe. In New Zealand, however, again for example, the load must not extend more than 1.275 meters (50 inches) on either side of the vehicle's centerline. The maximum width of the vehicle with the load can reach 2.55 m (100 inches), exactly as in Italy. The Australian National Transport Commission sets the total width of the vehicle at 2.5 meters (98 inches) with the load above the roof, or otherwise protruding on the sides. Finally, in the United States they are more permissive, because in fact the highway code simply says to secure the load, which must not protrude dangerously.
The rules change from country to country, however, generally, the limitations dictated by the various road codes concern the protrusion of the load with respect to the shape of the car. In the photo an example of the rules in Italy, which coincide with the regulations roughly adopted throughout Europe.
A valid alternative as a means of transport for your kart is obviously the pick-up. Vehicles with a cargo area are suitable for those who do not want to equip themselves with an appendage trolley or trolley (which we will discuss later). But be careful to take the measurements correctly, because it is not taken for granted that the kart can fit in the rear portion of the vehicle. The entrance of the caisson usually varies between 140 and 150 centimeters (55-59 inches). While the length, which is a median value, is around one meter and 80 (71 inches). As for the kart, not all models are necessarily perfectly compatible with the spaces offered by the body. Because we must take into account the presence of the rear wheel arches, which reduce the width from the aforementioned 140-150 centimeters, up to values ​​of about 120 centimeters (47 inches). Therefore it might be possible that for some types of karts it will be necessary to remove the tires. The above values ​​are to be considered valid looking at the main models officially marketed by car manufacturers on the European and Australian markets. As for the pick-ups on the American market, they have even more generous body dimensions, especially when it comes to the distance between the wheel arches: the Ford F-350 has a value of almost 130 centimeters (51 inches), 128.5 ( 50 inches) instead of the Ford F-150. While the maximum width reaches 176 cm (69 inches).
Here, purely as an indication, the dimensions of the body of one of the pick-ups.
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